Prospective Parents - thinking of joining us? Access this drop-down menu
Open Mornings 2023-2024 for St Luke's School
FRIDAYS-10.00am start. Please pre-book for the limited places available: 01582 626727
Here you will find information to help you as a parent/carer. Some links direct you to different parts of the website. As always, please contact us in school if you want any clarification/ further information.
NUT AWARE SCHOOL
We are nut aware school. Due to the large amount of animal feed we have on site we cannot be fully nut free. But we ask that do not bring any form of nuts into school. Thank you.
You can read our Nut Aware Policy Here
ARBOR - Our payments and information system
Arbor App now supports biometric login! So, logging into the Arbor App means
- No more entering login details every time - the App will now save parents’ email address and password, eliminating the need to re-enter them each time they login
- Parents can use their existing login method - whether that's face or fingerprint recognition, or their device’s pin code
- For parents with children at different schools, it's now easier and faster to switch between them
Attendance in School
When your child is sick
Short Term Absences:
When your child is ill, please contact the school office on 01582 626727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- When your child has vomited or has had diarrhoea, we follow the Guidance for Schools on Infection Control (click button above) and ask that you keep your child off school for 48 hours. Over 70% of our pupils have complex medical conditions, and many of these have serious implications when battling virus or bacterial infections. By reducing the likelihood of children catching viruses and infections, they are more likely to keep healthy.
Longer Term Absences:
Please contact the school to let us know about your child's circumstances and information relating to this. We sometimes need to let other parents/carers know about illnesses to prevent the spread of viruses and bacterial infections in the school. Where children are away from school for several days, and they are able to access work, we will provide this for the parent/carer to continue learning. Where a child is absent from school for a longer period of time, we work with ESTMA to support learning at home or in hospital.
Expectations of School Attendance
- You must make sure your child gets an education that meets their needs (for example if they have special educational needs). You can send your child to school or educate them yourself. Children must get an education between the school term after their 5th birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16.
- At St Luke's School we expect all pupils and staff to be in school each day of the academic year with 100% punctuality whenever possible.
- Pupils are in school for 38 weeks of the year: 190 days with 175 days (weekends and holidays) not in school.
- We ask that precautions / plans are in place to reduce the likelihood of absence, though when unavoidable, the school is notified at the earliest possible opportunity on 01582 626727
- We recognise many of our pupils have complex medical needs that require visits to specialists in London and further afield. Preparation for these visits and the travel time, often mean pupils cannot make school on such days.
- Schools are statutorily required to take a register of pupils' attendance.
- There are two points in the school day, this is taken - am and pm, creating two school sessions.
- 9.00am is the start of the school day and the register is taken before 8.50am.
- Afternoon Registration takes place between 12.00pm and 1pm
- When a pupil arrives between 9.10am and 9.40am, this is classed as a late.
- When a pupil arrives between 9.40am and 1.00pm, this is classed as an absence.
Authorisation of Absences
- The Head of School authorises absences, where there are legitimate reasons. Where not, these are classed as unauthorized absences.
Attendance Improvement Officer (AI0)
- The AIO reviews absences and lateness with the school on a monthly basis. Where the school has been unable to improve attendances, they can address matters further. This could lead to a court hearing and possible financial fine for families who do not support their child accessing school, where they could.
The school may:
- Authorise the absence; authorisation of the absence is at the discretion of the Head of School or Executive Headteacher..
- Invite you in to discuss the situation if absences persist.
- Inform you by letter if persistent absenteeism is a concern; all below 85% attendance will receive a letter each half-term; attendance figures to accompany reports.
- Refer the matter to the Attendance Improvement Officer if attendance moves below 85%.
- Support a long term absentee with gradual integration and support from school.
- Where a pupil has 21 sessions marked as an unauthorised absence in one school term, a referral will be made to the school Attendance Improvement Officer (AIO). (Mornings and afternoons are counted as individual sessions)
Ensuring Our Pupils are Safe when Absent from School
If your child is unexpectedly absent, school reception will:
- Telephone the primary contact number on the first day of absence if we have not heard from you by 9:30am, to ascertain the reason for absence. (It is therefore important that telephone numbers are constantly updated with the school as soon as there is a change of number and that more than one is provided).
- Telephone the primary contact number again on the morning of the second continuous day of absence if we have not heard from you by 9:30am, to ascertain the reason for absence.
- The Head of School will be notified.
