Please download our prospectus here.
This information is written to give you some facts about the school, its aims, organisation and hopes for the future. Your child’s time in school is very precious and we are pleased to share this with you. Not everything can be written down and Parents are always welcome in school. If you have any queries or worries, please do not hesitate to come and see us.
Mrs Patricia Daniels Chair of Governors and Mrs Kim Parnell Head Teacher
Balfour Junior School aims to be a school at the heart of the community that recognises, nurtures and celebrates the potential of all.
“Achieve Your Dreams”
Chair of Governors and Head teacher can be contacted via the school office.
We aim to:
Ensure that every person has the right to come to school, to feel and be safe and secure.
Promote and educate children in the life skills that are needed in order to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Foster an inclusive environment where all children have opportunities and experiences to enjoy all aspects of school life, expect pupils to set themselves high standards and to take pride in their work and to strive towards high achievement, appreciate and celebrate the many ways our children achieve.
Ensure that children are given the opportunities to contribute to activities that raise their aspirations and goals for the future.
Ensure that children, staff, parents, carers, governors and other stakeholders have a voice in the development of their school.
Guide children to develop positive relationships that empowers them develop the self-confidence needed to successfully deal with major life changes, develop our children’s understanding of their responsibilities within the wider community and environment.
Balfour Junior School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share in its commitment.
Our school is a community Junior co-educational school catering for 480 pupils of 7-11 years of age. The school values its place as an integral part of the multicultural community offering the pupils a friendly, supportive and inclusive atmosphere to work in.
It is housed in a one-storey building, close to the town centre. It has 17 fully equipped teaching classrooms with attached activity areas, an ICT suite and library. The site also has the benefit of extensive grounds.
Pupils transferring from Infant schools in September have the opportunity to visit in the Summer Term to become familiar with their new surroundings.
Children joining at other times are invited, with their parents, for a guided tour of the school and an informal meeting with the Head teacher.
If parents wish to visit the school before considering applying please contact the school office to arrange an appointment.
All applications for admissions should be made via the Admissions Department at Medway Council.
Tel. 01634 331159.
Appeals Hearings for Balfour Junior Academy
Appeals hearings for entrance to Year 3 in September 2017 will take place:
Week commencing – 12th June 2017
Week commencing – 19th June 2017
The School Day
School starts at 8.50 am
Pupils may arrive on the site from 8.30 am, and wait in the playground with their parents.
Doors opening at 8.40 am.
Lunchtime 12.20 – 1.30 pm
School finishes at 3.30 pm
The school entrance can get heavily congested at the beginning and end of the school day. Parking on zigzag lines outside the school is a traffic offence and places the children in great danger. If you do bring your child to school by car please find a safe place to park. No cars are allowed on the school site between 8.30 am – 9.00 am and 3.15 pm – 5.30 pm.
Skates and dogs
These are not allowed on the site as they constitute a danger to waiting parents and young children.
Bicycles and scooters maybe be brought onto site and placed in the racks provided. However children are not to ride them on the site to avoid accidents. Pupils are responsible for securing their bicycle or scooter and it is brought into school at their own risk.
Damage to Property
Pupils, who break or damage school property through deliberate misuse, will be held responsible for repair or replacement and will be charged accordingly.
Meals are provided to pupils by Chartwells Catering who operate the kitchen within the school as an independent commercial operation. A varied menu is provided and there is usually a choice of main course and dessert.
A Chartwells employee collects meal payments from the safe box in the school reception area on a Monday morning. Payments are not accepted on other days as school staff are not involved in the collection of school meals money. Enquiries about school meal accounts should be made by telephone to the contractor.
Some children are entitled to free school meals. Please speak to the school office for further details. Children who are entitled to free meals are not publically identifiable.
Children may bring a packed lunch. Please pack it in a strong container clearly marked with your child’s name and class. Fizzy drinks and sweets are not permitted.
Children are allowed to bring a piece of fruit or a cereal bar as a morning snack.
Parents and School
The school encourages the partnership between home and school and a Home School Agreement is included in your welcome pack.
We are always ready to welcome parents to discuss problems or concerns. Class teachers may be briefly contacted before or after school, but it would be helpful if a prior appointment for a longer discussion could be made by letter or telephone to avoid any interruption to lessons. Class teachers are not available after 8.50 am.
The Head teacher is also available to discuss queries or problems.
Parents are welcome to help in school. Please ask for the Parent Helper Policy which is available from Mr. Gambles. All helpers will require an enhanced DBS check.
Open evenings to discuss children’s progress are held regularly, with written reports at least once a year.
