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Larwood School

Part of Larwood Academy Trust

Boarding Handbooks

Please use the drop down boxes to read the hnadbooks online or download them via PDF and read them at a later date.

 boarding: parents handbook

Introduction

School Vision, Values & Purpose

Our vision and approach to the leadership and management of our pupils is underpinned by a philosophy that is guided by our pupils, parents, and staff. It is challenged and supported by our governing body. We also ensure that we are compliant with the various groups that we work with (For example, the Department for Education and Ofsted). Therefore:

Our pupils will:

  • Be encouraged in a variety of ways to engage in all activities to promote their progress, improve their behaviour, and make the necessary changes to engage in their own education. They will achieve!
  • Experience consistent boundaries and expectations with staff trained in Hertfordshire Steps. We expect them to make changes!
  • Value themselves and others and be able to set themselves realistic goals and targets. We believe that our pupils can improve and we aim to help them believe this as well!
  • Develop a sense of pride in themselves, their work and being part of ‘Team Larwood.’ They know that we enjoy working with them and hope they enjoy working with us!
  • Go on to become life-long learners!
  • Become more resilient as young people, moving forwards to secondary schools and further/higher education.
  • Have their work and achievements praised and rewarded in a variety of ways to help develop their own self esteem, alongside their social and emotional development
  • Experience success! They will Achieve, Believe, Expect and Enjoy!

Our staff:

  • Are encouraging, empathetic, well trained and love working with our pupils
  • Will go the ‘extra mile’ to help pupils make the changes they need to make
  • Appreciate that they are preparing pupils for jobs that don’t even exist right now!
  • Promote the values of respect, responsibility, honesty, hard work, equality and appreciation of differences
  • Provide pupils with the opportunity to express themselves in a safe, productive and reassuring manner
  • Will promote educational development in the widest sense including intellect, creativity, and physical development
  • Promote the role of the family-whatever shape or form that may take
  • Provide a well resourced, safe and welcoming environment for everybody
  • Use Hertfordshire Steps as a behaviour management process to enable our pupils to become able to self regulate more often and with independence
  • Enable and encourage a love of learning for fun!
  • Model the behaviour that we expect from pupils so that they can undertake the future roles that they would like and make a meaningful contribution to their communities and society
  • Liaise with parents, and other professionals to promote the very best outcomes for all of our pupils

Our values:

Our school ethos encourages a range of values to support our vision and purpose. This applies to all pupils both in day and boarding and includes:

Honesty        Equality    Resilience    Empathy    Determination    Democratic Processes

Being responsible    Respect for others    Tolerance    Respect for the law    Tolerance

Such values are seen in our day to day interactions (Class based and in boarding), such as assemblies, class discussions, and play

Larwood School will help our pupils Achieve, Believe, Expect and Enjoy! We succeed where others schools cannot and for that reason, our school is a special place to learn and develop.

Entry into Boarding, Review and Criteria for Continued Placement or Exit

As part of the Hertfordshire residential review, all schools that have the capacity for residential care are working with colleagues from the local authority and have made adjustments to admission, as well as exit criteria

Admissions criteria for boarding at Larwood School

Larwood School has developed excellent provision and practice in providing twenty four hour care for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. There is capacity for 12 pupils and the following criteria are applied before a pupil is admitted:

  • The pupil concerned, parents, Head of Care, Headteacher /senior leadership team must all be in agreement that the residential place should be offered. It is vital that the child concerned wants to board.
  • The pupil must have been a day pupil for at least one term (unless exceptional circumstances are present which are agreed by the Headteacher).
  • There is a need for residential care which will lead to improved educational outcomes for the pupil concerned. This may be in the form of improved behaviour, attendance, progress with studies and/or social skills for the child.
  • In most cases there would have been some support put into place by our school family support worker
  • If all of the above are present, the Headteacher or Head of Care will present the case at a ‘provision panel plus’ meeting. This meeting is composed of residential Headteachers, and local authority colleagues and usually takes place once per month
  • Parents agree to provide the necessary medication, forms, and equipment for the placement to be successful.
  • Parents must engage with the four-six week review process, and other regular reviews that take place
  • Targets will be set that pupil, school staff and parents will all work towards.
  • There is a requirement for parents of boarders to be able to collect and drop off their children at school if they require transport outside of their allocated taxi runs.

