Frequently Asked Questions

  • When do I apply for my child to start school? If your child was born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018, they are due to start school in the school year beginning September 2022. Admission to a Year R class is not automatic. You can apply online via Hampshire County Council ( or call them on 0300 5551377 for an application form together with an admissions brochure and a directory of Hampshire schools. Application opens from 1st November 2020 to 15th January 2021. It does not matter how quickly you apply for your place as all applications will only be considered after the closing date using the admissions criteria outlined in the HCC policy. Further information about admissions can be found in our admissions policy If you have moved house, are moving to a new area or wish to move your child to a different school, you may also apply online for an immediate place or contact the admissions team at Hampshire County Council. Berrywood can only consider applications that have been made through HCC.

  • Can I take my child out of school for the purposes of a family holiday?

    From September 2015, Hampshire County Council’s Attendance Policy was revised and this impacts how unauthorised absence and lateness is managed at Berrywood Primary school. If a child has unauthorised absence or is marked late in the register for 10 or more sessions (equivalent to 5 school days) within a 100 day period, a fixed penalty notice will be issued by Hampshire County Council to each adult with parental responsibility for the child. Each penalty notice incurs a fine of £60 if paid within the first 21 days or £120 if paid within 28 days. If unpaid, this will result in prosecution. Absence of any type will only be authorised in exceptional circumstances or in instances of genuine illness. Exceptional circumstances are defined as an event arising as a result of factors beyond a family’s control e.g. to attend a family funeral. Holidays will not be authorised during term time. Fixed Penalty Notices will also be issued to parents/carers of children who we are told were absent due to illness but subsequently discover have been on holiday. If you wish to take you child out of school for any purposes, an absence request form must be completed and returned to the school office.

    Penalty Notice Information leaflet for Parents

  • What options are available for school lunch?

    Our school meals are provided by Hampshire Caterers. The menu’s work on a three week cycle to ensure variety with a meat and vegetarian option available daily. As an alternative to the menu options, children can opt to have a filled jacket potato instead. Again, the options work on a three week cycle. To see the current menu options or for more information about special diets please visit the Hampshire Caterers (HC3S) website at

    School Menu

    Jacket Potato Option




  • How do I find out if my child is eligible for free school meals?

    Please note, this is different to the Universal Free School Initiative under which all children in Years R, 1 and 2 are provided with a free school meal if they wish.  Free School Meals are available only to children whose parents/guardians are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

    • Income Support
    • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
    • An income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    • Families in receipt of Child Tax Credit will also qualify provided that (a) they are NOT also entitled to Working Tax Credit and (b) their annual income, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, does not exceed £16,190 (from 2010, subject to annual review)
    • Working tax credit run-on – paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for working tax credit
    • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
    • All universal credit claimants are currently eligible

    Parents should be aware that taking up the free meals is recommended but not compulsory and that registering is completely confidential. Hampshire County Council Catering Services (HC3S) has an online service so that parents can check their eligibility for claiming free school meals for their child. The website can be found at All you need to do is enter your name, national insurance number or asylum number, your address and your child’s details.

  • How do I report my child's absence?

    If your child is unable to attend school you must let the school office know on a daily basis before 9:30 am. You can do this by either:

    • Leaving a message on the school answerphone before 8:30 am (01489 780068)
    • Phoning the school switchboard after 8:30 am (01489 780068)
    • Emailing – before 9:30am

    Please note that if we do not hear from you, a member of our office team will telephone to ensure that your child is safe and establish the reason for absence. Please note, we can only take notification of a child’s absence from a responsible adult.

  • Where do I get school uniform from?

