A Guide to P1 at OLM (….for parents by parents!)

WELCOME – we hope you and your child have a wonderful experience at Our Lady of the Missions Primary School. Please don’t worry, your baby is in good hands!

In this note, we (the OLM Parent Council and Parent Staff Association) share some “parent to parent” tips but you will also find out how to get involved in the school community as a parent – our PC and PSA are a vital part of school life.

Getting involved As well as being a great way to meet other parents, the Parent Council and Parent Staff Association are a major part of school life.

  • Parent Council – the PC represents the views of parents/carers on all matters concerning the school and meets every 6 to 8 weeks to discuss eg parking, uniform, attainment and communication.
  • Parent Staff Association – the PSA meets once a month and organises fund raising and social events for the school community such as discos and summer / Christmas fayres through which it supports many activities in school e.g. Christmas parties and purchase of additional equipment.
  • Playground Project – also worth mentioning is the Playground Project which draws together parents from throughout the school / PC / PSA to help develop the playground, including Family Action Days when we get stuck in with spades and hammers to improve the school environment.

You will find out much more when school starts – including how to join and help – but in the meantime, check the school website for more information.

As for the rest of day to day life, here are some parent to parent tips.


Coming and going                               

  • “The Mensa” – you will hear it talked about but may not know that it is the school dining hall in the main building.
  • Bells – the bells go twice – at 8.55am (doors open) and 9am (work starts). If you are late and the doors have closed, go to the office. The bell also goes at 3.05 (coats on) and 3.10 (doors open).
  • Rainy days – if it’s raining before the morning bell, the main doors are usually opened to let the children into the Mensa. Children should be accompanied by an adult.
  • First day – as suggested by the school, a maximum of 2 adults can take your child into class on their first day for a few minutes only. The classrooms become very crowded and it is not fair to children or other parents if you ignore this. Please bear in mind most schools don’t allow anyone in the classroom at all.
  • First day tea/coffee for parents – please pop up the steps to the junior department if you would like to join other parents for tea and tissues after you have said goodbye in class on the first day.
  • P1 morning entry – Children should line up behind the cone for their class in the P1 playground. The doors will usually be opened at 8.50 to allow an informal entry. This helps ease congestion in the playgrounds and car parks. If your child is going to be absent, you must inform the school office as soon as you can.
  • P1 finish time – P1s are generally let out a few minutes before the 3.10pm bell for the first few days until they settle in as the playground gets very busy. It’s best to be there by 3.05 if you can. Children who go by bus are led to their bus by a teacher before the class gets out. P1s will be brought out class by class and this will vary in order. When you are waiting, please stand back a bit from the steps as there will be a lot of foot traffic passing by the P1 door.
  • Pick up – if someone else is to pick up your child at 3.10pm, you must tell the school even if it is another parent. The school is strict on pick- ups in P1 and will not release your child unless they have permission.


 Parking – parking is very busy around the school.
Give yourself plenty of time if you can and check out the parking guidance on the school web site for further details.

Car parks
do not park in the main school car park at any time at pick up / drop off – this is reserved for staff/buses unless you have a blue disabled badge. You can park beside the Woodfarm sports “cages” or in the overflow car park (on the right before the main school car park) or in the Woodfarm Pavillion car park on Berryhill Road or in the car park next to Glenwood Nursery. There is also a large car park behind Woodfarm High School which is rarely busy and can provide a safe route to school via the manned crossing.

  • Drop off zone – there is a drop off zone (in the morning only) in the school car park but it is only for dropping off. Please make sure your child gets out on the pavement side.  We cannot emphasise enough – DO NOT PARK THERE. Doing so is dangerous and causes chaos for other parents, staff and the buses by backing up the traffic. If someone else is going to be dropping off your child, please make sure they also know the position on parking and dropping off.

What you need   

  • Uniform – don’t buy too many school shirts! On   gym days (2 times a week), younger children wear polo shirts/sweatshirts to school rather than shirt and tie to save getting changed. See the school’s uniform policy on exactly what to get and where you can buy it. Muddy Movers is twice per week up until Christmas. Pupils require to bring waterproof outdoor clothing and wellies. Spare socks are also advisable.
  • Pre loved” blazer and uniform sale – get some fantastic bargains at the uniform sale which takes place at the summer fete. Used blazers are typically £10 / 20; generic items £1 each; and school branded items £1/£2. This year, the fete will be on Saturday 2nd June 2-4. Come along and enjoy the day while bagging some bargains!
  • Gym days– don’t worry about bringing PE kit until you get a note from school saying when your child’s PE days are. Remember you need kit suitable for indoors / outdoors as per the school list.
  • Washing gym kit – teachers will usually send gym bags home on a regular basis but this can vary and if you want to wash kit more regularly, ask your child to bring it home.
  • Bags and buckles – it may seem obvious but choose a bag and shoes that your child can fasten themselves!
  • Labels – label /mar everything thoroughly even if just with a permanent marker (and if you use stick on labels, replace them when they fall off!). It is astonishing how much unlabelled, good quality clothing ends up in lost property and the school will give it to charity if not collected following reminders. Sew on labels are harder work but tend to last longer.
  • – the school will supply pencil and a rubber, however you will want to supplement these as the year goes on. Pencils bought already sharpened tend to last longer than un-sharpened ones which often don’t sharpen well once used.


