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FAQs

Absence & Attendance

How do I report an absence?

We encourage parents to inform the school of their child’s absence through illness by 8:30am by completing this form or by emailing the school (absence@vineyard.richmond.sch.uk). 

How do I request leave for my child for a music exam / school visit / family event / holiday?

Parents wishing to apply for exceptional leave during term time should complete an 'Application for Exceptional Leave of Absence' (form available from the School Office or here). This must then either be handed in to the School Office, or emailed directly to the headteacher well in advance of the absence. A full explanation of the circumstances is always helpful. A meeting with the headteacher might be necessary to discuss the application further.

Please read the Pupil Attendance Policy before submitting an application for exceptional leave.

What is the school's policy on holidays during term time?

Under statutory regulations introduced in 2013, holidays taken during term time cannot be authorised. Absence will only be authorised due to exceptional circumstances; however, parents will need to  complete an 'Application for Exceptional Leave of Absence' (form available from the School Office or here).

Please read the Pupil Attendance Policy for further information on this topic.

How do I go about informing you that my child will be leaving the school?

If your child is to leave The Vineyard, please inform the school at your earliest convenience.

To ensure that your child is not flagged as ‘missing in education’, you will need to send an email to the School Office providing the following information:

  • Date child will be leaving The Vineyard
  • New school name and address
  • Start date at new school

Admissions & School Tours

I would like my child to attend The Vineyard School. Can you help me with the admissions process?

Please note that places for Reception classes are allocated by the Local Authority (LA) and not the school.

Children start at the Vineyard in the September after their 4th birthday.  All admissions for our school are handled by the Primary Admissions Department at London Borough of Richmond on Thames and you should contact them in the first instance.

The Admissions section of our website will provide you with more detailed information and Richmond School Admissions (0208 547 5569) offers further guidance.

To book a school tour, please click here.

I am a prospective parent. Does your school run tours?

Yes. We offer group tours on most Wednesday mornings during term time starting at 9.30am and lasting around one hour. We are sorry but cannot accommodate children on these tours. Please complete this online form to register your interest and the School Office will be in touch.

Communication

How do I contact my child's class teacher / Director of Learning?

Please email the school office (info@vineyard.richmond.sch.uk) specifying which teacher or individual or you would like to meet, briefly outlining what you would like to speak to them about.

I have a concern/query/complaint/comment/compliment. Who can I speak to?

Any safeguarding concerns must be communicated promptly to the class teacher (if appropriate) and the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Mr Rosewell) or another member of the safeguarding team.

Comments, queries and compliments can be emailed via the School Office (info@vineyard.richmond.sch.uk).

For complaints, please see our Complaints and Concerns Policy for specific information around process and possible outcomes.

When is the school newsletter published and where can I find it?

The school newsletter is published fortnightly and can be found here. Hard copies are available upon request from the School Office.

Curriculum

What do you mean by a 'knowledge-led curriculum'?

Current research tells us that the ability to think critically depends on having adequate content knowledge; children cannot think critically about topics they know little about or solve problems that they do not know well enough to recognise and execute the type of solutions they call for.  Our knowledge-rich curriculum specifies, in meticulous detail, the exact facts, dates, events, characters, concepts and precise definitions that all pupils are expected to master in long-term memory.

What are 'Learn Its'? and why does my child have to know them?

'Learn Its' is the term we use to describe a series of basic number facts that the children need to be able to recall with fluency (accurately and at speed - i.e. automatically). The term comes from a scheme of work that we used to use in maths lessons. You children will work through 20 steps and you can support them with this at home. If you are unsure of the step your child is on, please ask their teacher.

What is 'Behaviour for Learning'?

Behaviour for Learning is is an approach that we follow here at The Vineyard School where are focus is on establishing positive relationships with others, on being self-reflective and self-managing, and on engaging effectively with the curriculum. It applies as much to teachers and their relationship with children as much as it applies to the children themselves.

Does my child get homework?

In accordance with our Home Learning Policy, children from Reception to Year 6 are expected to complete a minimum amount of home learning each week. Further information around the expectations for each year group can be found here.

General Questions

How do I request a reference or report for my child?

Please email the school office (info@vineyard.richmond.sch.uk). We are able to provide previous school reports for free. However, there is a charge of £50 for a written reference. For more information on this, please refer to our Charging and Remissions Policy.

