Parent Handbook 2007 08 by HC1207190677



                              ALPHABETICAL LIST OF CONTENTS
                                                              Page No.
About the school                                                     2
Address                                                              1
After school activities.                                            11
Aims                                                                 3
Assessment                                                           8
Attendance                                                          14
Behaviour– standards                                                10
Book club/book fair                                                 18
Moving on Group                                                      9
Bullying                                                            11
Child Protection                                                    12
Closure of school for snowstorm / other emergency             20/21/22
Clothes and personal possessions                                    16
Clothing grant                                                      16
Communications between parents and school                           25
Curriculum                                                           4
Data Collection                                                  12/13
Dress for P.E.                                                      16
Duties of hirers                                                    22
Educational Psychological Service                                    9
English Language                                                 4/5/6
Environmental Studies                                                6
Expressive Arts                                                      6
Fire Drill                                                          18
Health Care                                                         15
Holidays                                                            14
Homework                                                           7/8
Illness and accidents                                               15
In service Training of Teachers                                     22
Insurance                                                           18
Learning Skills                                                      8
Library                                                             17
Mathematics                                                          6
Medicines                                                           15
Multicultural and Anti-Racist Education                              7
New entrants                                                        24
Rathen School Parent Council                                        25
Personal and Social Development                                      7
Photographs                                                         18
Playground Supervision                                              17
Rathen School Council                                               26
Rewards and Sanctions                                               11
Religious and Moral Education                                        7
Reporting                                                            9
School bags                                                         17
School costs                                                        23
School hours                                                         1
School Meals.                                                       17
School Transport                                                    22
Springboard                                                          9
Staff list                                                          26
Support for Learning                                                 8
Targets.                                                            19
Tuck Shop                                                          17
This booklet has been prepared to provide information for parents whose children will attend Rathen
School. It is hoped that the information provided will prove helpful, but please do not hesitate to
contact the school if further information is required.

All information contained in this booklet is accurate at time of printing.

                ADDRESS                                                          Rathen School
                                                                                    AB43 8UL

                                                        Telephone No:- 01346 532226
                For Emergency Only                        Mobile No:- 07999 853 906
                Aberdeenshire Schools Information Service Telephone No:- 0870 054 4999

                                                                   FAX No:- 01346 532009

                HEAD TEACHER                                   MRS ALISON CHATFIELD

                SCHOOL HOURS                                                 Early Stages (P1-3)

                                                                             9.15 am - 12.15 pm
                                                                             1.15 pm - 2.45 pm

                                                                        Upper Stages (P4-7)

                                                                             9.15 am - 12.30 pm
                                                                             1.15 pm - 3.15 pm

                                      ABOUT THE SCHOOL

Several years ago Rathen was a small country school with a roll which fluctuated between 30 and 45
and two permanent members of staff. In recent years, due to various factors the school roll gradually
increased to between 70-85 pupils with four permanent full-time teachers. This session the roll has
been 75 pupils

The school is situated in the midst of farming country about 4½ miles south of Fraserburgh. At one
time the school provided an education for both primary and secondary pupils and the roll was well
over one hundred.

Today Rathen School provides a Primary education only, catering for pupils from Primary 1 to
Primary 7 who then transfer to either Fraserburgh or Mintlaw Academies. Although the school is
about 100 years old, the building was renovated in 1977 to provide one large carpeted, open-plan
teaching area and a GP room, which is now used as a classroom. The Dining Room is used for small
scale activities such as singing, music-making, television, radio, movement and drama. Since the
increase in the roll, an additional Porta class was set up in the playground in 1987. A small extension
was built in 1992 to provide additional office accommodation. Use of the Public Hall adjacent to the
school is made for P.E. activities. Art, P.E., Home Economics, Music and Drama may be taught by
visiting single-subject teachers depending on their availability. These subjects are also taught by the
class teacher. A Support for Learners Teacher visits the school on a regular basis.

                               Rathen School Aims
    Provide a planned curriculum, which gives breadth and balance ensuring
     integration, continuity and progression in line with Curriculum for Excellence

    Encourage each child to reach his/her full potential through assessment, early
     intervention and pupil tracking.

     Learning and Teaching
    Provide opportunities for quality learning which meet pupils’ needs at an
     appropriate pace in a stimulating and motivating environment.

     Support for Pupils
    Recognise that the health and well being of pupils and staff is at the heart of our
     school. An inclusive approach provides for the emotional, physical and social needs
     of all pupils and staff, in co-operation with other agencies.

    Provide a welcoming and secure environment promoting an ethos of achievement
     through high expectations and enterprise. Develop partnership with pupils, parents,
     parent groups and the wider community encouraging involvement in learning and
     the life of the school.

    Provide a variety of resources to facilitate effective learning and teaching.

     Management, Leadership and Quality Assurance
    Implement the school improvement plan and deliver a high quality of education
     through effective leadership and teamwork sharing the same vision of continuous
     self-evaluation and improvement.

These aims have been developed in keeping with the HMI document ‘How Good Is Our
School?’, in consultation with staff, parents and pupils of Rathen School, 2007.
(To be reviewed 2009).

                                       THE CURRICULUM

Each child is an individual who will best develop at this/her own rate. The curriculum at Rathen
School, which is based on National Guidelines as well as Regional and School policies, aims to assist
and encourage this development, and ensures a structured progression of learning from Primary 1 to
Primary 7.