    The school colours are maroon and yellow. The following items of clothing are recommended as being suitable and practical for school:

    • Grey skirt or pinafore dress (flannel, in either natural or synthetic fibres)
    • Grey trousers or shorts (flannel, in either natural or synthetic fibres)
    • Yellow polo shirt
    • Maroon sweatshirt with yellow school logo
    • Yellow/white cotton dress for girls in the summer (optional)

    The children should wear suitable shoes for school which do not make it difficult or dangerous for them to take part in certain activities. In the summer term sandals are acceptable when worn with socks. The following clothes are compulsory for PE and Games:

    • Shorts or leotard
    • T-shirt or sports top in your child’s house colour (you will find this information in your welcome pack)
    • Plimsolls/trainers
    • Drawstring PE bag
    • Tracksuit to wear in the colder weather

    Year 4/5 pupils take part in swimming lessons and will need:

    • Swimwear (one-piece costume for girls and trunks not shorts for boys)
    • Towel

    School uniform is available from Skoolkit or online at myclothing by visiting Please ensure that every item of clothing or equipment is clearly marked with your child’s name so that all lost property can be returned promptly.  Sewn-in labels are more effective than the iron-on variety.

  • My child has lost their uniform/equipment. What do I do?

    All uniform, equipment or lunchboxes etc. brought into school should be named which is the best way to ensure that lost property is easily returned to its owner. In the event that an item has gone missing, in the first instance, it is best to ask your child to re-trace their steps back to where they last had it. If your child’s uniform or equipment is named, when it is found by a staff member or handed in, it will be returned to them at their class. Any lost property handed in that is unnamed is placed in the lost property container outside of the Site Managers office. If you still cannot find the lost item, it may be worth speaking to the class teacher or LSA. If your child brings home another child’s clothing or item, please could we request that you return it to the class teacher or LSA at your earliest convenience.

  • How do I find out about places at Berries breakfast, afterschool and holiday clubs?

    The school operates a breakfast, afterschool and holiday club which is run by school employed staff. If you are interested in a place at any of these clubs you can pick up a registration form from the school reception. These clubs are extremely popular and therefore, on occasion, waiting lists are in operation and therefore places cannot be guaranteed. Breakfast Club Breakfast Club is available daily from 7.45 am. The club for children in Key Stage 2 (Years 3 – 6) runs from the phase 3 drama room. You do not have to pre-book your place and your child may attend on an ad-hoc basis. The club for younger children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Years R, 1 + 2) operates from the conference room and places must be pre-booked. You will be invoiced half termly in advance for these sessions. For both clubs the charge is currently £3.75 and includes a breakfast, supervision and play equipment/resources.  Berries After School Club Berries after school club runs from 3.15pm – 5.30pm daily (term time only). The current charge is £9.90 per session. Places must be pre-booked and unfortunately, due to the popularity of these clubs, ad-hoc attendance cannot be accommodated.

  • Does my child need a rucksack, pencil case or stationery at school?

    Your child should not need to bring any equipment with them from home unless they are taking part in a special activity or trip e.g. extra-curricular sporting activity. All stationery they require will be provided by the school. Class room space is limited and therefore we request that children bring book bags only that will fit in their trays. Special storage arrangements are in place for those children who need to bring additional kit with them due to additional activities they are attending.

  • How does my child sign up for after school clubs and sporting activities?

    We encourage our pupils to have a wide range of interests and experience which they can pursue during their leisure time. There is a wide range of activities at Berrywood either at Lunchtime or after school. If your child wishes to take part in an activity after school you will be asked to sign a permission slip. No child may stay without parental permission. Similarly, if your child cannot attend a club they has signed up for, a responsible adult must let the school office know. We cannot take a child’s word for this. Please talk to your child about their choice of activity and explain to them that they are making a commitment of at least half a term, in some cases it may be more. A choice of activities are available e.g. Football, netball, recorder group, karate, dance club, gardening club and many more. Opportunities for extra-curricular activities have been significantly increased at Berrywood in recent years. We employ a Sports Development Leader who has overall responsibility for ensuring that children of all ages are given the opportunity to join sporting clubs both before and after school. This sometimes involves deploying specialist coaches but will also include members of staff, parents and other volunteers. In order to prevent the costs of joining a club run by a specialist coaches from becoming prohibitive and in order to ensure that we are able to purchase quality equipment and resources to boost sport, we have decided to charge a flat rate of £1 for most school led clubs.  Children are given the opportunity to sign up for after school activities on a half termly basis. Letters are sent home each half term for the children to register an interest in school led activities and after the closing date, places are offered, dependent on the number of applications in relation to places available. Where a child has been unsuccessful one half term, they will be given priority the next half term. Some clubs are more popular than others and therefore places cannot always be guaranteed. Unfortunately, once the closing date for applications has passed, late applications cannot be considered. There are also a number of external agencies that run after school clubs. Information about these and contact details are also shown on the letter sent home half termly. Alternatively, you can contact the school office for information. The cost of these clubs varies. Enquiries, registration and payments are made directly to the companies involved.

