Tag Archives: Section 1 – Practical Information About The School

Communication With Home

The school operates a system of Home-School Plastic Folders. All communications from school are placed   inside the Plastic Folder each day and parents are asked to place any communications to school in these also. Plastic Folders are collected each morning by school staff and are returned to children at the end of the school day. All important and routine communications from the school are delivered to home/school in this manner Parents are encouraged to check their child’s schoolbag each night to retrieve the Plastic Folders for any communications. School staff also encourage parents to communicate with us by email and telephone.

Mobile Phone Policy

1. Bernera Primary School generally discourages parents for allowing and pupils from bringing mobile phones or other valuable items to the school, on the grounds that they may get lost or stolen. If a phone or other valuable item is brought to the school, parents are advised that, where possible, the items should be marked in some way to aid future identification if lost and subsequently found.

 2. If a pupil does bring a mobile phone to school, the phone must remain switched off during the school day and may not be used on school premises, grounds, or during off-site curricular activities (such as   swimming or other sports activities). The only exceptions to this will be on school trips, where the school will have the discretion to allow pupils to carry and use phones if they wish (e.g. during planned solo activities), in emergencies, or with the express approval of a member of school staff.

 3. If a pupil is found by a member of staff to be using a mobile phone for any purpose, without authorisation, the phone will be confiscated from the pupil and will generally only be returned to the pupil’s parent.

 4. However, mobile phones may be returned directly to the pupil:

 a) On a first breach, if it is clear that the pupil did not understand the school’s policy on the use of mobile phones;


 b) In a situation where there is genuine concern that the pupil requires the phone directly after the school day on security, health and safety or similar grounds;


 c) On receipt of a signed authorisation from the parent, where travel or other issues make it difficult for the parent to attend the school to receive the phone.

Complaints, Comments, and Suggestions Procedures

We are keen that you should be completely satisfied about your child’s education and we encourage  feedback from parents and pupils.  We are, therefore, interested in feedback of all kinds, whether it be compliments,  suggestions or complaints.  If you have a complaint about the school, please let us know.  It is better that these things are shared openly and resolved fairly rather than being allowed to damage the relationship between the family and the school.  There will be no negative consequences arising from making a complaint and we will deal with the issue as confidentially as possible.  If we have made a mistake we will apologise quickly and clearly and try to put things right.

 There are some things which you should take note of in relation to making a complaint:

 ¨ please make any complaints initially to the Head Teacher.  This makes sure that the school knows what is going on and has an opportunity to respond and resolve the issue.

¨ If you are unhappy with the service or with our response then you will have the right to take the matter further.  You can put your complaint in writing or fill in a complaint form. Completed forms should be sent to:

Director of Education and Children’s Services,

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar,

Sandwick Road,


Isle of Lewis,

HS1 2BW.

 Further information on the Council’s complaints procedure and on making a complaint can be found at:


 where an online Complaints Form is also located.

 ¨ If you are still unhappy after further investigation and reply you can take the matter up with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.  The reply will include the contact details.

Medical Care for Pupils

Parents should inform the school without fail of any relevant medical history e.g. asthma, epilepsy, diabetes etc. of which teachers should be aware. 

The Head Teacher and two School Assistants are trained in First Aid and hold First Aid At Work certificates. The Nursery Key Worker also holds a basic certificate in First Aid. 

Any pupil who feels unwell in class should inform the class teacher who will make arrangements to seek medical advice if necessary.  In some cases it may be necessary to send your child home but this will only be done after contact has been made with the parent/guardian/emergency contact to make arrangements, including suitable transport.

 The Public Health Nurse, visits the school annually for Primary 1 health checks.  Parents are informed in advance of these medical checks and asked for their consent.

 Where pupils have particular and very specific needs, members of staff, including the Head Teacher, have been trained in specific medical procedures in order to care appropriately for these pupils. The  competency of   members of staff to undertake such procedures is regularly assessed by staff trainers from NHS Western Isles.

Dental Services

Under the Childsmile programme, all pupils in the school brush their teeth each day. Over time this has been proven to reduce the decay pupils experience. The schools dental service visit the school regularly to carry out surveys and check the children’s teeth. Parents are informed in advance of any dental visits that are due to take place and then informed by letter of any dental work that is required and pupils are referred on to the Western Isles Dental Centre.

Administration of Medicines

Class Teachers are not obliged to administer medicine to pupils. However, if/when it is essential for a child to have medication while in school, this will be carried out by a trained First Aider in the school office, but only when the appropriate request form has been filled in and signed by parent / guardian. Forms are available in the school office.

No medication will be given without a written request from parents/guardians and the consent of the Head Teacher. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to deliver and collect medication in person and also to replace medication when it becomes out of date.

Allied Health Professionals

In the event of pupils requiring additional support from our Allied Health Professionals such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, the school will complete an Inter-Agency Referral and submit it to the Department of Education and Children’s Services where it will be directed to the appropriate service. All referrals are made in accordance with the “Getting It Right for Children and Young People Policy in the Western Isles.” This Policy can be found at:


School Policies

The following CNES Policies have been endorsed by the school and form the basis of our practice with our pupils. These can be found listed on the CNES Website in the following location. 


