Essential information for Parents
Countess Gytha School Motto:
‘A Shared responsibility’
Statement of ethos and values:
Countess Gytha is a happy school with a positive ethos. We take pride in our school community and believe that all children can be encouraged to do their best in a positive, hardworking, learning environment. We value each child as an individual and work hard to foster caring attitudes, thoughtfulness, mutual respect, self-discipline and self-confidence.
Our aim is to encourage children to work to the best of their abilities, especially in basic communication, literacy and numeracy skills, whilst also providing plenty of opportunity for using and applying and study, in a broader more in depth sense. As well as encouraging intellectual growth, we will work with parents and carers to develop the ‘whole child’. By working together, we will ensure our pupils have the best possible opportunity to reach their personal best.
At Countess Gytha we have an experienced and dedicated team of staff who are committed to your child achieving the highest standards of education and behaviour. We are extremely proud of our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Provision (SMSC) and our commitment to the promotion of British Values.
Safeguarding Statement –‘Everyone’s Responsibility’
We take our Safeguarding responsibilities very seriously. This means that we have ensured that everyone working in the school has successfully completed the necessary clearances to enable them to work with children. In addition, there are regular meetings, discussions and updates taking place in an arena of confidentiality on a whole school and need to know basis. It also means that we have staff members who are specifically trained as the Designated Child Protection leads within school.
We would always hope to share any concerns we may have about your child with you, at the first opportunity. However, part of our legal duty to safeguard your children, may also include us needing to consult with and take advice from other agencies such as the Police, or Children’s Social Care. By working closely together with you and our partner agencies, we firmly believe that we will continue to offer a safe learning environment for all our children.
Please find below, useful information about the day to day running of the school.
Somerset Local Authority is responsible for co-ordinating all first admission applications (starting school). The Starting School booklet ‘A Guide for Parents’ is available on the Somerset County Council website. This sets out the primary admission application process and a range of information about all schools and academies in Somerset. School place applications can be made online at www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions or on paper application forms which must be returned to the School Admissions Team at Somerset County Council. These can be downloaded from the website address above or obtained by calling Somerset Direct on 0300 1232224. Parents are responsible for ensuring they make a school place application by the closing date which is 15 January each year.
The address for Somerset County Council Admissions Team is:
Admissions & Entitlements Team, County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY.
Somerset County Council Starting school website link:
Somerset County Council Admissions Policy website link:
The LA’s admission policy is to admit children to school in the academic year they become five. If a child has a disability they will be treated no less favourably than other children. Our accessibility plan describes the arrangements we have already made and the further proposals planned to improve physical access to the school, access to the curriculum and access to written information. We will make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils to ensure that they are able to access the curriculum and we will know we have succeeded when disabled students are participating fully in school life. Every effort is made to make a place for your child in our school.
Admissions during the academic year
In year applications can be made online at www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions.
Organisation of the School Day
School is open at 8:45am each day and you are very welcome to wait with your child until the class teacher collects them. Children who arrive by bus will be supervised. There is a Breakfast Club which operates from the Countess Gytha Preschool from 8am each day.
- Start of school: 9.00 am
- Morning Break: 10.30–10.45 am
- Lunchtime: 12.00 – 1.00
12.00-12.30 Key stage 1 first sitting, 12.30-1pm key stage 2 second sitting.
- Afternoon break: 2.30pm – 2.45pm
- End of school: 3.30 pm
All children arriving late to school must report to the office. Anyone arriving after 9.20 will be recorded on SIMs as ‘late’.
In an effort to promote healthy eating, we only allow fruit, vegetables and healthy cereal bars to be brought into school for morning playtime. Children in Key Stage 1 receive a free piece of fruit each day. Milk is also available Milk is also available free of charge for under-fives. Parents of children over five who wish to pay for milk for their child can do so by contacting CoolMilk via the website www.coolmilk.com
Every Thursday morning we run a Healthy Tuck shop, where healthy items of food can be purchased for 20p.
Parents should inform the school office by telephone by 9.30 am if their child is absent from school and give the reason why. They should then send a note in on return to school stating the reason for absence.
Attendance is monitored closely, if a pupil’s attendance falls below 85% a standard letter from school will be sent home, to make parents aware that their child’s attendance is being monitored and continued absence may result in referral to the Local Authority if attendance does not improve.
(This does not apply to children with long term or chronic medical conditions who may have a lot of time off school).
Please refer to our Attendance policy
The current newsletter is sent out via an email which you will need to sign up on our website to receive. It is also uploaded to the website. If a paper copy is required please speak to the office.
