FAQ and Jargon Buster

What are INSET days? 
INSET stands for In Service Training. All schools in England have five INSET days every year when they are closed to pupils to allow for staff training. They are an important part of staff training and development, ensuring that staff stay up to date with latest developments and so education in our school remains ‘cutting edge’.

What is the Foundation stage? 
The Foundation Stage is Nursery and Reception (age 3-5)

What are Key Stage 1 and 2 (KS1 and KS2)? 
Key Stage 1 is Years 1 and 2 (age 5-7). Key Stage 2 is Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (age 7-11).

What is the national curriculum?  
The national curriculum outlines what all children should be taught in each Key Stage. To find out more go to http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/

What are SATs? 
They are Statutory Assessment Tasks. These are national tasks / tests which are used to assess all children at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6). The SAT results give a ‘snapshot’ of children’s attainment; in other words how they achieved in particular tasks or tests taken on as specific day / week.

What  is Teacher Assessment? 
This is the teachers’ judgement about the progress and attainment of a child. This judgement will be made based on evidence gathered over a period of time and from a range of pieces of work, together with test results. It is usually a more reliable judgement of a child’s attainment than a test result alone.

What is an LSA? 
An LSA is a Learning Support Assistant. This is somebody who supports learning in the classroom. Sometimes they will support individual children, at other times they may work with a group or with the whole class.

What is PPA time?  
This is Planning, Preparation and Assessment time; all teachers are entitled to PPA time.

What is a Celebration of Work Assembly? 
These Assemblies happen once or twice every term. They are an opportunity to recognise and reward children’s particular achievements. Children receive an Achievement certificate. Other achievements, such as sporting successes, completed behaviour charts and achievements outside school are shared and celebrated too.

When do we get a school report for our children? 
School reports are issued to all the children (except Nursery) at the end of the school year, in July.

How do I give feedback about my child to teachers? 
There are two parent consultation evenings every year when you can make an appointment to discuss your child’s progress with their teacher(s). In addition, teachers are always happy to talk briefly at the start or end of the school day. If you’d like to talk for a bit longer, then ask your child’s teacher if you can arrange a time that is convenient for you both. You can do this at any time of the year.

How frequently are Parents’ Evenings?  
Parents’ Evenings are held twice a year.  The first are in the autumn and the second in the spring.

How do I contact the Headteacher?  
You can do one of a number of things. 1) Call in to the school office and make an appointment.  2) Email school FAO Mrs Delor on: hotwellsp@bristol-schools.uk or 3) Write a letter.  Our Headteacher, Catherine Delor is always happy to meet with you.

When can my child learn a musical instrument? 
We have a number of peripatetic music teachers who provide instrument tuition during the school week. Times, costs and starting ages vary. Many children start learning an instrument in Year 1, a few when they are in Reception and some start when they are older. Please speak to Ms. Davies in the school office for more information.

Do the children have swimming lessons? 
Swimming is part of the Key Stage 2 PE curriculum. At Hotwells, swimming lessons happen in Year 4.

Why don’t we have a school uniform? 
Consultations with parents and children have overwhelmingly shown that most people don’t want one! The majority of children enjoy being able to wear what they want to school. We do ask that children come suitably dressed for an active and practical education. This means they should wear clothes they can move comfortably in and which can withstand water and paint splashes. Clothes should be suitable for the time of year; warmer layers in winter, cooler materials in summer.  We ask children not to wear sandals or shoes without back steps (e.g. flip flops) and not to wear strappy vest tops.  They should also wear shoes they can run around in and (on days they have PE) they can easily remove and put back on by themselves.  

When do my children sit their SATS? 
SATS are taken towards the end of Year 2 (the times are variable, during April and May) and at the end of Year 6 (a specific SAT week is set nationally every year, usually the second or third week of May).

Is PE kit compulsory? 
Yes. This is for health and safety reasons. Our PE kit consists of a white T-shirt, blue or black shorts or track-suit bottoms and black gym-shoes.  For PE in the hall when children are using the apparatus, shorts must be worn. For other PE activities, the children can choose if they wear shorts or track-suit bottoms. Sweat shirts can be worn for outdoor PE. No jewellery or watches can be worn and long hair needs to be tied back.

Where is the lost property kept?  
Lost property can be found in a bench-box outside the Year 4 classroom. This lost property is also displayed in the  playground at the end of each term where parents are encouraged to check through for missing items.  All lost property is taken to a charity shop at the end of the school year. Please sew name labels or write your child's name in their clothing. 

Am I allowed to take my child out of school for a holiday or day off? What happens if I do? 
Regular attendance at school is essential. Only exceptional circumstances will be authorised.  Holidays in term time are no longer able to be authorised.  Please make an appointment with Mrs Delor to discuss this.  Please ask in the office for a Special Leave of Absence form or click here to download the form.

Any other questions?  Please feel free to contact us.