    • Snack – make sure they have a healthy snack for playtime – one small snack and a drink is ample. Don’t overfill your child’s lunch box as they may get anxious about having to eat it all.
    • Tuck shop – there is a school tuck shop selling fruit, toast and cakes. However, P1s usually bring their own tuck. Later in the year, if you want your children to use it, you would have to top up their account using Parent Pay. Children are limited to one item at tuck shop. The tuck shop can be busy and queuing will use up part of their playtime.


you will get instructions at the beginning of the school year on what type of homework the P1s will be getting and what you should do with it.
Handy hints: have an Argos or similar catalogue to hand – great for “find a thing beginning with K homework”! It can also be a good idea to take a photo of the spelling pages – at some point (perhaps even regularly!) your child will forget their homework! Children will also have a ‘Communication Diary’ – a jotter in which you can pass info to the class teacher or ask questions.School lunches – P1s are entitled to a free school lunch or, if you wish, they can bring a packed lunch (remember no nuts or nut based products).  The ERC web site has menus to check what is on offer and guide your child on healthy choices. Children order their lunches in class using the interactive white board and the food is therefore waiting for them. Coloured bands are issued depending on dietary requirements and lunch choices.  The school uses a cashless catering system which will be explained to you separately. Be assured the lunch staff will help your child know what to do whether they are having a school or packed lunch. Lunch time is 12.30 to 1.30 and you can take your child out for lunch for a special occasion if you wish.


Projects – remember that projects are not a parent competition! Your child is not learning much if you do most of it yourself and your teacher will know the score when your child turns up with a scale replica of Edinburgh Castle for their “castle” project.




  • Emails – email is standard for most communications unless paper is necessary. It’s therefore absolutely essential that your email address is up to date and you check your emails every day – news from school comes out almost daily. We would also suggest having all parents/ carers on the email list to ensure you are all up to speed with what is happening in school.
  • Twitter and Facebook – even if you don’t use twitter or facebook normally, it is worth signing up even if you only follow the school / PC / PSA – you will see really useful reminders, pictures and news from the school and can take part in /set up parent groups. See the bottom of this note for all the groups to follow / join


Getting to know you

  • P1/2 mums night – the PSA organises an early opportunity for p1/2 mums to get together – watch out for the date at the beginning of next term.
  • Get to know other parents – whatsapp or facebook groups for your class can be a great way to keep in touch. But do try also to organise a class/year get togetherto put faces to names. Knowing other parents in your child’s class is great for homework emergencies, play dates and to share experiences. The school can distribute an invite if you don’t know numbers / details (get the content approved before you make copies). It needn’t be a big “event” – usually just drinks / coffee / a chat in a local venue. Helping at events and getting involved in the PC or PSA (see below) are also great ways of getting to know faces and making the playground less daunting if you are new to the school. Both groups have their AGM in September – dates to follow.
  • Parties – P1 can be a busy year for parties as the children get to know one another though don’t ever feel obliged to have one. Do whatever suits you and your child. Handy hint: if you see an ideal bargain present, bulk buy if you can! Also, do respond to party invites – even if your child can’t go. It’s very frustrating for fellow parents to end up with a bunch of “no shows” for whom they may have had to pay a venue or prepare a party bag.

    Fun stuff

    • After school activities – the school runs lots of after and in school activities – these usually run for 6 to 8 week blocks. You will get details as and when they come up. They are often very popular so respond quickly – spaces may have to be allocated first come first served. Your child may not get in first time round but the school does its best to ensure all pupils get a fair chance. Parent volunteersalso play a vital part in running these clubs so if there is something you could help with or a club you could start / run, let the school know.There is also a large football club in the school which plays in the local football leagues and you will receive details at the start of the year.
      • Outings and trips – in each school year, your child will have various outings. Make sure they wear shirt and tie (if the school says “school uniform” in a note, it means shirt and tie). If they are to get pocket money for a gift shop eg £2 on a museum visit, please try to stick to the maximum amount specified – this is much fairer to the other children and avoids difficulties for the teachers / helpers. If you prefer your child not to spend some/all their money on sweets then please tell them – big packets are inevitably on offer in gift shops!


      • Helping out – if you would like to help out in school or on school trips etc, please speak to the school. You may need to get PVG disclosure checked depending on what you wish to do but the school will keep you straight.


      We hope these tips are helpful and wish you and your family a wonderful time at OLM. We look forward to meeting you in the years to come!

Our Lady of the Missions Parent Council and Parent Staff Association

Contact details


Parent council / PSA closed groups for parents / carers – search for  “OLM Parent Council” and “OLM PSA”  (need to answer question confirming you are a parent)

Parent council public page – “Our Lady of The Missions Primary School Parent Council”


School account – OLM Primary

PSA Account – OLM PSA

Parent Council Account – OLM Parent Council