National guidelines, relevant to Rathen School, are published by the Scottish Office Education
Department in the following documents:-

           English Language 5-14                               Environmental Studies 5-14
           Expressive Arts 5-14                                Mathematics 5-14
           Religious and Moral Education 5-14                  Personal and Social Development 5-14
           Structure and Balance of the Curriculum 5-14        Assessment 5-14
           Reporting 5-14                                      Environmental Studies
           ICT 5-14                                            Modern Languages
           Health Education

The delivery of the curriculum can take place at class, group or individual level. Sometimes the
emphasis will be on the children learning from the teacher, sometimes the children will be engaged in
activities which require them to discover answers for themselves, and sometimes a mixture of these
approaches will be used. The balance of these methods will depend on the stage of development of
the children and the nature of the task in hand. In addition, computers, calculators and other forms of
hardware are used to support learning in all areas of the curriculum throughout the school.


Language is at the heart of all children’s learning. Through language they receive much of their
knowledge and acquire many of their skills. Language enables children both to communicate with
others effectively for a variety of purposes, and to examine their own and others’ experiences,
feelings and ideas, giving them order and meaning. Because language is central to children’s
intellectual, emotional and social development it has an essential role across the curriculum and helps
pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive.

The following forms the schools guidelines for the teaching and learning of English Language at our
school. These guidelines are firmly embedded in the Strands and Outcomes in the 5-14 English
Language document. We have programmes of work for reading, talking, listening and writing.

The following are our aims for the teaching of English Language:
To provide experiences for developing pupils’ capacities to communicate, think, feel and make
through language.
To introduce pupils to books and literature, including Scottish materials, as sources of these
To take full advantage of dialects, ethnic diversity and bilingualism, in teaching cultural tolerance
and knowledge about language.
To help pupils to develop confidence and pleasure in their own use of language and make them aware
of the importance of language.
To take advantage of the rich contexts for language development provided by the mass media, ICT
and drama.

In order to realise these aims, the following will be taken into account:
We will provide learning activities in listening, talking, reading and writing within a context, so as to
ensure balance, progression and coherence for the language programme as a whole.

We will ensure that pupils acquire knowledge and apply that knowledge in their own talking,
listening, reading and writing.

We will ensure that pupils encounter a range of teaching styles and classroom organisation, which
will permit individual, group and class learning.

The pupils will be given increasing scope to become independent thinkers and learners and to become
actively involved in their own learning.

The pupils will, from the earliest years, be given a working knowledge of reference materials and
their uses so that they can pursue with increasing independence, research and discovery learning.

Drama and mass media can be important elements of Language work.

ICT can stimulate thinking, reading, writing, listening and talking.

Consultation with Support for Learning Staff will be made to plan language programmes for pupils
with specific/Special Needs.

Assessment of Language will be integrated with teaching, to permit both effective learning and
communication of pupil’s performance to the pupil, parent and to colleagues. (Formal record and
assessment sheets are in place and will be kept to help transfer information).

Pupils will be introduced to Scottish literature and dialects as part of an understanding of their
cultural heritage.

Learning and Teaching
As classes have generally pupils of mixed ability, a differentiated approach to learning and teaching
will be used wherever possible, e.g. in using differentiated materials or differentiated expectations of
response. We block our structured language activities into our timetables to allow some setting within
the classes, for example in spelling and reading. It also helps the pupils focus their minds on
different aspects of language and allows time for more direct teaching. Of course, aspects of
Language are also integrated into most other areas of work.

We will employ a variety of teaching styles, e.g. direct teaching, group work, individual work to
accommodate meeting all pupils needs. No single approach is appropriate all the time. Pupils will be
actively involved in their own learning through, for example, research work and presenting talks.

Pupils will be taught an awareness of audience in order to give their speaking, listening, writing and
reading a purpose and meaning. A knowledge of the purposes for which people use language, will
improve progress and achievements. The close link between all 4 elements will be reinforced.

Support for learning
Awareness of the needs of the less able and the more able will be taken into account and aspects for
Support for Learning will be highlighted at the planning stage in collaboration with Our Support For
Learners Teacher. Pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties will be referred to the SPLD specialist


ICT has a significant role to play in supporting all pupils within the elements of English Language. It
can contribute to the general education process by developing communication and language skills and
presentation skills. ICT devices can contribute significantly to supporting pupils with specific needs.

Time allocation
The recommended percentage for Language in the redrafted ‘Structure and Balance of the
Curriculum 5-14 Guidelines’ is a minimum of 20%. This includes the teaching of a modern language.
This overall percentage is reviewed annually according to the schools’ needs and priorities and the
weightings among the 3 component parts can vary at different stages and for different purposes.

Assessment and Recording
Assessment and recording sheets are in place for the four areas of English Language.
Ongoing assessment tasks set by the teacher should match the aims of the teaching and learning
process. The pupils will know what is to be learned and be aware of the criteria being used for
assessment, e.g. short written response testing understanding, or spelling of topic words, or
organisation of prepared talk etc. The use of 5-14 National Tests in Reading and Writing is also fully
implemented. Pupils are also given 5-14 levels in listening and talking in accordance with 5-14

Profiles of work and written reports to parents also identify strengths and areas needing to be worked
on. Self/pupil assessment will also take place especially in listening and talking activities, after
talking about texts in reading and through conferencing in writing.

Monitoring and Review
The programme for English Language and pupils progress is monitored and reviewed regularly as on-
going aspects of Quality Assurance. The Head Teacher monitors and tracks progress of all elements
of English Language.


During each term a large percentage of time is allocated to the development of a central theme. All
areas of the curriculum can be approached in this manner, particularly Environmental Studies. The
key elements of this area are: Science, Social Subjects and Technology.         Not all of these key
elements may be studied in every theme, but a balance is sought during each session.


