The School Day
Students arriving late must report to the reception office. Parents wishing to contact the school may do so between 8.15am and 4.30pm (4.00pm on Fridays).
Attendance at school is vital to achieve success. Research shows that 17 days of absence from school can lead to a drop in achievement of one grade at GCSE. Parents are asked to inform us as soon as possible if a student is not well enough to come to school. A telephone call or a note sent in with a sibling or neighbour on the first day of absence is ideal. Students should bring a note explaining the absence, signed by a parent, when he or she returns to school, except if it has been a one day absence and a note has already been sent. The Education Welfare officer is informed if there is repeated absence without explanations from parents.
Permission for absence for reasons other than illness (e.g. holidays) should be sought from the Director of Learning responsible for the year group.
Illness & Accident
The school provides first aid facilities and a small sick bay. Students who become ill at school will be cared for whilst parents are asked to come to school to collect them.
In the case of accidents to students, a wide range of responses may be needed, from calling out the emergency services to dealing with minor first aid. It is essential that we have emergency contact telephone numbers, ideally for both parents. Where parents are often difficult to contact, or both work a long way from school, the numbers of other appropriate people, e.g. grandparents, can be helpful. Students needing urgent hospital treatment will be transported by ambulance. If non-urgent hospital treatment is needed, we will contact parents and ask them to arrange it. We hope that you will understand that only in exceptional circumstances will school staff escort students to hospital for non-urgent treatment. However, in cases of emergency hospitalisation by ambulance, school staff will remain at hospital with all students under 16 years of age, and with older students who need support, until parents can get there.
We need to know about medical conditions which may affect a student's well-being in school and parents will be asked for this information. Medical and dental inspections are carried out in the medical room at school, parents having been informed in advance.
Data Protection and School Health Service
For many years schools and the School Health and Dental Services have worked together to ensure that all children in school are offered immunisation, health and dental surveillance, advice and support. To do this the School Health and Dental Services need population databases – an up-to-date list of all children attending school. These are used to provide programmes, including immunisation against tuberculosis (BCG) and meningitis C and dental, hearing and vision screening. In response to changes in the Data Protection Act we are required to ensure that parents know that the school gives your child’s name, address and date of birth to the School Health and Dental Services for this purpose. This information will be shared unless you advise the Head Teacher in writing that you do not wish this to happen. Information about the services offered by School Health and Dentist are detailed in the information leaflet that you will have received when your child started school. Further copies, if required, can be obtained from the school nurse. Please note that no immunisation or dental work is carried out without a signed consent form from the parent or guardian.
Since September 2006, meals have been managed and delivered by the school kitchen staff. Meals are provided on a self-service basis. A wide range of healthy choices are available: two or three course meals or snacks, whichever are preferred. Students entitled to free school meals may select items to the current value of a standard meal. We have embraced the Healthy Diet guidelines and see it as a major development for the school.
Any student may bring a packed lunch to school.
All main school (Years 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11) are expected to stay on the premises at lunchtime. In the interest of safety and order we encourage the co-operation of parents in ensuring that this procedure is strictly adhered to.
Sixth Form students have the privilege of taking lunch at school, at home, or in town.
Money and valuables should never be left in school-bags or coat pockets. Items may be handed to the school office or to a teacher for safe-keeping. Items of personal property and clothing should be clearly named.
The school does not accept responsibility for lost items but we will gladly help with problems, provided sensible precautions have been taken. All items found are handed in to one of the school offices
All students must have the following equipment each day:
a pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, planner (provided), a bag, sports kit (on days when it is required) and preferably, a calculator.
All students are provided with a professionally printed planner or diary, which provides spaces for timetables, homework timetables, the daily noting of homework tasks and simple communications between staff and parents. Parents are asked to sign the planners each weekend and they are then countersigned by tutors at registration on Mondays.
Fire and emergency evacuation procedure is practised each term. The assembly point in case of emergency evacuation is the all-weather hockey pitch.
Students who travel by bus are issued with bus passes by the Local Education Authority Transport Department if they live more than three miles from school. We ask parents to stress to their children the need for good behaviour when journeying to and from school. The bus pass must be shown to the driver every time students travel to or from school. If the pass is not shown, they will have to pay until the pass is produced. Replacement bus passes are available at a cost of £5 from school transport at County Hall in Morpeth (01670 533644).