Guide for Parents - Introduction to School and Little Chestnuts

The following provides information which parents may find useful to refer to during their time at Chestnut Lane School. 

School hours

Reception and Key Stage 1 children should arrive at their designated drop-off points between 8.40 and 8.50 am.   A member of staff will be available to escort the children in to class and for parents to talk to.  Children must not be left unattended in the cloakroom or anywhere else on school grounds.

Little Chestnuts children should arrive at their class gate at 8.45 am.

Little Chestnuts

Morning Session:     8.45 am - 11.45 am
Afternoon Session: 11.45 am -   3.00 pm  (includes lunch)


Morning Session:    8.50 am - 11.45 am
Afternoon Session: 1.00 pm -   3.05 pm (includes a playtime)

Key Stage 1

Morning Session:    8.50 am - 12.00 pm  (includes a playtime)
Afternoon Session: 1.15 pm -   3.05 pm

Collection at the end of the school day

It is essential that the teacher in charge of the child at the end of the day has a record of the arrangements for the child’s departure from school.   Parents must complete the online form ‘Collection at the end of the school day’.   Any changes to the usual routine should be recorded in the morning with the class teacher. Occasionally, unplanned changes to pick up are inevitable, so if arrangements change during the day the school office can be called, or emailed before 2.00 pm.  The password system can be used when parents are unable to contact the school office.

If regular arrangements change, spare forms are available on the website here and from the school office.

Attendance / absences

Regular school attendance is essential for children’s development.

If a child is unwell parents should call or email the school office on the first day of absence, by 9.30 am if possible, giving the reason for the absence.   If the absence is just for a day or two that will be sufficient, but if a child is away from school for more than a few days a detailed email is appreciated.   If a child has vomiting or diarrhoea they must be kept off school for 48 hours after the last bout of illness. 

If a child has a medical or dental appointment that cannot be arranged for out of school hours the school office should be notified as early as possible.  Copies of hospital appointments should be provided. 

All other requests for absences are considered by the governing body and the Headteacher who will only authorise term time absences in exceptional circumstances.  Leave of absence applications must be made, via the school office, at least one month in advance. Absence request forms are available on the website here.

Unexplained absences are recorded as unauthorised.

Food and drink in school

  • Lunches
    Please see the School Meals page for information.
  • Milk
    All children under five are entitled to free milk in school and over fives are entitled to subsidised milk.  Please see the school milk section.
  • Snacks
    We encourage children to have a piece of fruit or vegetable at morning break time.  These are provided under the ‘free fruit to school’ scheme but children are welcome to bring in additional fruit or vegetables.
  • Cookery
    During the school year, we give the children opportunities to cook, both for fun and because it is a valuable way to learn about reading and writing instructions, measuring and how things change.  Parents must complete the online ‘Cookery’ form to give permission for children to cook and eat any food we make during their time at Chestnut Lane School and Little Chestnuts.   What we plan will not include nuts or seeds, obscure ingredients, and should be to most children’s taste.  Food allergies are taken into consideration.  The children are never forced to eat anything.
  • Water bottles
    A named water bottle should be brought to school every day with fresh water.  They may be refilled during the day when required.

Nuts are not allowed as we have several children with nut allergies.  As we are a healthy school crisps and sweets are not allowed. 

As many of our children have allergies often connected to foods, we ask that parents do not bring cakes or sweets to school to celebrate birthdays.  It can be very upsetting for children who are not able to eat such foods.

Communicating with parents

We send the majority of communications, such as newsletters, class trips and event information via Parentmail.  Therefore, parents must ensure the school office has up to date email addresses and mobile numbers.  Please notify the school office immediately with changes to phone numbers, email addresses or home address.

A parent wishing to discuss any issue regarding their child should see the class teacher who will endeavour to answer any queries.   If concerns are not resolved then parents should contact the Headteacher who is available most days.   Parents may also contact a member of the governing body via the school office.

We occasionally email parents about fundraising activities by the school and the PTA (CLESA), or with information from external companies which we think will be of interest.  As part of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) we require your consent to send you this type of email. Parents are asked to complete the ‘Fundraising and marketing communications’ form.  Consent can be withdrawn at any time by emailing the school office.


We expect our children to behave in a reasonable manner.   We will encourage them to be kind and considerate and to respect others and their belongings.  If a child causes us concern then the parents are consulted and the appropriate action is taken.   The school has a behaviour policy and an anti-bullying policy and any form of discrimination is not accepted.   Please see the relevant policies in the policy section here.

There are a few School Rules which the children quickly learn:

  • Respect the school and everybody in it
  • Always keep yourself and others safe
  • Make mindful and sensible choices
  • Always try your best and be proud
  • Always tell the truth.

We ask parents to work in partnership with the school by agreeing to our Home – School Agreement, which can be found in the Policy section.