- Telephone all contact numbers provided on the afternoon of the second continuous day of absence to ascertain the reason for absence.
- If we have not heard from you or been able to get in touch on the third continuous day of absence a member of staff will make a home visit to ensure the wellbeing of the child and parents/carers.
- If we are still not able to verify the welfare of the child or parent/carer the school will immediately notify CHILDREN’S SERVICES and/ or Community Police links. This is to ensure the welfare of the child absent is known about and raise an alarm to ensure their safety.
Holidays in Term Time
We do not authorise holiday in term time.
We ask parents/carers for a voluntary contribution to the cost of activities like school trips. Over half of our pupils now access free school meals and as such, we budget to support children to access trips and activities. However, if it is not financially viable to run, we might have to cancel the planned activity.
Absence as a Result of High Anxiety
Children who aren't able to attend school may be due to extreme anxiety or phobia. This is sometimes known as 'school refusal'. The term 'school refusal' makes it seem like the child has a choice, however the anxiety is usually so severe it's impossible for them to face it.
- Why is my child refusing to go to school?
- What can I do to help?
- Who can support me?
- Independent organisations who can help
Why is my child refusing to go to school?
These anxieties can stem from a number of things such as:
- Mental health issues such as anxiety - in particular separation anxiety.
- Low self-esteem
- The environment itself
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
School refusal can happen at any stage, however mostly occurs when children start school or transition into secondary school.
What can I do to help?
There are plenty of options available to help you if you think your child might be experiencing school refusal.
Speak to Us At School
- Talk to a teacher or the mental health lead at school and work with them around the issue. It's important to maintain a good relationship with them during this time. They can help agree on things the school can do such as arranging flexible start times to avoid the morning rush.
- If you have concerns about bullying, speak to the school about their anti-bullying policy.
- Speak to your school and ask them to assess your child if you think there may be an unidentified SEND need causing the anxiety.
- You'll need to work with us to help your child - particularly with any support plans they put in place.
Find help online
- Healthy Young Minds in Herts have advice on what to do if you're worried as well as tips for talking to children and young people about their anxiety and mental health.
- The NHS list a number of mental health apps which you can try with your child at home. These can help them learn to cope with their anxiety in a more positive way.
- MindEd provides free educational resources for parents and carers who might be worried about the mental health of their child.
- Young Minds have a dedicated section for parents which includes a parent helpline as well as expert tips and advice.
- Family lives offer parenting and family support with a helpline and online forum.
- No Panic offers information and advice on children's anxieties, school phobia and treatment for overcoming school phobia.
- KOOTH offers free, safe and anonymous online mental health support and counselling for young people.
- Just Talk Herts is a campaign run by multiple agencies in Hertfordshire that is encouraging young people to talk about their mental health. They have lots of useful resources for young people and schools too.
- Families Feeling Safe - An organisation which teachers and protes Protective Behaviours
- Familyfund.org - Providing grants to families
Who can support me?
You should start by speaking to your GP. They might be able to refer you to services such as CAMHS or PALMS.
Mental health services
CAMHS (Child and adolescent mental health services) works with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional wellbeing or mental health difficulties.
PALMS (Positive behaviour, Autism, Learning Disability and Mental health Service) helps children and young people aged 0-19 who have a learning disability and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Education Welfare Officers
Education Welfare Officers (EWO) meet with both parents and pupils in order to try and reduce unnecessary absence and remind parents of their legal responsibilities.
It's natural to be concerned if your case gets referred to an EWO, however they can work in partnership with you and the school. They can make suggestions like having you stay with your child until they've settled in class.
Schools will usually make a referral to the attendance team if attendance is below 90% and the majority of absences are unauthorised. However you can contact them for support too.
The Education Support for Medical Absence (ESMA) team support pupils who have had, or are expecting to have, significant time off school due to a physical or mental health condition. Their aim is to help children continue their education around their needs and work towards getting them back into school life.
Educational Psychologists Provide support to schools to help them meet the needs of children and young people. This can be through both school wide advice or concerns about an individual. Although they work directly with schools and settings, they also have a contact line specifically for parents.
Independent organisations who can help
SENDIASS: Provide impartial and confidential information, advice and support to parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
Not Fine in School: NFIS aims to support children and their families struggling with school attendance, and raise awareness of their experiences.
