We have a range of policies in place which set out our approach to a number of different aspects of life in school. These policies are reviewed and updated regularly and are approved and signed off by our Governing Body. You can download copies of our policies below. If there is anything you do not understand, please ask your child's class teacher in the first instance.
The welfare and safety of children who attend our school is our paramount concern. We will promote the health, well-being and safety of the pupils in all we do. Our children have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, race, culture or disability. They have a right to be safe in our school. The aims and objectives of this policy are to ensure that all our staff promote an environment where children can learn in a safe, caring, stimulating and positive school and where their social physical and moral development is our highest priority. We follow the approach taken in the Department for Education's Keeping Children Safe in Education. Our approach to safeguarding is set out in a series of policies:
- Alpha Trust policy on safeguarding and child protection (Oct 2022)
- Communication and parental involvement (October 2022)
- Positive behaviour management including anti-bullying (October 2022)
- Adults supporting learning (October 2022)
- Educational visits (October 2022)
- Intimate care (October 2022)
- Online safety (December 2021)
- Alpha Trust policy on safer recruitment (October 2022)
In our school, we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. We aim to achieve this through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community. Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations; require different strategies for learning; acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates and need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences. Our policy covers matters including Special Educational Needs, provision for more able pupils and support for pupils with English as an additional language. The latest version was approved in Spring 2021. Download a copy of our Inclusion Policy here.
Home Farm Primary School aims to support learners to meet life’s challenges and offers opportunities to develop potential. The ethos of the school is based on mutual respect and consideration for others. In accordance with this ethos, we pledge to respect the equal human rights of all our pupils; to educate them about equality; and to respect the equal rights of our staff and other members of the school community. Our Equalities Plan sets out details of how we reflect our commitment to equality in relation to teaching and learning; the curriculum; the provision of guidance and support; behaviour and attendance; our partnership with parents and pupils, admissions and premises. It also includes our Accessibility Plan. The latest version was approved in February 2022. Download a copy of our Equalities Plan here.
We expect all children on roll to attend every day, when the school is in session, as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so. We do all we can to encourage the children to attend, and to put in place appropriate procedures. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is development of positive attitudes towards school. To this end, we strive to make our school a happy and rewarding experience for all children. We will reward those children whose attendance is very good. We will also make the best provision we can for those children who, for whatever reason, are prevented from coming to school. The law does not permit us to authorise absences for children during term time except in exceptional circumstances. Any requests are considered on a case by case basis. The latest version of our Attendance Policy was approved in October 2022. Download a copy of our Attendance Policy here.
Home Farm Primary School admits 60 children into the Foundation Stage Class each year. After an induction period, all pupils begin their reception year at Home Farm in September. You can find further details of our admissions arrangements here.
All the education we provide during normal school hours is at no charge to pupils. We do not charge for any activity undertaken as part of the National Curriculum, with the exception of some individual or small-group music tuition alongside any curriculum activity that may enhance the standard provision such as visiting theatres, gardening or science etc. You can find further information about this in our Charging Policy (October 2022)
Collective worship policy
It is a legal requirement that all registered school age pupils take part in an act of worship each day. These acts of worship must be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character” for the majority of the time. They must also be “appropriate, having regard to the ages, aptitudes and family backgrounds of the pupils”. At Home Farm Primary School, we adhere to the six principles identified by the Essex Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) in order to ensure that acts of collective worship or spiritual reflection are meaningful and relevant to all those present. You can find further information in our Collective Worship policy, which was approved in Spring 2021.
Compliments, concerns and complaints
Compliments are always welcome and very encouraging to teachers and staff. The school encourages feedback or opinions from pupils and parents. It may not always be possible to act immediately but pupils and the school always benefit so please don't hold back. It is natural that parents may, occasionally, be concerned about an aspect of their child's education or welfare at school. This could include issues concerning the school's approach to aspects of the curriculum, homework, behavioural problems or any other issue. You can find further information about our policy on handling concerns and complaints here.
Curriculum and homework policy
The curriculum is the totality of pupils’ learning experiences. At Home Farm Primary School we believe that our curriculum should be broad, balanced and relevant and meet the needs of all pupils whatever their ability. The curriculum is comprised of The National Curriculum and the wider curriculum. We ensure the pupils have a range of learning experiences that challenge, stimulate and promote thinking and learning whilst encouraging them to become independent learners. The curriculum meets statutory requirements. One of the aims of our teaching is for children to develop as independent learners, and we believe that doing homework is one of the main ways in which children can acquire the skill of independent learning. You can find further details about our curriculum and our approach to homework in our Curriculum Policy, updated in June 2022 and on the curriculum pages of this website.