The four subjects which make up Expressive Arts are Art and Design, Drama, Music and Physical
Education. These subjects are an integral part of the curriculum and are an important and essential
part of the all round development of each child. Each area is developed partly as a separate subject
and partly as an element to the central theme of a class’s work. In music, pupils in p3 and p5 are
given a Music Assessment in accordance with local authority practice. We also have visiting
specialists in Expressive Arts.


There are four main areas for the development of Mathematics:- 1) Number, money and
measurement: 2) shape position and movement: 3) information handling: and 4) problem solving.
A scheme published widely throughout the U.K. provides the core for work tackled in all of these
areas. This core is supplemented, where necessary, by worksheets produced within Rathen School.
Initial activities usually have a practical element helping to strengthen knowledge and understanding
before more abstract concepts are developed.


There are three main areas to Religious and Moral Education: Christianity, Other World Religions
and Personal Search. Children work in each of these areas partly within the class theme, and partly
as separate areas of study. Rev Ian Sutherland, locum minister at Rathen West Church, is the
School Chaplain. Parents and the wider community are invited to attend the services at Harvest,
Christmas and End of Session.
Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from Religious Education by informing the Head


Children are encouraged to develop awareness of themselves, others and to form good relationships.
The development of each child’s independence is also encouraged, as is an awareness of the fact that
we are all also dependent on others in many ways. These areas are tackled in a caring and
sympathetic environment where children can develop the confidence to express themselves and share
their thoughts and feelings.


As with all Schools in Aberdeenshire, Rathen School is committed to a Policy of Multicultural and
Anti-Racist Education, the aim of which is the enrichment of the educational curriculum for all, the
equality of educational opportunity of all, the preparation of young people for the pluralist society,
the eradication of racism and the fostering of respect for minority cultures as integral aspects of


After consultation with parents, it was decided to issue Homework for P3-7 on a weekly basis.

By becoming involved with their children’s homework parents can gain an insight into school work,
can help their children’s education, and can demonstrate to their children the importance of tackling
homework well. For these reasons Rathen School not only welcomes, but seeks to positively
encourage parents to oversee their children’s homework.

Children are also required to complete work at home which, for various reasons, they have failed to
complete in a reasonable time in school.

Homework is of three types –

       Home practice in basic skills such as reading, spelling and arithmetical tables.
       Research on a particular topic.
       Completion of school work, done by the child’s peers in school time.

Each child is given a homework folder and notebook, and homework is usually issued weekly. A
suggested homework routine is:-

       Reading practice, every day, for all pupils.
       P3-7: Spelling practice on three days each week.
       P4-7: Research or arithmetic practice one day each week.

Suggested time spans are:
      P1-2: 10-15 minutes.
      P3-4: 20-30 minutes.
      P5-7 30-40 minutes.
In line with all schools in the Fraserburgh Area, work will not be provided for children who take
holidays during term. This is because, to make work meaningful, it is necessary for some teaching to
take place, and it is not possible to adequately teach one or two weeks work in advance. On returning
to school children who have been on such holidays will be given extra help to cover the important
aspects of what they have missed.


Assessment is generally informal and ongoing. As the children work in class, staff are observing
them and checking their results. In this way staff are able to judge how well each child is coping with
the work set, and when he/she is ready to move on to the next step. National guidelines identify five
broad levels of achievement in each curricular area. these five levels, labelled A - E should be
achieved by most children according to the following timescale:-

                                         Level A - end of P3
                                         Level B - end of P4
                                         Level C - end of P6
                                         Level D - end of P7
                                         Level E - end of S2

As individuals, children will clearly progress through these levels at different rates: and the rate of
progress will not always be the same for individual children. However the above timescale is that
identified by the government as being achievable by most children. When a child achieves one level,
he/she will then begin to work towards the next. In reading, writing and mathematics a national test
will now be attempted by the child to confirm the teacher’s judgement that the identified level has
been achieved. Formal assessment will also be used where necessary to ensure that pupils with
special needs receive additional support.


Support for Learners Teachers are part of the school team and work closely with many of the children
to support their learning. Class Teachers, Promoted Staff and Support for Learners Teachers have
regular consultations to identify the best form of support for each child. This may involve further
assessment, which may be done by a Support for Learners teacher or, occasionally, an Educational


In line with the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, the term special
educational needs will no longer be used. The term additional support needs will be used instead.

A child or young person may need additional support if they

               are being bullied
               have learning difficulties
               are deaf or blind
               are particularly talented
               have been bereaved
               do not attend school regularly


On occasion, teachers from Fraserburgh Academy’s Learning Skills Team work in school with class
teachers to give help in specific curricular areas.

Rosehearty School has a specialist unit, Springboard, which supports pupils who have Social,
Emotional or Behavioural Difficulties. Parents are consulted and application agreed, before referral
is made to Springboard.


Fraserburgh Academy offers a Moving On Group, which supports children who may have difficulty
transferring to Secondary School. Again, parental consent is required for referral.


The school’s educational psychologist works in partnership with school staff to help children and
young people achieve their full potential. The educational psychologist supports this by offering
schools a number of services including training, research, project work, intervention work,
assessment and consultation.

