Infant School welcome guide 2020/2021 - Dover Campus - Digital asset ...
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1 Welcome to the Contents UWCSEA Dover Infant School Welcome to the UWCSEA Dover Infant School.......................1 We wish you a warm welcome to the UWCSEA community and in Infant School ethos.........................................................................2 particular to the Infant School. It is Infant School team..........................................................................2 an incredibly exciting place in which 4–7 year-olds learn and grow in an Website and communications.......................................................3 environment that is welcoming, Contacting/notifying the school..................................................4 safe and appropriately challenging. School day.........................................................................................5 These early years are an important stage of schooling—arguably the Transport............................................................................................5 most important stage—as our Uniforms............................................................................................6 students develop a love of learning that will serve as a firm foundation Meals at school.................................................................................7 throughout their education. All the Primary School staff look Health and well-being of students...............................................8 forward to getting to know you and your family over the next few years. School policies..................................................................................9 The following pages represent a quick reference to get you Parental involvement......................................................................9 started for the year. This information can also be found on Dover Infant School contacts........................................................11 the website: www.uwcsea.edu.sg. The start of anything new is exciting and challenging at the same time. We want to make your start at UWCSEA as smooth as possible, and this booklet aims to make a start at achieving that. However, it will be your questions that arise from reading through it that will give you the most clarity so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of us. We know that children are most successful at school when there is a strong partnership between home and school. We look forward to developing this relationship with you over the next few years. Please take some time to read through this booklet so that you have an understanding of our day to day procedures as well as our beliefs about young children’s learning and how we effectively support this. Brian Ó Maoileoin Primary School Principal
2 Infant School ethos Infant School team The Infant School is dedicated to providing a range of diverse and creative learning opportunities within a happy, safe and welcoming environment. We believe that by cultivating and maintaining strong home-school partnerships, we will maximise learning outcomes for our students. We want to nurture the natural curiosity of every child and grow their capacity for learning while taking into Vikki Wright Brian Ó account individual personalities, talents and interests. Play Vice Principal Maoileoin and children’s predisposition to wonder lead logically into (K1–G1) Primary School an inquiry-based approach to learning, where academic Principal understandings develop in harmony with a full range of social, emotional, creative and physical skills. The Infant School secretaries are also happy to help you with UWCSEA is different to other schools in that our learning any enquiries. programme reaches far beyond academics. Along with our stimulating inquiry-based academic programme, our Activities, Outdoor Education, Personal and Social Education and Service programmes are central to each child’s education. These are delivered in a carefully structured, developmentally appropriate framework. Our Infant School has distinct structures in place to support the needs of students in their first years of school. Classroom routines support Infant School children in developing the Margaret Lee Pamela mindset and attitudes of a learner. Students love coming to Senior Secretary Sandanasamy school each day and through the programme build curiosity, Secretary develop resilience and embrace challenge. At all levels of the school, the College provides exceptional Your first point of contact will be your child’s class teacher. opportunities for students to develop independence and You will be advised of your child’s class teacher prior to the leadership skills. At the heart of our educational philosophy start of the school year. is the belief that we prepare students not just for university, but for life, and it is the skills and qualities students develop, A list of key Infant School contacts is on the back page of as much as the knowledge and understanding they gain, that this brochure. Contact details for individual staff are in the will define the quality of the life they live. For our youngest online staff directory, and administrative departments such students, this involves growing in independence and taking as Finance can also be found on the website. responsibility for their activities, their friendships and their daily actions. ‘Mistakes’ are viewed as opportunities for Supporting your child learning instead of as errors to correct. If you have any concerns regarding your child, whether they are academic or related to their social and emotional needs, the first person to talk to is the class teacher. The next person in the support chain is the Head of Grade, Andrea Strachan (Head of K1), Robert Adcock (Interim Head of K2) and Angela Turner (Head of Grade 1), who is also available to support if your child is experiencing any challenges.