Can I park at the school?

There is limited visitor parking available on site. If you require a space, please email our School Office (info@vineyard.richmond.sch.uk) in advance of your visit: we will do our best to accommodate your request. However, if there are no spaces available, please note that there are some residential roads in Richmond Hill that have either limited or no parking restrictions in place - please ensure you check local signage before you park.

What are the timings for the school day?

Doors open at 8:45am with children able to participate in a variety of 'soft-start' activities (often including maths, grammar, spelling and mindfulness tasks). The end of the school day varies according to phase. Reception finishes at 3:10pm. Years 1 and 2 finish at 3:20pm. Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 finish at 3:25pm.

I want to pay for a trip/activity. How do I access my Scopay account?

You can access your Scopay account here. If you are having any issues with Scopay, you can email the School Office (info@vineyard.richmond.sch.uk).

My child has lost an item of clothing. Where is lost property?

We do not have an area for lost property. All of your child's personal items must be clearly labelled and, as such, will be returned to your child should they lose them. Any unnamed items will be donated to the PTA.

Are you GDPR compliant?

Yes. We take your privacy and that of your children incredibly seriously. As a result, we are fully GDPR compliant and will only ever use your information for the purposes set out in our Privacy Notice.

Please see our Data Protection pages for further information. If you have any questions you can also contact our data protection lead, Mr Rosewell (info@vineyard.richmond.sch.uk). 

Where can I buy school uniform?

We firmly believe that our uniform promotes a sense of pride at The Vineyard and gives the school a strong and positive identity in the local community. School uniform is compulsory.

You can buy all items of school uniform from  macpac.

Which secondary schools do your pupils go on to attend?

The latest Year 6 secondary transition summary can be found here.

What extra curricular clubs are available to my child?

The Vineyard School offers an engaging and exciting extra-curricular timetable which compliments our broad and challenging curriculum.

In the main, bookings for each term begin a fortnight before the new term starts (this can vary with some of the external providers).

Details on the clubs we offer and how to book are communicated via email and in our newsletters.

N.B. The school office itself does not run the admin for any of the clubs.

Does The Vineyard provide before and after school provision (wraparound care)?

Yes. Koosa Kids is our wraparound care provider.

 Safeguarding

Who do I speak to if I have a safeguarding concern?

Any safeguarding concerns must be communicated promptly to the class teacher (if appropriate) and the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Mr Rosewell) or another member of the safeguarding team.

Can my child walk or cycle to school alone?

We allow Year 5 and Year 6 pupils to travel home independently. To do so, the school must be provided with written permission from their parents/carers.

Is my child allowed a mobile phone in school?

Children who have permission to walk/cycle home alone are encouraged to travel to and from school with a mobile phone. They must be switched off on the school premises and kept in the designated security box in the classroom.

Supporting The School

How can I support the school financially?

As a school, we are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from our parent body that comes in a variety of ways. Any parents or carers who would like to make regular or one-off monetary donations to the school can do so via our official charity, Friends of The Vineyard.

How do I become a governor?

When a vacancy becomes available on our governing board, then the governing body will advertise the vacancy here, requesting applications from individuals with the specific skills required for the post.  If you’re interested in being a governor but there are no vacancies on our board, please do register your interest by email with our Clerk, Anna Mantle.

How do I become a part of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA)?

All members of our school community - both staff and current parents - are automatically members of our PTA and you are encouraged to get involved. Any time and support that you are able to provide will be gratefully received. 

To find out more, please visit our dedicated PTA website.

I would like to volunteer to help the school. What training do I need and how do I go about obtaining a DBS certificate?

Our school trips could not run without the support of our parent volunteers. You can find information on volunteer training and DBS checks here. Volunteers are also able to support individual children with their reading and other academic activities. Please email Directors of Learning and class teachers about these types of opportunities.

Term Dates & School Events

What are your term dates and what time do you finish on the last day of term?

You can find our term dates here. The finish time on the last day varies and so it is important that parents use the Calendar and read the school Newsletters for the most up-to-date information.

How do I find out more information about a school event?

Many of our school events (such as the Fireworks Night, Summer Fair and Christmas Fair) our organised by our PTA. Other events (such as Parent Engagement Day) are organised by the school itself with information communicated via the School Newsletter and via email.