You can download the handbook by clicking on the link below or you can read the document on this page.
The Gateway Primary Academy
The Gateway to Achievement
At the Gateway Primary Academy we provide a rich, engaging and well balanced curriculum that celebrates individuality, builds knowledge and skills, nurtures talent and prepares our pupils for a full, successful and happy life.
Through our safe, positive and nurturing learning environment children become confident, enthusiastic and independent learners and achieve their full potential.
We inspire and encourage our pupils to make a commitment to learning which will last a lifetime. Upon leaving our school, our learners are confident, creative, imaginative, physically and mentally healthy and thirsty to learn more.
Section 1 – General Information
Our school is a one form entry primary school. Our maximum number on roll is 210 organised into 7 classes of 30 pupils.
Swans Class - Reception
Key Stage 1
Herons Class – Year One
Key Stage 1
Kingfishers Class – Year Two
Key Stage 2
Swallows Class – Year Three
Key Stage 2
Woodpeckers Class – Year Four
Key Stage 2
Kestrels Class – Year Five
Key Stage 2
Eagles Class – Year Six
Times of school sessions
Morning session 9.00 a.m. – 12.15 pm
Afternoon session 1.15 – 3.10pm (KS1)
1.15 – 3.15 pm (KS2)
It is important that children arrive on time for school, as late arrival can be unsettling and your child will miss any early work the teacher has set. Any parent whose child arrives after 9.00am is required to sign their child in using the electronic system at the school office to log their late arrival.
Children enter their classrooms at 8.50am and spend the first 10 minutes of the day changing book bags or completing early work.
School officially starts 9.00am when the register is taken. Any child who arrives after this time is registered as late
Arriving at school:
The gates to each playground are opened by 8.45 am and children are not expected to arrive on site before this time.
Parents are asked not to drop children at school before 8.45am as we cannot supervise children on the school site before this time.
Due to health and safety reasons children are expected to wait calmly with their parents on the playgrounds at the beginning and end of the day and not play chasing games, ball games or climb on playground apparatus.
We ask that parents do not enter the school building first thing in the morning or at the end of the school day. If you need to speak to a member of staff there is at least one member of staff outside on the gate or at the KS1 door every morning. Should you need to pass a message onto your child’s teacher then please do this via the school office.
You will be able to speak to your child’s teacher at the end of the day when they hand the children over to parents.
End of day procedure
Children are released to parents at the following places:
Swans (Reception) Class gate on KS1 playground
Herons & Kingfishers (Y1&Y2) by the parents noticeboard in the Key Stage 1 playground
Swallows & Woodpeckers (Y3&4) by the entrance door in the Key Stage 2 playground
Kestrels & Eagles (Y5&6) by their classroom doors
If you are not going to collect your child/ren or you have been delayed then please ensure that you telephone the school office before 2.45pm and inform us who will be collecting your child. If you are unable to do this then children will remain with the class teacher in their classroom until 3.30pm, in the playground or classroom. They will then wait in the main reception area.
We will not release any children to other adults unless the school office has been contacted in advance.
The busiest time of the day for our school office is 9.00 to 9.15am and 3.00-3.30pm. If you are able to avoid visiting the office during these times this would be greatly appreciated by the busy administration team.
Teaching time excluding collective worship (assemblies), playtime, lunchtime and registration time is as follows:
Key Stage 1 (4-7 year olds) 22 hours, 30 minutes a week.
Key Stage 2 (7-11 year olds) 22 hours 55 minutes a week.
Collective Worship (Assemblies)
The children take part in a daily assembly from 10.30 – 10.45. The themes of our assemblies are mainly of a broadly Christian nature. They provide the children with the opportunity to reflect on spiritual and moral issues and develop shared community values. Children are actively encouraged to participate in assemblies through singing hymns, joining in with a prayer and reflection. A pupil may only be withdrawn from the daily Act of Worship if a request is made in writing by parents to the Headteacher.
Starting school at The Gateway
The following arrangements are made to ensure a smooth transition for our pupils from home, playgroup or nursery into school.
Parents have a choice of providing a packed lunch for their child or purchasing a school dinner.
School meals are cooked at nearby at a local primary school, transported to our school and served in our purpose built servery. They are excellent value for money, nutritious and highly recommended. Menu details are available from the school office or on our school website.