Newsletters are sent on a regular basis to keep families informed of what is going on in school by either ‘Parentmail’ or in hard copy. If you wish for more than one copy, please contact the office.
The school is a caring community and pastoral care is exercised through the class teacher, who will deal with all routine matters affecting your child’s welfare. Year Group Leaders maintain the oversight of the welfare of all pupils in their year group. They can be contacted directly in matters of a serious concern.
The school now has a Family Liaison Officer to help children and parents who need additional support.
The school employs many members of staff whose role is to support those pupils with English as an additional language. They will also offer support to the whole family and help with home – school liaisons.
School Nurse Service
A school nurse conducts vision and hearing tests for all children during their time at this school. Parents / carers are informed if there is any cause for concern.
Routine checks for head lice are no longer carried out. Advice and treatment may be obtained from your own doctor. Parents are requested to inform the school office, in confidence, if they become aware of an infestation within the family.
Attendance Advisory Practitioner
This worker is employed by Medway Council and visits the school regularly to check on children’s attendance and lateness. Contact will be made with the child’s family to discuss reasons should a pattern of lateness or non-attendance develop.
If a child has injuries that cannot be explained or the school is concerned about aspects of a child’s behaviour Medway Council’s procedure for Child Protection will be followed. The Head and Assistant Head are designated Child Protection Officers.
In order to achieve the school’s aims children are taught a broad and balanced curriculum covering all areas of the National Curriculum. All our curriculum policies and schemes are available for parents to view online or from the school office.
Religious Education: This is a statutory requirement for all pupils (except where parents request otherwise) and is taught according to the Medway Agreed Syllabus. The syllabus is Christian and non-denominational and provides a set of principles upon which religious teaching should be based. Parents who do not wish their child to be taught the Agreed Syllabus or take part in acts of worship on the grounds of personal belief, should contact the Head teacher.
Physical education or sports activities are undertaken every week. All children are required to change into appropriate clothing for these activities (see page 7). All children will participate in all activities unless written advice to the contrary is received from the parent.
The school follows the suggestions from Ofsted that children may benefit from a follow up or extension of classroom work and it is probable that your child will bring work home.
In addition all children are expected to read on a regular basis, learn spellings and times tables. As children progress through the school, they will be asked to seek information for projects.
These are an essential part of the children’s work in order for the children to learn by practical first hand experience. Parents are asked to make a voluntary contribution to cover the costs of these activities. Visits may have to be cancelled if there is a lack of contributions. Parents having financial difficulty should contact the school office.
There is a daily act of collective worship which is an extremely important part of our school day. This gives us an opportunity to meet together, share experiences and ideas and show how we value the individuals in our school community and to develop an awareness and appreciation of other people and their cultures. The pattern of assemblies during the week is varied to present a variety of experiences.
Complaints about the Curriculum
The LA has published a leaflet explaining what parents should do if they have a complaint. The leaflet encourages parents to discuss the complaint with the Head teacher first. It is expected that the great majority of problems can be resolved in this way. However, parents who are still dissatisfied can refer the complaint to the school’s Governing Body in the first instance and then to the LA.
Teachers’ PPA Time
Under the government regulations which came into effect in September 2005, all teachers are required to have non teaching time equivalent to 10% of the timetable to allow them to plan, prepare and assess. This time will be covered by qualified members of the school staff.
The school has a positive attitude towards supporting children with special needs. Children experiencing learning difficulties are given learning programmes to help meet their special needs.
Parents who are concerned about their child’s progress should, in the first instance, contact the class teacher. The Special Needs Co-ordinator is available to discuss parental concerns. If the school has any concerns about a pupil’s progress parents will be informed.
In line with the Disability Discrimination Act we make every reasonable effort to include all children in our school regardless of disability.
The school has an Accessibility Plan in place to allow for the inclusion of all children. Copies of our Special Education Needs Policy, Gifted and Talented Policy, Disability Equality Scheme and Accessibility Plan are available at the School Office (there may be a small charge for these documents) and on our website.
The sex education programme has been approved by the school governing body. It has been written with the development of the pupils in mind. The school nurse has provided an input. Parents are always informed in writing before this programme commences and are given the opportunity to discuss any concerns with the year group staff.
Organisation of classes
Each class is a single age group and within each class there is a range of abilities. Pupils within one class will progress at different rates. The teachers are aware of this and work is geared to the needs of individual pupils.
The teachers in each year group meet to plan and evaluate to ensure continuity and consistency.
Extra Curricular Activities
All pupils are offered the opportunity to join a variety of clubs and activities which take place either during lunch time or after school. These activities are organised voluntarily by school staff in addition to their normal commitments.
