Head Teacher’s Welcome
It is with great pleasure that I say hello to you on behalf of the Directors, Governors, Staff and Pupils of our Academy. I thoroughly enjoy working at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy and sincerely hope that you and your child’s association with us proves to be equally happy.
At Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy every child is as important as the next. High self-esteem is encouraged, high expectations, standards and values are fostered and progress and achievement are positively monitored and celebrated. We believe that all children can achieve and that no child is left behind.
Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy has many qualities, the most important of these being a dedicated and caring team of staff who share a wealth of experience. In addition, we have excellent facilities to support specialised education for children aged between 2 years 8 months and 7 years old. These factors help us to provide the highest standards of education for your child. In partnership with parents, we strive to ensure continued academic success and develop personal qualities in pupils of which we can be proud. As our aim states...
Everyone is valued and shares responsibility for the learning that takes place at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy.
Our focus is on developing and nurturing our children. We seek to provide every opportunity to apply Literacy and Numeracy across their learning. We want all children to achieve the highest possible standards and make maximum progress.
As part of Mercia Primary Academy Trust the school shares a whole host of resources with Flax Hill Junior Academy, where most of our children go onto. As Head Teacher of both schools I know how hard we work to make the transition to Junior school as easy as possible, something we start to consider as early as their first year in Pre School!
Both schools are going from strength to strength. Both schools have received ‘Good’ Ofsted reports and have oversubscribed classes due to our popularity within Tamworth. With our Junior school having been awarded ‘Pupil Premium Primary School of the Year - West Midlands’ by the Department for Education I strongly believe that Lark Hall and then Flax Hill will give your child a great start to their educational journey.
Welcome to Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy
We are a busy, thriving school committed to providing our children with a broad range of opportunities to learn, develop and shine.
Our Academy’s main aim is to create a happy, caring, secure environment in which our children can develop confidence, individuality and good learning habits. We help pupils develop lively, enquiring minds, we encourage them to speak thoughtfully and confidently and we teach them to work and play with care and consideration for others. Most of all, we want each child to feel they have helped to make our school a successful, happy place to be.
We pride ourselves on our children’s attitudes and achievements and we know these are due to a very close partnership between our school and your family.
We hope your child will feel happy at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy and will achieve his or her best. Our promise to you is that we will do our best for your child.
- Children are eligible to join Pre School the term in which they turn 3 years old. This is either a paid place (£4.00 per hour) or funded by Think 2 or the new 30 hours Funding.
- Children are eligible for free 15 hours Pre School provision from the term after they turn 3 years old. Start dates are September, January and April.
- Children whose Date of Birth fall between 01/09/2016 and 31/08/2017 are eligible to attend Reception class in September 2021 (school).
Admission to Pre School (Term after your child turns 3 years old)
Parents can choose for their child to attend for their free 15 hours at our morning, afternoon or all day sessions and pay for additional hours if required. We also offer places for children who receive 30 hours funding. To book your child’s place in Pre School please contact Lark Hall office to receive a Pre School pack.
Transition into School from Pre School
In the Autumn term, the year prior to your child’s entrance into school, you will receive a letter from Staffordshire Admissions and Transport Service. This letter will have detailed information on how to apply for a school placement. A place is not automatically reserved for your child at any school. Your application will be acknowledged by School Admissions and Transport Services. The best way to apply for a school placement is to apply online through Staffordshire’s website on www.staffordshire.gov.uk/admissions. A full copy of the Admission Policy is available from the school office or on the school website.
Transfer from Infant to Junior
Most children who attend Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy choose to transfer to our Junior Academy, Flax Hill. Our Executive Head Teacher, Mr Richard Lane, covers both Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy and Flax Hill Junior Academy. The two schools are in partnership under Mercia Primary Academy Trust and meet regularly to liaise all aspects of your child’s education. This enables your child has a smooth transition between the two sites. Parents also have the option to move their child to another junior school from Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy.