The current cost of school dinners is £2.40 a day. We do ask that children are school dinner or packed lunch for the week and do not change on a daily basis. If you wish for your child to change from packed lunch to school or vice versa we ask that you inform the office with a week’s notice. Dinner money needs to be sent in on Mondays a week in advance:
https://portal.squidcard.com/CustomerPortal/#/register to register to pay online.
All children who are in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 in a state-funded school are offered a free healthy school lunch. Children in other school years will also be offered a free school lunch if their parent is receiving any of the welfare benefits listed below:
By registering for free meals it could raise an extra £1,300 for your child’s school, to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or other school activities.
To see if your family is eligible please go to: https://www.cloudforedu.org.uk/ofsm/kent/
Packed lunches may be brought to school in a standard sized lunch box, no larger than 23cm x 15cm please (storage space is limited!). We encourage healthy options and our food policy states request that sandwiches with chocolate spread, sweets, chocolate or nuts of any kind are not to be included due to the children who suffer from nut allergies. Please note that any items containing nuts will be removed from the lunch boxes. We ask that children do not bring fizzy drinks to school or breakable bottles, cups or cans.
Children from Reception to Year 2 have free fruit available to them at playtime provided by the Government Fruit Scheme. KS2 pupils can bring fruit from home to eat at playtime. No other snacks are needed at school.
Water in School
Research has shown that children benefit from regular intake of water during the school day as it helps the brain to stay alert and be ready for learning. Children bring in fresh water from home daily in a school water bottle. Children have access to their water bottle throughout the day. Flavoured water or fruit squash is not allowed in school. Water only please.
We recommend that you purchase a water bottle from the School office priced £1.20 (330ml) small bottle, £1.50 (500ml) large bottle. These bottles have a secure lid and can be easily stored and cleaned. Small bottles are ideal for Reception and KS1 children.
Transport and Parking
Our school car park is for staff and visitors only and parents will need to park offsite when bringing or collecting children from school.
To aid the congestion in Milestone Road we strongly advise that parents should park away from the school and walk down Milestone Road, this is for the health and safety of all our children.
We appeal to any parents who have to park in Milestone Road to do so considerately and not across or on our neighbour’s drives. They may require access to their drives during the busy times.
Parking on the yellow zig-zag lines is illegal. The Dartford Borough Council’s Safety vehicle visits the road on a regular basis and will administer a ticket if you park illegally.
Drop off Zone
Parents may take advantage of the pupil drop off zone at the front of the school which operates every morning between 8.45-9.00am. This is designed to ease parking congestion and limit the number of cars parked in the local area.
Parents are asked not to drop children at school before 8.45am as we cannot supervise children on the school site before this time.
Parents should queue patiently in their car until they reach the drop off zone and they can safely let their child out onto the pavement so they can independently walk into school.
Should you have an appointment with a member of the school staff we ask parents to park in a parking bay and not block the drop off zone.
To aid the congestion in Milestone Road and to promote a healthy lifestyle for our pupils we encourage them to walk to school as much as possible. All pupils can take part in our Walk On Wednesday Scheme, which encourages pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school. By walking they have a chance to win the school ‘walker of the week’ prize and contribute to our Walk on Wednesday initiative.
We have cycle and scooter storage pods by the Key Stage 1 playground for pupils to store their bicycles and scooters if they wish to cycle/scoot to school. Pupils are not permitted to ride bicycles or scooters on the school playgrounds. Please note that we also request that pupils dismount from their bike and walk once they are inside the green entrance gates, to ensure the safety of others. We would also like parents to encourage their child to wear a helmet if they are cycling to or from school.
Note: The School cannot take responsibility for the safety of pupil’s bicycles/scooters while they are being stored on the School site.
Our school colours are royal blue and grey and we expect every child to wear full school uniform. School sweatshirts, polo shirts, fleece jackets (for outdoor wear) and t-shirts for P.E. can be purchased from the school office. We expect all parents to purchase a school sweatshirt with our school logo on. Please do not send children to school in cardigans as this is not part of our school uniform.
Girls wear a grey skirt, trousers or pinafore, white polo shirt and a royal blue school sweatshirt, (with logo). In the summer they have the option of wearing royal blue checked/striped dresses.
Boys wear grey trousers (or shorts in summer), white polo shirts with the royal blue school sweatshirt (with logo).