During planned visits to the school, the educational psychologist meets with staff to discuss whole
school and class issues and how best to meet the needs of children and young people. These informal
consultations aim to develop strategies the teacher can use to bring about positive change. The
educational psychologist may also spend time observing in the classroom or playground to support
teachers in assessing how different circumstances and teaching approaches affect learning and

When concerns persist, the school and educational psychologist may feel that a more formal meeting
would be helpful. If the concern is about a child, the school will ask the parents’ or carers’
permission to hold a consultation meeting. This is a problem-solving discussion led by the
educational psychologist with parents or carers, school staff and sometimes other people who can
helpfully contribute. The child or young person can also be supported to attend the meeting or
contribute in some other way if appropriate. The aim is to agree a plan of action to bring about
positive changes for the child or young person.

If parents or carers have concerns about their child’s education it is best to share them with school
staff first, as most problems can be solved in school without the involvement of an educational
psychologist. School staff will contact the educational psychologist if they feel that s/he would be
able to help.

For further information about the Educational Psychology Service is available from the school or the
Educational Psychology Service website on .


Parents will be given the opportunity to attend Parents’ Evenings twice yearly, usually in October and
March, to discuss their children’s progress with the class teacher. A written report will be issued
prior to the second meeting and will form the basis for discussion at that meeting.

In addition to these set meetings parents should feel free to come to school if they feel there is a
matter they wish to discuss concerning their children’s education. It should be noted, however, that
staff have many calls upon their time and so it would be wise to arrange an appointment to allow time
for a full discussion.


Children at Rathen School generally display a high standard of behaviour. Indiscipline which does
occur is generally of a minor nature and is usually dealt with in an informal manner. This approach is
helped by good relationships between members of staff and the children and between the children
themselves. Staff lead by example, fostering a sense of self-discipline and consideration of others
which can be a great asset to children, both now and in later life.

In order to maintain a high level of behaviour it is necessary to have clearly defined Rules and
Standards to follow. These are as follows:-

1       Pupils should carry out all reasonable instructions given by a member of the school staff,
        teaching or non-teaching, or by any other pupil who has been given authority to issue

2       In order to benefit from what school has to offer, pupils should be punctual for all school
        activities and should not be absent from school or any timetabled activity without reasonable
        cause. Pupils should give attention to all assigned work in school and at home

3       Pupils should develop the habit of careful concentration on the tasks which are set by
        members of staff, whether oral, written or practical. It is important for pupils to have with
        them and use sensibly the books, equipment, materials and clothing which are appropriate for
        the work to be undertaken.

4       Pupils should accept that teachers are attempting to help the individual and the class to learn.
        Pupils should receive courtesy and should respond with courtesy. Teachers must have co-
        operation and obedience from pupils.

5       Pupils should behave towards each other in the same way as they would like to be treated by
        other people. Anti-social and over aggressive behaviour is unacceptable.

6       Pupils must take care of all books, equipment, buildings and open spaces provided for them
        so that everyone obtains continuing benefit from their use. Other people and their property
        are to be respected. Whether property is private or public, the same degree of care must be

7       The behaviour of pupils outside school should reflect the same habits of courtesy and
        consideration for others which are expected in school.


Rathen School promotes a culture of acceptable behaviour by putting the child’s name in the Golden
Book and awarding stickers to mark good behaviour, and, by giving 30 minutes Golden Time each
week, to reward high standards of behaviour. At the end of each term Certificates for good behaviour
are awarded to the pupils. Very few of our pupils do not achieve this, as most children behave well
all the time. If unacceptable behaviour takes place, the following sanctions will be employed:

        1.      Verbal warning.
        2.      Yellow warning card issued.
        3.      Red warning card issued, loss of Golden Time.
        4.      Persistent misbehaviour or serious misdemeanour will result in child’s name being
                removed from the Golden Book and detention done at interval/lunchtime.
        5.      Parents interviewed.
        6.      Behaviour record kept.
        7.      Short term exclusion.
        8.      Conditional exclusion.
        9.      Sine Die exclusion.
Very few children need more than sanctions one and two.


This session, Parent Helpers and Teachers have trained the pupils in Football Skills, Netball Skills,
Cross Country Running and Choir.


The problem of bullying has been publically aired at a national level in recent years. As a result of
this Rathen School, along with others in the Fraserburgh Academy catchment area, has produced the
following policy statement.


Bullying is an act which deliberately hurts, threatens, frightens or embarrasses someone else. It may
be the display of aggressive verbal or physical behaviour on the part of one group or individual
towards another.

Bullying can be physical, verbal or even just a look.

Schools accept that bullying - the deliberate desire to hurt, threaten, frighten or embarrass someone -
does occur.

Schools in the Fraserburgh Community Schools Network wish to promote an environment where
pupils do not feel threatened or concerned about bullying and where pupils do not wish to act as

The following principals will apply:-

a)      Pupils are encouraged to report incidents of bullying to staff, in the first instance, or their
        parents. Pupils should behave towards each other in the same way as they would like to be
        treated by others.

b)      Parents who are concerned about bullying incidents should inform the school.

c)      The school will make every effort, to eliminate bullying. Reported incidents will be treated
        on their merits and records of incidents will be maintained.

d)      Parents are asked to reinforce the school policy and to encourage children to report incidents
        of bullying and NOT to retaliate with violence and name-calling.

                                        CHILD PROTECTION

Given on-going public concern on the subject of child abuse, and changes in the law, schools are now
required to report if we think any child has come to harm as a consequence of possible abuse.

Each school now has a Designated Officer appointed to be responsible for Child Protection matters
and specially trained for the task.

Should you wish to talk further about Child Protection and the safety of children please feel free to
contact the Head Teacher.

Where there is the possibility that a child could be at risk of abuse or neglect, the school is required to
refer the child to Social Work, the Police or the Reporter and under these circumstances, the parent
would not normally be consulted first.


