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FAQ's and Jargon Buster

FAQ and jargon buster


What are INSET days?  INSET stands for In Service Training. All schools in England have five days every year when they are closed to pupils to allow for staff training. They are an important part of staff training and development, ensuring that staff stay up to date with latest developments and so education in our school remains ‘cutting edge’.


What is EYFS?  EYFS = Early Years Foundation Stage and is Nursery and Reception.


What are Key Stage 1 and 2 (KS1 and KS2)? 

Key Stage 1 is Years 1 and 2.

Key Stage 2 Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.


What is the national curriculum?   The national curriculum outlines what all children should be taught in each Key Stage. You can find out what your child's curriculum is by looking on our school website.


What are national curriculum levels? 

They are national levels of attainment descriptions that are used to assess children, particularly at the end of each Key Stage. By the end of Key Stage 1, most children should be attaining at Level 2. By the end of Key Stage 2, most children should be attaining at Level 4.


What are SATs?  They are Statutory Assessment Tasks. These are national tasks / tests which are used to assess all children at the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6). The SAT results give a ‘snapshot’ of children’s attainment; in other words how they achieved in particular tasks or tests taken on as specific day / week.


What  is Teacher Assessment?  This is the teachers’ judgement about what national curriculum level a child is attaining. This judgement will be made based on evidence gathered over a period of time and from a range of pieces of work, together with test results. It is usually a more reliable judgement of a child’s attainment than a test result alone.


What is an LSA?  An LSA is a Learning Support Assistant. This is somebody who supports learning in the classroom. Sometimes they will support individual children, at other times they may work with a group or with the whole class.


What is PPA time?  This is Planning, Preparation and Assessment time; all teachers are entitled to PPA time.


What is an Achievement Assembly?  Achievement Assemblies happen every week on Friday mornings. They are an opportunity to recognise and reward children’s particular achievements. Children receive an Achievement certificate. If your child is going to receive an award, a note will be sent home inviting you to come along to the assembly if you can. Other achievements, such as sporting successes, completed behaviour charts and achievements outside school are shared and celebrated too.


When do we get a school report for our children? School reports are issued to all the children in the week before the last week of the school year (July).


How do I give feedback about my child to teachers?  There are two parent consultation evenings every year when you can make an appointment to discuss your child’s progress with their teacher(s). In addition, teachers are always happy to talk briefly at the start or end of the school day. If you’d like to talk for a bit longer, then ask your child’s teacher if you can arrange a time that is convenient for you both. You can do this at any time of the year.


How frequently are parents’ evenings?   Parents’ evenings are held twice a year.  The first are in the autumn, usually the beginning of November, and the second in the spring.


How do I contact the Headteacher?   You can call in to the school office or phone the office on 445 6359 or email  and make an appointment.


When can my child learn a musical instrument?  We have a music teacher who provides instrument tuition during the school week. Please see our extra curricular page for more information.


Do the children have swimming lessons?  Swimming is part of the Key Stage 2 PE curriculum. At St Catherine's, swimming lessons happen in Year 4.


When do my children sit their SATS?  SATS are taken towards the end of Year 2 (the times are variable, during April and May) and at the end of Year 6 (a specific SAT week is set nationally every year, usually the second or third week of May).


Is PE kit compulsory?  Yes. This is for health and safety reasons. Our PE kit consists of a white T-shirt, burgandy shorts and black gym-shoes.  For PE in the hall when children are using the apparatus, shorts must be worn.  No jewellery or watches can be worn and long hair needs to be tied back for Health & Safety reasons.


Where is the lost property kept?   Lost property is kept in the cloakrooms.  It is a good idea to wait until 3pm to look for lost property, when the children have taken their coats.  Please write your child's name on all items of clothing. 


Am I allowed to take my child out of school for a holiday or day off?  Parents do not have a right in law to take their children out of school during term time.  Only in exceptional circumstances can the school grant leave of absence to be authorised.  Taking a child out of school during term time interrupts their learning and that of other pupils in the class, as teachers have to constantly repeat work that has been missed. If the parent takes the child out of school without the prior authorisation of the school, the local authority may issue a penalty notice in respect of the non-attendance at school.


Any other questions?  Please feel free to contact the school office.


The following are abbreviations you are likely to see when reading facts about a school.

RAISEonline - document provided by Ofsted which provides data comparing KS1 & KS2 results with National results

DfE Department for Education

EAL English as an Additional Language

EYFS Early Years Foundation Stage

FSM Free School Meals

KS1 Key Stage 1

KS2 Key Stage 2

LA Local Authority

NOR Number on roll

SEN Special Education Needs

SENDCO Special Educational Needs & Disability Co-ordinator

TA Teacher Assessment

PP Pupil Premium