If the total number of preferences for admission to a school exceeds the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN) of 30, the following order of priority is used to allocate the available places.
1) Children in Care and children who ceased to be in care because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
2) Children who satisfy both of the following tests:
Test 1: The child is distinguished from the great majority of other applicants either on their own medical grounds or by other exceptional circumstances. Medical grounds must be supported by a medical report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application). This report must clearly justify, for health reasons only, why it is better for the child’s health to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.
Exceptional circumstances must relate to the choice of school and the individual child, i.e. the circumstances of the child, not the economic or social circumstances of the parent/carer. They should be supported by a professional report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application) e.g. social worker. This report must clearly justify why it is better for the child to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.
Test 2: The child would suffer hardship if they were unable to attend the preferred school. Hardship means severe suffering of any kind, not merely difficulty or inconvenience, which is likely to be experienced as a result of the child attending a different school. Applicants must provide detailed information about both the type and severity of any likely hardship at the time of application.
3) Children who have an elder sibling in attendance at the preferred school (or in the case of an infant’s school, the affiliated Junior school) and who will still be attending the school at the proposed admission date; (for admission purposes, a brother or sister is a child who lives at the same address and either: have one or both natural parents in common; are related by a parents marriage; are adopted or fostered by a common parent or are unrelated children who live at the same address, whose parents live as partners).
4) Children living within the catchment area of the preferred school.
5) Other children arranged in order of priority according to how near their home addresses are to the main gate of the school, determined by a straight-line measurement as calculated by the Local Authority’s Geographical Information System.
Pre School Education
Children can join our Pre School the term in which they turn 3 years old (paid or Think 2 funded) All children are eligible to 15 free hours the term after they turn 3 years. If your child stays all day or attends an afternoon session you must either provide them with a packed lunch or pay for a school provided dinner.
Parents can choose for their child to attend for their free 15 hours at our morning, afternoon or all day sessions and pay for additional hours if required.
Children can attend the Pre School until they begin Reception.
Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Every child’s development is unique. Our Pre School offers opportunities to interact in positive and enabling environments.
We aim to develop children’s personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender.
Lark Hall’s Pre School provision uses the characteristics of effective learning and follows the National Early Years framework to accelerate each unique child’s learning development. These prime and specific areas of learning and development are all interconnected. The ways in which your child engages with other people and their environment - playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically all help towards an effective and motivated learner.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
- Playing and Exploring - Engagement
- Active Learning - Motivation
- Creating and Thinking Critically –Thinking
Area of Learning and Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Everyone is valued and shares responsibility for the challenging learning that takes places at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy.
As teachers we pledge to:
- Foster self-esteem in every child
- Praise effort and strive for excellence
- Make the Curriculum an effective and rewarding experience for everyone
- Strive for the highest possible standards through quality teaching
- Create a climate of trust within the school community
We teach our children to:
- Respect others - ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’
- Take responsibility for their own actions
- Follow a clearly defined code of behaviour
- Try their very best at all times
Our School: In the Classroom
We believe that every day should be used to the full and we want every child to be challenged and keen to learn. In our fast changing society, we recognise the need to teach the children how to learn. We want the children to strive for excellence in every aspect of our child-centred curriculum which is wide, balanced and cohesive, and provided according to agreed policies. We want the children to think for themselves, exercise their imaginations and have fun.
We place great emphasis on the teaching of English, as it forms an integral part of the curriculum. We aim to encourage children to use language to express themselves fluently, clearly and confidently both in written form and verbally. English is taught through literature (the use of books). We have recently updated our reading scheme and we actively encourage a love of books and reading at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy.
Mathematics has a central place in the curriculum and our aim is to make it interesting so that children develop a positive attitude towards it. We teach them skills to cope with everyday life including the ability to classify, read numbers, count and calculate, tell the time, weigh, measure, recognise pattern and symmetry.
We aim to help them to begin to make sense of their world by gaining experience of discovery and investigation. We teach the children about themselves, other living things and their environment. We explore the world of materials and investigate the way changes affect these materials. The work is done in a practical way where the children are encouraged to observe, question and hypothesise.
