Attendance

IMPROVING ATTENDANCE LEVELS

At Crindau Primary School we aim to have all of our children in school everyday. This promotes their academic and the social development.

Attendance in our school last year was above the National and Newport averages for the first time; something we are very proud of. However, for us to continue to build on this we need to ensure attendance is good.

In recent years, it has been thought, by some, that parents are entitled to take their child out of school for two weeks per year as long as they filled in the ‘holiday form’. However, in reality, this has never been the case. In exceptional circumstances, parents can ask permission to take a child out of school by completing a ‘Leave of Absence or Holiday Form’, available from the school reception or via the school’s own website. Previous absence levels have always been looked at very closely before authorising holidays.

In discussion with the school Governors it has been decided that when requests are received by the Head teacher, the child’s attendance record over a period of three years will be assessed to determine the rate of previous absence. If the Head teacher considers that the child’s attendance has previously been excellent and the circumstances for the request exceptional, ‘authorised’ absence will be granted. If this is not the case, attendance will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ and subject to the scrutiny of our EWO (Education Welfare Officer).

Any absences due to holidays during the National test period will be automically recorded as unauthorised for pupil sin Year 2,3,4,5 and 6.

Our desire to see attendance improve is because of unquestionable links to pupil attainment.

Children who attend school regularly achieve more!

Our reasons for not wanting children to be taken out of school for holidays during term time are backed up by educational research by the Government’s Department for Education:

  • Holidays in school term time break the continuity of a child’s learning
  • Teachers will not have the time to ‘re-teach’ what has been missed during a holiday
  • Children find it hard to break back into friendship groups causing considerable stress and unhappiness – further impacting on learning
  • Children taking holidays in September or during times of transition miss out on learning classroom routines causing stress and anxiety upon return
  • Pupils suffer a loss of confidence as a result of feeling ‘left behind’ and worry about ‘catching up”
  • Disappointment for children who work towards events and activities but then miss out as a result of being away
  • Gaps in learning often take considerable time to be resolved.

Whilst we appreciate that holidays are cheaper during term time than during the 13 weeks that the children have away from school for ‘official’ holidays each year, we very much hope that parents take the above factors into account when planning family holidays and absence from school.

We are sometimes asked by parents, ‘Is it OK to take my child out of school for a holiday?’ Only parents themselves can answer that.

Teachers at Crindau Primary are not able to provide children and parents with ‘work’ to complete to compensate for time away from the classroom, as a result of absences due to holidays or extended leave being taken.

However, in the event that exceptional circumstances means that a child is away from school for prolonged periods, there are some activities that parents can undertake with their children.

  • Mental calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division will lead to a good understanding in numeracy. By continuing to work on multiplication tables, it will help to keep children’s skills share.

  • Writing a diary of a trip is a great way to improve a child’s writing but also provides them with a wonderful memento of a visit. Children can leave spaces in these to add photographs on their return or complete them electronically.

  • Each term teachers produce a ‘Project Map/Plan’. This is sent home with children and is also available on the school website. By looking at this in advance, you will be able to get books from the library or plan visits that will aid their learning.

  • Encourage your child to read every day –whilst away, you may find it possible to hear them read more often than you would at home.

  • There are a number of different websites that will provide you with ‘worksheet’ type activities – www.primaryresources.co.uk is an excellent resource.

Some Useful Attendance information

Attendance at school is the single most significant factor in pupil achievement. For your child to fulfil his/her potential please aim for your child to have a minimum attendance of 90% at school and ensure they arrive at school on time.

90% attendance means 10% absence and 10% absence is equal to:

  • 1 day a fortnight away from school
  • 6 lessons missed every 2 weeks
  • 19 days (4 weeks) absent during a school year
  • 114 lessons missed in every academic year
  • A large number of homework opportunities missed

‘Catch-up’ is very difficult for children returning to school.

  • Lateness has an enormous negative impact on learning as a child will tend to be missing the same subjects lessons/activities
  • Children are often very embarrassed and upset at being late, they can often feel very self conscious about entering the classroom it’s not a good way to start the day
  • Lateness causes much disruption for the administrative staff, it causes the, extra work and takes up their time during a very busy part of the day.
  • If your child is very late it might mean the administrative staff are unable to order them a school meals

Incentives

To promote good attendance in school we offer our pupils’ a number of incentives such as, certificates for 100% attendance each term, with a special prize for any pupils’ who manage to get 100% for the year. Class rewards (Attendance Cup) for best class attendance on a weekly/ termly basis. We also promote the benefits of good attendance to all pupils through circle time activities, assemblies and by staff talking to pupils. Certificates are given for 100% attendance every half term and awards aregiven out at the end of a school year for 100% for the whole year.

If you taken the time to read this booklet! I hope it has made you think about how important regular attendance and punctuality is on the progress your child/children make at school. I also hope that we will see a great improvement in our over all attendance figures.

Diolch yn fawr


Marie  Ward

Head teacher