The local authority has also provided the following notes which should be used when considering boarding entry.

Guidance for placement

The allocation of a residential bed space will need to consider the following points:

  • Why the pupil is failing to achieve consistent attendance and educational attainment as a result of difficulties within their home and family situation;
  • Why the pupil is experiencing home and family difficulties which can be addressed by the short term provision of a residential and bed space and residential family support worker input;
  • Why the pupil is at risk of a school placement breakdown and therefore leaving a maintained school
  • Why the support provided by the school/family support worker has not achieved resilience and sustainability within the family.

Information presented on these factors would need to provide a detailed assessment on the above and set out why the allocation of a residential bed-space would address any identified need.

A key factor should be that the identified need can be addressed by family/school support and a residential bed-space in the short or medium term.  If the need is identified as longer term requirement, this may indicate an on-going need and therefore trigger a referral to an Early Intervention Service.

The allocation of a bed space will also need to be aligned with the objectives set out in the pupil’s Education, Health and Social Care Plan.

Exit Criteria for Pupils Whilst Boarding at Larwood School

This decision will be made in consultation with parents. Pupils may be able to contribute to the decision depending on need, age, context and other mitigating circumstances. However, the following will apply:

  • The Headteacher (Senior Leadership Team) believes it is in the best interests of all concerned that a boarding place is withdrawn for a child. This will usually be linked to one of the factors below. However, the Headteacher will have the final decision in this matter.
  • Agreed targets and support have been into place whilst in boarding. This would include support from the residential family support worker and such targets would have been agreed and noted in the pupils support plan
  • The individual concerned is having a negative effect on a number of other pupils, in boarding, which may be demonstrated via behaviour patterns, discussion and /or other factors.
  • Some factors may be quantifiable over time, which indicate that boarding is not having the positive effect that all parties thought it would do. For example, this may be via attendance figures, behaviour data and patterns, slow or stagnated academic progress or a combination of all of the above.
  • A serious event may take place that following careful review, may continue to have a negative impact upon other boarders after it has happened. If this is the case, a boarder may be asked to leave for the best interests of the other pupils.
  • Normal protocols would be to review the placement within 4-6 weeks via a conversation with the Head of Care and parents. However, if it is thought that the placement may be in jeopardy, an earlier review may be called and the placement can be withdrawn, before the 4 week review

The provision operates from Monday until Friday with students being at home during the weekends. We also operate a flexible approach for some students with flexi-boarding where students remain at school for some but not all of the normal week. This is an essential part of our provision and usually promotes excellent progress and development for those pupils that access the provision.

Achieve, Believe, Expect and Enjoy!

Larwood School has a boarding facility that consists of two houses. A child will be allocated a house on their arrival at boarding. How a child is allocated a house is based on their age, ability and the dynamics between children who are already in boarding.

Children attend the boarding facility for various reasons. The boarding experience offers a twenty-four hour consistency of care. It is a very positive experience for a child. Children also learn basic life skills e.g. taking responsibility for their own personal hygiene with support from staff. We work in a positive way giving praise and rewarding good behaviour wherever possible.

Other School Policies and information that should be read with this handbook include:

  • Equality
  • Behaviour Management
  • Child Protection
  • Medication Protocols
  • Pupil Boarding Handbook

All of these policies and others are available on our school website: www.larwood.herts.sch.uk in the section ‘About Us’.

Parents can request a hard copy by phoning school in advance and any questions related to any of these policies can be addressed by telephoning school to arrange to speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team

Daily routines

  • 07.30 Staff call the children at 7.30 in the morning. 

(The children get washed, dressed and make their beds.)

  • 08.00 Everyone goes into the dining room for breakfast.
  • 08.15 medication is administered as prescribed.
  • 08.30 Everyone back to house, the children brush their teeth and get their belongings ready for school.
  • If there is time the children may play games or watch T.V. before school.