The children in our school have access to excellent facilities to explore computing. We have a large computer trolley full with up to date laptops and tablets. Each classroom has a computer available for use. All computers are networked. We have Interactive Whiteboards in all of the classrooms. The teaching of computing is linked to all areas of the curriculum. Children are also encouraged to look at computing in the outside world.
The children are helped to develop an awareness of the past through stories about people and important events. We use pictures, artefacts and educational visits to highlight and compare the past. We give them the opportunity to develop a sense of chronology and an awareness of major times and events.
The children study the immediate area around their homes and contrasting locality further afield. They are taught to ask questions, to examine photographs, pictures and maps. They learn to follow directions and to use maps and plans of different kinds, both real and imaginary, and to recognise simple features.
We help to develop children’s enjoyment and understanding of music through singing, percussion instruments and listening to music from different eras and cultures. The children are encouraged to compose their own music after exploring the elements of high/low, long/short, pulse/rhythm, loud/quiet, fast/slow and pattern of sound.
The children are encouraged to communicate their feelings and demonstrate skill and knowledge through a wide variety of media including painting, drawing, textiles and modelling and to make images using line, tone and pattern. They are introduced to the work of artists, craft workers and designers involving a variety of periods and cultures.
Physical Education (PE) promotes physical activity, a healthy lifestyle, positive attitudes and an awareness of safety. The children are taught games both indoor and outdoor using a variety of equipment and learning simple rules. They take part in gymnastic activities learning to jump, balance, swing and climb using the floor and apparatus. Dance teaches them co-ordination, balance and poise. Athletics and other outdoor activities teaches them timing, speed and motivation.
Forest School is the name for an approach to educating children in the outdoors on a regular basis. This work will support the main curriculum and will have a strong emphasis on raising all children’s self-esteem, independence and mental wellbeing. During these sessions, children experience all sorts of woodland activities that help them to build an understanding and appreciation of the woodland as well as learn together in a totally unique way. The activities are always hands-on and may require the use of a range of tools and will include team building skills, fire lighting, den building and using tools, as well as lots of discovery and explore.
Religious Education and Worship
Religious Education (RE) lessons at Lark Hall Infant and Academy are non-denominational and follow the County syllabus. Aspects of all religions are taught as this enables children to develop an understanding towards different religions and to respect the beliefs and cultures of others. As a parent, you have the right to withdraw your child from Religious Education. However, we advise that you speak to your child’s class teacher or the head teacher about your concerns before you make your final decision. If you decide to withdraw your child from Religious Education, we will set alternative work for them to do during this time.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy is committed to providing an environment in which all children are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential. It is our fundamental belief that all children have the same right of access to the curriculum and that the school should aim to meet the educational, social and spiritual needs of all the children. The SEN code of practice took effect from the 1st September 2014. This information report for Lark Hall and Nursery Academy is available on our school website and on the local market place. This has further detailed information for children and young people with special educational needs (SEND).
Care Plans and Prescribed Medication
A few children, whilst fit to attend school, may require prescription medication during school hours. Trained staff can only administer prescribed medication which has a clearly printed label. This must give all the important information regarding the prescribed medication and who it has been prescribed for. Children who require a short course of prescribed medication will need to have a completed and signed Parental Agreement in place. This can be acquired from the school office and must be completed and signed by the parent who holds Parental
Responsibility for the child. This will give staff permission to administer the prescribed medication. In addition, it may be necessary for children with chronic illnesses or long term complaints such as asthma, diabetes or certain allergies to receive prescription medication if and when required. Where appropriate, a care plan will be put in place and reviewed annually.
Learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. Beyond their academic lessons we are keen to help your child discover new talents and hobbies that can last a lifetime. Throughout the year we try to offer a range of clubs to help develop your child’s extracurricular learning.