Online Learning Journal – Tapestry

We use Tapestry as our online learning journal provider. Tapestry allows parents to log in with a secure username and password to view, like and comment their child’s observations, photographs and videos which have been recorded at school. Staff spend quality time with children scaffolding their learning, supporting their individual development needs and building strong attachments with them. You can find user guides here.

Assessment and parent consultation

Informal assessments are part of daily activities and we record our findings.  We make plans to provide each child with experiences and activities at appropriate levels to allow progress according to their potential.  Assessment and targets for improvement will be shared with parents and special needs are identified early.  

Parent consultations are held in the autumn and spring terms when the child's progress is discussed and targets reviewed.  

All parents receive a report at the end of the summer term.   Parents wishing to discuss anything with the class teacher may do so informally or by appointment.   The Headteacher also has an ‘open door’ policy to encourage good communication between parents and the school.


Homework is given on a regular basis throughout the school and varies according to the age of the children.   The teachers send out guidance to parents regarding this subject.

Resources for parents

The Curriculum section, has many resources which parents may find useful to support their child’s learning.  The password required to access the video guides is provided to parents. 

Special Educational Needs

Chestnut Lane School Special Educational needs policy reflects the requirements of the most recent code of practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs.  The school welcomes children of varied abilities and recognises that there are children with special needs who need work planned specifically for their capabilities.  Their needs are met whenever possible within the classroom.  Please see the Special Educational Needs policy here.

The school SENCo can be contacted regarding any aspect of special educational needs at:

ICT and pupils’ e-safety code of conduct

We are very aware of the safety issues around ICT and particularly the internet so e-safety is taught throughout the school.   We have adopted the following policies suggested by Buckinghamshire Local Authority:

  • E-safety and ICT code of conduct for staff
  • ICT and computing policy
  • Laptop and Chromebook security policy
  • IPad & tablet security policy

These policies are available in school if you would like to see them.  

Pupils’ e-safety code of conduct:

  • No child is able to access the internet unless they are very closely supervised by a member of staff.
  • It is forbidden for pupils to bring any personal devices into school that could be used to connect to the internet.
  • Pupils are taught about proper and safe use of the internet (e-safety) and are expected to practise these guidelines.
  • Due to the age and experience of our pupils, we do not allow individuals to have personal access to an email address in school. 
  • Our school has strict internet filtering in place.  Pupils are unable to connect to any social networks through the internet.
  • Due to the age of our children, they are not in a situation where they would be allowed to go anywhere unaccompanied, therefore the possible dangers of meeting people through the internet do not occur.  Our policy reflects this.

Parents must complete the online form ‘Pupils’ e-safety code of conduct’ to confirm they understand that Chestnut Lane has adopted Buckinghamshire LA’s policies on ICT safety.


We run a school library for the children.   Each child is invited to choose a library book once a week and every class has a designated library day.  Library books can be kept for a week or two, but we request that they are returned within a month, otherwise they can become absorbed into the bookshelves at home.   If a book is lost or damaged, we ask parents to provide a replacement.

Accidents / incidents at school

Minor accidents and incidents are treated and recorded, by staff.  Parents are notified at the end of the day.  If a child has significantly bumped their head or we are concerned about an injury we contact parents, or a designated contact, immediately.

If a child becomes ill during the day we keep them comfortable and contact the parents without delay.   In an emergency we would phone for an ambulance.  Our First Aid Policy is available at the school office.

Medical Conditions

Parents must inform class teachers and the school office of any medical conditions of their child.  We take every care to ensure that all staff are aware of health issues and every child has the best possible care.  

Full details of how we support our pupils can be found in our Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions policy here.  Healthcare plans to be completed by parents can be found here.

All healthcare plans must be reviewed and updated annually, or sooner if there is a change in diagnosis or medication.

Medical checks

The school nursing team (part of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS) works in schools and the local community to support all children and young people with medical, emotional or educational needs.

In the autumn term the nursing team come to school to administer flu immunisations for Key Stage 1 and Reception children.  They also run a screening programme for Reception children, taking height and weight measurements in the spring term and vision checks in the summer term.  Parents may opt out of participating in immunisations or other checks.

The school nursing team can refer children to relevant agencies such as the optician, GP or speech therapist.   In addition, they manage the referrals for GPs, teachers and parents.

Photographs / videoing / filming children at school

  • Assessment / progress
    Photographs and recordings are used to evidence children’s learning across the curriculum.  Pictures are shared with parents and sometimes photographs feature one or more child.  Recordings of groups of children highlight progress and development and may be shared with classes or the whole school.
  • Promotional reasons
    Occasionally we take photographs or videos of the children for promotional reasons. These images may appear, for example, on our school website or in the media.

    It is important to us that we protect the child’s interests, respect parental wishes and comply with data protection law (Data Protection Act 2018).  Parents are requested to complete the ‘Photographs, images and videos at school’ online form.