Transferring Educational Data About Pupils

Education authorities and the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) have collected data
about pupils on paper forms for many years. We are now working together to transfer data
electronically through the ScotXed programme.

What pupil data will be collected and transferred?

Data on each pupil is collected by local authorities and SEED. The data collected and transferred
covers areas such as date of birth, postcode, registration for free-school meals, whether a pupils is
looked after by his/her local authority, additional support needs including disability, attendance,
absence and exclusions from school. Pupil names and addresses are collected by their school and
education authority but they are not passed to SEED. Your postcode is the only part of your address
that is transferred. Data is held securely and no information on individual pupils can or would be
published by SEED.

Providing national identity and ethnic background data is entirely voluntary. You can choose the ‘not
disclosed’ option if you do not want to provide this data. However, we hope that the explanations
contained in this message and on our website will help you understand the importance of providing
the data.

Why do we need your data?

In order to make the best decisions about how to improve our education service, SEED and education
authorities need accurate, up-to-date data about our pupils. We are keen to help all our pupils to do
well in all aspects of school life and achieve better exam results. Accurate and up-to-date data allows
SEED, education authorities and schools to:

               plan and deliver better policies for the benefit of all pupils,
               plan and deliver better policies for the benefit of specific groups of pupils,
               better understand some of the factors that influence pupil attainment and
               target resources better.

Your data protection rights

The collection, transfer, processing and sharing of ScotXed data is done in accordance with the Data
Protection Act *(1998). We also comply with the National Statistics Code of Practice requirements
and other legislation related to safeguarding the confidentiality of data. The Data Protection Act
gives you the right to know how we will use your data. This message can give only a brief
description of how we use data. Fuller details of the uses of pupil data can be found on the ScotXed

SEED works with a range of partners including HM Inspectorate of Education and the Scottish
Qualifications Authority. On occasion, we will make individual data available to partners and also
academic institutions to carry out research and statistical analysis. In addition, we will provide our
partners with information they need in order to fulfil their official responsibilities. Any sharing of
data will be done under the strict control and prior agreement of the Data Access Panel in SEED,
which will ensure that no individual level data will be made public as a result of the data sharing and
that these data will not be used to take any actions in respect of an individual.


If you have any concerns about the ScotXed data collections you can email the Senior Statistician,
Peter Whitehouse, at or write to The ScotXed Support
Office, SEED, Area 1B, Victoria Quay, Leith, EH6 6QQ. Alternative versions of this page are
available, on request from the ScotXed Support Office, in other languages, audio tape, Braille and
large print.

Want more information?

Further details about ScotXed data exchanges are available on the ScotXed website


There is a legal obligation on parents to ensure that their children attend school regularly. If your
child has been absent for any reason you must send a short note of explanation to school when he/she
returns. If your child is liable to be absent for more than a few days it would also be helpful if you
telephoned the school to explain the situation.

The school is obliged to keep a register of authorised and unauthorised absences. These two
categories of absence each cover a variety of reasons but the most common are:-

        authorised absence:                      sickness
                                                 medical/dental treatment

        unauthorised absence:                    truancy
                                                 any unexplained absence

If a child is kept off school to go on a family holiday it is regarded as an unauthorised absence.
However, it is acceptable under exceptional circumstances for schools to authorise a family holiday
during term time. Such circumstances may include ‘A family holiday judged to be important to the
well-being and cohesion of the family, following serious or terminal illness, bereavement or other
traumatic events’

Rates of authorised absence (percentages) for session 2006-07

                          P1         P2        P3         P4       P5         P6        P7       P1-7

Rathen School              4        2.5        3.6        3.2      3.9        2.9       4.1       3.5
Aberdeenshire             3.4       3.3        3.0        3.0      3.1        3.2       3.1       3.2
Scotland                  4.1       3.9        3.7        3.6      3.7        3.8       3.8       3.8

Rates of unauthorised absences (percentages) for session 2006-07

                          P1         P2        P3         P4       P5         P6        P7       P1-7

Rathen School             0.1        0          0         0.1      0.1         0         0         0
Aberdeenshire             0.6       0.7        0.7        0.7      0.7        0.7       0.7       0.7
Scotland                  0.9       0.9        0.9        0.9      0.9        0.9       0.9       0.9


Aberdeenshire Council have adopted the following holiday pattern:
2 weeks holiday in October, at Christmas and Easter and 6 weeks during the summer.

In addition to the above listed holidays there are 3 ‘local’ holidays in each school session and one day
taken in the middle of February.

Since holiday dates differ from year to year parents will be informed of these dates by letter soon
after the commencement of the new session in August.


The parents of a child who becomes ill or has an accident while in school will be contacted by
telephone. If no one can be contacted at home the emergency contact number provided by parents
will be called. It is therefore desirable that the emergency contact should have access to transport.

It must be emphasised that no child will be sent home until his/her parent or emergency contact has
been informed. This also applies in the event of severe weather conditions.


The School Nurse checks all children in Primary 1. The School Doctor will only check those
children whose records give cause for concern, or are incomplete. During the course of seven years
in Primary School, pupils’ height, weight, vision, hearing, teeth and general health will be inspected
on a number of occasions. Parents are informed if it is thought any action is required on their part.


If drugs have to be administered to children during school hours, the medicine must be handed to the
class teacher with:-

a)   authorisation for the school to dispense the medicine
b)   precise instructions on the amount and frequency of dosage.
c)   Parents must complete a form “Request For School to administer Medication” .