We also request that the children wear black shoes to school. No trainers, sports shoes or fashion boots to be worn please.
If a child has long hair we ask that it is tied back using a hair band of a suitable size and shape.
We will also meet the need for specific items of clothing to be worn by pupils for religious or cultural reasons following discussion with the Headteacher.
Pupils will need a school P.E. t-shirt and navy or black shorts for P.E. throughout the year. Plimsolls or trainers will be needed for outdoor games.
We recommend that pupils in Years 3 to 6 have a pair of tracksuit bottoms for outdoor games in the winter months only.
Please ensure that all items of clothing are clearly labelled with your child’s name!
The school cannot be held responsible for any lost property.
If parents wish their child to wear earrings then we strongly recommend that they are small studs which the child can easily removed independently.
The children are not permitted to wear any kind of jewellery in P.E. This includes watches, rings, earrings and necklaces as these present a safety risk to the child wearing them and to other children.
Jewellery will need to be removed or covered by the child before P.E. lessons.
Any request made for jewellery to be worn for religious or medical reasons can be made to the Headteacher, who will need to be satisfied that no health and safety risk will be incurred.
The School cannot be held responsible for any jewellery that is lost or damaged in school or for any injury caused by a pupil wearing earrings.
Children are not permitted to bring mobile telephones to school. Children in years 5 & 6 who walk to or from school alone will only be allowed to bring in a mobile telephone after signing a contract which has been agreed by the Head Teacher. The school accepts no responsibility for any mobile telephones that are lost or broken whilst at school. Children in years 5 & 6 are not permitted to use their mobile telephone until they leave the school premises. This also includes using their mobile telephone cameras to take photographs or videos.
The responsibility for ensuring that children attend school regularly and on time rests with parents/carers.
It is a legal requirement for children to attend school and any absence can only be authorised by the Headteacher.
Children are expected to achieve a 95% or above attendance rate; if a child’s attendance falls below 90% they may be referred to the Local Authority Attendance and Behaviour Service who will be involved in supporting families to improve attendance.
We are required to keep records of pupil attendance. Government regulations require that all absences for which we do not receive an explanation be registered as unauthorised.
If your child is absent from school at any time you must let us know the reason for his/her absence by letter or telephone on the first day of their absence. Without this information we have to record your child’s absence from school as unauthorised.
If your child has a medical appointment during school hours you will need to inform us beforehand that you will be taking your child out of school. Please provide a copy of the appointment letter or card. Children can be collected from the school office at the necessary time and will need to report back to the office on their return. However we do request that medical appointments are outside of school hours if at all possible to minimise disruption for your child.
Family holidays during term time
Following the Government legislation schools can no longer authorise a child’s absence from school for a family holiday unless there are exceptional circumstances. It is our school policy to consider requests for term time holiday absence but you need to be aware that each case is considered individually and your request may not be agreed.
When considering requests for absence due to a term time holiday we take into account :
t The nature of the exceptional reason as to why the holiday cannot be taken during the school holiday periods.
t Your child’s rate of attendance (the expected rate of attendance for every child is 95%).
t Whether your request falls in assessment week.
Please be aware that taking your child out of school during term time can seriously disrupt their continuity of learning. Not only do they miss the teaching provided while they are away, they are also less prepared for the lessons building on that after their return. There is a consequent risk of under achievement which we, and you, must seek to avoid.
Should you need to take your child out of school during term time any applications must be made in writing clearly stating the exceptional reason why. This notice will need to be given at least two weeks before your child is going to be absent and a response will be sent back to you as soon as possible.
Our Safeguarding policy compels us to report any suspected child abuse to the local authority. Details of our Safeguarding policy can be found on the website.
Behaviour and Discipline
During your child’s time at primary school he/she will begin to live as part of a community. We feel it is important that children develop positive attitudes at this early stage, as valued members of the school community and learn to behave in an appropriate manner.
Through our behaviour policy we encourage self-discipline, and expect politeness and respect for other people and property. Each child is treated with kindness and consideration and is expected to respond likewise.
Our expectations of behaviour are high and we work to ensure every child develops a sense of responsibility for their own actions.
Our behaviour policy is based on a system of positive reinforcement and pupils are involved in the setting of behaviour expectations known as ‘Golden Rules’ in school. Discussions take place when necessary to reinforce these expectations and verbal praise and rewards such as stickers, are used extensively. All children take part in our half hour ‘Golden Time’ on Friday afternoons when they get to choose an extra curricular activity to celebrate good behaviour.