3 Website and communications A close partnership between home and school is very eBrief important, and clear, effective communication facilitates this. This weekly email consolidates key information into an easy- Parents are welcome in school, and during the year you will to-read format for parents. Considered essential reading, be invited to come on trips, attend activity days and help in eBrief is sent to all parents every Friday during the school your child’s classroom. term. It contains information for parents on the upcoming We try to limit the amount of paper sent home, and therefore two weeks. You can expect the first eBrief the Friday before have other ways to communicate. To keep up-to-date with school commences to help you get ready for the start of the events, please read the weekly eBrief newsletter, class teacher year. It is not sent during school holidays. blogs, check your email and keep an eye on the online notices Workshops for parents are offered to help familiarise you and calendar. To help you navigate these systems, there are with the features of the website portal and calendars. workshops for parents scheduled during Term 1. Online calendar Email communication There is an up-to-date online calendar on the school website. Please use email to communicate non-urgent messages to your child’s teacher. Teachers are unable to check their emails The College uses Google Calendar, and, depending on the regularly throughout the day. Any urgent messages for the calendar system you use, you can import all or some of these teachers should be by a phone call to the Infant School office events from Google Calendar to your own to help you keep (6419 9323) . Our secretary will then pass this message to the on top of what’s happening! If setting this up in advance, class teacher. please make sure you include the Infant School, Dover Campus and UWCSEA (College) calendars—you can also Website portal include other school sections and the Parents’ Association Each parent is issued with a login to the parent portal via calendar. our website where you can view information tailored to your family and about your child(ren). Access to a number of UWCSEA App key systems as well as daily updated notices and the online The UWCSEA App is available for iOS and Android devices via calendar are located here, including: the app stores. Search for UWCSEA and download the app • online medical information system (for review and to access eBrief, the calendar, notices, a campus map, your updating) child(ren)’s timetable (including their activities for each day), the staff directory and more. • contact information update system (for review and updating) You will need your login details to access the App, as the • student record system (timetable, attendance records, information is customised to each user. reports and assessments) • notices for parents The logins are issued in the weeks prior to orientation and will be emailed to all parents. Parents have individual logins; Infant School student logins are also provided to parents on behalf of their child. Updating your contact information If there is any change in contact information (i.e., telephone, address or email), it is very important that parents amend the details the school holds on file. This can be done by logging in to the portal.
4 Contacting/notifying the school Sharing student learning progress Absence – students We value your role as being an important catalyst for learning Please telephone the Infant School office if your child is sick outside of school. Our aim is to ensure that the frequency, and will not be coming to school (see back cover for contact content and medium of information we share support home details). All absences must be verified prior to or on the day of learning to the fullest. We share information about your absence. If an absence goes unverified, we will contact parents child’s learning in a variety of ways throughout the year. to confirm the student will not attend school on that day. It is Parents meet face-to-face with the class teacher several vital that we are informed immediately if your child has an times a year at Parent-Teacher Conferences. Specialist Parent- illness that is infectious. There are many contagious diseases Teacher conferences and Student Led Conferences provide that affect young children and in some cases, like Hand, Foot opportunities to share information with parents about their and Mouth Disease, we have to declare any reported cases to child’s progress in school. Although we schedule dates for the Singapore Ministry of Health. parents to talk with the class teacher, appointments can Travel in term time be arranged at other times as needed. Written reports and conference notes are shared throughout the year. We appreciate that there are some situations when taking children out of school during term time is unavoidable. If your Another way we communicate learning to you is through child has to miss any school, please inform the class teacher the Seesaw Learning Journal which is a student-driven digital and the Principal in writing. We ask that parents restrict portfolio. The purpose of the Seesaw Learning Journal is travel to school holiday periods wherever possible. While we two-fold. Firstly, we seek to provide students with authentic understand that circumstances may arise where a child may opportunities to document and reflect on their learning. need to miss some days of school, we are not able to provide Secondly, we view Learning Journals as an important school work for children who will be absent due to travel. communication tool with families, recording individual progress and celebrating success. Seesaw allows your child Appointments to use creative tools to capture and reflect on their learning If your child needs to attend an appointment, for example in real time, then this work is shared with you. Seesaw will with a doctor