Frequently Asked Questions
Parents contact the school for various reasons and here we have attempted to answer some of the most common questions:
What happens if my child is incorrect uniform?
We try very hard to maintain high standards in uniform. We expect and appreciate the support of parents in this matter. At times uniform can be an issue and contact from parents is appreciated if you are experiencing any difficulties regarding uniform. If, for example, your child’s shoes split and wearing trainers is the only option for a couple of days then please send a brief note to your child’s tutor in the first instance. Your child will be issued with an orange slip and will not receive demerits. A pupil wearing incorrect uniform without the appropriate orange slip will receive demerits. Letters detailing inappropriate uniform will be issued to parents.
What do I do if my child is unwell?
Please ensure that you ring the school attendance office first thing in the morning, every day of your child’s absence (01952 468400) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Children who become unwell in school should go initially to their respective Key Stage 3 or Key Stage 4 office. If it is deemed necessary parents will be contacted and asked to collect their child. Please keep contact numbers up to date at all times, if you have a change of number please notify the school office.
Medical/Dental Appointments - please inform the school office by telephone of the date and time of the appointment. On the day of the appointment your child should carry a note from you that clearly states the time that you will collect your child for the appointment. This will excuse them from class and then must be handed into reception as your child signs out at reception.
What should my child do if he/she is late for school?
For reasons of health and safety all children arriving late after 9.05am to school should always sign in at the attendance office off the reception area. If registration is still in progress pupils should go to their form room and ensure that they are registered there. Lateness to class during the day without a valid reason will mean that your child receives demerits.
Can my child bring a mobile phone to school?
Mobile phones are banned in school. Many pupils do carry mobile phones. They are kept in bags, pockets and lockers. With over 1200 students on roll the school cannot take responsibility for mobile phones. Any mobile phone handed into reception during registration will be kept safely and can be collected at 3pm. Students using phones at any time on school premises will have their phone confiscated. The phone will need to be collected by a parent.
What should my child do if he/she forgets to bring dinner money or bus fare?
We will always endeavour to help out. Initially parents are contacted. If money cannot be brought in from home children may borrow money from their friends but if this is not possible your child should go to the Finance Office and explain the situation to Mrs. Rushton. Please remember, with the cashless catering system now in place, the need for a pupil to carry cash every day at school should be minimal.
The Late bus which runs at 4.15pm is free to students who have a green slip indicating that he/she has been in school at our request - detention/revision session. It is also free for pupils with an AT Brown bus pass. For all other students who request the use of this service there is a charge of £1.50. Please note there is no late bus on Fridays.
Who can my child talk to in school?
Many pupils experience times during adolescence where they feel the need to chat in confidence to someone outside their immediate family circle. In addition to your child’s tutor and Learning Manager, our school counsellors provide a confidential service for any of our students. The Key Stage offices are often an initial point of contact for troubled pupils and we have 'CHAT' (a confidential advisory service) and the school nurse as support for our student body too. Parents may speak in confidence to their child’s tutor; Mrs Lynn in the Key Stage 3 Office/Mr Black in the Key Stage 4 Office or the relevant Learning Manager at a mutually convenient time.
Who do I need to speak to?
Tutor - in the first instance it is the tutor who will be your first point of contact. Please phone the main school office (468400) and leave a message. You will usually receive a reply within 48 hours.
Student Support Office- deals with all major issues regarding the education and welfare of your child. Mrs Lynn manages the pastoral side of Key Stage 3 and Mr Black for Key Stage 4, and may contact you about issues concerning your child. These may be referred to her by tutors/ teaching staff or Learning Managers. Learning Managers are also based in these offices and deal with more serious behavioural issues and academic progress referred to them by tutors and teaching staff.
Finance Office - Mrs Rushton deals with the collection of money for trips and school purchases. Please do not send money into school via the tutor. It should be taken to the Finance Office at an appropriate time in the school day. Alternatively you can pay using ParentPay.
The Support for Learning Unit is run by Assistant Headteacher Ms C Cork and Mrs L Barrass . Their remit covers a wide variety of educational support of a specialised nature and emotional support for pupils identified as needing additional help. You will be referred to them if your child is deemed to be in need of this support.
What are Merits and Demerits?
This is our current system for rewarding and punishing our students.
Merits are issued to celebrate student successes such as good classwork or behaviour, excellent homework, effort, and supporting others. Merit points are accumulated across the whole academic year, and rewards are given out to pupils at the end of each term. These include letters home, vouchers for snacks from the canteen, Amazon gift cards and the choice of a special activity e.g. extra non-uniform day, a pass to skip the lunch queue etc. In addition, pin badges and certificates are given to pupils when they reach an accumulation of a set number of merit points.
Demerits are issued in sets of 5 or 10 points for elements of behaviour that we actively discourage, these include uniform issues, rudeness/answering back, eating/chewing or drinking in class, talking in class, lateness, lack of work or lack of equipment. The demerits currently worth 10 points are rudeness / answering back, inappropriate conduct, persistent talking and use of a mobile phone (which also results in the phone being confiscated). Detentions for the accumulation of 30+ demerit points are run on Friday evenings, and further sanctions are issued for accumulation of 4 or more demerit detentions during an academic year. There is no late bus on a Friday, and arrangements for collecting students are the responsibility of parents.
What happens if my child is selected to represent school in a sporting fixture?
In a school of this size we have a variety of opportunities for pupils to be involved in sports fixtures. We will endeavour to give pupils as much notice as possible of the event, location and the timings. Pupils are issued with individual slips that they should bring home as notification. If there are any issues we ask the pupils to see the individual member of staff as soon as possible so alternative selection can be made. After fixtures we ask parents to make arrangements for the prompt collection of their child from school. Occasionally traffic or other issues mean the pupils are late back to school after the designated time, please ask at the school office as they may be able to contact the member of staff if appropriate or already have information on return times.
What happens if I have to drop my child into school early?
Breakfast Club runs daily from 8am for pupils who arrive early. It is held in the canteen and provides a selection of breakfast foods in a safe environment for pupils to wait before the start of the school day.