Conditions of use

  1. The form is valid for the period of time the child attends this school.  The consent will automatically expire after this time
  2. We will not re-use any photographs or recordings after the child leaves this school.
  3. We will not use the personal details or full names (which means first name and surname) of any child or adult in a photographic image, on video, on our website, in our school prospectus or in any of our other printed publications.
  4. If we use photographs of individual pupils, we will not use the full name of that child in the accompanying text or photo caption.
  5. If we name a pupil in the text, we will not use a photograph of that child to accompany the article.
  6. We may include pictures of pupils and teachers that have been drawn by the pupils.
  7. We may use group or class photographs or footage with very general labels, such as ‘a science lesson’ or ‘making Christmas decorations’.
  • Events
    We wish to ensure that parents have the opportunity to take photographs, video or film their child at school events or performances (e.g. Christmas plays and sports events).  However, to do so parents are required to confirm that any photographs or videos taken will be exclusively for their own, or family’s private use, and will not be published.   Any publication of any image or video taken at an event, including on the internet, may constitute a breach of data protection legislation.

The online ‘Photographs, images and videos at school’ form is valid for the entire time a child attends Chestnut Lane School or Little Chestnuts.

Educational visits

We are lucky to have an environment rich in learning opportunities directly in and around Chestnut Lane School. To make the most of this we create regular opportunities to access our local area to support and enrich our curriculum.  Visits and activities typically take place within the ‘Local Learning Area’ and take place during normal school hours.  Example visits to the ‘Local Learning Area’ might include walks to Elangeni School grounds, the local area and to the local post box.

The area includes, but is not limited to, the following frequently used venues:

  • Elangeni School Grounds (field, playground and nature area)
  • Elangeni Buildings
  • Chestnut Lane to the boundary of The Gowers
  • Bois Lane to and including Woodside Avenue
  • Chesham Bois Common (including the field, woods and pond area. Note this is the area within North Road, South Road, Chesham Road and Glebe Way only).

The Local Learning Area Map can be found in Appendix 4 of the Educational Visits Policy.

Parents should complete theLocal Learning Area Visit’ consent form giving permission for their child to participate in Local Learning Area visits. 

Notification of visits and activities will be made before they take place.

We also offer educational visits further away from our Local Learning Area which may require coach transport.  Specific permission is requested for these visits which are only possible if parents agree to make a voluntary contribution to help cover the cost of the trip.   However, no child will be excluded on financial grounds, so if a family is suffering financial hardship they may confidentially contact the Headteacher.

Pupil premium

Additional funding can be allocated to school to support individual pupils if parents receive one of a number of government benefits e.g. income support.   If parents think this applies they are encouraged to contact the office staff, or Mrs Rehal, in confidence.  Funding forms are available on our website here.

Parent Teacher Association (CLESA) (consent form required)

The PTA (CLESA) has been very active and successful in the past with several events like quiz nights, Christmas and summer fairs.  It is a joint association with our linked junior school, Elangeni School, and funds raised are used to provide extra resources for the schools.  All parents are automatic members, and parent helpers are always needed to help run events.    Please see the CLESA section.

Volunteers / Students

Parents, grandparents and carers are welcome to help in school and we value their help and expertise.   Volunteers that provide support directly with children must have valid clearance from the Data Barring Service (DBS).   Details are available from the school office and the form can be found here.

Students from local colleges and schools are welcome to continue their training and volunteer as members of our team. 

Class Representatives

Every year we ask for one or two parents from each class to take on the role of class reps.  The reps play an important part in facilitating communications between parents, as well between the school and the parent community.  Reps organise class cake sales, helpers for school events such as the Christmas and summer fairs, class coffee mornings and other social events. 

Voluntary donations to the school

We ask parents to make a voluntary contribution of £5 per month, per child if possible.   This contribution helps to provide additional resources and experiences for the benefit of the children which cannot be provided using the school’s allocated budget.


We recycle many items in school. In addition, we have a collection service for batteries, stamps and pens.


Only guide dogs and the school dog, as outlined in our School Dog Policy here are permitted on school grounds.  We request that parents do not bring their dogs to school and leave them, or tie them to the school fences.

Parents must notify the school if their child is allergic to animals.  


We have very few parking spaces on site so we ask parents and visitors to park on Chestnut Lane or nearby roads, being considerate to local residents.  There is a disabled parking space outside the main reception area.  We have a school Parking Promise which we hope all parents will commit to.  The Parking Promise can be found here.

Sun safe guidance

During the summer months children should have a named sun hat in school every day.  Sun cream should be applied before school.  Labelled sun cream can be brought into school and children will be supervised by a member of staff, to apply their own lotion.

Lost property

Unidentified items of school uniform will be taken to lost property, by the main reception.  Items will be kept for half a term and will then be either disposed of, or donated to the second hand uniform supply.


We are always striving to improve and welcome suggestions in this regard.  Parents may discuss their ideas with teachers, or governors.  Alternatively you can email us via the school office or respond to our regular surveys.

Other useful sections of the website

Parents will find a great deal of useful information here on our website – for example:



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