A member of the care staff is on duty each day

Afternoon

  • 15.20 Children return from school
  • Boarding staff receive a handover on each individual child from their class teacher / learning support assistant.
  • Children get changed into their play clothes and have a snack; this consists of a drink of squash and a cake or a biscuit. Fruit is provided as an alternative.
  • 15.30 Children choose what activity they would like to participate in.
  • 15.45 Activities take place.
  • 17.00 Activities finish for points, hand washing and toileting.
  • 17.15 Tea in the dining room.
  • 18.00 Short activity offered.
  • 18.45 Showers and homework. Staff listen to the children reading.
  • Snack and relax in house.
  • Bedtime.  (younger house –19.45 older house 20.30)
  • The children listen to a story tape whilst in bed.

Equality and Diversity

At Larwood School all parents / carers, regardless of race, ethnicity, disability, gender and socio-economic background, are welcome and will be encouraged to participate in the life of our school.  During a visit and chat with the Head of Care you will be given the opportunity to inform staff of any religious, cultural or dietary needs your child may have. (Please also see our Equality Policy)

We suggest that your child tries boarding for one term as this gives them time to settle in and learn the routines. 

Progress Meeting

After your child has been in the boarding facility for four - six weeks a progress meeting will take place. This enables the boarding staff to update you on how your child is settling in, individual termly targets and action plans that are drawn up for your child and any concerns that may have arisen. It also enables parents to put forward any questions or concerns they may have.

Bed spaces

Children are encouraged to personalise their given bed spaces with family photos, posters, own bedding and towels. If a child chooses not to bring in their own possessions all of the above will be provided. Children may also bring in a cuddly toy and some of their toys if they wish. Toys should be kept to a minimum.

They will be asked to choose a colour for use on one wall in their bed space and to pick a canvas painting from a local shop. We hope that this makes them feel at home.

Food and Snacks

As Larwood School practices a healthy food policy all snacks that are provided are nutritionally balanced.

At 8.00 the children go to the dining hall for breakfast and there is a choice of three fruit juices or milk, a choice of four cereals including porridge, two slices of toast and a cup of tea.

On return from school the children are provided with a drink and a choice of fruit or a home baked cake in house.

At 17.15 all the children again go to the dining room for tea. This is usually followed by a piece of toast with a variety of spreads and a cup of tea.  Fruit is also available if wanted.

At 19.30 another snack is provided, this consists of a hot or cold drink, a slice of toast and/or fruit.

Points, Activities and Rewards

To continue with consistency in Larwood School, the residential side also uses the point system. A child can earn up to 200 points which is then halved to get the percentage.  A child must earn 65 to make their points. On Thursdays we hold an award ceremony where certificates are presented to all who have achieved their points. A cup is presented to the top scorer in each house. We also give an achievement award to someone who has tried hard for the week. Other awards presented are keeping your bed space bright and cheerful, Star of the dining room and a good start in boarding.

A wide range of activities are offered in the evenings. These include football, cricket, adventure play, visiting local parks, cooking, computers, board games and crafts.  Occasionally children will visit the local cinema or bowling alley. Usually children are offered a choice of two or three activities. On Thursday nights in the school hall we have DVD night and this is also part of the schools reward system. At the end of each term children are taken on a special activity. 

New in 2016! This year on a Monday evening, we have the opportunity for boarders to join together with day pupils in an extended range of activities. These include cooking, sports and care for our school environment.

Pocket Money

Children can bring in pocket money on a weekly or termly basis. It is advised that a child is given £1.00 weekly or up to £10.00 per term. The pocket money is run in a similar way to a bank. The children’s money is logged on individual forms and the children must sign to take it out. This helps the children to learn about saving, life skills and independent living.  The children are given opportunities to spend this in town or on chosen activities. Staff also encourage the children to save money for something they really want.

Phone calls

Parents and family are encouraged to phone their children whilst they are boarding.  We recommend to phone either once or twice a week preferably not on a Monday night or first night of term as the children need time to settle back into the routines. This will be discussed at the pre-admission meeting with the Head of Care. If a child wants to speak to their parent, then a member of staff will phone and request you to phone.  There is also a pay phone provided in the boarding area and children can request to use their pocket money for this.