Pupils taking part in these activities will bring home a form which will need to be signed and returned to school. The form will give information about the day and time of the club.
If after school clubs need to be cancelled pupils will be informed or a notice will be put outside the school.
As part of the extra curricular activities, the school enters teams in the local leagues and the Medway Mini Youth Games. The children wear their PE kits but are also provided with a rugby and football strip. Parental support is always welcome at these matches. Any one who can offer coaching is welcome to contact the school office.
Tutors from the Medway Music Consortium and other licensed teachers provide a variety of instrumental lessons.
If you wish your child to receive tuition please contact the office for details.
There is a school uniform which all pupils are expected to wear. The wearing of uniform helps the children to take a pride in the school. All items except the school tie and sweatshirt (obtainable from School Time) can be purchased in most children’s clothes stores.
Grey or black trousers (tailored shorts in summer or a blue and white gingham dress – if required)
White shirt with collar
White polo shirt – in summer
Royal blue V-neck sweatshirt or cardigan
Fleece (optional) – not to be worn in class
Black shoes – NOT TRAINERS OR BOOTS
Pupils are encouraged to wear hats in the school colours during the summer term as there is a lack of shade on the school playground and field. All pupils with long hair should have it tied back for health and safety reasons and also to stop the spread of head lice. EXTREME HAIRSTYLES OR COLOURS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE. Any clothing that is required for religious purposes has to be in Balfour School colours.
PE / Sports Kit
Plain white T-shirt
Plimsolls for indoor use
Trainers for outdoor / field use
Tracksuit or suitable clothing for winter
These items should be kept in a bag which can be hung from your child’s peg.
All clothing, including coats and bags, should be clearly labelled with your child’s name and class.
The wearing of jewellery is not permitted (with cultural exception) for the reasons of safety. If watches are worn to school, they will have to be removed for PE lessons. We cannot be held responsible for their safe keeping. One small pair of stud earrings is allowed however we prefer if these are not worn on PE days.
Except for specific reasons such as the payment of school visits, meals and book club, children should not bring money into school. All money should be in a labelled envelope.
We do our best to ensure that all items which are handed in are returned to its owner. Medway Council gives the following statement:
The Unitary Authority do not accept responsibility for loss or damage to personal property of pupils. Marking clothes and other property with the owner’s name is therefore of the greatest importance and parents are requested to ensure that all property brought into school is marked with the owners name and class.
There is a lost property box but items are only kept for a limited time. The school cannot accept responsibility for lost items of clothing.
We believe that children have the right to attend school regularly.
All schools have to account for every pupil’s absence. The government’s regulations concerning absence are explicit and parents should make themselves aware of their responsibilities.
Sickness: Please telephone the school on the first day of absence. This should be followed by a brief note of explanation when your child returns to school. Where there is no note, an unauthorised absence will be entered in the register.
Medical / dental appointments: Please avoid these during the school day. A letter needs to be sent to school in advance of any appointment.
Annual Holiday: Is not allowed during term time.
Absence will not be authorised during SATs testing.
A Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued for persistent unauthorised absence.
Reliable emergency telephone contact numbers must be provided for each child for emergencies. Hospitals are unwilling to administer treatment without a parent being present. Please update the information via the school office.
In any community it is necessary to have rules. Our school rules are based on common sense and are for the general well being of the children. The school follows its own positive behaviour policy which is available upon request.
If a child’s behaviour is not acceptable over a period of time, the Head teacher will wish to see the parents in order to discuss the matter further with them.
Good manners and respect for others are considered to be an essential basis of all relationships within the school. Children who are unable to behave in an acceptable way during lunchtime maybe asked to take their lunch at home.
Illness in School
Although we do our best, there is no comfortable, quiet place for sick children to rest in school. Parents are contacted by telephone if a child is too poorly to continue with their studies. Please do not send your child to school if they are unwell. We do not have any ancillary staff to care for sick pupils.
Please do not send your child to school if you suspect they have an infectious disease. It is also important that children with German Measles do not attend.
In the event of sickness or diarrhoea children must remain home for 48 hours.
Minor injuries, e.g. cuts and grazes, are dealt with by qualified first aiders. If a serious injury occurs, and we are unable to contact parents, we will take it upon ourselves to seek treatment. Each child is treated in accordance with their culture or religious belief.
Occasionally children need medication whilst at school. The school is unable to administer medication so parents will have to make arrangements to come into school to administer the medication.
Transfer to Secondary School
Pupils in their final year are eligible to be assessed for secondary school under the Medway’s Selection Procedure. A meeting is held, for all interested parents and carers of children in Year 6, explaining the procedure