    Autumn 2 2019 Sports Club Letter

    Autumn 2 2019 Sports Club Timetable

    Autumn 2 2019 Outdoor Club Letter

    Autumn 2 2019 Outdoor Club Timetable


  • How do I pay for school trips?

    Payments for school dinners, educational visit, Berries after school clubs etc. can be made to the school using a variety of methods:-

    • Online using Scopay:   When you child starts at Berrywood you will be given login details and information on how to make online payments
    • Cash – in a sealed envelope marked with your child’s name, class, the purpose of the payment and amount
    • Cheque – made payable to Hampshire County Council – again in a sealed envelope with the above information on it
  • How do I make an appointment for parents evenings?

    Parents evening appointments are made using the same online system that is used for making payments to the school ( A few weeks before the event, the system will be made live for you to book your slot. Information about this will be sent home to you via email prior to the system going live.

  • Can my child bring a mobile phone into school?

    We do not actively encourage children to bring mobile phones into school and do not have the facilities for them to be stored securely during the school day. We do however, understand that in years 5 and 6 children become more independent and may have permission to walk to and from school on their own. In this case, if it is deemed necessary, children may bring in a mobile phone but it must be turned off on arrival at school and stored in their book bag, in their tray, for the duration of the school day. Please note that the school will not accept any responsibility for the loss or damage of any phone brought into school.

  • What methods can I use to communicate with and receive communications from the school?

    Regular newsletters from the Headteacher and year group staff are placed on our Website. Any letters posted on the website will also automatically be emailed to the designated email address given to the school. Any letter that requires a reply slip to be returned will be sent home as a hard copy in addition to the above methods.  The school office, which is located at the entrance to the main building, is open from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm daily.  All visitors and parents bringing children into or taking them out of school once the school day has started, should always report to the school office first.

    You can communicate with the school either email or telelephone (01489 780068), by note, or by popping to see our school receptionist. Alternatively we have a variety of email addresses you could use if you would prefer:-

    Please use this email address if you wish to communicate with the school about anything relating to our Berries Breakfast and Berries After School clubs.

    Please use this email address to report a pupil absence. Could we request that you email us before 9.30 am because after this time we start the process of making telephone calls to parents of children who are absent with no known reason.

    Please use this email address to let us know about change of contact details or any other details, including medical or email address etc.

    Please use this email address to correspond with the Headteacher. This email address must only be used if all other avenues of communication have already been followed e.g. with the classteacher if it is relating to your child. Also, we cannot guarantee that a response will be immediate either because of Mr Reilly’s commitments or because of the time it may take to look into any concerns you may have.

    Please use this address if you wish to communicate with the governing body

    Please use this email address if you wish to communicate with our B.S.A.

    Please could we request that the email addresses above are not used for anything other than their designated purpose as we will not be able to respond to you. We cannot stress the importance of you continuing to use the school switchboard with anything that relates to your child on a particular day as the above email addresses are not regularly monitored through the day and may not be checked after 9.30 am.

    ClassDojo ClassDojo is used by teachers in year groups 1 to 6 and is an online learning behaviour management system designed especially for primary age children. It allows pupils and parents to keep track of how well things are going in class and is also a very useful two-way communication tool for teachers and parents. ClassDojo should not be used to communicate pupil absences etc. and the communication systems described previously should be used accordingly. Once your child has started at Berrywood you will be sent logon/registration details.

    Tapestry If your child has joined Berrywood from a pre-school, you may already know about Tapestry. This is used by the Year R team and is an online journal, shared with parents, recording all the learning and fun enjoyed by children engaged in early years education. Once your child has started at Berrywood you will be sent logon/registration details.

