Thank you for taking an interest in Belmont Primary School. We hope you will find this prospectus both interesting and informative. It has been designed to give you some insight into our school – our ethos, our policies and our curriculum. We work hard to provide a caring environment where your child can feel confident and happy. We provide a wide range of learning experiences and strive to ensure each child can reach their potential. We have excellent home school links and look forward to welcoming you and your child to our school.
Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the Principal at :-
Belmont Primary School
215 Belmont Road
Tel: 028 90471539
Fax: 028 90658931
Principal: Mrs O F McIlroy
Belmont Primary School caters for children in the Primary 1 – 3 age range. The old school, opened in 1890, was replaced in 1999 by a new purpose-built school. The new premises have nine classrooms, a library, a multi-purpose hall, group and staff rooms. These have been built to a high specification which fully meets the requirements of today’s early years’ education.
The staff have a wide range of experience and expertise and work hard to provide a broad and varied curriculum which supports all round development. Our pupils become confident and competent learners within an orderly, caring environment which encourages independence and responsibility. Relationships are excellent and parents support the school well. There is an active PTA which makes valuable contributions to the school. The children enjoy a range of extra-curricular activities at Year 3 and educational visits form an integral part of the curriculum for all children. The Board of Governors takes a keen interest in the pupils and is very supportive to the staff.
BOARD OF GOVERNORS 2014-2018
BELFAST EDUCATION AND LIBRARY REPRESENTATIVES
Mr C Dowling
Mrs G McDougall
Rev J Auchmuty
Mrs L Martin
Mrs H Gourley
Mrs A Morris
Mrs R McCrea
Mrs H McKittrick
STAFF AT BELMONT PRIMARY SCHOOL
Principal: Mrs O F McIlroy
P1 Mrs J Campbell Miss J Phillips Classroom Assistant
P1 Mrs M Campbell Mrs L Wilson Classroom Assistant
P1 Mrs L Jackson Mrs J Shields Classroom Assistant
P2 Miss L Boyce (VP) Mrs A Calvert Classroom Assistant
P2 Mrs G Scholes Mrs P Murray Classroom Assistant
P2 Mrs D Grahame Mrs D Quinn Classroom Assistant
Mrs M Black
P3 Miss Gorman
P3 Mrs McKittrick/Mrs Coulter Miss C Murray
P3 Mrs J Sandikli
Special Needs Teacher Mrs L Caithness
School Secretary Mrs H Harrison
Clerical Officer Mrs G Dowling
School Caretaker Mr B Keenan
School Cleaners Mr W Tanner
Mrs J Hegarty
Supervisory Assistants Mrs Beggs
(lunchtime) Mrs Watkins/Ms Grommett
Dining Attendants Mrs L McCleary
Mrs R Gibson
Mrs P Allen
GENERAL SCHOOL POLICY AND AIMS
The principal and teachers in Belmont Infant School believe that:-
· children develop best in a secure, well regulated and child-centred environment
· children need to be challenged as well as supported
· children should acquire skills, attitudes and knowledge which allow them to become independent learners and thinkers
· children should develop beliefs and values which will help them to become people of integrity
· all members of our school community should have a sense of belonging to the school and feel valued as individuals.
We will endeavour to provide a climate which fosters this through -
· positive approaches
· team planning and working
· shared ideas
· open discussion
· skilful teaching
· honest reflection
We will work in partnership with parents to meet, as far as possible, the needs of all pupils.
We aim to promote high standards and to provide high quality education.
The Board of Governors has drawn up the school’s admissions criteria and has delegated to the principal its function and responsibilities in relation to the application of these criteria and the admission of pupils to the school.
Admissions to Year 1 in September 2017
Only children of compulsory school age, (ie children born on or between 2 July 2012 and
1 July 2013 incl.) will be admitted to the school. In the event of the school being oversubscribed the Governors will select children for admission to primary one using the admissions criteria set out below.
The criteria will be applied in the order in which they are set down. Should the number of children who satisfy the requirement of any criterion exceed the number of places available, the remaining criteria will be applied successively to the children which caused the number of places to be exceeded, until all places have been allocated.
1 Children living permanently at the same address as a brother/sister, half-brother/sister, or other child who currently attends Belmont Primary School. (Indicate name and year group).