Some children may need additional careful support and supervision in school and this is provided by our Special Educational Needs policy. Systems of behaviour targets, rewards and sanctions based on the withdrawal of privileges, may be applied for individual pupils after careful investigation by the SENCo and Class Teacher. In the rare cases of persistent misbehaviour, parents will be informed and invited to take part in discussions with staff to devise strategies to improve the child’s attitude and behaviour in school.
Our Golden Rules
Do be kind and gentle
Do be helpful
Do look after property
Do be honest
Do work hard
Do be safe
Exclusion from school will rarely be used and then only as a last resort or in the interests of the health and safety of the child concerned or others within school. Parents will be notified in writing at the earliest possible moment of the reason for and the terms of the exclusion. All actions will follow National regulations and guidelines. Our exclusion policy can be found on our website.
Provision for Children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
Consideration is given to all children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities. Some may have learning, speech, hearing, visual, physical or behavioural difficulties that need extra support within school to enable them to have access to the curriculum and make progress. We ensure these pupils are identified as early as possible and appropriate provision is put in place.
Class teachers work with the SENCO to devise specific programmes of work (Provision Plans) for pupils. This may involve the use of a teaching assistant, specialist teaching assistant and/or support from outside agencies such as Speech Therapists, the Behaviour Support Service or the Educational Psychologist.
Further information on provision for pupils with SEND can be found on the website.
If you have any complaints about your child’s education, whether it relates to the curriculum or not you will need to initially talk it over with the Headteacher or your child’s class teacher.
We would very much hope that any difficulty may be quickly resolved following early discussion with staff. However if you are not satisfied that your complaint has been dealt with by this early discussion you can then refer your complaint in writing through the formal complaints procedure as follows:
We would hope that by working in partnership from the day your child starts school, any worries or concerns can be dealt with and resolved at a very early stage.
Our complaints policy can be found on the school website.
Home and School Partnership
We welcome the interest and support of parents in all aspects of school life. We aim to keep parents informed about their child’s education to develop a positive working partnership between home and school.
Our home /school contract agreement details our expectations for a successful partnership whilst your child is at school.
Regular newsletters are sent home to inform parents of school events, holidays etc. Copies are displayed on our school website and on the parent’s notice board in the playground together with any local information.
Parents are able to maintain regular contact with class teachers at the end of each school day and the Headteacher is available to deal with any immediate concerns as the children arrive at school each morning.
Parents are invited to a meeting with their child’s new teacher at the beginning of the academic year to discuss specifics relating to the year group e.g. homework and reading.
Parents are offered formal consultations 3 times a year to view their child’s work, set learning targets and discuss progress. Parents are welcome to make appointments at other times with either the class teacher or Headteacher to discuss any issues that may arise.
At the end of the school year parents receive a written report giving a summary of their child’s progress and attainment in each subject together with the results of any summative assessments e.g. SATs.
Keeping us informed of changes
Children can respond to changes in their lives in many different ways. We do ask parents to keep us informed of any physical, medical or emotional change that may occur at home as this may adversely affect their child’s performance in school and we can adjust accordingly. You can be assured of our confidentiality at all times.
Helping in School
We have many parents who are keen to help our school in lots of different ways. Parents join us to support reading, on school trips, as classroom helpers and to run after school or lunchtime clubs.
If you would like to help in any way then please let us know.
The Gateway Parents and Friends Association
Our parents group is a registered charity that organises events throughout the year to raise funds for our school. Money is spent in a variety of ways to enhance the curriculum and enrich the environment for the children. All parents of the school automatically become members of the association when their child starts school. All are invited to join the organising committee and participate in enjoyable fund raising and social events. Any support you can give is warmly welcomed. The PFA hold their AGM in once a year and welcome new members.
Extended School Services
Parents and pupils have access to a wide range of extended services outside of the school day.
This runs from 8.00am-9.00am every day at a charge of £3.00 per session. A maximum of 35 places are available. Please ask the school office for a form.
After School Clubs
A wide range of Arts, music and sports clubs are available after school for pupils from Year 1–6. We endeavour to offer clubs to Reception children in term 6. The YMCA also offer after school provision from 3.30 – 6pm. The children are walked to the YMCA in Dartford via a walking bus.