Your child will be asked to do a small amount of homework. As well as reinforcing what they have learnt in class, homework helps your child to develop a sense of responsibility towards his or her own learning.
Reading plays an important part in every child’s learning. We ask you, as a parent, to support us by encouraging your child to read. The school has an excellent supply of reading books to share. The children are also sent home with new reading material each week.
The School Day
8.00am Breakfast Club opens
8.50am Playground and classrooms are unlocked
9.00am Registration and start of lessons
10.30am Break time
1.00pm Registration and start of lessons
2:45pm – 3pm Gate open for collection
3.00 -5.00pm Wrap Around Care
Please note: Early Years children do not have a morning break but instead access continuous indoor and outside provision throughout the morning.
Many children like wearing the Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy colours as it makes them feel part of the Academy Trust. Our school colours are blue sweatshirts, white polo shirts and grey/black trousers/skirts. Children must always come to school looking neat and tidy in the correct uniform, with long hair tied back. Trainers are not acceptable as footwear except for outdoor PE lessons. Due to health and safety reasons, it is not recommended that jewellery is worn to school. Earrings are not to be worn on PE days.
Lark Hall Uniform
- Long-sleeved blue sweatshirt/cardigan
- White polo shirt
- Trousers or skirt in black or grey
- Both girls and boys can wear trousers, however we ask that children don’t wear jeans or tracksuits/jogging bottoms.
- Suitable footwear - Flat shoes, no open-toed or open-backed shoes.
Basic PE kit
Suitable outdoor PE wear should be worn to school on the days your child has a PE lesson. This should include weather appropriate top and bottoms and outdoor trainers.
Forest School Kit
Warm outdoor clothes that you do not mind getting dirty should be worn to school on the days your child has a Forest School lesson. Forest School takes place in all weather conditions including rain so please ensure your child wears waterproof clothing and shoes/wellies if appropriate, you can also send your child with a bag of spare clothes to change into after their lesson.
Buying School Uniform and PE Kit
Clothing with the Lark Hall logo on can be bought from My Clothing online and SK Stores on Riverside. All other items should be available from a wide range of high street stores.
We strongly recommend that you label all items of your child’s clothing with their name.
Wrap Around Care
The school offers a Breakfast Club from 8.00am - 9.00am where children can have a healthy and nutritious breakfast. School children can use our Wrap Around provision from 3.00pm - 5.00pm. Pre School children can use our Wrap Around provision to add extra hours onto their paid or ‘Think 2’ funded hours already taken with us. The cost is currently £4.00 per hour.
The government have funded all Infant children’s school dinners for Reception to Year 2 children. Pre School children can either bring a packed lunch from home or pay £2.35 for a dinner provided by school. If you are in receipt of any financial government support, please still apply for free school meals as they will receive further funding through the Academy. More details are available from the school office.
Payments for Breakfast Club, Pre School, Wrap Around Care and School Trips - ParentPay
In an attempt to remove all cash and cheques from school, we are asking all parents to only use our secure online e-payment service. ParentPay payments will be requested for Wrap Around Care (including Breakfast Club), Pre School and School Trips. You can set your ParentPay account to notify you via email that there is a payment due on your ParentPay account. More details will be given along with Usernames and Passwords when your child starts Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy. Any questions regarding ParentPay can be answered via the school office.
If your child isn’t able to come to school (for example because of illness), it is important that you notify the school office as soon as possible on each and every day that your child is absent. You can do this by ringing the school office or leaving a message on the answering machine if you can’t get through. The reason we ask you to do this is so that we know where your child is. If your child is absent and we haven’t heard from you, we will try to contact you to make sure that he or she is safe. If we have not heard from you by 9.30 am, a text message will be sent requesting you to contact us. If you do not contact the school office with a reason along with supporting evidence for their absence, they will be recorded in the register as having an unauthorised absence.
It is very important that children learn to be good time-keepers. We hope you will support us by making sure that your child is at school each day for 8.50 am. If your child is late it is recorded in the register and is written in his or her report.
