Mrs Oakley is our Matron at Prince’s Mead and she works full school days from Monday to Thursday. Mrs Mitchell comes in on a Friday. Mrs Oakley is a qualified nurse who has many years of experience in emergency medicine as she used to be a senior sister on the McGill Emergency Admissions Unit in Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital. She is also the deputy designated safeguarding lead for the school along with the Headmaster, Mr Thacker. Mr Greenaway, Deputy Headmaster, is the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Matron is a fully accredited first aid instructor and teaches all staff full first aid courses such as Paediatric First Aid at work. All teachers are trained in the use of the onsite AED (defibrillator) and Epipens.
Matron’s role covers many facets of life at Prince’s Mead. All communication regarding absence goes through her so if your child is poorly, phone or email Matron. She records the absence and informs all relevant teachers. She also deals with the ‘Request for Leave of Absence’ forms. Matron is there if you have a query regarding the school day or concerns about your child and will endeavour to answer any questions.
During break times, Matron stays in her office and a walkie talkie system to her office is used. If any child injures themselves at breaktimes and cannot walk up to matrons office, the member of staff will radio Matron who comes straight down with a first aid kit. All other children who are unwell or injured ask a member of staff then go up to see Matron. The younger years come in pairs or are sometimes escorted by their older buddy.
Matrons office is cosy and welcoming, she has a sofa with cushions and soft toys. If a child feels unwell, Matron has blankets and they can snuggle up on the sofa. Occasionally reception children just become overwhelmingly tired and it’s not unheard of to find a very small person tucked up under a blanket in Matrons room!
If your child is sick or feels too unwell to stay at school, Matron will ring parents and ask for the child to be collected. They can stay with her until a parent arrives. If your child has vomiting and or diarrhoea, they are sent home and a 48 hour off school after last episode is in place as per national guidelines.
With regard to school uniform, there is the Uniform shop and Nearly New uniform shop. For emergencies, Matron has a spares cupboard. As a reminder Matron sends out a few letters throughout the year to alert parents when wellie boots or sun hats etc are required.
Matron also sends our letters / advice sheets regarding alerts such as when tick season starts or if a child has head lice. In this instance, an alert letter is sent to all parents of that year group but names of pupils are confidential.
As part of her health promotion and general well-being, Matron loves to take on her own initiatives too. Look out for the notice board outside her office! Over the last academic year she had The Great Prince’s Mead Porridge Bake off. Children were encouraged to make porridge and take photographs. The winners received rainbow porridge bowls! The last initiative was ‘Caught being Kind’. Pupils and staff could come and tell Matron about someone who had done a good turn and their name was placed on a colourful fish outside Matrons office, a certificate was then taken to the child in class and announced with lots of clapping! Year 5 and 6 children have a carousel club choice once a week and Matron teaches first aid for 12 children termly. They are awarded a certificate and first aid badge at the end.
It’s a time of excitement and change when your child first school, whether in year R and taking their first steps into school education or at any time during years R to year 6. Pastoral care is a large part of Matron’s role and she will be there should your son or daughter have any news school wobbles. Teachers are very good at supporting this too and will let a child go to have some TLC with Matron if they look like they need it.