 ¨ Anti-Bullying Policy

¨ Care and Welfare Policy

¨ Dress Code Policy

¨ Disruption to Education on Account of Bad Weather

¨ Enterprise in Education

¨ Getting It Right (for Children and Young People in the Western Isles)

¨ Home Education

¨ Home To School Travel


¨ Improving Behaviour Policy

¨ Inclusion

¨ Parental Involvement Strategy

¨ Promoting Positive Behaviour

¨ Quality Improvement Policy and Procedures

¨ Race Equality

¨ Religious Observance

¨ Support for Bereavement

¨ Transition Planning

In addition to this the School has the following policies available:-

¨ Internet Access Policy

¨ Learning and Teaching

¨ School Security

Welcome from the Head Teacher

Dear Parents,

The staff and I would like to welcome all parents and their children, particularly those who are new to the school. We hope that this handbook will offer an introduction to our school and a general overview of the  education your child will be getting at school.

We do value the contribution parents make to support their children’s education and we look forward to working in partnership with all of you during your child’s time here.

The purpose of the School Handbook is to provide parents with some basic information about the school and to provide a point of reference for many of the common questions that arise throughout the school year.

We welcome all our parents into the school and are happy to meet with you to discuss any issues or concerns you may have regarding your child. We hope that your child will be happy during their time in Bernera School and similarly we hope that you will be keen to actively join in with the school community during that time also.

Along with my staff, I look forward to meeting with you at various points throughout the course of the year.

If you have any questions, or would like any further information on any aspect of this handbook or the education of your child, please do not hesitate to contact me.

To make our handbook easy to use, we have divided the information up into five different sections.


This section provides you with some background information on our school.  It deals with the practical aspects of your child’s attendance at our school.  It provides details on such things as:

¨ the school day and school year

¨ how to contact the school if your child is ill

¨ travelling to and from school

¨ school meals

¨ financial assistance with school clothing, transport and school meals

¨ school closures in an emergency or unexpectedly for any reason

¨ general supervision available for your child in the morning and at lunch time

¨ wet weather details

¨ how the school communicates with parents

¨ how to complain if you are not happy about something

¨ an overview of school policies.


This section contains information about how parents can be involved in supporting learning at home as part of a home – school partnership.

You can also find out more about the ethos of the school, what our values are and our aspirations for our  pupils including how we celebrate pupil success, links we have with partner organisations and the wider local, national and international community.

Lastly, it includes information on our Parent Council, how to contact them and how parents can get involved in the life and work of the school.


This section describes how the curriculum is planned and delivered in the school including the range of subjects and subjects your child will be learning.  It also includes information on how pupils develop skills for learning, life and work including literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing in and out of the classroom.

As well as giving you information about the statutory curriculum requirements we have included details on sports and outdoor activities available to pupils and the range of facilities available within the school.

Details of how parents will be informed about sensitive aspects of learning e.g. relationships, sexual health,  parenthood and drugs awareness are included as well as information about religious education and observance and arrangements for parents who wish to exercise their right to withdraw their child.

This handbook also tells you how we will report on your child’s progress and what written reports may be sent out to parents.


This section gives information about how pupils’ additional support needs will be identified and addressed and the types of specialist services provided within our school.  This handbook also explains who to contact for more information if you think your child has additional support needs.

This section also gives information about transition – from primary school to secondary school – what the  arrangements are and contact details of the secondary high school to which our pupils normally transfer.  There are also details about making a placing request to another school.


This section gives you an overview of the main achievements of the school within the last twelve months and performance information relating to literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.

While Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is happy to provide this information, we do have some reservations that the publication of raw statistics, without any kind of informed qualification, can be misleading to the reader.  In particular, they should not be construed as offering an indication of the quality of education provided in any of our schools.

We have also shown where you can get further information about our plans for the next three years to improve our performance and how the school will involve parents in that improvement.

We hope you find all of the information helpful and self explanatory.  If you have any queries about any of the information contained in this handbook, or indeed about any aspect of our school, please do not hesitate to contact the school.

I would like to make it clear that all information contained within this School Handbook was considered to be correct at the time of publication in December 2013.  It may be that if you are viewing this Handbook at a later date that some information may have changed and that some inaccuracies are included. If you are in any doubt about the veracity of information contained within the Handbook, please do not hesitate to contact the school to speak to myself or a member of my staff who will be happy to provide you with up-to-date and accurate information

Your sincerely

Kirsteen J. Maclean

Head Teacher

Bernera School

Bernera School Handbook – Contents

You will find information about the school in the following sections of the School Handbook. Please click on the link for the appropriate section on the menu on the right hand side and scroll down through the section till you locate the information you require.


¨ Contact Details

¨ About Bernera School

¨ Organisation of the School Day

¨ Agreed Term Dates for Session 2012-13 and Session 2013-14

¨ Attendance and Absence

¨ School Uniform

¨ Footwear and Clothing Grants

¨ School Meals

¨ Travel To and From School

¨ Unexpected Closures

¨ Communication with Home

¨ Mobile Phone Policy

¨ Complaints, Comments and Suggestions Procedures

¨ Medical and Health Information

¨ School Policies


¨ Parents Welcome

¨ Parental Involvement

¨  Formal Parent Representation

¨ Pupil Council

¨ The Vision, Values and Aims of Bernera Primary School

¨ School Ethos

¨ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Values

¨ Pupil Conduct

¨ Dealing With Bullying

¨ Promotion of Positive Behaviour


¨ Curriculum for Excellence

¨ Planning and Delivery

¨ Homework Policy

¨ Sensitive Aspects of Learning

¨ Active Schools

¨ Assessment

¨ Reporting to Parents


¨ Additional Support Needs

¨ Pastoral Support Arrangements

¨ Transitions

¨ Transfer from Nursery to Primary

¨ Primary School Admissions

¨ Primary to Secondary Transfer

¨ Placing Requests


¨ Standards and Quality Report

¨ School Improvement Plan

¨ Transferring Educational Data About Pupils