  • What should I do if my child needs to take medication during the school day?

    The administration of medicines is the overall responsibility of the parents/carers.  Where clinically possible we will encourage parents to ask for medicines to be prescribed in dose frequencies which enable them to be taken outside of school hours.  However, the Headteacher is responsible for ensuring children are supported with their medical needs whilst on site, therefore this may include managing medicines where it would be detrimental to a child’s health or school attendance not to do so. We will not give prescription or non-prescription medicines to a child under 16 without their parent’s/carers written consent.  You will be required tp complete a ‘parental agreement to administer medicines’ form which is available from the school of or on the VLE. We will only accept prescribed medicines that are in date, labelled, provided in the original container as dispensed by the pharmacist and include instructions for administration, their dosage and storage.  Insulin is the exception, which must still be in date but will generally be available to schools inside an insulin pen or a pump, rather than its original container. Children who are able to use their own inhalers themselves are encouraged to carry it with them.  If the child is too young or immature to take personal responsibility for their inhaler, staff will make sure that it is stored in a safe but readily accessible place, and clearly marked with the child’s name. It is not our general policy to take responsibility for the administration of non-prescribed medicines, e.g. Calpol or cough medicines, as the responsibility rests with the parents. On occasion, when children require paracetamol, it is our policy to support self-administration if the medicine is in clearly identifiable packaging and only on a short term basis. We will never administer aspirin or medicine containing Ibuprofen to any child under 16 years old unless prescribed by a doctor. Any homeopathic remedies to be administered will require a letter of consent from the child’s doctor and will be administered at the discretion of the Head teacher.

  • What are the times of the school day?

    8:45     Registration (Key Stage 2) 8:50     Registration (Key Stage 1) 9.15     Register closes 9:00     Assembly (whole school/Key Stage/Year Group/Class) 9:15      Lesson Time 10:30    Mid Morning Break KS1 10:40 Mid Morning Break KS2 10:45    Lesson Time KS1 10:55 Lesson Time KS2 11:40   Year R lunch 11:45   Year 1 lunch 12:00    Lunch Break rest of school 13:00    Registration 13:10    Lesson Time 14:30    Afternoon Break (Key Stage 1 only) 1445     Lesson Time 15:15    Home Time

  • How do I make an appointment to meet with a staff member?

    As a school, we try our best to operate an open door policy but it can be difficult to find the time to talk to your child’s class teacher at our busiest times as the children arrive and leave school each day. If you have concerns about your child or a situation that has arisen at school, your first point of contact is the class teacher. You can either arrange to meet with them as you drop off at the school or make contact with our school office team who will try and arrange an appointment for you. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your meeting, we would ask that you arrange to meet with the head of the year group. In nearly all instances, matters can be resolved at this level. In the unusual event that you are still not satisfied or have ongoing concerns, you can make an appointment, through the school office, to meet with our Assistant Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or the Headteacher.  Please be aware that in most instances,  if you have not tried to resolve the issue initially within the class or year group, you will be referred back to them before a meeting with the one of the Headship team will be arranged.

  • Can my child bring a scooter to school?

    Your child can bring a scooter to school and leave it in one of our two lockable scooter parks. We do ask that the scooters are not used once your child enters the school grounds and takes care around pedestrians on their way too and from school.

  • Is your child too poorly for school today?

    Is your child too poorly for school or nursery? New advice will help you decide 

    It is always a worry when a child becomes unwell, but it is not always obvious how to care for them and whether you should keep them at home. You can now find handy NHS guidance in one place online that will help you identify a possible condition, so you can decide whether to send your child to school or nursery.

    On the website is a list of common childhood illnesses and conditions from conjunctivitis to head lice, as well as symptoms such as a high temperature and a sore throat and what these might mean. There is advice about what to do and when a child should return to education after being treated.

    Visit the Should your child go to school/nursery today? website at or go online and search for ‘0-18 should child go to school’. Please bookmark this website so it is easy to find if ever your child becomes unwell.

    If you are unsure about a child’s wellbeing, please talk to your local pharmacist, call the NHS helpline on 111, or contact your GP.