or dentist, we do ask that you try to make give you a window into each of our classrooms and into your these after school hours. If this is not possible, please inform child’s learning process. the Primary School office and class teacher of your plans to collect your child and return them to school. You will Grade level Blogs are updated regularly as well, providing need to report to the Primary School office to sign your you with grade-level information about upcoming events or child out because the Security Guards will ask you for an curricular goals. acknowledgment slip as you try to exit the campus. Student records Absence – parents Student records are available for viewing online via the parent It is a UWCSEA admission requirement that parents are portal. This gives a summary of your child’s attendance and resident in Singapore. If for any reason, for example in the case provides access to downloadable copies of their reports. of a family emergency, both parents are out of Singapore at the same time, we require clear details of the adult who will act as a supervisor in their absence so we know who to contact in case of an emergency. This should not be a domestic helper. The Nomination of a Supervisor during Temporary Parental Absence form must be filled out prior to the parents’ absence. This form is accessible through Parent Portal and here is a step by step guide. Security pass and security check The security guards check all vehicles and pedestrians entering the campus. Parents are asked to get a security pass to facilitate a speedy arrival to school if you or your helper will be bringing your child to school or collecting them. Photographs for the passes are taken during the orientation process or in the first weeks of term. If your helper will be collecting your child, they will also need to be issued with a security pass. If you are not able to arrange a pass during orientation, please ask at the Main Reception. If you will drive onto campus regularly, you should also register your car with our security department and receive a decal to display on your windscreen.
5 School day Transport The timing of the Infant School day ensures that children The following describes our normal routines when there have their breaks at different times to the rest of the school are no government restrictions. We will send more detailed so they have sole use of the playground. The Infant School guidelines at the start of school when we know what we are day begins slightly earlier than the older students to ensure permitted to do. that all Infants are in their classrooms before the older students begin to move to their first lessons. Arriving at school Buses The Infant School (K1–G1) day is one hour shorter than the If your child travels to school by bus, they are met in the rest of the College, so they have slightly different routines for drop-off area in the bus bay by members of the Infant School the afternoon and, of course, an earlier pick-up time. staff and escorted to the classroom. The infant children are able to arrive on campus from 7.30am, A member of staff remains in the drop-off area until all the they go straight to their classroom when they arrive where buses have arrived. they are met by their class teacher. Cars 8am School starts Infant staff are on duty in the car drop-off area from 7.30– 10.15–10.55am Morning snack and play 8am to collect children from their cars to enable parents 12.15–12.55pm Lunch and play to drive-and-drop without having to park. The car drop-off area is strictly for drop off;if you would like to park, you are 2pm Students finish welcome to do so in the basement car park. Shorter day for K1 students in Term 1 Leaving school For some K1 children, the six-hour school day can be very Buses tiring at the beginning of the school year. To ease the transition to UWCSEA, K1 children can be collected before All bus children are escorted to the buses by a teacher or a lunch at 12.15pm until the October holiday. After that, the K1 Teaching Assistant. students have a regular day until 2pm. Cars (including drivers and taxis) It is important that it is made clear to the class teacher each We ask parents or helpers who are collecting by car or taxi day what the pick up arrangements are. to meet the students in the car drop-off area directly below the Infant School at 2pm. This avoids congestion in the Infant No buses are provided at lunchtime, therefore if you decide School pods. Children are supervised until 2.10pm, and after to pick up your child at 12pm you need to make your own this any child who has not been collected is taken to wait in the transport arrangements. Likewise there is no refund on the Infant School office. Please phone the office if you are delayed. afternoon buses for journeys not made. If you feel that your child would benefit from this opportunity to have a shorter First week arrangements day, it is advisable not to sign up for an afternoon bus until We understand that permanent transport arrangements may after the October half-term holiday. not have been finalised by the first week of school and that they can sometimes differ from what the regular routine will be. Parents will be asked to complete a transport form to reflect travel arrangements for the first week of school. Changes to travel arrangements If there are any changes to your child’s regular transport arrangements, please email your child’s teacher as soon as possible. For emergencies and last minute changes of travel arrangements, call the Infant School office before 1.30pm. Messages received after this time may not reach the class teacher before they have left for the buses. We do not accept ‘word of mouth’ messages from your child. We require email, phone or in person confirmation from parents if there are changes to travel arrangements. Transport options There are a number of options for travelling to and from school each day.
