How Do We Encourage Good Attendance?

As parents ourselves, we know that the pandemic has had an ongoing impact on children's health and wellbeing, with an increase not only in the amount and severity of different illness but also in the number of children showing anxiety and, sometimes, reluctance to come to school.  If you are experiencing difficulty - perhaps your child is not sleeping well, is difficult to get out of bed or is becoming upset on the journey into school, we would encourage you first and foremost to come and talk to us.  We value all of our pupils and want them to feel happy, safe and secure whilst at school.   Sometimes, there may be a simple problem we can sort out, such as a friendship issue or help needed with a particular part of the curriculum.  At other times, more long term help might be needed, such as emotional support through our Drawing and Talking Intervention or Mindfulness Group.   Some children are helped by being met at the gate by a known adult.  In a small number of cases, where children are suffering from very significant anxiety, we may seek support, with your consent, from a counsellor or from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).   Whatever it is, we want to work with you to find a solution.  We strongly advise against just letting your child have a 'duvet day' or a day off school without any real illness - this can form a pattern that is difficult to break and may cause greater problems as your child enters secondary school.  Children themselves report that missing a day at school can make things worse as they then have to catch up on what they have missed - this is unavoidable when they are really ill, of course, but exacerbates any anxiety.

We encourage good attendance in a number of positive ways -

- greeting children with a smile and a warm greeting when they arrive each morning

- giving out 100% attendance stickers (with extra play or Golden time as the reward) for children who have had 100% attendance that week

- giving a weekly class award of a £10 Argos token (to be spent however the class chooses) for the class with the highest weekly attendance

- making our curriculum as interesting and engaging as we can, and ensuring children have trips, visits and exciting experiences to look forward to

- developing strong relationships across the school, with all of the adults knowing all of the children well

- keeping our class sizes small, with plenty of adult support for children who need it

- meeting with parents to discuss any issues and plan any necessary support