Health for kids: Hertfordshire based support and advice for parents, carers and kids from the NHS
Health for teens: Hertfordshire based support and advice for teens from the NHS
Telephone: 01582 626727
Arbor is an online portal that allows parents to communicate with the school, give consent, make payments and keep all their details up to date.
Change of personal details ?
You can update all your details including changes of address, names and phone numbers through the Arbor App.
All correspondence is now done via email through the Arbor App.
All payments including lunches, trips, can be made through the Arbor App.
There are times when we need to obtain your consent (for trips etc). This can all be done on the Arbor App
For more information about Arbor please contact the school.
Class Dojo allows you to communicate with your child's teacher directly and enables the teacher to update you with some of the work your child is currently undertaking in class. It is available as an App through the usual channels.
Please note: Teachers are only available between the hours of 8am - 4pm Monday – Friday.
EHCP Annual Reviews
EHCP Annual Reviews are yearly meetings to discuss the progress of your child, their medical and social needs and to review the EHCP Outcomes.
At St Luke's School, this is organised by: Ms Lisa Williams
We arrange our EHCP Annual Reviews in a particular way:
e-Safety for Pupils
Protecting your child in school
The internet and especially the World Wide Web, are essential parts of modern life which can enrich lives and empower children and families when used in a safe and secure environment. There are ever more ways to access this world using computers, tablets, phones, games consoles, TVs, watches... the list gets longer each year. With this access comes an element of risk, and a responsibility for adults to protect and educate children to use the technology safely.
At St Luke's we use the Hertfordshire Internet and Connectivity Service (HICS) Filtered Web Service who provide us with a firewall to protect the children from harmful content.
Mobile Phones & SMART Watches
At St Luke's we understand that the majority of children will at some point own a mobile phone, some children also have a SMART watch that can access the internet. Whilst we are more than happy for them to be used on the journey to and from school we have a policy of collecting devices as children arrive. They are then stored in a locked room until they are distributed at the end of the day. For more information about our mobile phone policy please see below.
We do however allow children to use mobile phones and Smartwatches when accessing Travel Training. Your child's class teacher will inform you when this forms part of the curriculum.
Free School Meals Information
If you do not meet the criteria for free school meals but need some support to buy food or pay household bills, help is available. Contact HertsHelp for advice and practical support – call 0300 123 4044, email email@example.com or visit www.hertshelp.net. You can also find further information around support at Hertfordshire County Council | Help to manage the cost of living
Independence - Supporting an Understanding of Money
Considering Pocket Money for Chores?
Developing Children's understanding of money in a digital age - check out this app - Rooster Tracker
Medicines in School
If your child has a medical condition that requires them to have medication during the school day there is a procedure in place that enables this to happen.
Before any medicine can be given, parents/carers need to complete the Prescribed Medicine Consent Form which can be downloaded, below.
Once the form is returned parents/carers will be contacted to discuss the arrangements that will be put in place for the medicine to be given to your child.
Medicines must be sent in to school in the original package from the chemist, with your child’s name, amount and method of dosage clearly visible.
Medicines cannot be brought in to school by pupils. An adult, parent/carer or Passenger Transport Assistant (PTA) escort must bring all medicines into school and hand them to the person on Transport Duty.
If your child has a short term condition that requires, for example, antibiotics to be given during the school day, the medicine should be brought in to school with a completed form. If you cannot print a form for the first day, a covering letter can be sent with the medicine, but a form will need to be completed for any further days.
Please contact Reception if you have any questions about these arrangements.
Music Lessons - Peripatetic Lessons by Herts Music
Music can soothe, excite, stimulate or calm. It can satisfy creativity through composition and performance. It can enrich the understanding of other nations through the study of cultural variety of music styles and instruments.
In addition, music brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development allowing children to develop creativity at their own pace.
We are fortunate to be able to offer music lessons through the Hertfordshire Music Service. They offer lessons in keyboard, drums, guitar, singing and ukulele.
Prices are - £154 per term - for 11 lessons (20-minute lessons) (prices subject to change)
Depending on your child's circumstances, you may be entitled to funding by the local authority.
If you would like your child to learn an instrument please contact us. There is currently a waiting list.
PTA - Friends of The Blue Tangerine
Friends Of The Blue Tangerine
Our PTA is a great way of getting to know other families and staff whilst making a real contribution to the quality of school life for all.
Whilst fundraising is a significant part of the objectives for the 'Friends of' it provides a great way to build the whole school community, including links with wider society all of which benefits the school and offers a positive influence within the local area.