There is no formal school uniform, but the Rathen School sweatshirt provides a sense of identity as
well as being highly practical for school use. The school sweatshirt is mid blue and carries the school
logo as does the white Polo Shirts. Sweatshirts and Polo Shirts can be bought at a reasonable cost by
contacting the school. The wearing of jeans, track suits or similar casual clothing is not encouraged.
As many items of children’s clothing are similar in appearance it can save a great deal of confusion,
frustration and wasted time if all items are marked with your child’s name. This is equally applicable
for footwear!

It is not recommended for children to take expensive items to school. Valuable jewellery or games
can be easily lost or damaged. Such losses can not be replaced by the school and the inevitable upset
to children is best avoided by leaving such items at home. Dangling jewellery, regardless of price, is
not encouraged as it can be a real safety hazard, especially in the playground.


A grant may be available to parents/guardians who meet with criteria laid down by Aberdeenshire
Council. A grant may be applied for by parents/guardians who are in receipt of DSS benefits,
minimum wages or pension payments.

Parents/Guardians must live within Aberdeenshire and may apply for one clothing grant per child in
full time Aberdeenshire Council Education, up to the age of 17 years. Only one clothing grant will
be awarded per child (if appropriate) per financial year (April 1st to 31st March).

The grant is provided to assist parents/guardians with the purchase of school clothing to ensure
attendance of the child/children at schools. Application forms are available only from Academies,
Primary Schools, Integrated Home Link Workers, and Area Education Office in Banff ( 01261


For reasons of hygiene, safety and freedom of movement children will change into T shirts/football
shirts, shorts and gym shoes for P.E.. Training shoes/boots are quite unsuitable for indoor use as they
are extremely unsafe on wooden floors. Slip-on or lace-up gym shoes are much safer - and cheaper!
For safety reasons long hair should be tied up prior to participating in P.E. and all jewellery must be
removed. Children who are not suitably dressed will not be allowed to participate in P.E. activities.
Parents are asked to help by ensuring their children have suitable P.E. kit. It is desirable that P.E. kits
are left in school. They will be sent home regularly for cleaning and to check that shoes still fit.
Once again, the naming of P.E. kit helps avoid confusion.


For Health and Safety reasons, pupils must remove ear-rings and other items of jewellery before
taking part in Physical Education lessons to prevent any accidents which might occur – ear-lobes
being torn, for example by ear-rings being pulled. Where a pupil is unable to remove jewellery, for
some medical reason he/she must cover these with a sticking plaster. If the pupil fails to bring
sticking plasters, this will be classed as a failure to bring appropriate kit and disciplinary action may
be taken. We cannot, however, guarantee that this will provide sufficient protection against


When buying a school bag it is advisable to choose one which is firm and rigid. This helps to protect
the contents and to support books, so prolonging their life. It is not advisable to allow your children
to put drinks in their school bag as, if the container bursts, it can result in irreparable damage to the
other contents.


Meals are available at a cost of £1.60 per day or £16 for a book of 10 tickets. Cheques should be
made payable to Aberdeenshire Council.

Children can also buy plain or flavoured milk for 10p from the kitchen and fruit juice for 10p. Both
school meals and packed lunches are eaten in the dining room. Children who bring a packed lunch
should make sure they keep it separate from their books when coming to school, especially if they
have drinks.

Free meals are available to those whose parents are currently in receipt of Income Support or income
based Jobseeker’s Allowance. Application forms are available in school. A lunchtime supervisor is
employed to supervise and help the pupils at meal times.


Pupils are supervised in the playground during the morning interval and at lunchtime by a Children’s
Supervisor. The school is responsible for the pupils from 8.55am until 9.15am and after school until
3.25pm. In inclement weather, pupils are welcome to come indoors.


A variety of Healthy snacks and fruit juice are for sale daily in the dining room. Snacks cost from
10p-30p and the drinks are 10p . This service, which is run by the older children, provides a small
income for school funds.


Children are encouraged to borrow books from the school library. Books may be taken home and
returned regularly. Parents are asked to ensure that children look after library books at home and
return them to school for exchange.


At intervals throughout the year children are given the opportunity to buy books through a book club
leaflet. There is also a book fair held once a year to coincide with a fundraising event organised by
Rathen School Fundraising Group. There is no obligation to buy, but this service does encourage
children to take an interest in books and also provides free books for the school.


School photographs of individuals, class and/or family groups will normally be taken once a year.
These photographs are taken by a reputable photographer, are usually of a high standard, and so tend
to be excellent value. Once again there is no obligation to buy, but the school receives a percentage
of all sales.


A fire drill will be held at least once each term to ensure that both staff and children are aware of the
correct procedures.


No Insurance cover is held by Aberdeenshire Council to provide automatic compensation to pupils in
the event of a personal accident or death. It is your responsibility as a parent to insure your child for
personal accident or death if you feel this is appropriate.

Aberdeenshire Council does hold third party liability insurance which indemnifies the Council for
claims from third parties (e.g. parents of pupils) who have suffered injury, illness, loss or damage
arising from the negligence of the Council or its employees. However if there is no negligence, no
claim would be accepted by the Council.

