There are lots of questions we are asked about Catholic Education and the Catholic Education Service provides lots of answers about this.
Please click here to view their website.
Frequently asked questions about our school
We are not a Catholic family. Can we still apply to the school and will we ‘fit in?’
Absolutely! St Joseph's is a mix of Catholic/non-Catholic families. We are approximately 80% of our children are non-Catholic. We really appreciate the diversity this brings to our school community and warmly welcome all families. We teach and live British Values at St Joseph's. Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and for those without fait” is a foundation of how everyone in our school community is encouraged to behave. Although the admissions criteria we abide by mean that Catholics appear at the top of the list when ranking is carried out, there is still lots of space for everyone else.
Do you teach about other faiths?
Yes. Catholic schools are obliged to follow guidance from the Catholic Bishops' Conference which states that Religious Education must provide pupils with a basis of knowledge and theological understanding of the Catholic faith and an awareness of the faith and traditions of other religions in order to respect and understand them. We study Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism on a rolling programme to support children's world and cultural understanding.
I would be travelling in by car and do not know where I would park
Most primary schools do not have the facilities for parents to drive up to, or into, the school gates, due to safety concerns and lack of car park space. There is plenty
There are a small number of accessibility spaces available for parent's parking in the school car park. These are for blue badge holders and we ask that they are left free for them to use.
Will my child fit in if they are “not sporty” or “very sporty”?
The well-being of the children is very important to us at St Joseph's, and this includes their physical well-being. Under normal circumstances, we have lots of opportunities for the children to join a sports team, during school and in after school clubs. We compete in many local tournaments and events, and are proud to have earned the Gold School Sports Mark. We also ask the children to take part in the Daily Mile, and encourage them to be active at break and lunchtimes on the school field and on our well-equipped playgrounds which include climbing frames, trim trail, north sea climbing galleon and adventure ropes. However, we appreciate not every child likes to kick a ball or climb and we provide opportunities for the children to engage in different activities including music lessons, drama, gardening, cooking, art and science clubs. Everyone can shine and discover what they like and what they are good at here in St Joseph's.
Are cooked dinners available?
Meals are free for all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (KS1 pupils), and we encourage them to try different foods in a relaxed environment, so they can discover new dishes they like. Of course, some children prefer to bring their own packed lunches and that is fine too.
How do I apply for free school meals?
You can claim free school meals for a child if they are in full-time education, you are responsible for the child, and you get at least one of the following benefits:
- Income support
- Income based job seekers allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Guaranteed pension credit
- Child tax credit with an annual income each year of less than £16,190 (as assessed by tax credits)
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Universal credit (provided you have an annual earned income of no more than £7400 or £616.67 monthly)
If you receive child tax credit and working tax credit, your child will not qualify for free school meals. You can click here to apply or download and complete the form here.
Is there before and after school provision?
Yes, ‘Breakfast Club’ runs each day from 7.45am for £1.00 and from 8am for free until school begins (pupils from Nursery to Y6) and ‘After School Club’ is from 3.10pm until 5.15pm daily.
What if I’m late picking up?
Sometimes you may be unavoidably delayed. Please contact the school office as soon as possible and we will place your child in ‘After School Club’ until you arrive. You may be asked to pay an after school club fee if you are late. If children are regularly collected late, we will contact you to discuss how we can help.
What if my child is going home with someone else?
At the beginning of the school year, we ask all families to provide a complete list of adults responsible for collecting a child from school. If another adult is needed to collect your child, and they are not on ‘the list’, you must let the school know in advance, preferably in writing via a note sent in that morning. For reasons of Safeguarding, we will not let a child of any age leave the school premises with another parent or adult without your permission and may call you to confirm arrangements.
Are children given homework?
We expect children from all children to read at home or share a book every day; either with you or on their own. Children should bring their book bag in to school every day to change their reading book. This is their responsibility. Depending upon your child’s age an outline of homework can be found on our website.
What does SEND / SENCo stand for?
SEND is Special Educational Needs and Disability and the member of staff responsible is the SENCo who co-ordinates provision for these children. Many children have difficulties learning and the SENCo will help you to understand how your child can be supported and will organise professional help from other agencies if needed. Children with SEND will have specific targets in school to help with their learning.
What if my child has special needs?
We can meet a variety of special needs in school. Please discuss your child’s needs with the class teacher. The SENCo, Mrs McHugh will be happy to meet with you to discuss any specific concerns, should that be necessary
What if my child can’t speak English?
We have many children in our school who are learning English or who have English as an additional language at home. Being able to speak more than one language is a good reason for celebration! Staff will do all they can to ensure that pupils learn to speak English in school as quickly and as proficiently as possible.
What should I do if I am worried about my child’s progress?
Ask for an appointment to talk to the class teacher about your concerns. If you remain anxious, please ask for an appointment to see Mrs. McHugh the SEND Co-ordinator.
What is the best time to talk to the teacher if I have a question?
We would discourage parents from trying to talk to a teacher in the morning as they are busy preparing for the school day. We would advise you to speak to the teacher at the end of the school day after all the children have been dismissed. We can also make appointments in the school office for parents to see the class teacher or another member of staff. You can, of course contact them via class dojo.