Frequently asked questions
Before choosing Nelson Academy for your son or daughter, you will almost certainly have questions for us. In addition to our regular newsletters, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and our answers that we hope you find useful. If you have a question that isn’t listed here, please contact us we will respond to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, please phone our reception, where a member of staff will be delighted to answer any questions you may have.
What time does the academy open and close, and how is the school day structured?
Teaching times vary for pupils at Nelson Academy:
Nelson Academy Nursery
Morning session 9.00am – 12.00pm
Afternoon session 12.00pm – 3.00pm
Morning session 9.00am – 12.00pm
Afternoon session 12.45pm – 3.00pm
(15 minute break at 2.15pm)
Key Stage 1 – 5.25 hours
Morning session 8.45am – 12.00pm
(15 minute break at 10.30am)
Afternoon session 12.45pm – 3.00pm
(15 minute break at 2.15pm)
Key Stage 2 – 5.5 hours
Morning session 8.45am – 12.30pm
(15 minute break at 10.30am)
Afternoon session 1.15pm – 3.00pm
My child will need 'school meals' at the academy - how does this work?
Food at Nelson Academy is produced and provided by our in-house catering team and is of a very high quality. All meals are nutritionally balanced and designed to appeal to children. Options available on a daily basis include a hot meal, salads, baguettes
and jacket potatoes. Drinks can also be purchased in cartons. A ‘complete meal’ is currently £2.10 per day, which includes a main course/baguette/jacket potato, pudding/biscuit/drink. Payment can be made by cash, either on a daily or weekly basis, or by cheque on a weekly/termly basis. Please send dinner money in a named wallet/purse; a member of the staff collects all meal money at the beginning of the day to keep it safe.
Vegetarian meals are provided by arrangement, and special diets can also be catered for.
Provision is also made for pupils to have packed lunch sandwiches, or they can go home for lunch if collected by a parent/guardian. Pupils may switch between an academy meal, packed lunch and home lunch for your convenience.
At morning break time, milk and homemade produce or fruit can be purchased from the canteen. You may also send your child with a biscuit or piece of fruit from home as a snack if you wish. No sweets are allowed.
Children in reception are provided with a snack through the National Fruit and Veg scheme.
All children of Reception and Key Stage 1 age are entitled to Free School Meals, as are Key Stage 2 children of families receiving Income Support or Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance. Families receiving Child Tax Credit but who are not entitled to a Working Tax Credit, may also be entitled. An application form for Free School Meals can be obtained from the academy office.
What is the procedure for asking the academy to grant my son or daughter exceptional leave of absence?
As you may be aware, new Government guidelines have made it clear that Principals may not grant leave of absence during term time unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Exceptional circumstance may be:
- Families of armed forces personnel returning from a tour of duty
- Police or other service personnel whose leave has been cancelled during academy holidays, such as occurred during the London Olympic Games
- A family funeral
Please be aware that these guidelines are set by the Government, not schools and if you decide to take your child out of the academy during term time unauthorised, you may receive a penalty notice from the Local Authority.
If you wish your child to be considered for a leave of absence, then please send a letter to the Principal – for more information please see the Nelson Academy policies.
What happens if my son or daughter is unwell and cannot attend. How do I report this to the academy?
To make it as easy as possible to report student absence, we have set up a dedicated page with information here.
What happens if my son or daughter is going to be late. How do I report this to the academy?
If your child will be slightly late, please write a note in their diary explaining the reasons. If there will be significant lateness, please report it here.
What happens if my son or daughter has a dentist/doctor appointment during the day?
If you know your child is going to be absent, for a dental/doctors appointment, for example, please let the class teachers know in advance.
My son or daughter needs to take medication - how is this managed at the academy?
Please let us know about any medical conditions your child may have and remember to inform us of any changes. We are able to administer prescribed medicines at the academy, providing that the child concerned is otherwise fit enough to be at school. These can only be administered if a consent form has been signed, which are available from the office. Please ensure that you:
1. Label the container clearly with your child’s name and the time and size of dose.
2. Leave the medicine and form with a member of staff at the academy reception
Children suffering from asthma can keep inhalers close at hand – please name the inhaler, and make sure we have some details about the circumstances when your child may need to use it.
Where do I drop my child off if I am driving them to the academy?
During the day the car parks are for academy staff who are working and official visitors only.
Car parking is only permitted within the academy grounds if a disabled car parking permit has been provided by the academy.
Access to the academy grounds will be closed to all vehicles at 2.50pm, except for taxis and minibuses. If there is a reason why you need to park inside the grounds on a regular basis at the end of the day, please ask for a pass. The gates are opened again at 3.10pm after the academy bus has left.
Parents wishing to park must do so on roads bordering the academy giving consideration to all neighbouring residents.
If you are on foot, please wait for your child inside the academy gate.
If parents wish for their child to walk home on their own please confirm this to us in writing.
How much homework should my child be doing?
On average, 30 minutes per night. We have a homework club every week.
How do I know if my son or daughter is making enough progress?
