Performance & Governance
Thornsett County Primary School, which is a Derbyshire County Council LEA day school, caters for children who are almost 5 through to 11 years. Although our school building is about 120 years old, we strive to provide a challenging and far reaching education for our pupils. The staff form a hard working, experienced team who are committed to creating a secure and stimulating environment where children of all abilities can fulfill their potential both academically and socially. High standards are set and maintained within a caring, friendly atmosphere which contributes to the school’s strong sense of community both within the school itself and within the local catchment area .
Life of the School
We aim to help children to develop into happy, caring, well adjusted achieving individuals who will be able to cope with life in the twenty first century. In order to do this we try to:
- provide a broad based balanced education that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum
- provide equal opportunities regardless of gender, race, religion, disability, social and economic factors
- help parents to feel involved in their children’s education because we value their support
- involve ourselves in the local community of New Mills.
We aim to develop self discipline in pupils and to create a positive atmosphere in school so that effective learning can take place and in which there is mutual respect between all staff and pupils.
Our approach to discipline ensures that this learning takes place in a positive, secure and pleasant environment which has consistent boundaries and expectations of behaviour.
We positively encourage good behaviour and acknowledge this with praise, stickers, certificates and accumulative class rewards. We positively challenge bad behaviour and have a range of sanctions to discourage what is unacceptable.
Any behaviour which consistently falls below our acceptable standards will be reported to parents and close co-operation between home and school will be sought in order to remedy the problem.
The maximum number of children to be admitted each year is 25. In the event of over-subscription priority will be given to:
- children living within the school catchment area
- children outside the catchment area with siblings already in school
- children outside the catchment area who live closest to the school.
Parents considering applying for a place for their child are welcome to visit the school by appointment with the Head teacher. We encourage parents to put their children’s names down for school as early as possible. This helps us to plan ahead and ensures that parents are sent information at the right time.
The governor’s admission meeting will be held during the last week in February. Letters advising parents of their position will be sent out as soon as possible after this.
We admit children at two points in the school year:
- Children born between 1 September and 30 April will be offered a full time place in September
- Children born between 1 May and 31 August will be offered a full time place in January.
There will be no part time provision.
Applying for primary, infant and junior school places
Follow the following link for Derbyshire school admissions:
Parents of all the children who will be starting school during the next academic year will be invited to a New Parents’ Evening held during the Summer term when they will be able to meet members of staff and other parents.
This meeting gives parents the opportunity to ask questions about aspects of school life in an informal setting. During the term before your child is due to start school she/he will be invited to attend two half day sessions with the reception class teacher.
Transfer to Secondary School
Most children leaving Thornsett transfer to New Mills School. We maintain close links with the secondary school and arrangements are made for the Y5 and Y6 pupils to meet their future teachers. By the time they leave us the children will have had a number of visits to New Mills School.
We aim to provide a broad curriculum in accordance with the statutory guidelines of the National Curriculum. The curriculum is delivered through a mixture of subject based and topic approaches.
The school staff and Governors have policies on all subject areas. Copies of our policies are available in school for inspection by parents, as are documents and regulations relating to the National Curriculum.
Children are taught in a variety of ways. They may be taught as a class, in a group or individually depending on the subject and the needs and abilities of the children. Children may be grouped by ability for some subjects (e.g. Mathematics). Careful planning and assessment ensures that work is provided at an appropriate level for the full range of ability in each class.
We consider a partnership with parents to be vital in helping children to learn and achieve their potential. We encourage parents to become involved both at home and at school. At home parents are asked to share books and listen to their children read. From time to time teachers may ask parents to help their child with other aspects of the curriculum. In school we welcome any help that parents are able to offer. This may be working alongside us in the classroom or accompanying classes on local walks or trips further afield. We ask all parents who volunteer to help to undertake a police check.
Reporting to Parents
During the year we have two consultation evenings for parents, usually in the Autumn and Summer terms, when you will be able to discuss your child’s progress with the class teacher. At the end of each year you will receive a written report on your child’s progress in all areas of the curriculum.
If you have any queries or concerns about your child please do not hesitate to tell us. We will be pleased to discuss the matter with you. We are usually available directly after school. However, if you think it might take some time, it is better to make an appointment.
At Thornsett the main team sports are football and netball in Winter, with cricket and rounders in the Summer. Individual sports include swimming and athletics.
As part of the formal curriculum children are taught overall ball skills, the principle of attack and defence and the skill of sending, receiving and travelling with a ball. In addition the children play small team games and take part in an annual school sports day.