Residential staff  monitor the calls each child receives and a reminder will be sent to parents if their child does not receive any phone calls. We believe it is essential that all boarders have regular contact and calls with their parents whilst boarding.

Laundry

The children’s uniforms and play clothes are washed daily. Night staff iron all their shirts to be ready for the morning. 

All towels, bedding and nightwear is washed on a weekly basis or as required.

Belongings

When starting boarding we advise that the children bring in one or two sets of play clothes that are suitable for that season. We also recommend that a spare uniform, trainers, three changes of underwear and socks, pyjamas, slippers and dressing gown are also packed. An outside jacket or coat suitable to the season is also required. Please label your child’s belongings.

We advise that children bring in their own toiletries including comb, shower gel, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste.

Privacy and Confidentiality

“The School and Staff respect a child’s right to Privacy and Confidentiality and will ensure this is given in a way that is consistent with good parenting and the need to protect the child.”

(This is an extract from the schools Privacy and Confidentiality policy)

Personal Care

The children in boarding are encouraged to be responsible for their own personal care e.g. showering/bathing, hair washing and daily hand and face washing. Some children may require some prompting at this time e.g. to remember to rinse off the shampoo, to bring the right toiletries and to wash all parts of their body. Parents are responsible for sending in all the child will need to maintain their appearance. However for Health and safety reasons we do not allow aerosols in house, roll on or stick deodorants are accepted.

Night staff routine

The waking night person starts at 22.00.  On their arrival they will receive a handover from the staff and carry out their first check.

Their duties include:

  • Laundry of the play clothes and school uniforms. This includes washing and ironing the clothes.
  • Children must be checked at twenty minute intervals. All must be logged in the Night log.

Independent listeners

The school has independent listeners who visit the Residential area each half term.  The independent listeners are there for your child to talk to if they need to. Their names and phone numbers are displayed outside the Head of Care’s office.

Independent Listener:

Bill Pilgrim

Telephone: 01438 750772

We also have a Local PCSO who will be visiting on a regular basis; he/she will also be there to speak with your child if they wish to.

How we review the progress of our boarders

We do this in a range of ways which helps us to produce a clear picture of our strengths, and what we believe we should work on improving, to make the residential experience an outstanding one. Therefore we use the following information:

  • Annual Ofsted inspection reports and comments
  • Pupil views
  • Parent views
  • Governor visits and reports
  • Internal tracking of pupil behavior, academic progress and attendance
  • Staff views
  • School development plans
  • Internal review activities ( For example Head of Care observations or Headteacher observations)
  • External review activities (For example, another residential school Head of Care observation, Headteacher observations or by a school improvement adviser)

Other helpful documentation to be used with this:

  • Behaviour policy
  • Child protection policy
  • Equality and diversity policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct policy
 boarding: children's handbook

Daily routines

  • 07.30 Staff call the children. 

(The children get washed, dressed and make their beds.)

  • 08.00 Everyone goes into the dining room for breakfast.
  • 08.15 medication is given for those that take medication
  • 08.30 Everyone back to house, the children brush their teeth and get their belongings ready for school.
  • If there is time the children may play games or watch T.V. before school.

Afternoon

  • 15.20 Children return from school
  • Children get changed into their play clothes and have a snack. This consists of a drink of squash and a cake or a biscuit. Fruit is provided as an alternative.
  • 15.30 Children choose what activity they would like to participate in.
  • 15.45 Activities take place.
  • 17.00 Activities finish for points, hand washing and toileting.
  • 17.15 Tea in the dining room.
  • 18.00 Showers and homework. 
  • 18.45 Short activity offered.
  • Snack and relax in house.
  • Bedtime (younger house –19.45 older house 20.30). This is only a guideline.
  • The children listen to a story tape whilst in bed.

There are always two members of staff working after 20.30.  They are there to check on the children and make sure they are alright.

Bed spaces

Children are encouraged to bring in family photos, posters, their own bedding and towels. If you do not want to then we will give you all you need. You may want to bring in a cuddly toy and a few small toys. Children are also asked to choose a colour for painting n one wall in their room and they get to go shopping with a member of staff. The purpose of this trip is to choose a canvas picture which will be displayed in their room.