2 Children living permanently at the same address as a brother/sister, half-brother/half-sister or other child who currently attends Strandtown Primary School. (Indicate name and year group).
3 Children who have a parent/guardian in permanent employment in Belmont Primary School.
4 Children who have aparent/guardian in permanent employment in Strandtown Primary School.
5 Priority will then be given to children whose permanent residence is the shortest distance from the school. Distance will be determined by a straight line measurement generated electronically using the computer programme provided by Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland.
In the event of two or more children’s permanent residence being measured equidistant for the final place preference will be given to the youngest child.
When considering which children should be selected for admission, the Board of Governors will only take into account information which is detailed on or attached to the application form. Parents should therefore ensure that all information pertaining to their child and relevant to the school’s admissions criteria is stated on the application form or attached to it.
Duty to Verify
The Board of Governors reserves the right to require such supplementary evidence as it may determine to support or verify information on any Application Form.
If the requested evidence is not provided to the Board of Governors by the deadline given, this will result in the withdrawal of an offer of a place. Similarly, if information is supplied which appears to be false or misleading in any material way, the offer of a place will be withdrawn.
Waiting List Policy
Should a vacancy arise after Thursday 27 April 2017 all applications for admission to P1, that were initially refused, new applications, late applications, late applications and applications where new information has beenprovided will be treated equally and the published criteria applied. This waiting list will be in place until 31 August 2017.
The school will contact you in writing if your child gains a place in the school by this method.
After 1 September parents should inform the school in writing if they wish their child’s name to remain on or be placed on a waiting list. All children on the waiting list at the time of the vacancy will be treated equally and the published criteria applied. This waiting list will be in place until 30 June 2018.
P2 – P3 Admissions Criteria available from school.
The applicant’s home must be understood to mean the normal residence of the parents of the applicant and “parents” must be used in the sense given to it by the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986 namely that it “includes a guardian and every person who has the actual custody of the child”.
Applications for Admission
Total Applications ie All Preferences
The curriculum followed in this school is based on the Northern Ireland Curriculum which was specified under the Education (NI) Order 2006. The learning opportunities are broad and balanced and meet the needs of individual children. The curriculum of Belmont includes
- The World Around Us (Science and Technology, History and Geography)
- The Arts
- Personal Development
- Physical Development and Movement
Information Technology is used daily in all aspects of the curriculum.
We know that children need a sound grasp of basic skills and these are thoroughly taught in appropriate ways. We also believe that children need to develop a sense of place through geography, a sense of time through history and the scientific skills of observation, recording and communicating. We place great importance on enjoying and participating in music, in developing physical skills through PE and in being creative and artistic.
We believe that in the early years children need experiences in all of these areas in order to develop sound foundations for learning. Our approach is through a balance of practical and written work, through topic work and individual, group and class teaching. Careful monitoring and evaluation and meticulous planning ensures that children who have special educational needs receive extra support in school. Likewise, children ready for more challenge receive differentiated work in class or may be taken for individual sessions so that all pupils can reach their potential.
The teachers plan work carefully in half termly units which are then broken down into weekly programmes. Work is evaluated and reviewed at the end of each half term. There are regular oral and written reports to parents on children’s progress and opportunities for parents to attend school events and to visit classrooms to see their children’s work.
In P3 pupils attend extra-curricular activities one afternoon per week. These activities are Healthy Eating/Cookery, Earth, Dance and Games. These activities extend and enhance pupil interests. A modern language (Spanish) is also introduced to Primary 3 pupils. Educational visits and visitors to school also add to the learning experiences in all classes P1-3.
Primary 3 pupils also have the opportunity to join our very successful ECO committee.
Additional support is available in both Literacy and Numeracy through small group withdrawal, target maths and maths recovery. Additional activities are also developed for individual pupils to ensure all children are challenged.
It is the policy of this school to set a small amount of work to be done at home each day. We believe that it develops good work habits, lets parents see how children are progressing, and allows opportunities for consolidation. Work introduced in school can be revised and practised with parents’ help. Homework in P1-P3 should be as relaxed and enjoyable as possible and should take between 10 minutes and half an hour.
Parents are requested to be punctual in delivering and collecting their children from school. Children can miss important introductions to lessons, instructions for activities, revision or checking of homework if they are late on a regular basis. Young children also become anxious when they are not picked up promptly.