Assessment, marking and feedback
At Home Farm Primary School we believe that effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning. To do this in our school, we undertake two different but complementary types of assessment: assessment for learning and assessment of learning. All children are entitled to regular and comprehensive feedback on their learning. All teachers mark work and give feedback as an essential part of the assessment process. You can read more in our assessment, marking and feedback policy, approved in July 2021.
Foundation Stage policy
The Foundation Stage extends from the age of three to the end of the reception year. Entry into our primary school is at the beginning of the school year in which the children are five (although compulsory schooling does not begin until the start of the term after a child's fifth birthday). The early-years education we offer our children is based on a number of principles - it builds on what our children already know and can do; it ensures that no child is excluded or disadvantaged; it offers a structure for learning that has a range of starting points, content that matches the needs of young children, and activities that provide opportunities for learning both indoors and outdoors; it provides a rich and stimulating environment. You can find further information in our Foundation Stage policy, approved in December 2020.
Like all schools, we handle lots of information, some of which is personal information about individuals. Our data protection policy approved in December 2020, sets out our approach to handling information, including how we comply with legislation relating to data protection and how we handle requests made under freedom of information legislation.
The governors and staff of Home Farm recognise that global issues are an important part of the lives of our students living in a world where economies are increasingly interdependent and global communication is a daily reality. We ensure that a global dimension is reflected in the attitudes and values of our students, the ethos of the school, the Programmes of Study and Key Skills. You can find out more about how we do this in our International Policy, approved in Spring 2021.
Supporting pupils with medical conditions
This school is an inclusive community. We aim to support and welcome pupils with medical conditions. This school aims to provide all pupils with all medical conditions the same opportunities as others at school. We will help to ensure that pupils with medical conditions can be healthy; stay safe; enjoy and achieve; make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. Our policy cover issues including how we share information and keep records; the administration and storage of medication in school and how we support pupils with medical conditions on residential visits. You can find our more in our policy on supporting pupils with medical conditions, approved in Spring 2021.
Religious education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At Home Farm Primary School, we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths, and address fundamental questions concerning, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit We enable children to develop a sound knowledge not only of Christianity but also of other world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. You can find out more in our Religious Education policy, approved in Spring 2021.
Relationships and sex education (RSHE)
Our school's policy on relationships and sex education is based on the Department for Education (DFE) guidance. The DFE defines sex education as 'learning about physical, moral and emotional development'. The guidance states, 'It is about understanding the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality, and sexual health'. We also take into account Ofsted’s end of key stage expectations for SRE. You can read more about our approach in our relationships and sex education policy, approved in Spring 2021.
It is our policy that all children should wear school uniform when attending school, or when participating in a school-organised event outside normal school hours. We provide a complete list of the items needed for school uniform in our school prospectus and on our school website. You can read more about our approach to this in our School Uniform policy, approved in Autumn 2020.
Early Career Framework teaching
Early career teaching is demanding and also of considerable significance in the professional development of the new teacher. Our school’s induction process ensures that the appropriate guidance, support, training to include the development of skills, knowledge, expectations and observations are provided through a structured but flexible individual programme. You can read more about our approach in our Early Career Framework policy, approved in Summer 2021.
Teaching and learning
At Home Farm Primary School, we believe in the concept of lifelong learning, and in the idea that both adults and children learn new things every day. We maintain that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; in short, it should be fun. Through our teaching, we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy and rewarding lives. You can read more in our teaching and learning policy, approved in Spring 2017.
Zero tolerance of threatening behaviour
The Governing Body of Home Farm Primary School encourages close links with parents and the community. It believes that pupils benefit when the relationship between home and school is a positive one. We expect parents and other visitors to behave in a reasonable way towards members of school staff. Our policy on zero tolerance of abuse and threatening behaviour, approved in June 2019, outlines the steps that will be taken where behaviour is unacceptable.
At Home Farm we run a variety of before and after school activities including our Breakfast Club, activities run by Home Farm staff, and clubs run by external providers. Our Extended Schools policy, approved by our Governing Body in Spring 2021 sets out the principles and procedures of our extended schools provision.
Home Farm is committed to ensuring the highest standards of probity in its administration and decision-making. The school follows the whistleblowing policy and procedures set out by the Alpha Trust which is available on the Trust website here.