6 Uniforms Buses All Infant and Junior students wear a UWCSEA turquoise polo An external transport company manages the school buses, shirt, with grey culottes or shorts for girls, and grey shorts for and the coordination is facilitated by the Transport Manager. boys. All buses are air-conditioned buses with seat belts and each bus has an adult supervisor to look after the children while Shoes in transit. The buses serve most areas of Singapore, but it is Shoes should be black and fully enclose the feet but not cover important to check with personnel in the Transport office. the ankles. Velcro straps are preferred unless your child can Please contact the Transport office with any questions (see tie laces independently. Socks should be white, grey or black. back page for contact details). PE uniform Some important things to note about the bus service: A PE uniform is also needed, and sturdy trainers (athletic • in the interests of safety, all Infant School students must shoes) with velcro fasteners are required for nearly all PE be met at home by a parent/guardian/maid, or they will be activities. returned to the College to be collected at the parent’s expense Students participate in swimming lessons during the year, and • students are not allowed to travel on another bus for any there is an optional UWCSEA sun protection two piece suit reason, so if children are having a playdate, they need to be that we highly recommend. picked up by car • the bus service will pick up and drop off only to one On PE days, Infant School students should wear their PE address; logistical requirements are such that there can be uniform to school for the whole day. no provision to have a regular drop off at a different address You will be advised of arrangements for PE at the start of • due to insurance regulations, parents are not allowed to term and details of when a PE uniform is required. We advise travel on the school bus parents of K1 students to buy only one PE uniform. • students can apply for a one-way or two-way service; Backpack however, preference is given to two-way applications We recommend that Infant School students have a backpack More information about the bus services, the bus rules and that measures approximately H:40cm, W:35cm, D:14cm, areas of Singapore covered by school transport can be found to ensure that it is large enough to accommodate all the on the website portal. necessary items each child needs but will still fit in their Private car cubby hole in the classroom. The UWCSEA backpack has been designed to meet all of these requirements and is available Parking is difficult in the morning so Infant staff are on duty in for purchase in the College Shop. the car drop-off area between 7.30am and 8.00am to collect children from their cars to enable parents to drive-and-drop We request that Infant School students do not have without having to park. backpacks on wheels as they can be dangerous when children have to negotiate stairs—and they do not fit into the cubby Walking and public transport holes, meaning the classroom becomes crowded and difficult There are bus stops close to the entry on Dover Road, and to navigate. you can walk into the campus from Dover Road along a covered footpath. Students must be accompanied to their classroom or left in the drop-off area as outlined above. We cannot meet children off public transport or at the top of the driveway entrance. The option to travel independently on public transport and leave the campus unaccompanied is only available once students reach Middle School. Taxi directions Ensure you ask the driver to take you to ‘UWCSEA on Dover Road.’ As we have two campuses, it is important that you ask for the appropriate campus, as they are on opposite sides of the island.