Please help your child to establish good habits of punctuality in these important early years in school.
ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL
The first three years of your child’s education are of vital importance. They form the foundation for the remainder of his/her educational life. In order that this is a firm foundation your child should attend school every day when he/she is well enough to do so. Parents are asked to write a brief note to explain the reason for absence so that it may be entered in our computerised system under the appropriate code. Pupils’ attendances are recorded throughout their time at school and it is important that we know why they are absent from school.
Teachers need to be aware of any medical problems which may affect your child’s wellbeing. Information will be treated confidentially.
The school doctor advises that all medicines be administered at home, including lunchtime doses, as children are home early enough to make this possible. Teachers cannot administer medicines. The only exceptions are inhalers and medication for severe allergic reaction.
Please don’t send your child to school if he/she is sick, or has been sick during the night. As well as passing on infections to others, sick children are unhappy in school and cannot concentrate or work properly. If possible medical appointments should be made for after school time. Children do miss out if they are taken away on holiday during term time. It is school policy that work will not be given to children going on holiday during term time. Please try not to disadvantage your child by taking him/her out of school for holidays.
YOUR CHILD’S WELFARE
The policy of this school is to encourage co-operation between parents, teachers, and when necessary, outside agencies eg psychologists, social workers so that children can become independent and self disciplined. Our aim is to enable children to take responsibility for their own behaviour from an early stage and to show respect for others feelings, property and ideas.
We have a system which reinforces and rewards good behaviour in order to encourage the growth of self esteem and consideration for others. We also employ certain sanctions when behaviour is unacceptable, particularly when it is dangerous or unkind.
All staff are involved in maintaining the agreed standards of behaviour both within their own classroom and with all children outside the classroom eg in the hall or playground or on school outings. When a child’s behaviour is unacceptable we-
· talk with the child, firmly telling him/her that his behaviour is unacceptable and/or withdraw privileges - eg being a class helper, playing at breaktime etc.
· If the behaviour persists the principal is informed and she talks with the child, sets targets for better behaviour and visits the classroom to check if there has been improvement
· If the problems still persist parents’ help will be sought and a shared plan of action set up.
Each incident is dealt with on its merits and as behaviour improves the child will be praised and rewarded for his/her efforts.
There is an anti-bullying statement included in this policy which states the school’s on-going commitment to the prevention of bullying through positive means.
All pupils are aware of our simple school rules regarding behaviour. They ensure that all children can enjoy school. We strongly believe that children who are content do better in school. Our rules are:-
- Always be kind
- Always be helpful
- Always be polite
- Walk safely around the school
- Play safely in the playground.
CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
A Child Protection Policy, following the guidelines laid down by DE is in place.
Designated Teacher for Child Protection: Mrs O F McIlroy
Deputy Designated Teacher for Child Protection: Mrs J Campbell
Staff have been trained in Child Protection procedures. These policies are available in the school office for inspection by parents.
The Board of Governors actively seeks to ensure the safety of all the pupils and staff in the school.
To that end the school has:-
- Classroom doors opened from the inside only to admit pupils and parents
- Regular fire drills and inspection of fire extinguishers etc
- An intruder alarm system
- A policy of children being collected from their classrooms by known adults.
- A vigilant staff - both teaching and non-teaching - who take note and report any unusual incidents/persons
- A high level of lunchtime supervision - 7 lunchtime supervisors + the principal.
- The front door of the school is controlled through the school office by a door entry system.
- The governors regularly inspect the premises and make recommendations about the safety of buildings and fixtures.
- All staff report any unsafe aspects to the principal immediately.
The Governors have delegated the day to day operation of the policy to the principal and vice-principal.
We have several children in school who suffer from a severe nut allergy. This is potentially life-threatening and we wish to keep them as safe as possible in school. Please do not send nuts in any form as a snack for break or in a packed lunch. Anything which contains nuts ie peanuts, biscuits, peanut butter, chocolate bars etc would be very dangerous in these cases. Please make anyone (childminders, grandparents etc) who might be providing break or packed lunch aware of this. We will, of course, be vigilant about children exchanging food, but we would also ask for your co-operation in this matter.