We signpost parents to a range of offsite holiday clubs available within the local community.
We have access to Pupil Counselling in school. We can refer children and families to a range of specialist services in the local area.
Information on Extended Schools Services is displayed on the notice board by the main gates and details are also available from the school office.
School Based after School clubs
We organise a variety of after school extra curricular activities for children in sport, the arts and IT. Some of these are free, others provided by outside providers are chargeable.
During 2022/23 the following clubs and activities were available:
Football (both boys and girls) Yoga Poetry
Gardening Computing Dance Multi-skills
Offsite School Visits and our Charging Policy
All offsite visits and journeys are conducted in accordance with National guidelines and with full health and safety risk assessments in place. All visits in term time are only approved if they are directly related to the curriculum.
Voluntary contributions are requested from parents to cover the cost of offsite school visits and transport costs for swimming in KS2. School trips are also subsidised where possible by the school. No child will be excluded if his/her family is unable to contribute although we reserve the right to cancel the visit if the level of contributions are not sufficient to cover the cost.
Parents are able to pay for trips using our online payment system Arbor.
Further details can be found in the Charging Policy available on the school website class trips are currently capped at £25.00
Charges are levied for the following:
Ø Some after school clubs run by outside agencies
Ø Residential school journey in Year 6
Ø Music tuition individually or in small groups
Home Learning and Home Reading
Reading at home every day is encouraged for children in all year groups. Children who read regularly and are read to by their parents at home are more likely to make good progress in all aspects of literacy at school. It is also an opportunity for parents to share in their child’s success as a reader and support their comprehension skills which helps to raise their child’s self-esteem and confidence.
Our home reading information provides parents with information and guidance for reading with their child at home. All children have a home reading diary to record books read. Parents are expected to sign the diary when they have read with their child at home.
As children progress through the school more formal homework tasks in the form of learning logs are introduced to reinforce learning at school. All tasks will support or extend learning in class and will include a variety of English (including weekly spellings), Maths (including tables) and some topic related tasks. Home learning tasks are set on a fortnightly basis.
Parental guidelines are included under each area on the learning log. A number of our home learning activities are online activities which we will provide log ins for.
Information available for parents
Regular newsletters keep parents informed of on-going events in school. A range of policies and documents can be found on the school website: www.gateway-pri.kent.sch.uk
The children’s records contain a variety of information, mostly relating to their progress at school and are held in hard copy and electronic format.
Pupil records kept in school consist of:
Section 2 – Health Issues and Site Information
If a child becomes ill at school or has an accident we make every effort to contact parents by telephone or text message. We hold a database of emergency contact numbers for each child but we do need to ensure this is kept up to date. Please inform us of any changes.
Generally a child undergoing a course of medication for a specific illness is not well enough to attend school and should be kept at home. In exceptional circumstances, prescribed medicines only may be administered in school on completion of an authorisation form and in accordance with our school medication policy.
This does not apply to on-going conditions such as asthma, where we recommend that the child’s spare inhaler is kept permanently in school with written instructions and parental authorisation for its use.
The school is not required to accept any responsibility for the administration of medicines in school.
Whilst at school your child will be offered routine medical screening (e.g. weight, height, sight, hearing) by the school nurse.
We have trained first aiders on the school staff and in the event of an accident appropriate first aid will be given. In the case of more serious accidents we will contact parents as soon as possible. Accident records are kept and parents are generally informed by a white form if their child receives first aid treatment in school. However if a child suffers a head injury then parents will be informed with a blue form.
From time to time every school suffers an outbreak of headlice. If your child shows symptoms of headlice please let the school know. Information on headlice and treatment is available from the school office.
Severe Weather Conditions
Occasionally severe weather conditions can disrupt school life. If worsening weather conditions indicate that by 3.15pm children and staff may have difficulty in travelling home, every attempt will be made to contact parents to come and collect children early from school. The Headteacher, deputy and other senior staff will of course remain in school until all children have been collected.
If a decision is made not to open the school as a result of poor weather conditions the following arrangements will be in place to inform parents of the school closure;
Parents are asked not to bring dogs onto the school grounds; this is obviously for health and safety reasons, with the exception of guide dogs for the blind.
The school operates a no smoking/vaping policy in the school at all times.