7 Meals at school Sun protection Infant School students may bring their own food to school Students need to wear the UWCSEA sun hat for outside play each day or order online from our catering contractor. times, during PE, lunchtime sports and on sports days. Infant Snack/lunch School students without the hat will need to play in the shaded areas. Students will need a morning snack as well as lunch. Our catering contractor looks after the canteen and provides Jewellery both snacks and a pre-order lunch service. Parents can log Although we prefer no jewellery at all, Infant School students in to the system via the parent portal to place orders in are permitted to wear one pair of earrings (studs are preferred advance and the order will be delivered to your child. A four for safety reasons) and a watch to school. week menu cycle is uploaded to the portal and meals can be cancelled by 8.30am on the day of the order itself. Labelling Home meals should be packed in labelled containers so they Please make sure that all items of uniform are clearly labelled can be stored in the classroom and accessed easily by the with your child’s full name using a permanent marker or name students. labels. It is very easy for young children to mix up or mislay their clothes, especially when they all look alike! We encourage the children to be as independent as possible. To help them achieve this, please ensure that all food brought to Purchasing a uniform school is not too complicated to assemble or too messy to eat. Uniforms for all grades of the school can be obtained from Please note that there are no facilities to refrigerate or re- the College Shop on Dover Campus: heat food, and any cutlery needed (spoon, fork) should be Dover College Shop packed with the lunch and also labelled. Term time: 8am–12pm; 12.45–4pm Food is not kept in a refrigerator, but is stored safely at (air- School holidays: 8.30am–12pm; 1–4pm conditioned) room temperature, so please consider this when Tel: +65 6775 5344 ext 1923 packing your child’s food. firstname.lastname@example.org Meals are eaten under the supervision of teacher assistants, and they encourage children to eat what has been sent from home. Any uneaten food is returned home so parents can monitor their child’s food consumption. Healthy eating We encourage students to eat and drink as healthily as possible, and we ask for your assistance with this when sending food and drink into school. Please do not pack any sweets or other confectionery, or fizzy or caffeinated drinks. Drinks Water is readily available in school, and students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to school daily. We have water fountains located around the school at appropriate heights for students to comfortably access. Food allergies—‘nut free zone’ The Infant School strives to be a ‘nut free zone,’ however if we need to exclude additional specific foods or other allergens from a class, we will let parents in the class know as soon as possible.
8 Health and well-being of students Medical care College Counsellors The Primary School clinic is staffed by trained nurses and is Our counsellors are available to support Infant School fully equipped to handle minor injuries that occur in school. students who are experiencing social and emotional If a child has been taken to the clinic and needs to go home difficulties. Referral is always after consultation between then one of the nurses will contact you. the class teacher and parents. More information on the If your child has a medical condition that may require medical counselling services is available on the website and on the treatment, emergency care or there is anything else related portal. to health and well-being that our staff should be aware of, please notify us via the online medical questionnaire. Emergency contacts Parents are asked to nominate two emergency contacts Any medication should be given at home or, if it is essential other than yourselves in Singapore. It is important that these that it is administered during the day, then it should be given are kept up-to-date. These should be people that you trust to by the nurses at the clinic. make medical decisions for your child should the unfortunate If your child shows any signs of illness, please do not send need arise. them to school, and if they become unwell at school, we will We therefore request that you do not nominate your contact you to arrange for them to be picked up. Please refer domestic helper. to the section below on nominating alternative or emergency contacts. Please also note that these contacts are not necessarily the same as the nominated guardian that we require if both Online medical forms parents are out of Singapore at the same time. This situation There is a comprehensive online medical questionnaire requires separate notification to the school. that we require all parents to complete for each child prior to the start of the school year. The form covers vaccinations, pre-existing conditions and illnesses, as well as related information for activities such as PE, for example, swimming ability and other conditions that may affect their participation. Please note that we cannot take a child off campus until this has been filled in, so if it is not completed then a child may miss important field trips. As it can take some time for this information to be processed, it is also important that you inform the class teacher of any serious allergies or health problems your child may have. If there are any changes in medical information, please amend the online form as well as informing the class teacher.