The children take part in a number of events organised by the local schools, including Area Sports Day.
We strive to meet the individual needs of all the children in our school. We aim to identify and assess children with special educational needs early on in their school life. We follow a five stage process which involves parents, the class teacher and the school Special Needs Co-ordinator. A register is kept of the children with special needs, recording the steps taken to provide a programme of work suited to each individual.
The full policy for Educational Needs is available in school for inspection by parents if required.
We take particular care to try to match our approach to sex education to the maturity of the children. Sex education is planned as part of the curriculum for personal and social education and health education across the school. We try to introduce sex education through family life and caring relationships.
Any work on animal or plant life will involve facts on reproduction and any questions asked by the children will be answered truthfully and sensitively. The Governors have arranged for Nurse Cooper to work with the Y5 and Y6 children on growing up. You may withdraw your child if you wish to.
In religious education lessons the content is broadly Christian. Since we live in a multi-cultural society we also study aspects of other faiths in order to engender tolerance and understanding.
An act of collective worship is held each day. There is a whole school assembly each Friday. Either the children conduct the service, each class in turn, or there is a ’sharing’ assembly to celebrate the children’s recent accomplishments.
From time to time ministers who are members of the New Mills Clergy Fraternal come in to lead our services.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from R.E lessons and the daily act of worship.
Most parents feel able to approach the staff if a problem arises. The first person to see is your child’s teacher. If the problem is not resolved at this informal level, then the Head teacher will discuss the matter with the parties involved. The majority of queries and anxieties can be dealt with in this way. However, if the complaint cannot be resolved, there is a formal complaints procedure which will be explained by the Head teacher on request.
Plain Black Skirt/Trousers/Shorts
Red Polo Shirt
Blue checked summer dress
Sensible low heeled shoes
Uniform items are available from ‘Headmasters’ in New Mills indoor market.
All children need to have elasticated plimsolls, shorts and a ‘T’ shirt in a drawstring bag. The kit should be kept in school as it will be used regularly. Junior children also need a spare jumper or tracksuit for outdoor P.E in the colder months. It is essential that they have plimsolls or training shoes to change into for outdoor P.E. For safety reasons we cannot allow them to wear shoes or boots for P.E.
We discourage children from wearing jewellery at school. If earrings are worn, studs are safest. Any jewellery, including earrings, must be removed before games and swimming for safety reasons. Please note that school will not be responsible for such items.
Children can bring school bags and rucksacks to school with their belongings. We provide a plastic holder for reading books and book carriers carrying the school logo are available by order through school if required.
School meals are cooked on the premises and represent good value for money at £1.85 a day (£9.25 per week). Please send dinner money each Monday morning in an envelope with your child’s name, class and the amount clearly marked. Payment can also be made by cheque, either weekly or termly in advance. Cheques should be made payable to Derbyshire County Council. If you are in receipt of income support your child will be eligible for free school meals. Please ask the Head teacher or School Secretary for a form. Most children have school meals but you may send a packed lunch for your child if you prefer. Please do not send glass containers, hot or fizzy drinks.
If you would like to join the children for lunch the price of a community adult meal is £2.75. Please give us a few days notice so that we can be sure there is sufficient food and space available.
The children are looked after by five midday supervisors whilst eating and in the playground. We expect the children’s manners and behaviour to be just as good during lunch times as it is during lesson times.
In order for your child to make satisfactory educational progress, it is important that she/he attends school regularly and arrives on time. Please advise the school on the morning of the first day of absence either in writing or by telephone if your child is absent for any reason. If your child is ill during the night it is often wiser to keep them at home the following day than to risk passing on infection to other children. Children are permitted time off for hospital and dental appointments. Please send a note to your child’s teacher beforehand giving details of the arrangements.
Please try to book family holidays during the extensive school holidays. Time off for additional holidays should be avoided if at all possible. The school should be notified in advance if you wish to take your child out during term time and a holiday request form completed. Time off not cleared by school counts as unauthorised absence on your child’s school records.
Rates of Authorised and Unauthorised Absence
Percentage of authorised absence
Percentage of unauthorised absence
Wherever practicable, prescribed medicines should be administered by parents out of school time. It is sometimes possible for your doctor to prescribe medicine where the doses can be given before and after school, you just need to ask. Occasionally this may not be possible, in which case there are two options.
- Parents could come into school to administer the medicine.
- We could administer the medicine. In this case we would have to follow certain procedures in order to comply with the LEA guidelines.
- The medicine should be brought into school by the parents, not the child and delivered to the secretary.
