Frequently Asked Questions

What is a typical school day? 

School begins at 9.15 am and ends at 3.30 pm every day.

Reception

In the early years foundation stage (Nursery and Reception) children learn through play and focused adult-led activities. They will spend an equal amount of time learning outside as well as inside the classroom.

Years 1 to 6

The school day may vary according to your child’s age and events in school; this is a typical day for a child in years 1 to 6.

The day begins with registration. Music may be playing as children enter the classroom, to set mood or tone. The teacher will introduce the programme for or ‘shape’ of the day. The learning will be organised in sessions, which may focus on a particular area of learning such as literacy or may be cross-curricular such as history and art. The teacher will make sure that all children understand each activity and during the day will discuss the key areas to be learned and what might be achieved.

During the morning, children will usually attend an assembly or a whole school singing session. After a 15-minute playtime, they will move onto a new area of learning, sometimes in the same group, sometimes with a new group of children. They usually learn alongside children of the same age range, but we also encourage cross age activities, as we know children learn so much from each other.

We have an agreed achievement policy at Brindishe Lee. Please ask for a copy at the school office or school website.

Will my child get home learning? 

In Brindishe Lee we see home learning as a way of further developing the partnership between home and school. We encourage children to take responsibility for their learning both in and out of school. Class teachers send out information about what children are learning in class on a regular basis with suggestions for home learning.

How do you encourage good relationships between children? 

In Brindishe Schools, we place great emphasis on self-discipline and praise. We encourage children to understand why certain kinds of behaviour are much more acceptable than others, and we encourage self-respect, respect for other people and our environment. We also encourage parents and carers to work with us to support children’s good behaviour so that home and school are consistent in what they expect of each child.

So how do you deal with bullying? 

Bullying is not tolerated in Brindishe Lee. We have a strong anti-bullying policy which is part of our Promoting Good Relationships, behaviour policy.

We have a number of ways of ensuring that children are able to report problems of bullying and of making sure children know we will take action. We always respond to reports of bullying and we work in partnership with parents to make sure Brindishe Lee is a bully-free zone.

Please download a copy or ask for a copy at the school office

Why is there no uniform at Brindishe Lee? 

We have discussed the issue of school uniform many times and each time children have, by a huge majority, said they do not want one. In Brindishe Lee we nurture children’s individuality and respect difference, which goes against the idea of uniformity.

Certain types of clothing and footwear are not permitted in school; these include vests, sleeveless tops and tops that expose the child’s middle or very short shorts. Shoes such as crocs, backless shoes and sandals or high heels are not permitted as they present a risk to the safety of pupils.

Jewellery should not be worn, except for small stud earrings and watches. Religious items such as a crucifix or Sikh bangle may be worn but all jewellery has to be removed by the child for PE. We ask that children bring a change of clothes for PE. Shorts and a T-shirt are acceptable clothing. Tracksuits may be worn for outdoor PE lessons in colder weather. Each child should bring a pair of socks and plimsolls or trainers with them. Please put your child’s PE kit in a bag clearly marked with their name. Brindishe Lee bags are available to buy from the office.

It is unfortunate that sometimes losses occur within school. We take every effort to find missing items. You can help us by labelling all items of clothing and footwear

What happens at lunchtime? 

Children stay for a school meal or bring a packed lunch. All children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to have a free school lunch and we encourage them to do so.

Our school dinners are cooked on the premises. A four week menu is displayed in school and a copy is sent home. We provide a choice of meals and a vegetarian option is always available. Payment for dinners should be sent to school on Mondays only please, in an envelope clearly marked with the amount, your child’s name and class. Cheques should be made payable to Brindishe Lee School. Parents/carers can also pay online using Parent Pay. Please access the information from the office or website – look under ‘money matters’.

If you think you may be entitled to free school meals, please make enquiries at the school office.

Schools are able to claim a Pupil Premium (over £1000) per child on free school meals to make sure each school’s budget matches its community’s needs. Families eligible for free school meals or Pupil Premium may also be offered reduced rates for extras such as clubs, educational visits and school journeys.

You may prefer for your child to bring a packed lunch. We teach and encourage children to eat healthily and this is followed up in the dinner hall. We ask that parents and carers support the school by providing healthy packed lunches. We ask that you don’t send in sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, glass bottles or cans. Children are encouraged to only drink water in school.

Children in reception class have access to their own outdoor play area throughout the day. They play separately from the rest of the school, although they do join them, from time to time, accompanied by their teacher or teaching assistant.

At playtime, the rest of the children go outside to the play areas and, in fine weather, onto the grassed area known as the ‘mound’. If it is raining children stay in the classrooms and are encouraged to read, draw or play board games.

If your child has a medical condition which prevents them going out to play, they can stay in the medical room or the office. Please ask the class teacher or headteacher if you think your child needs to stay in at playtime so that supervision may be arranged.

During very cold or very hot weather children may be brought in early from lunchtime play. They will either play quietly in their classrooms or watch a DVD.

Children aged 4 to 7 years are offered a piece of fresh fruit every morning playtime. This is part of a government-sponsored scheme. Children in years 3 to 6 may bring their own fruit to eat at playtime.

As many children are allergic to nuts or nut products we request that you do not send into school nuts or nut products for your child, or any other child to eat.

How do you keep the school secure? 

Once school has started each morning the gates are locked and entry to the school can only be obtained through a controlled entry system. Visitors to the school must sign in at the school office and they will be issued with a visitor’s badge. We do not allow free access to the classrooms or any other areas of the school building without prior arrangement and the permission of the headteacher.

Children are not allowed to leave the school grounds during the day, unless an adult collects them. Parents and carers deliver children to and collect children from classrooms at the beginning and  end of the school day. Although some children in years 5 and 6, with written permission from parents, do walk to and from school by themselves, younger children may only be collected by a  known adult. Children cannot be collected by an adult other than their known and named parent or carer without the school being informed in advance.

All staff employed at the school, plus voluntary helpers, including parents, are subject to rigorous vetting procedures including Disclosure and Barring Service checks. We have close links with the police and our local community and any concerns relating to safety and security are always reported and promptly acted upon.

If you would like further information, you are welcome to ask to see a copy of our Safeguarding policy.

How do I apply for a place at Brindishe Lee? 

There are a number of criteria for admission and this information is published in our Admissions policy available from the school office or website.

Reception and in year admissions

If you wish your child to join Brindishe Lee then a common application form must be completed. Application forms are available from: The Admissions Team, Laurence House, Catford or you can download a copy from the Lewisham Council website: www.lewisham.gov.uk

And finally...

We hope that this has given you the information that you need about our school.

If there are areas or aspects of the school about which you would like to know more please do ask. We welcome your interest, questions and comments. We look forward to meeting you and to working with you, to benefit all of the children at Brindishe schools. Welcome to our partnership.