9 School policies Parental involvement Toys Parental help We ask that Infant School children do not bring their own There are many ways that parents can help in school, and toys to school unless asked to by their teacher. This avoids once all of the children have become settled in their new tears caused by accidental breakages or misplacement. Some class, teachers will inform you of the days and times when classes may have Show and Tell, and this is an occasion when they would like parental assistance. Parents are invited to join a toy may be brought to school. us for many of the special days that are held during the year, for example United Nations celebrations, Curriculum Activity Birthdays Days, Mornings of Sport and the Arts Festivals. At all times, Birthdays are a very special event, and each class celebrates we value the support of our parents as we firmly believe that them in a different way. If you wish to send a treat to school educating young children is a partnership between home and for your child to share with their classmates, we suggest a school. healthy option. A cake a week adds up to a lot of extra sugar! Early in the school term, parents are asked to indicate their Please speak to the class teacher about your plans, and they ability to provide support to the class, either as a class parent will advise you accordingly, especially if there are any children or through other avenues. Guidelines for parent volunteers who have food allergies. are available through the parent portal. Money at school Class parents We ask that students do not bring money to school unless A ‘class parent’ is a volunteer who takes on responsibility for the class teacher has requested payment for a specific organising social events for the parents and children in the purpose. All money should be placed in an envelope with the class to encourage them to get to know each other outside child’s name, class and what the money is for, written on the school. This role is focused on building community within outside. the class by planning social events. Any curriculum or other Electronic devices and other valuable items school related communication should be directed to the class teacher, Heads of Grade or the Infant School Principal. We request that electronic devices are kept at home. Parent Online Address Book Lost property (or, the importance of labelling The parent portal on the website contains a link to an online everything!) database of parent contacts. You can search for telephone Please mark all belongings (clothes, PE kit, shoes, hats, lunch and email contact details for your child’s classmates on this boxes, bags, etc.) with the student’s full name, so we can database. return them if lost. Please contact Reception in the High School block if your child has lost something. It is important for the success of the database that it is only used for school-related purposes. Stationery and school supplies All parents are able to opt in to the listings. We do Students do not need to bring any stationery or other recommend that if at all possible, one parent remain supplies to school as we provide all materials needed in the listed so that your child does not miss out on some social classrooms, including pens, pencils, rulers and colouring opportunities, as many parents use this to communicate with pencils. other parents to arrange parties, play dates and other social outings. Please note that while it is possible for one parent to be listed and the other parent to opt out, it is not possible to have only part of your contact details listed (i.e., email but not phone number); it is all or nothing. Please indicate your preference in your contact details on the parent portal.
10 Parents’ Association (PA) The PA provides an opportunity for all parents to contribute to the UWCSEA community. Being involved in PA activities provides parents with an opportunity to be an active participant in their child’s school community, keep up-to-date with happenings in the school and an avenue to meet other parents and members of the wider school community. New parents are encouraged to contribute as much as their time and interests allow. The PA offers many opportunities for parents to become further involved in the life of the school. These include: • grade-based coffee mornings and other networking opportunities to meet parents of children in the same grade as their child • nationality-based social events for parents to network with other parents of the same cultural background • events and programmes to enhance students’ and parents’ experiences and wellbeing, such as new parents welcome events, Careers Fair, Community Fair and more. To contact the PA, see details on the back page or drop in to the PA lounge whilst on Dover Campus. Parent support groups There are parent support groups for a number of our parents who require support specific to their circumstances, including the Single Parents group and the Food Allergy Awareness and Support group. Details of these groups can be found on the parent portal, or contact the College counsellors for details. Meetings and other events are advertised in eBrief and in the online calendar.
11 Dover Infant School contacts Main Reception and the school offices are open from 7.45am to 4.30pm. Dover Campus Reception +65 6775 5344 Infant School Office +65 6419 9323 email@example.com Infant School Secretaries Senior Secretary – Margaret Lee firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary – Pamela Sandanasamy email@example.com Heads of Grade K1 – Andrea Strachan Andrea.Strachan@uwcsea.edu.sg K2 – Robert Adcock (Interim) firstname.lastname@example.org Grade 1 – Angela Turner email@example.com Infant School leadership Primary School Principal - Brian Ó Maoileoin firstname.lastname@example.org Primary School Vice Principal (Infants) - Vikki Wright Vikki.Wright@uwcsea.edu.sg School services Primary Clinic +65 6775 5344 | ext 1993 email@example.com Transport Office +65 6872 3213 firstname.lastname@example.org Library email@example.com Parents’ Association +65 6775 5344 | ext 1080 firstname.lastname@example.org Online staff directory All staff contact email addresses can be found on the school website. Please look in the online staff directory for email addresses for individual staff and in the Campus Contacts section of the website for the emails and telephone numbers for departments such as Admissions and Finance. 004COM-2021
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