- The medicine should be clearly marked with contents, owner’s name and dosage.
- A signed, written request must be made to the Head teacher to accompany the medicine. A form for this purpose is available from the school office.
- Ideally only enough medicine for that day should be sent in, particularly tablets.
We are not allowed to keep paracetamol, aspirin or any medicines containing these substances (e.g. Calpol) in school. The above procedure must be followed if you think your child might need medication for a specific day.
The Crossing Patrol person is a very important person in your child’s life. Please teach your child to cross the road only under his/her directions, in a straight line from the pavement to the school steps.
If you bring your child to school by car, please make sure he/she gets out on the pavement south of the school. Please drive very slowly all the way along the road to slow down other traffic.
If you are coming into school please park on the school side of the road beyond the north gate, i.e. nearer to Aspenshaw. Please do not park opposite the entrance to Doctor’s End.
Please see that children never have to step off the pavement to get round you or your push-chair, and see that your children stay on the pavement to the end of the road.
Educational visits are arranged to complement the work the children are doing in school, we ask parents to make a financial contribution to cover the cost of these visits. Although these contributions are voluntary, without them the school would not be able to fund such visits. Parents who might find it difficult to pay are asked to come in to school to discuss the matter confidentially with the Head teacher. No child will be excluded because they cannot afford the cost.
Year 5 and 6 children have the opportunity of a place on an annual residential visit in the Summer term. A range of activities and visits are included during the week. The trip is organised and accompanied by members of staff. The residential visit is subject to a minimum take-up.
We have developed close links with the Band and a number of our children have been accepted as members of Thornsett Junior Band. Mr. Hallam, the Band secretary, regularly auditions for new members who are then given the opportunity of learning to play a brass instrument. The band plays at community events in and around New Mills.
The school has an active Parent Teachers Association which organises many successful fund-raising and social events. Parents are automatically members of the association and are invited to attend meetings which are informal and welcoming.
The school offers a wide range of extra curricular clubs including Science, ICT, Film Club, Football, Dance, Games, Netball and Recorder.
We are happy to consider the use of the School’s premises outside normal school hours for extra-curricular and Social functions. Each application will be viewed on its individual merits and consent given where the proposed use is not in conflict with the interests of policies of the School or contrary to normal social and moral standards.
We recognise the invaluable contribution of the P.T.A towards the School’s budget hence use for Social or Fund-raising events by or on behalf of the P.T.A will normally be permitted without charge.
Use by other individuals or bodies would be dealt with on an Ad Hoc basis and a reasonable charge made where appropriate. To avoid this falling as a burden to teaching or other staff, those using the School’s premises are expected to leave them in at least as tidy a condition as they found them. Smoking is not permitted on the School premises at any time.
Use of the School Sports facilities by organisation or individuals will also be considered. Again the proposed use must not be contrary to the best interests of the School and individual cases looked at on merit. The policy for charging for these facilities is as set out previously. Whilst the school accepts that the type of activity for which the Sports Ground would normally be used will inevitably result in some ‘wear and tear’, abnormal damage would be the responsibility of those booking the facility.
The individuals arranging the booking and organising the event for which the facility is booked shall be responsible for the conduct and safety of guests attending. Enquiries regarding booking should be addressed initially to the school secretary.
Parents should be aware that the school is required to take any reasonable action to ensure the safety of its pupils. In cases where the school has reason to be concerned that a child may be subject to ill-treatment, neglect or other forms of abuse the Head teacher is obliged to follow Safeguarding procedures established by the Derbyshire Area Safeguarding team and inform the Social Services of the concern.
Basic information is now held on the computer to assist with the efficient organisation of the school and the children’s educational needs. Security measures are taken to ensure that the information is kept confidential and is only available to authorised staff. It may be used for statistical purposes, but this will not enable any individuals to be identified. The school has registered with the Data Protection Registrar details of persons to whom they may wish to disclose information. By law, under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, information may only be disclosed to other persons in accordance with this registration.
The school is registered to disclose personal information to family, relatives, guardians/trustees, the Department for Education, and the Local Education Authority. It is the policy of the Governors that such information is confidential and that, even where a need to disclose such information has been registered, it will only be divulged in exceptional circumstances and be kept to the minimum necessary to achieve the purpose. The policy is, of course, subject to any law which imposes a duty of disclosure on the Governors.
If you are concerned about any aspect of personal information held on the computer, please contact the Head teacher in the first instance or write to the Data Protection Liaison Officer, Education Department, Derbyshire County Council, County Offices, Matlock, DE4 3AG.