Policies and Procedures
ABSENCES FROM SCHOOL
All absences must be explained by a note, email, SMS or phone call from a parent. If a child is absent for five (5) days or more a medical certificate is required. A text message will be sent from the school office if your child is an unexplained absence. Every effort should be made to avoid unnecessary absences from school. Students are expected to attend all school days, including carnivals and school events. Students with excessive absences will be subject to the Department of Education processes with the possibility of prosecution. Parents who are experiencing difficulty in getting their child to school should seek assistance from their child's teacher or senior staff. Referrals can be made to support staff to if you need additional support.
ADMISSIONS (New students only)
If you wish to enrol your child at our school you will need to complete a Family Information Sheet from the office, an interview is then arranged with the relevant Assistant Principal who will allocate your child to a class. The Information Sheet must be left at the office and the interview takes place the day before a new student starts school.
Parents with children under the age of 4 years old need to complete a waiting list form for Kindergarten attendance in the appropriate year.
School banking is available from Kinder to Grade 10 with the Commonwealth Bank. Banking Day is every Tuesday. Forms are available from the office.
BOOKING OF SCHOOL or TTC FACILITIES
Mrs Andrea Davenport in the school office (during office hours only) for booking of the school facilities or equipment or Mr Darren Lewis for booking of Trade Training Centre or its facilities.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SCHOOL AND HOME
Parents and carers are encouraged to communicate with their child’s teacher on a regular basis. There are various means of communication available to ensure that you are fully aware of your child’s development or upcoming events.
This should occur through face to face meetings, letters and notes, diaries and communication books. The newsletter is a great source of information and is published fortnightly via our SchoolZine App and put up on this website. You can also subscribe to the newsletter via email. The school has a Facebook presence with weekly posts and regular updates on school news, events and successes throughout the year.
Increasingly, staff will be utilising the SchoolZine App and email to communicate with parents. Please ensure that you provide an email address for teachers if you wish to make us of this manner of communication.
DIARIES - Communication Books
All students in the senior school (Grade 6 to Grade 10) receive a school diary with their book list. Each student is expected to maintain this book. In brief its purpose is:
- to contain homework entries, test marks, reminder notes;
- to act as a communication agent between school and home via notes;
- to be an agent through which the student is able to organise him/herself in a systematic way.
It is expected that parents will watch over the use of this diary and contact the school if advice is needed.
Kinder to Grade 5 students will have a communication book that will work in a similar way with teachers/parents maintaining entries.
Our homework policy was reviewed in 2008. Parent responses varied widely. Our new policy has endeavoured to provide a balanced approach to homework. There is an expectation that all students from Prep to Year 10 will regularly read at home to support their learning.
Prep to Grade 2
Reading will form the basis of their homework time. At times this may be supplemented with the use of activity/work sheets.
Grade 3 to Grade 6
Reading will form the basis of their homework time. This will be increasingly supplemented by activity/work sheets/investigations as students move from grade 3 to grade 6. There will be an increased expectation over these years that students may be required to complete work started in class.
Grade 7 to Grade 10
Reading should still form a significant part of homework time and students of this age should be reading daily for both pleasure and research purposes. Students will also be required to finish work started in class or other related activities.
Time Expectation: 30 minutes to 1 hour per night, Monday to Thursday. We strongly encourage supported reading each night of the week.
We acknowledge that:
- Individual circumstances need to be taken into account
- Reading is important
- Family time is important
Homework programs need to be flexible:
To assist your child and to promote high literacy levels we suggest:
- You regularly read with, listen to and talk about books with your child.
- You use your child's communication book and secondary diaries to promote open communication with your child's teachers.
Students at St Helens are placed in a school ‘House’; Columba, Treloggen or Argonaut. The houses are a means of fostering school spirit and connectedness between year groups in the school. When enrolling, students are placed based on their former family connection and with a view to balance numbers in each house.
On carnival days, students should wear house colours to show ‘house spirit’.
The colours are: Treloggen - Green, Columba - Blue and Argonaut - Yellow.
Each House is allocated a number of staff to lead the students, as well as some senior students. Please inform the office if you have any special requests for your child’s House placement.
By the time your child enters Prep, he/she should have received all their infant and early childhood immunisations. Some councils offer Prep children the vaccinations they should have received at 4–5 years of age. At this age, your child should receive two needles – one of which is the second dose of MMR and the other is a Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (Whooping Cough) /Polio vaccine booster. If these immunisations are offered, it is important that you check to ensure your child has not already received these vaccinations before signing the consent form and returning it to school. Alternatively, you can take your child to your family general practitioner or Council to have these vaccinations done.
During the Grade 6 year, your child will be offered Hepatitis B and Chicken Pox vaccine. Hepatitis B vaccine is a course of two needles given 4 – 6 months apart and is given to your child because when they were infants, Hepatitis B was not part of the infant immunisation program. Chicken Pox is a relatively new vaccine to be offered free and need only be given to your child if they have not already had chicken pox. Even if you child had a very mild dose of chicken pox, they do not need the vaccination. Since 2007 the HPV vaccine has been provided to females aged between 12 and 13 years. The HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is indicated for cervical cancer prevention. During the Grade 10 year, students will receive a booster of Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis vaccine. This is a relatively new vaccine and replaces the old Diphtheria/Tetanus vaccine. The Pertussis (Whooping Cough) component has been added because of recent evidence that the effect of the pertussis vaccine given to children as part of their infant vaccinations wanes over time.
LATE ARRIVAL AT SCHOOL
Students who arrive late to school should have a note written by a parent indicating the reason and must report on arrival at the front office before going to class. They must sign in via the office Ipad to ensure they are not marked absent for the day.
