New parents: starting at Carden

Welcome to the Carden community! We are looking forward to you joining our school. This page has some useful general information for pupils and their families and carers about what to expect.

Every child is unique, and at Carden we work with parents and carers to support each pupil to transition into our school. Below you’ll find an overview of information that will be useful to get started. But please talk with our staff if you have any specific questions.

You can always contact the office to arrange a visit.


Admission into school is managed by Brighton and Hove Local Authority. You can contact them on 01273 293653 and ask to be put through to the School Admissions Section.

Alternatively, follow the link below to the Brighton and Hove Council School Admissions website for further information.

School Admissions

Visits to look around the school are always welcome. Please telephone the School Office on 01273 916606 or email to make an appointment.

Settling in process and home visits (Reception)

At Carden we pride ourselves on getting to know each of our pupils. And this begins from the very first moment your child joins our school.

At an initial parent welcome visit, we will share an information pack with everything you’ll need to get started. This includes the dates for your settle sessions, spread out over a week, designed to increase your child’s confidence and familiarity with Carden, and for you to see our space and support your child’s transition.

Before the settle sessions, a memebr of our teaching staff will also visit your home to introcude themselves to your child. This is very much a friendly, informal visit to increase your child’s familiarity with us, and no tea, tidying, or preparation is required!

School-parent communication

There are a variety of ways Carden staff and parents communicate:

  1. Using the Study Bugs app – all official school announcements will be made via this app. We do also send emails, but the app is the preferred method to contact parents, as well as for parents to let the school know if your child is going to be absent from school.
  2. By phone or email –  you can call 01273 293677 or email the school office at during the school day, briefly detailing your concern and to whom you need to speak.
  3. Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) – Every single parent or carer that has a child at Carden is part of the PTA. It is a great way to connect with other parents and teachers at the school.
  4. Parent Representatives and Council – Each year group has a number of parent representatives. These are parents who represent that year group in Parent Council meetings: this is a chance to raise any issues, concerns, and ideas that come from any parents in that year group. You can join your year group WhatsApp and find out who your rep is.
  5. In-person chats and parents’ evenings – Our teaching staff is always keen to hear from parents and carers, and will share feedback throughout the year. Pick-up and drop-off time is also a chance to check how the day went for your child, and flag any concerns you would like to follow up. Do be aware that lengthy conversations may not be possible at these times. We also have a parents’ evening each year, where parents come into the school to see the children’s work and speak with the staff about their child’s progress.
  6. Updates – so much happens in Carden it would be impossible to tell you it all at pick up! You can see what your child’s class gets up to at the end of each term in our round up of activities here in our updates section, as well as a newsletter that gets sent to all parents.

You can read our parent’s guide to communcation here.

Setting up ParentPay

When you join Carden you will receive specific information on setting up Parent Pay. This is our cashless payment system for things like school meals, trips, Carden branded uniform, and other things throughout the year.


Carden’s distinctive bottle-green uniforms are worn with pride by our pupils. You can read the uniform requirements here. But we know that the huge range of activities and adventures at playtime can mean uniforms are quickly worn and torn. Our PTA run a pre-loved uniform sale every Monday, with high-quality uniforms in all sizes available. All for £1 an item.

Drop-offs and pick-ups

When you join Carden, you’ll receive the timings for pick up and drop off for your child/ren. There is a window of time for dropping your child off and picking up, after which they will have to go to the main school reception. We encourage all pupils to be in the classroom on time, so they can begin learning and there are as few disruptions as possible. If your child has special educational needs and you would like to speak to a member of staff about getting your child into school on time, please get in touch with our Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Lisa Perrins.