If you would like to be more active in the life of your child’s school please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Herts Catering Limited
Herts Catering Ltd is our school lunch provider. Eating the right balance of healthy, tasty food helps all children to learn and develop. That’s why making the right decision about what your child eats at school is so important. The meals they provide are packed with great and tasty ingredients to help your child really enjoy lunchtimes at school.
Choosing a school meal will give your child the chance to try new foods and to enjoy eating with their friends All meals are freshly prepared and packed full of the energy and essential nutrients they need to grow and learn.
Free School Meals: Information is Changing - keep an eye on Hertfordshire' information pages...HERE
We want to make sure that we are providing your child with the best education and support we can. Healthy school food has obvious health benefits and can help pupils establish healthy habits for life. Healthy school food can also help to improve pupils’ readiness to learn.
Families who receive certain benefits may be eligible for free school meals. Your child is eligible for free school meals if you are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400.
- Income Support Free
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Support under Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- The guarantee element of Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for the four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
- Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit) with an annual income of no more than £16,190
To apply, please go to https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
Please remember: if you were eligible for FSM last academic year your application does not renew automatically. You will need to go online and re-apply.
School Hours - the Day
- Arrival and Registration: 8.45am-9am
- Break: 15 mins 10.45-11am
- Lower School Lunch: 30 mins 12.00 - 12.30pm
- Middle and Upper School Lunch: 45 mins 12.30-1.15pm
- Transport: 2.45pm-3pm
Signposting Guide for Other Support Services
Payments for school dinners, clubs, trips etc can be made via Arbor. You can top up your childs school dinner balance and also give your consent for trips etc. Simply download the Arbor app on your phone or device or access it through any laptop or desktop.
A group of 6-8 pupils at a time are supported through a carefully constructed programme to support independent travel on public transport.
Hertfordshire LA have been working with college aged students and are now working with school aged children with SEND. They work with the school, in the classroom first, before engaging them in the “full” Travel Training programme over the Summer, with the aim of getting them Travel Trained before they start college in September.
T: 0300 123 4043 (Internal: 25325)
Why a uniform?
Our school uniform exists to support the ethos of the school and help parents and children with regard to differentiating between school and out of school clothing. Our pupils tell us they like having a uniform. There are choices and optional aspects with the uniform that we have found can support individual children and families, such as a child's clothing preferences and costs.
Non-gender bias uniform
Our school uniform is non-gender bias, meaning boys and girls can wear any aspect of the uniform identified below, such as dresses, skirts or trousers.
Where to buy
Most items can be purchased from supermarkets and general suppliers of clothing and shoes. Branded clothing can be obtained from Peter Spivey (see below).
Our school uniform supplier is :
71 The Marlowes
Hemel Hempstead HP1 1LF
To visit their website click Peter Spivey
On occasions, students in school are allowed to wear clothes other than the school uniform. This may include ‘mufti’ days to raise money and awareness for charities, or as a form reward; or when on school trips.
Whilst this allows students the opportunity to express themselves as individuals, it must be done so appropriately. It is particularly important that any student dress on these occasions recognises that the school is still a working environment, and further that student dress does not cause embarrassment to staff, students and other members of the school community.
When not in uniform, therefore, students are to adhere to the following:
In doing so, the following guidelines are to be adhered to:
- Shorts, skirts and dresses, if worn, should be of at least mid-thigh length;
- Leggings, if worn, must also be worn with a skirt, dress or other top, of at least mid-thigh length.
The following items are prohibited:
- See-through clothing, for example see-through blouses;
- Strapless or ‘string-strapped’ tops;
- No cropped tops
- Clothing which is revealing; for example, exposing bare midriffs;
- Baseball caps;
- Clothing which reveals underwear;
- Flip-flops or backless footwear, due to health and safety issues;
- Clothing with offensive logos.
It is recognised that this dress code will not cover all issues that may arise. Students may seek to wear, for example, items which have not been covered by the above guidelines, but which are against the tenor of the dress code. In such a case, or given any issue of dispute, the final arbiter is the Head of School or other senior member of staff.
All students are expected to arrive at school wearing clothing in accordance with this dress code. Should they not do so, then they will be sent home to change by the Head of School or other senior member of staff. Any student unable to go home to do this will work in isolation for the day.
Please label all items of clothing. Lost, named uniform will be returned.
Un-named uniform is provided as second hand uniform for pupils in need.