LEAVING THE SCHOOL GROUNDS
We are responsible for the conduct and safety of children while they are at school and we must have a signed note from a parent before we can allow a student to leave the school grounds. Students will not be given permission to buy their lunch outside school. Students leaving school grounds for any other reason must sign out via the office Ipad and have permission from an Assistant Principal or Principal. Students who go home for lunch need to apply and have a permanent Lunch Pass issued. These applications are available from the school office.
Our school Op-Shop plays a very important part in fundraising for the school and is a key source of quality second hand uniform items. Volunteers are always needed. If you are interested and can spare a few hours, please ring the school on 6376 7100.
Op Shop opening hours:
- 9.30 am – 3.30 pm Monday to Friday
- 9.30 am – 1.00 pm Saturday.
PERSONAL VALIDATION SHEETS
Personal validation for each student needs to be updated at the beginning of each school year or as any personal details change. This information is essential, particularly in cases of accident or emergency when we need to contact you immediately.
If your child has any disabilities, conditions, allergies (or you have objections to hospital or medical treatment) we should also have these recorded. For medical emergencies or in case of injury the school has two staff qualified in first aid. If a child is injured or unwell during the school day, the office staff will contact parents/carers.
Whilst all normal precautions will be taken by the staff, we cannot accept responsibility for personal property unless it is placed in our custody. For example, money and watches should be deposited with the Phys. Ed. staff before a P.E. lesson or sporting event and collected afterwards.
Students are responsible for looking after the school equipment, stationery, books, etc. and are liable to be charged for any losses, breakages or damages.
We recommend strongly that all property of a private nature which the owner brings to school is NAMED CLEARLY. School bags, loose-leaf folders, etc. are often "lost"; it is a great help if we can identify the owner promptly. Lost property is held at the school office. Students should not bring electronic devices such as Ipods to school. Named personal property will be held for one month and then sent on to the School Op-Shop.
RESPECTFUL SCHOOL VOLUNTEER AND VISITOR POLICY
SCHOOL DRESS CODE
SKATEBOARDING AND BIKE RIDING
Skateboarding and bike riding within the school grounds is not permitted.
SPORTS CARNIVALS (Swimming/Athletics)
All running and swimming events are run in heats. All placegetters in each heat receive points for their house and a ribbon. These heats are all timed and the fastest five times are given championship points. Selection for ENE or Inter-High go on the fastest times from all of these heats. This means that sometimes a student may get first or second but their times are not as fast as some other competitors. Rules of some competitions also place limitations on the number of events students can compete in.
For example in the Inter-High Athletics Carnival a student can participate in a maximum of five events not including relays or tug-of-wars.
STUDENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME
Information regarding Student Assistance Scheme can be found on the Department if Education site. Follw the link below.
Clothing Allowance: May be available for students on STAS to purchase uniform from our school office. Contact our School Business Manager who will refer your request to our Social Worker for approval.
DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL IF THEY ARE SICK.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS & ALLERGIES
It is important that the school is aware if your child has a medical condition or allergy. This information is recorded on your child’s validation form and updated as required. Where required, the school will work with parents and guardians to develop a medical action plan. Please ensure that we have current phone numbers so that we can contact you easily should the need arise.
Medication at School
If your child requires medication while they are at school, you will need to meet with the school to ensure that staff are clearly advised on how to give your child their medicine. Medication should only be prescribed during school hours when absolutely necessary.
Parents/guardians will need to complete an authority to administer medication form and for prescription medication, an authorisation to administer prescribed medication will need to be completed by a Doctor, Pharmacist or Practice Nurse.
Should medication be prescribed by the student's medical practitioner and be required to be administered while the student is at school or involved in school-approved activities (e.g. excursions), a parent/legal guardian must arrange for:
- Authority to administer medications forms to be completed
- the medical practitioner's specific prescribed instructions for administration on the pharmacist's label
- the safe transfer of medication to the school
- medication to be delivered to the school in originally prescribed container only.
Fever, headache, earache and toothache are considered symptoms of conditions that require further investigation by the appropriate health practitioner. School staff will not administer paracetamol or analgesics to students experiencing these symptoms. Parents will be notified if these conditions occur.
Please follow the guidelines below when you are making a decision about whether your child is well enough to attend school.
DIARRHOEA AND VOMITING (GASTROENTERITIS)
Public Health guidelines state that infants and children attending childcare or school should not return until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.
Gastro is an illness triggered by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. Often the condition will resolve itself in a few days.
The main complication of gastro is dehydration but this can be prevented if the fluid lost in vomit and diarrhoea is replaced. Severe cases may need intravenous fluid replacement.
Some causes of gastro are: viruses, bacteria, parasites, bacterial toxins which contaminate food, chemicals, and certain drugs.
Infectious period lasts for as long as the organisms are present in their faeces, whether or not they have symptoms.
Parents or carers of a child with head lice or nits (eggs) will be contacted to: immediately collect the child, take him/her out of school, check the child’s hair and treat any head lice present. Students may return to school following one application of a recommended product.
Parents have the prime responsibility to check their children for head lice on a regular basis and for the purchase and application of treatment. Further information about the treatment of head lice is available from the school office.
MEDICINES WHICH MASK SYMPTOMS AND REDUCE FEVER
If your child requires medication “to see him/her through the day”, the child should not be at school. The child requires rest and care and time to recover under parental or family-organised supervision.
Sick children struggle with learning and may infect others. For many contagious diseases, such as hand, foot and mouth, it is during the period of high fever that the child is most contagious to others. That is also the period when the child’s body is under the most pressure. Please do not send your child to school if he/she is running a temperature.
9 Circassian Street
St Helens TAS 7216
Phone: 03 6376 7100
Fax: 03 6376 7177