                                   5-14 ATTAINMENT
                             INFORMATION FOR PARENTS 2007

    Overall Primary 5-14
        Attainment                                    2004         2005          2006        2007

          READING                 School              82.0         78.3          86.4        91.3
                                  Aberdeenshire       80.7         80.8          81.4        82.5

          WRITING                 School              71.0         60.9          86.4        91.3
                                  Aberdeenshire       74.1         74.9          75.7        77.6

      MATHEMATICS                 School              82.0         84.8          81.8        89.1
                                  Aberdeenshire       79.5         82.4          83.2        84.2

Summary of attainment

Attainment in National Assessments is one of the listed sources of evidence.
The present level of performance in National Assessments in Rathen School (June 2007) is outlined

Figures are a percentage of the P3, P4, P6 and P7 roll attaining or exceeding minimum 5-14 levels for
their stage:

Reading          91%           Almost all pupils have attained or exceeded national expectations
Writing          91%           Almost all pupils have attained or exceeded national expectations
Mathematics      89%           Almost all pupils have attained or exceeded national expectations

           Attainment remains significantly above Aberdeenshire and National averages.

                            OR OTHER EMERGENCY

Early in each session parents will be asked to provide up to date daytime telephone numbers where
they can be contacted, and the telephone number of an emergency contact should they not be
available. It is vital that parents provide the school with at least one emergency contact - emergencies
have a tendency to happen when we least expect them, and may well do so on the one day of the year
that you are not at home! It must be stressed that parents should inform the school as soon as
possible if these contact numbers change. In addition parents will be sent, for completion and
information the following Aberdeenshire Council Education Department documents.

EMG 22          ‘Accommodation Arrangements’.

EMG 24          ‘Accommodation Offer’.

and a parental advice leaflet ‘Aberdeenshire Education Department, Adverse Weather Conditions,
Council Policy and Advice to Parents’.

All parents will be asked to complete all forms. This is necessary to cover the possibility of parents
not being at home in the event of an early closure.

Aberdeenshire schools now have a telephone information service which can be used if there is a risk
of closure due to adverse weather. This allows parents to listen to recorded message from the Heed

 When severe weather warnings are received your school will endeavour to keep the system updated.
 It is an enhancement to the present service and does not replace existing methods of giving out
 information, such as radio broadcasts, described in the schools Adverse Weather Guidelines.

 There are other features of this service which may be available for your school. These are
 described below. (Note that this is an 0870 service and charges are slightly higher than normal.
 Currently (Feb. 2002) BT rates are approximately 8p per minute peak and 5p per minute cheap rate.
 However there is no queuing and an adverse weather call should last less than 1 minute.)

 How to use the service.

 >    Dial Aberdeenshire Council's access number - 0870 054 4999
 >    Now enter your own school's pin number 02 2480
      You have two attempts to enter the pin number and you will be disconnected after a second
      failed attempt. If this happens, check the number and redial. If you still have a problem check
      with your school.
 >    You will now hear the school's name. Ensure that this is correct before going on.
 >    You will now be taken to the MAIN MENU where you will be given 4 options:

 Press 1 to hear your school's message about the adverse weather for example whether or not the
 school is to close or if transport arrangements have been affected.

 Press 4 to enter the pin number for another school within the authority. Parents may have
 children who attend different schools. This option allows you to move from one school's messaging
 service to another without having to dial in again.


    Press 2 to send the school a NON-URGENT message e.g. that you cannot attend a Parent Council
    meeting. Do not leave an urgent message as the school cannot guarantee to pick up the message
    soon enough for action. For urgent messages, speak to someone directly. This service may not be
    available initially - your school will inform you on this.

    It is up to each individual establishment to decide if they wish to utilise this particular feature.

    Press 3 to hear general information messages

    The school may use this as an additional way of informing parents about school events. E.g.
    Fundraising and Social Events, Parents Nights, School Concerts etc. Parents may hear up to ten
    messages with the most recent played first.

The decision to close the school early due to a snowstorm or other emergency will be taken by the
head teacher based on the best information available at the time. Once this decision has been made
the following procedure will be followed:-

1         The area education office will be informed.

2         The school transport contractor will be contacted.

3         Parents, or emergency contacts, will be contacted.

4         Pupils will be sent home as soon as:-

          i)       their parent or emergency contact collects them.
          ii)      all parents or emergency contacts of pupils entitled to school transport have been
          iii)     the parents of pupils who live in Rathen have been contacted and request that their
                   child be allowed to walk home (parents are, however, advised to come and collect
                            their child if at all possible).

5         Every effort will be made to find emergency accommodation for pupils whose parents and
          emergency contacts are not available. Where possible, this will be at the address indicted by
          parents on form EMG 22. If this is not possible, parents will be informed where their
          children are as soon as is possible.

6         As the numbers of pupils left in school reduces, staff will be sent home for their safety,
          depending on road conditions and pupil numbers.

7         Crimond school kitchen will be contacted to cancel school meals if appropriate.

As it may take anything up to an hour and a half to organise transport and inform everyone it will
probably be quicker for parents to come straight to school and collect their children themselves, if at
all possible.

If children return home by school transport and they have even a short distance to walk PLEASE GO
AND MEET THEM. If could be a matter of life and death to a child if conditions are severe.

If you are in doubt about weather conditions in the morning it may be advisable to keep your children
at home - do not take them to school yourself if the bus fails to pick them up. If it is stormy overnight
local radio stations may be contacted with a message about school closure. If you are in doubt
telephone the information line. Children should not wait to be picked up in the mornings longer than
15 minutes after the normal bus time. Parents who bring their children to school by car should check
that a member of staff has arrived before leaving their child.


1       It is a condition of employment of hirers by the Education Authority that they undertake the
        following responsibilities in adverse weather conditions:-

        (a)     to convey pupils to their homes, or
        (b)     to leave them at a house where they can remain under shelter until they are called for
                by their parents, or
        (c)     deliver them into the care of a responsible adult who will accompany them to their
                         homes, or
        (d)     to convey them in the event of the failure of (a), (b), and (c) back to school and place
                them in the care of the head teacher.