Typical question a boarder may have?

What colours can I choose to have in my bedroom?

Answer:

Staff will show various choices of colours and you can choose one that other pupils have already choosen.

Food and Snacks

8:00  Breakfast in the dining hall.  You can choose from 4 cereals, fruit, 

          yoghurts, toast and juices.

15:20 Snack and drink, this is usually a cake and juice.

17:15 Tea time (see the menu in the corridor)

19:15 Snack and drink. This is usually fruit or toast.

Typical question a boarder may have?

What if I don’t like any of the food?

Answer:

Staff will speak to you and your parents about what you like and what you don’t like and we will do our best to make sure there is food that you like.

Points, Activities and Rewards

The residential school uses the point system. You must earn 65 to make your points. When you have earned 90 points plus for six weeks you could go off points.  Mr Reid will speak to you to see if you would like to do this. On Thursdays there is an award ceremony where certificates are presented to all who have achieved their points. A cup is presented to the top scorer in each house. We also give an achievement award to someone who has tried hard for the week. Other awards presented are keeping your bed space bright and cheerful, Star of the dining room and a good start in boarding.

A wide range of activities are offered in the evenings. These include football, cricket, adventure play, visiting local parks, cooking, computers, board games and crafts.  Occasionally children will visit the local cinema or bowling alley. Usually you are offered a choice of two or three activities. On Thursday nights in houses we have DVD night and this is also part of the schools reward system. At the end of each term we a special activity.  During a house meeting the children put forward ideas and then have a vote as to which one they would like to do. 

New in 2016! This year on a Monday evening, we have the opportunity for boarders to join together with day pupils in an extended range of activities. These include cooking, sports and care for our school environment.


Typical question a boarder may have?

What do I do if I have an idea for a different activity?

Answer:

Every child who boards has the opportunity to make suggestions for activities and changes, by talking to staff on a day to day basis, or through a meeting with Mr Reid.

Pocket Money

You can bring in pocket money on a weekly or termly basis. You can bring in £1.00 a week or up to £10.00 per term. The pocket money is run in a like a bank. Staff will also encourage you to save money for something you really want.

Typical question a boarder may have?

Can I spend my money on anything I want?

Answer:

Staff will guide you as to what you can spend it on in a sensible and appropriate way

Phone calls

Your parents or carer’s can phone you when you are boarding.  You can also ask the staff to phone them if you want to.

Laundry

Your uniforms and play clothes are washed daily. Miss Shackell irons your shirts to be ready for the morning. 

Personal Care

As part of growing up and becoming more independent, it is really important that you start to be able to loo0k after yourself and this includes keeping clean, being healthy and ready for all of the activities that you may be doing.

You will have a shower or bath every night.  You will have a wash in the morning and brush your teeth after breakfast and snack in the evening.  You should also brush your hair before school and after your shower.

Typical question a boarder may have?

Do I have to wash as I don’t like it!

Answer:

Yes you do and it is really important that you understand why you have to and how to do this properly.

Night staff routine

Miss Shackell is the lady that looks after all boarders at night. She starts at 22.00 and during the evening she will wash your uniforms and play clothes.  She will also check on you every twenty minutes to make sure you are ok.

Typical question a boarder may have?

What happens if I wake up or have a bad dream?

Answer:

Miss Shackell will be there to help you in whatever way you need and she will stay will you until you are ready to go back to sleep.

Independent listeners

The school has independent listeners who visit the residential area each half term.  They are there for you to talk to if you need to. Their names and phone numbers are displayed throughout the residential area.

Independent Listener:

Bill Pilgrim

Telephone: 01438 750772

We also have a local Police and Community Support Officer (PCSO) who will be visiting on a regular basis; He/she will also be there to speak to you if you want to.

Typical question a boarder may have?

Why do you have an independent listener and a PSCO’s?

Answer:

Partly because we have to meet certain rules and regulations but more importantly to make sure you can speak to people, at regular intervals, who are not boarding staff and raise any concerns you may have. It can also be used to tell other people how well you are doing and what you are enjoying