Just like you, we want your child to get the most out of their time at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy. To achieve this, we feel strongly about everyone working together in a real partnership - with your child at the centre. Strong links and solid communication between our Academy and you as a parent play an important part in this partnership, which is why we’re committed to keeping you informed about your child’s progress and what’s going on in school.
Parent and Teacher Association
We have a very active Parents and Teachers Association which organises many social and fundraising events each year, including Christmas and Summer Fayres, children’s discos and many other events. We really do value the support given by these friends of the school. The committee welcomes all offers of help, new members and fresh ideas. Do please join us.
We regularly update the school website with the latest news and information including newsletters from each year group. Please make sure you frequently visit the school website to keep up to date with school news.
We will send you a written school report about your child once a year. This will help you to keep a record of their achievement and to see how they are progressing in each of the subject areas.
If you need a second copy of your child’s report, please contact the school office and we will put this in place for you.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 this academic year all Parent/Teacher consultations will take place via 10-minute phone calls, these phone calls will take place termly.
Paying for School Trips and Activities
We feel that educational visits are a very important part of learning. To help us pay for these visits, we ask parents to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost. Unfortunately, if the cost of a trip cannot be met, it has to be cancelled. We are very pleased to say that so far this has never happened at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy.
A copy of our Charging and Remissions Policy is available from the school office or on our school website.
Please contact the Head Teacher if there is any problem about paying for visits. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Rules and Discipline
Unacceptable behaviour is very rare at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy. The aim of the Academy is that the children should develop self-discipline and understand the need for self-control and respect for others. The school rules are few but definite:
- Always “do as you would be done by” by treating everyone as you want to be treated yourself.
- Listen carefully to what is asked and always do your very best.
- Try to think for yourself and make sensible decisions.
- Set yourself challenging targets and try hard to achieve them.
- Take care of Academy buildings and property.
The children are regularly reminded of these simple rules. Children who break the rules may miss golden minute time or some playtime.
If a child misbehaves persistently, his or her parents will be invited to the school to discuss the problem and try to find a solution. In very rare cases, repeated bad behaviour or a single very serious incident may lead to a child receiving a fixed term or permanent exclusion. At Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy we work very hard with our children to prevent situations like this from every occurring.
The Directors and Governing Body
Behind the scenes, there is a hardworking team of Directors and Governors committed to making Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy as good as is possible. Some of them are parents who are often available at the beginning and end of the day. If you have any concerns, you are very welcome to make an appointment to meet with the Head Teacher or Governor at any time.
Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people, their families and staff. This means that everything we do is designed to promote the safety and well-being of the children we work with, as well as that of the children and young people in general. We believe that safeguarding and good practice are best promoted by staff who, after thorough selection processes, are valued, trained, encouraged and appropriately managed and supported in the work they do.
We hope you are happy with the time your child spends at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy. However, if you do ever have a problem which needs resolving there are a number of things in which you can do:
- Firstly, you should contact your child’s class teacher to discuss the problem and see if a solution can be found.
- Secondly, if you feel that a situation has not been resolved through contact with your child’s class teacher, or if your concern is of a sufficiently serious nature, you can make an appointment with the Head Teacher to discuss this matter further.
- Should a parent have a complaint about the Head Teacher or by the way in which they have handled a complaint against a member of staff, they can make a written formal complaint to the Chair of Governors via the school office.
A full copy of Compliments and Complaints Policy can be obtained through the school office.
GDPR – Data Protection Officer (DPO)
Following changes to legislation on Data Protection, all public sector organisations are required by law to appoint a Data Protection Officer. The Data Protection Officer is responsible for overseeing data protection within the School so if you do have any questions in this regard, please do contact them on the information below:
Data Protection Officer: Craig Stilwell
Company: Judicium Consulting Ltd
Address: 72 Cannon Street, London, EC4N 6AE
Telephone: 0203 326 9174
Download your printable Prospectus here: Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy Prospectus 2020