This includes news about special events, school activities, children’s achievements, PTA notices and information regarding important developments in school.
The school colours are navy blue, white and grey with navy and green striped ties. A number of items with the school logo, including jumpers, cardigans and polo shirts, can be ordered from our suppliers School Wear and more, who are based in Yeovil. Uniform is stocked in the shop where it can be tried on, alternatively they also support internet and phone orders for delivery and collection.
- All Children – White Shirt/Blouse (plain) with Tie
- Navy Logoed Sweat V Neck or Logoed Cardigan
- Grey Trousers/ Shorts
- Grey Skirt/ Pinafore
KS1 – Logoed Bookbag
KS2 – Rucksack (medium size)
- White Logo Polo Shirt
- Navy Shorts
- Navy jogging bottoms for winter
- Plimsolls/ Trainers
Navy PE Bag with Logo
Blue Summer Dress
(Easter – October half term)
School Logo-ed Fleece
School Logo-ed Coat
Baseball cap with logo
Navy Beanie winter hat
Creating a Positive Ethos
The Behaviour Policy at the school aims to encourage children to develop a respect for others around them and their environment. There are a few simple rules which are based on the need for their safety, health and well-being and consideration for individuals in the community.
We are a supportive school with a caring ethos and we have a number of systems in school which reward and celebrate achievement and good behaviour. These include:
- Awarding behaviour ‘tickets’
- Weekly ‘Golden Time’
- Additional group and class awards
- Extra privileges
- Older children should always be aware of the needs of those younger than themselves and be prepared to help them when necessary.
- All children are expected to help to keep the school environment tidy and litter free.
Please refer to Behaviour Policy for more information including whole school and individual class reward systems
Parents in School
We enjoy and encourage parental involvement in school. Parents help in a variety of activities and have skills that they can share with the children. We are always looking for support of this nature. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the school if you wish to help, with any aspect of school life.
Should a teacher, at any point, be concerned about your child’s educational or social development, we will contact you. In return, we invite you to contact the Headteacher, or the class teacher if you or your child has any concerns.
However, your visits need not only be confined to times of concern. If, for example, children have produced work of which they are especially proud, please feel welcome to come in and share it with them. The partnership between home and school in your child’s education is vital, and there is no doubt that when a good relationship prevails, progress is more smoothly and quickly achieved. We aim to deal with matters concerning the children in a courteous and constructive manner and expect parents to approach the school in the same way.
Reporting Progress to Parents
Autumn Term: Parent’s evening
Spring Term: Parent’s evening
Summer Term: Annual reports will be sent to parents giving them an opportunity to make an appointment to discuss issues raised on the report if they so wish.
Extra- Curricular Activities
We pride ourselves on being able to offer a range of extra- curricular activities. If you would like to help or run one yourself please speak to the headteacher about the organisation and management of such activities.
The school has a Homework Policy that is available on request from the office.
Children throughout the school are encouraged to read at home. In addition, multiplication tables and spellings are sent home regularly for older children.
We hope that any concerns or complaints that parents have can be resolved informally by the school. Therefore any concerns, in the first instance, should be made to the Headteacher. Failing this, the school Complaints Policy (available on the website) explains the procedures parents should take.
Severe Weather and other Emergency procedures
In the event of severe weather or any other emergency preventing the opening of the school, the school will send a message to the Local Authority, notification will be put onto the front page of the school website and local radio stations will be informed.
The majority of our Children transfer to Countess Gytha from our on site pre- school. However the school does have links with other local Pre-school and Nursery settings. For further information please telephone the school office.
Health and Safety
As a school we are responsible for the health and safety of the children in our care. We follow the guidelines laid down by the Local Authority. See our policies for our Health and Safety Policy.
Unauthorised Persons in School
All staff are expected to challenge any strangers or unauthorised persons who may be on the premises. Visitors badges are kept in the office and all adults/visitors should sign in and wear one.
Sometimes the school hall or even classrooms may be used by a variety of local organisations. If you wish to make a booking or find out more details, please contact the school office in the first instance.
Our Catchment area
Here is a link which shows our catchment area.
Additional information about the school including, admissions, Published admission Number (PAN), the most recent OFSTED report, the school curriculum, End of Key Stage 2 Assessments and performance tables, Pupil Premium and Sports Grant Funding expenditure can be found on the schools
Useful Websites and Telephone numbers
Somerset Direct: 0845 456038
In year applications: 01823 355608
Countess Gytha Primary School
West Camel Road
Somerset BA22 7LT
Tel: 01935 850345