We aim to ensure that you receive the fullest information about your child’s progress and development. The academy has a pre-enrolment consultation with parents of new pupils and also makes an initial assessment of each child’s stage of development on entry to ensure we provide the appropriate curriculum. Children are also assessed at 7 and 11 through the statutory testing procedures, Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs); the results of the SATs will be given to you in writing.
The academy also uses assessments and tests to monitor both individual and school performance at the end of every year. These are the national QCA test materials which allow us to monitor against national expectations.
In the autumn term, we hold a ‘meet the teacher’ evening, during which parents can speak with the class teacher and support staff
and receive an information pack about routines, expectations, homework and targets. Parents and teachers meet again in the spring term to review targets. Parents are given the opportunity to indicate a convenient time for these meetings on given dates. If the dates are not suitable to parents they can negotiate with the class teacher for a mutually convenient time. Likewise, if the time allocated is not sufficient for discussion on the evening another time slot can be agreed for a further appointment.
In the summer term you will receive a written report on your child indicating his or her progress in the National Curriculum. This can be followed by a parent/teacher consultation, if parents wish to talk to staff.
At any other time you are very welcome to see either the class teacher or the Principal to discuss general progress or any specific concerns you may have. These consultations can be either casual or by appointment. Please be aware that, as staff are involved in after-school clubs and staff meetings, they may not be available every day.
How do I give feedback on Nelson Academy?
Subject Area Overview
Computing (formerly Information and Communication Technology)
Computing, according to the New National Curriculum ‘has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives’. This involves a multi-faceted approach to logic, reasoning, interpreting, problem solving and creating, and safety.
The four main areas encompassing these skills are:
- Understanding Technology-this includes understanding how networks and simple technologies work, as well as creating algorithms in both technological and non-technological environments.
- Digital Literacy-Students will increasingly use a range of technology to enquire with purpose, accessing and creating digital content such as still and moving images, video, audio and text.
- Programming-Students will create, debug, and implement instructions (algorithms) on a range of digital devices.
- E-Safety-Students will understand that information about themselves may be personal and they can choose who to share it with. Students will learn to manage their online activity safely and know the potential risks and safety rules associated with the online world.
Students are given opportunities to develop and apply their Computing capabilities in their study of New National Curriculum subjects. In order to facilitate learning, the school has a networked Multimedia machine in every teaching base from Nursery to Year 6.
Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard which both teachers and students use during the day, as well as classroom laptops. There are also new student laptops available this year for a range of cross-curricular learning opportunities including internet research, programming lessons, typing practice, Maths games, and various English intervention strategies.
History and Geography
All pupils from Nursery to Year 6 regularly focus on an area of study which links to elements of History and Geography at a level which is appropriate to them. This work is covered through the International Primary Curriculum topics which are studied throughout the school. These topics help our students to focus on both local and global, issues and events.
Our aim is to encourage them to develop an understanding of, and empathy for both their own heritage and that of others. We also aim to encourage our students to become increasingly aware of and engaged with the ever changing world that we live in.
PE is a practical subject which all years from Nursery to Year 6 take part in. We aim to inspire children to become active whilst promoting healthy eating. The children have a range of opportunities both in classroom, following the National Curriculum, and the huge range of extra-curricular clubs ran by staff. These include:
• Quick Sticks
• Sports club
• Ball skills
• Quick Cricket
• Running club
• Sports Hall Athletics
At Nelson Academy we encourage children not only to be good sportspeople by being competitive but also to follow the Olympic values, including determination, excellence and inspiration.
Many of the clubs offered enter into local school competitions and often bring home certificates and medals, which reinforces our whole academy approach of aspiring to do your best.
In Key Stage 1 children learn basic skills to improve their co-ordination and begin to introduce them to the world of keeping fit and healthy. Their PE lessons are closely linked to their IPC topics to provide a cross-curricular approach.
Key Stage 2 progress these basic skills by implementing them into game situations. Many of the sports have been adapted especially for primary age students, e.g. quick sticks (a smaller game of hockey) and hi-5 netball (using fewer players).
Science is a practical subject, which involves children finding out about the world around them. We believe that the teaching of science develops the children’s natural interest and curiosity about the world in which they live. It also helps them develop a respect for the environment and living things.
In Early Years and Key Stage 1, science is linked fully with the topic they are covering. In Key Stage 2, separate science lessons are planned and linked with topic whenever possible with lots of exciting investigations to stimulate their learning.
The children recently enjoyed a week of science activities throughout the school. At the end of the week, the children showed off some ‘wow’ science activities to each other.
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)
Each half term we have a topic focus which helps us think about a particular aspect of social and emotional aspects of learning.
An example topic focus 2 is ‘it’s good to be me!’ in which we look at our strengths and weaknesses as learners and celebrate why it’s good to be ourselves. This theme focuses on the understanding feelings, and why and how they lead us to behave the way we do –particularly the feelings of being excited, proud, surprised, hopeful, disappointed, worried and anxious. As a school we will be looking for children who are:
•Doing something to be proud of
•Responding in an assertive way
•Helping someone with a worry
• Stopping and thinking when they were angry