PARENTAL PARTNERSHIP POLICY
We believe that the best possible support for children’s learning comes when teachers and parents work together. We welcome parents to the school and develop the partnership in a number of ways-
· 2 parents are members of the Board of Governors
· we have an active Parent Teachers Association
· we have at least two parent/teacher interview opportunities in P1, P2, and P3.
· we hold year group specific information evenings each year
· we provide literacy and numeracy booklets to parents each year regarding expectations and ways to help
· we ask parents to help children to practice and revise their homework
· we involve parents in school trips, preparing materials and helping with the library.
· we invite parents to help with class activities
· we provide opportunities for parents to visit the school to see children’s work
· we send home written reports once a year
· we send home regular diaries and information about school policies and events
· several parents have been trained to provide additional reading opportunities
· the principal welcomes parents’ views and ideas and will gladly see any parent who wishes to discuss any aspect of the school with her.
The school has a thriving PTA which meets regularly. Parents are very welcome to join or to put their name forward to be a casual volunteer for events. The PTA is not only a way to become a part of our school community but also raises funds for school through enjoyable events for pupils and parents.
School dinners are available for children who wish to have them and they fully meet the healthy eating guidelines. We ask parents to opt for dinners or packed lunches on a termly basis. Dinners can be paid for through the class teacher each Monday. Please send the correct amount of money in a sealed, named envelope. Please take advantage of free meals if your child is entitled to them. There are application forms available from the school secretary.
You may prefer to give your child a packed lunch. This can be eaten under supervision in one of the classrooms. Please send a small, easily eaten lunch and a non-fizzy drink in a watertight, unbreakable container.
We will supply a small carton of milk for each child whose parent wants him/her to have it. This is paid for at the beginning of each term. The alternative, in the interest of teeth, is water - once again please send it in a watertight, unbreakable container.
If you want to give your child a snack to eat with his/her milk we would suggest one of the following -
a plain biscuit
a piece of fruit
a few crisps in a plastic box
a piece of cheese or
a small sandwich.
We are trying to encourage healthy eating and care of the teeth, so plain non-sticky snacks are best.
There is a school uniform which all pupils are encouraged to wear. This encourages a sense of community, reduces competition and is safe and comfortable to work in. The basic colours are royal blue, grey and yellow with a blue or yellow logo.
Girls: grey pinafore/skirt
yellow polo shirt with logo*
school sweatshirt with school logo*
white, grey or royal blue socks or tights
Summer light blue and white checked dress
Boys: grey trousers or shorts
yellow polo shirt with logo*
ORwhite shirt with school tie
A fleecy lined raincoat* and a blue baseball cap* are also available.
PE PE slippers (no laces please!) and jogging bottoms* (for Health and Safety these should be elasticated at the ankles).
* These items are available through the school from the supplier, Gull Leisurewear and a uniform shop will be open in school each Wednesday morning from 9.00 – 9.30 am. Uniform order forms are available in each cloakroom throughout the year.
PLEASE mark all clothing and shoes with your child’s name.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
In the interests of safety NO jewellery should be worn to school - earrings and rings can catch on clothing etc and cause unpleasant injuries. Shoes should be flat with secure fastenings.
TERM DATES FOR YEAR 2016 - 2017
AUTUMN TERM 31 August 2016 –20 December 2016
Half Term 31 October 2016 – 4 November 2016
(7 November is an exceptional closure day)
Christmas Holidays 21 December – 2016 – 2 January 2017
(4 January is an exceptional closure day)
SPRING TERM 5 January 2017 – 7 April 2017
Half Term 16 – 20 February 2017
(20 February is an exceptional closure day)
St Patrick’s Day 17 March 2017 (exceptional closure day)
Easter Holiday 10 April – 21 April 2017
SUMMER TERM 24 April 2017 – 30 June 2017
May Day Holiday 1 May 2017
Exceptional Closure 29 May 2017
Please Note: All dates are inclusive.
SCHOOL WILL CLOSE AT 12.00 NOON ON THE LAST DAY BEFORE EACH HALF TERM OR
END OF TERM HOLIDAY.
8.45 am Children may come into school
9.00 am Teaching starts
10.15 - 10.30 am Morning Break
12.15 - 1.00 pm Lunch Break
2.15 pm P1s finish school
2.30 pm P2 and P3 finish school
In order to let P1 children settle in gradually they start in three groups over a period of one week.