2       In no circumstances must any child be allowed to walk alone in stormy conditions from the
        point of leaving a vehicle to his/her home.


Children are eligible for free transport if they live three miles from their delineated school. There is
no obligation on the Authority to provide transport for the complete distance.

If children do not qualify for transport because of distance and there is spare capacity on the bus, they
may pay a fare on the school/local bus.

Pupils are expected to behave responsibly on the school bus. Bad behaviour may lead to pupils being
excluded from the bus.


The school is closed to pupils on 4 days per year for staff in-service training.

Staff meetings are vital ingredients of school organisation and these will be held from time to time to
discuss matters of policy, curriculum and administration affecting the school.


                           Rathen    Aberdeenshire       Scotland

School Roll at 2007           70         19,377            382,156

Total School Running
Costs at April 2007 (£)   319,475    70,490,678      1,307,663,324

Cost per pupil(£)           4,564         3,638              3,422


The Authority has a uniform starting date for all its schools in August of each year.

All children who will reach the age of 5 on or before this starting date should begin to attend primary
school in August of that year. This is in accordance with the admissions policy of Aberdeenshire
Council Education committee.

Children who will reach the age of 5 after the starting date, but on or before the end of February, may
also be enrolled for primary school. However, parents of these children may choose not to enrol their
child until the following August. There are children for whom a further year at home or in a
playgroup or nursery would be more beneficial than starting school too soon.

All new entrants are invited to a series of visits during the summer term. All parents are invited to an
induction meeting during the course of which a brief talk on “Starting School” is given by the Head
Teacher. Parents are also invited to English Language, Maths and ICT workshops where materials
used will be explained, and questions are welcome.

On starting school, new entrants attend the morning sessions only for the first four weeks of term.

Since starting school is such a vital step in a child’s development, every effort is made to ensure that
each child feels that coming to school is a great adventure. A child will feel more at ease and secure
if he or she is practised in a number of basic accomplishments before starting school e.g. knowing
how to:-

        1)      Wash their hands.
        (2)     Use a handkerchief.
        (3)     Ask for and use the toilet.
        (4)     Fasten buttons, manipulate zips and buckles.
        (5)     Tie their laces.
        (6)     Use a knife and fork as well as a spoon.
        (7)     Know the names of colours.

It is helpful too if children are read stories, if parents and children look at books together and talk
together. Above all, talk about going to school as a pleasure - not a threat.

A separate booklet “Starting School” is available to parents of P1 new entrants.


The normal method of communication from the school to the home is through notes carried home by
the children. It is therefore important to check your child’s bag every night to see if there is a note.
Some notes have a reply slip attached. It would be a great help if you could return reply slips to
school as soon as possible.

We encourage an “open door” policy with parents. However if you wish to discuss a particular issue
please telephone to arrange a suitable appointment. It is important that parents inform staff if they
have any problems or worries, in order that staff are aware of, and can deal with these.

There are also times when a family trauma, such as a bereavement, may affect the behaviour or
performance of your child. In such instances it would be of great value to inform your child’s
teacher. Such information would, of course, be dealt with in a strictly confidential manner.

Information of a more minor nature can normally be conveyed in a note to the class teacher. If staff
feel they are not in a position to be of help, then parents may be referred to the head teacher. The
school also has a fax machine and telephone answering machine where messages can be left.


In 2007 Rathen School Parent Council was established. The constitution can be found in Appendix 1.

The present council members are:-

        Chairperson                             Mrs R Watson
        Vice-Chairperson                        Mrs E Smith
        Secretary                               Ms E Eyre
        Vice Secretary                          Mrs M Bruce
        Treasurer                               To be confirmed
        Co-opted Member                         Mrs J Campbell
        Committee Members                        Mrs M Rennie
                                                 Mrs T Blix


The Fundraising Group is a sub-group of the Parent Council set up to organise fundraising events.


Our School Council meets at least twice a month to discuss needs or concerns identified by the
Chairperson:- Susan Lumsden : Treasurer – Garden Campbell: Secretary – Douglas Watson:
Members – Joanna Duthie: John Dickson: Alana Quirie: Jack McKenzie: Hollie Buchan

Teacher Member – Mrs Chatfield, Parent Member – Mrs Stuart

LIST OF STAFF 2006/07 (November 2006)


Head Teacher - P1/2                                             Mrs Alison Chatfield

Head Teacher Relief                                             Mrs Anita Buchan

Teacher P3/4                                                    Mrs Jacqueline Geddes

Teacher P4/5                                                    Mrs Marilyn Bruce

Teacher P6/7                                                    Mrs Lynn-Maree
                                                                MacGregor and
                                                                Mrs Anita Buchan

Support for Learners Teacher                                    Mrs Fiona Ritchie


Administrator (Monday morning, full day Tuesday and Friday)     Mrs June Campbell

Clerkess/Receptionist (Monday afternoon, full day Wednesday
                             and Thursday)                      Mrs Fiona Lumsden

Classroom Assistant (Maternity Leave cover)                     Mrs Wendy Dickson

Classroom Assistant                                             Mrs Andrea Cruden

Playground Supervisor                                           Mrs Wendy Dickson

SFL Auxiliary                                                   Mrs Susan Patterson
                                                              Mrs Wendy Dickson

Kitchen Supervisor                                              Mrs Kathleen Findlay

Kitchen Assistant                                               Mrs Wilma Foreman

Lunchtime Auxiliary                                             Mrs Val Ingram

Cleaner                                                         Mrs Sandra Stephen

Janitor (long term sick cover)                                  Mr James Noble


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