Letter to Parents
Westcourt Primary School is proudly recognised as an Inclusive Attendance school. Our unwavering commitment to attendance centres around child-centric actions, evidence-informed practices, and a shared understanding of everyone's roles and collective responsibilities to promote exceptional attendance.
Inclusive Attendance Professional Development Model
Our attendance approach is fundamentally guided by the Inclusive Attendance professional development model. Comprising six tailored Learning Modules, this model empowers us to deepen our understanding by facilitating continuous professional learning for all staff. Within this model, the four domains of practice ensure the provision of professional learning, professional development, evidence-based practices, and exemplary leadership and management to seamlessly integrate theory into practice.
Annual Inclusive Attendance 7-Month Development Programme
Year after year, we review and further enhance our attendance practices through dedicated participation in the Inclusive Attendance 7-month development programme. This investment allows us to remain at the forefront of educational change and extends unparalleled support to our children and their families, equipping them with access to the finest possible assistance.
Multi-Tiered System of Support
To guarantee a comprehensive approach to attendance, we implement a Multi-Tiered System of Support. A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) for school attendance involves three tiers of intervention, with roles for teachers, the school, children, parents, and external agencies – including the Local Authority. Data-driven decision-making and training requirements are pivotal to the implementation of the system. The system aligns with the Department for Education's (DFE) "Working Together to Improve School Attendance" guidelines.
Tier 1 - Universal Approach: Establishing a baseline universal attendance approach that benefits all children.
Tier 2 - Individualised Strategies and Early Help Support: Tailoring strategies to individual needs and providing early help support for persistent attendance challenges.
Tier 3 - Higher Needs Strategies Support: Furnishing specialised support for children, young people, and families with complex attendance requirements, including access to external agency support when necessary.
Our attendance philosophy is rooted in a recognition-based approach that recognises both personal and collective achievements. This approach serves to thwart isolation, prevent victimisation, cultivate positive environments, nurture relationships, foster inclusivity, and ultimately cultivate intrinsic motivation among our children, families, and staff.
The Importance of School Attendance
School attendance is not merely a requirement but a fundamental pillar of education. It plays a pivotal role in shaping academic success, personal growth, and future prospects, making it an indispensable aspect of any educational system.
Academic Achievement: Regular attendance directly correlates with academic success. Children who attend school consistently are more likely to keep up with the curriculum, perform better in exams, and improve their life outcomes.
Knowledge Acquisition: School is where children acquire knowledge and skills that are crucial for their personal and professional growth. Missing days means missing out on valuable learning opportunities.
Social Development: School provides a vital social environment for children and adolescents to interact with peers, develop friendships, and learn essential social skills. Consistent attendance ensures children remain connected to their peer group.
Building Routine: School attendance establishes a structured routine in children’s lives, teaching them time management and responsibility, which are valuable life skills.
Teacher Interaction: Regular attendance allows for meaningful teacher-child interactions. Teachers can provide personalised support, address questions, and assess individual progress more effectively when children attend regularly.
Preventing Knowledge Gaps: Frequent absences can lead to significant knowledge gaps, making it challenging for children to catch up with missed lessons, potentially resulting in long-term academic struggles.
School Engagement: Children who attend school regularly are more likely to engage in extracurricular activities, sports, and other enriching experiences that contribute to their overall development.
Legal and Parental Responsibility: Parents or guardians are legally responsible for ensuring their child's regular school attendance. Failing to do so can lead to legal consequences.
Community Well-being: High levels of school attendance contribute to the overall well-being of communities.
Snow and Ice
In the event of severe weather conditions we have to consider key issues to make judgements about school closure. Closing the school is the very last option for us. We know that for working parents when the school has to close this presents problems with regard to childcare, so the decision will not be taken lightly. In these circumstances, we must to weigh up many different risks regarding travelling to school, site safety and pupil supervision on site. Maintaining the level of learning is extremely important, but we have to balance that against the risks to our pupils and staff.
We will monitor local weather reports and liaise with our staff members in outlying areas to assess the travel conditions that might be affecting those who come to school by car and bus. This will enable us to assess if we have sufficient numbers of staff on site to allow us to effectively supervise our pupils.
In the rare event that the decision is made to temporarily close the school, we will text all parents and families with as much notice as possible. We will also update the website and Facebook page.
If the school remains open during bad weather, as a parent you can make the decision about whether or not you feel it is safe for your child to travel to school. If you feel it is unsafe for you to travel to school from where you live, please keep your child at home. If your children’s absence is specifically due to travel problems caused by the bad weather we can record this absence appropriately.
In the event of incredibly hot weather, we may take the decision to keep children indoors to limit their exposure to the dangers of excessive sun. This may include adjusting playtimes, outdoor learning or PE sessions to avoid being outside during the warmest parts of the day.
The NHS advise that children cover up with suitable clothing and wear sunscreen between the March and October.
Please ensure that especially when the sunshine is forecast, you child arrives for school with:
- A hat to protect their head from the sun
- SPF50 sunscreen on all exposed skin
- A plastic bottle of water