School Day

The school day begins at 8.45am and ends at 3.20pm.

Our school day consists of a rich and engaging curriculum, inspiring our pupils to become lifelong learners. Mastery Maths and English (this includes writing, vocabulary, handwriting, spelling, phonics) are both covered daily in our morning sessions, with our knowledge based wider-curriculum taking place in the afternoon. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum; we teach reading comprehension daily and reading for pleasure part of our culture at Firbeck.

For Key stage 1 and 2 the school day is broken into 5 sessions:

  • Reading/Phonics
  • English including vocabulary development
  • Maths including fluency and retrieval practice and 'Digging Deeper' (Mastery Maths)
  • A short but discrete Handwriting and Spelling session
  • Two sessions in the afternoon which includes the foundation subjects e.g. Music and History.

The timings of the sessions are shown below:

8.45 - 8.55 Registration
8.55 - 10.45 Session One
10.45 - 11.00 Morning Break
11.00 - 12.15 Session Two
12.15 - 1.00 Lunch Break
1.00 - 2.00 Session 3
2.00 - 3.20 Session 4

Key Stage 1 pupils have an afternoon break between session three and session four.

Key stage 2 pupils have no break in the afternoon.

This ensures that pupils are meeting their minimum required number of hours at school.

Our celebration assembly is on a Friday from 2.45 until 3.00.


A Guide For Parents

Good attendance and punctuality are vital for success at school, and to establish positive life habits that are necessary for future success. As a school we are committed to reducing absence and we expect every pupil to maintain at least 97% attendance and above. Under Section 444 of the Education Act 1996, parents/carers have a legal duty to ensure that their children attend school regularly.

All parents should promote good attendance and work in partnership with us to make this happen.

Attending school on a regular basis is the key to your child doing well at school and will set them up with good habits for later life and the working world. (Input name of your school), is aa amazing school offering your child many exciting opportunities and experiences to develop and enhance their learning.

Through regular attendance, your child can:

  • Build friendships and develop social groups.
  • Increase self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Develop and improve life skills.
  • Engage in essential learning and other school social events.
  • Achieve to their full potential and fulfil their aspirations.
  • Minimise the risk of engaging in anti-social behaviour and becoming victims or perpetrators of crime.

The Department for Education class persistent absence as 90% and below. As a school we will perceive 92% as being in danger of persistent absence.

If your child is persistently absent or late you could be referred to the Local Authority’s Education Welfare team and may be at risk of a penalty notice or prosecution.

Penalty Notices are set at £60 if paid by 21 days and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. Any legal proceedings would relate to section 444(1) or 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996.

Can My Child Ever Be Absent?

When a pupil is absent from school, this will be classified as either ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’.

The Head Teacher will decide which absences are granted as authorised. Authorised absences are only permitted in exceptional circumstances such as:

  • Genuine illness.
  • Medical or dental appointments, that cannot be arranged out of school hours.
  • Religious observances.
  • Close family bereavement.

Wherever possible, parents should always try to arrange medical and dental appointments during school holidays or after school hours. If your child has an appointment they must still attend school before or after the appointment, they should not miss the whole day. School will only authorise the session the appointment falls within.

What Are Unauthorised Absences?

Unauthorised absences are those which the school does not consider essential or reasonable. These include:

  • Forgetting school term dates.
  • Oversleeping.
  • Absences which have not been explained.
  • Arriving at school after the register has closed.
  • Leaving school for no reason during the day.
  • Family member being ill or having an appointment.
  • Truancy before or during the school day.
  • Keeping pupils off school unnecessarily or without explanation.
  • Day trips or family outings, including holidays
  • Problems with uniform/clothing.


Parents and carers are required to inform the school if their child is absent and to explain the reason for the absence on or before the first day missed. This can be done by phoning the school on

0115 9155739 (where a message can be left at any time), by email to or by leaving a written note at the school office. Medical evidence may be requested if you have been to an appointment or sought medical attention.

If the illness continues then the parent/carer must make contact with the school to confirm continued illness or to advise the school of the expected date that the pupil will return to school.

Pupils who have suffered sickness, diarrhea or a contagious infection must be free of symptoms for 48 hours before returning to school. A full list of illnesses and what these mean for your child at school can be found here.

If your child is absent and we are unable to make contact with you, a home visit may be carried out.

Holidays/Planned Absences (Leave of Absence)

It is our school’s approach that a leave of absence shall not be granted in term time unless there are exceptional reasons, irrespective of the child’s overall attendance.

Only the Head Teacher may authorise such requests and all applications for a leave of absence must be made in writing/ on a form provided by the school.

Where a parent takes a holiday/leave of absence for which the application was refused or does so without an application, the school will request a penalty notice to be issued by the Local Authority. The penalty notice will be issued to each parent of the individual child.

Penalty Notices are set at £60 if paid by 21 days and £120 if paid between 22 and 28 days. Any legal proceedings would relate to section 444(1) or 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996.

Remember, we should all be working together to ensure every child has amazing attendance and does not miss out of the fabulous learning experiences at Firbeck.

Medicines in School

It is always better if medicines can be administered at home when that is possible.

School staff will give your child medicine ONLY IF:

  • it is a medicine prescribed by a doctor;
  • it is a medicine bought ‘over the counter’ that is suitable for the child’s age and only if they would have to miss school without it;
  • the medicine is supplied to school in its original container, is in date, labelled with the child’s name and is handed to a member of staff by the child's parent/carer;
  • a parent or carer has properly completed and signed the Medicine Request Form for each day the medicine is needed (available from the school office);

The parent/carer is responsible for the selection of the medicine and they are expected to know that it will not react badly with any other medication the child is taking before asking school staff to give the medicine to their child. School staff are not medically qualified to choose medication for your child. Any remaining medicine must be collected from school by an adult at the end of the day.

July 2024


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