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Larkspur Community Primary School

Growing Towards Tomorrow

Nursery & Reception attendance

Good attendance is part of a winning combination that helps a child succeed. We want every child to succeed and have a target of 95% attendance. We need parents, especially parents of the under-5s to support this target.


Nursery attendance, and sometimes Reception attendance, is too often for individual children far less than 95% because some parents continue to believe that their child’s absence doesn’t matter and the children “only play!”


What we know is that it does matter – because poor attendance habits start in Nursery and Reception.


In the short time that they are in our infant school, children who accumulate poor attendance are simply not here enough to fully access school life or to receive the full benefit of good teaching.


The cumulative effects of poor attendance mean that a child is on permanent ‘catch up’ and however conscientious their teacher, all efforts to help that child are undermined by the next absence because within days, that child is back on ‘catch up’ again through more missed time.


onfidence is soon lost when the child becomes old enough to realise that friends (with good attendance) are achieving more at a higher level. Academically-able children with poor attendance may do reasonably well but they do not achieve everything of which they would have been capable had their attendance been good. Less academically-able children with poor attendance, who might always have needed extra teaching time not less, are at a further disadvantage.


For many parents socialisation is one of the most important goals for sending their child to Nursery and that is why social skill development is one of our key priorities. Many of these skills are crucial in making and sustaining friendships. Poor attendance may result in your child finding it difficult to become involved and form social relationships, regular attendance will ensure that all children have the greatest opportunity to develop these very important early skills and become lifelong learners.


Our target is 95% attendance from Nursery onwards – for us, it is not about whether a child is statutory school age or not – it’s about every child accessing their entitlement to a really good education, and building their learning year on year.


We complete ‘first-day calling’ even for Nursery children if your child is absent and we do not know why. The majority of parents ring us on the first day of their child’s absence and return them to school as quickly as possible. Of course, we understand about chicken pox and other infant ailments that must keep a child away from school, but “A day off!”, “Too tired!”, “Had a cough!” all accumulate. Be kind but firm, and bring your child to school!


If you have a child ill at home, and you are struggling to get other siblings to school, please give us a call and we will try and help.


In this school, children are taught well and we care about their progress and well-being, but every child needs to have good attendance from Nursery onwards to get that full, winning combination.


Thank you,

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