Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Newsletters will be published frequently. From September, Parents will be alerted to Newsletters by email and they will also be published on the website.
We aim for high attendance. Our target for attendance is 99%. Pupils learn best when they are in school and we appreciate your support. We are supported by our attendance officer Mrs Nicki Harrington. Should your child be absent, please telephone the school on the first morning of absence or send an email before 8:40 am.
A letter (signed by parents) explaining the absence must be brought on the day that the pupil returns. For appointments, pupils should bring in their appointment card or letter. Your child’s tutor will explain the procedure to follow.
Sickness—we are aware that some primary schools operate a policy of keeping a child off school for 48 hours after sickness. The High School Leckhampton has no such policy, it is up to parental discretion if the child is well enough to come back the next day.
The school has purchased some attendance monitoring software to help communicate absences with parents. The software allows parents to receive an automatic e-mail whenever their son/daughter is unexpectedly absent from morning registration. We hope this will rarely need to be used.
Subject Information Booklet
Early in the school year you will be issued with a Subject Information booklet. This will have details of the work your child will undertake in Year 7. This booklet will also suggest ways you can support your child in each of the subjects he/she studies.
Feedback to Parents
Throughout the year you will be given regular feedback on your child’s progress. In the first term you will be invited to attend a Parents' Evening with tutors. This will be followed by an Interim Report which will provide grades for effort.
In the second term your child will be issued with a second interim report which will be followed by a full parents evening with subject teachers.
In the third term you will receive your child’s full school written report.
The Individual Learning Department
Pupils who have been identified by their primary school as having a special educational need or disability (SEND) will automatically transfer to our register. Their progress will be monitored by the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) Mrs Louise Young . You will be given an opportunity to review progress and transition during the first Parents’ Evening.
If you have any further queries please contact Mrs Young.
Your child's Form Tutor
The tutor will monitor your child’s progress. They will see them daily, once in the morning and then the afternoon. During the afternoon period they will complete tutorial activities to help them settle in. In addition, they will spend an hour a fortnight for a timetabled tutor session. The tutor will also deliver personal and social education.
Your child’s tutor should be the first point of contact. You will no longer have the day to day contact with your child’s teacher you may have had at primary school. If you wish to speak to your child’s tutor, most tutors are happy to be contacted by telephone or email. If there is a problem they will aim to get back to you as quickly as possible. We do ask that you are a little patient as some days are very busy! Miss O’Riordan will deal with significant problems and will be in touch if there are issues or concerns about progress that need to be discussed.
Lilley Brook—Miss Jones
LAMDA Tuition and Public Speaking Club
Further details about this private tuition are in the extra curricular section of our website. This provision is offered by Mrs Crough and all enquiries should be directed to her.
We will allow our pupils to ride to school provided they observe our safe cycling rules:
· they have a cycle pass - these can be provided by Miss O’Riordan (in September)
· the bicycle is in good roadworthy condition
· lights are fitted and used when appropriate
· cycle helmets are worn
· the pupil cycles safely, observing the highway code
Please note we do advise that pupils avoid cycling to school during the first fortnight at THSL.
If a pupil brings a bike to school, please make sure he/she always locks it with a strong "U-lock". School insurance does not cover pupil bikes, so check carefully that your house insurance fully covers you son's/daughter's bike. Bikes should never be left at school after 6pm.
Rewards and sanctions
The school has a rewards and punishment system. Pupils who make a good effort and produce good work will be rewarded with merit points that are recorded using an online system called Epraise. The system works by teachers awarding a merit point whenever they recognise that a student has done well in variety of categories, such as effort in class and helpful acts around school. Teachers can also use Epraise to award virtual badges to recognise achievements such as being a member of a school club or volunteering for a local charity. Epraise allows students and parents to review the points and badges awarded via the Epraise website and app.
Punishments can take several forms. A tutor slip can be issued for poor uniform, no homework, chewing, and this is followed up by the tutor. A number of these will result in a detention. Detentions can be 15 minutes at break, 30 minutes at lunch or one hour after school. These can be with subject staff, tutors or The Pastoral Lead Teacher.
Additional work slips can also be issued. When these are issued pupils are given extra work to complete. Both additional work and after school detention slips are sent home. These have to be signed by a parent and then returned to school. These will be monitored by Heads of Department and Miss O’Riordan and further punishments may be issued for repeated offences.
The school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities. A list of these will be published termly within the first 2 weeks of term. Pupils can choose in which they want to participate. Some of these clubs run before school, at lunchtime or after school. Most of the after school activities will run until 4.45pm. You will need to arrange how your child is getting home from an afterschool club, as the bus will not be able to wait.
There are lots of exciting and enjoyable activities to participate in at THSL. We ask you to encourage your child to get involved in the wide variety of school and house activities that will be on offer, and should your child be in a school team we encourage parental spectators.
Your child will be allocated a bag Storage compartment in their tutor room.
It is strongly recommended that pupils use these as sometimes, their bags are bigger and heavier than they are! It is useful if pupils get into a routine of using their bag storage as this will help develop their organisational skills. When we move to the site at Farm Lane they will be allocated a more conventional Locker.
Personal, Social and Health Education PSHE
Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education
PSHE education is the school subject through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. PSHE education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. The Department for Education (DFE) research report states that:
‘A high quality PSHE provision has a significant effect on pupils’ academic success, makes them more engaged in school and has an overall effect on their well-being’.
How we deliver PSHE at THSL?
Pupils in Year 7 are timetabled for 2-hour PSHE lessons each half term. This enables us to bring in visitors to speak with our students, and to make PSHE more of an ‘event’ in school. In addition to our 2-hour PSHE events, tutors deliver PSHE sessions every fortnight during PM tutor time.
This year, students will study the following topics during their PM tutor sessions:
Autumn Term – Relationship Education
- Forming positive relationships
- Understanding identity
- Healthy relationships
- Introducing consent
- Different families
- Puberty and relationships
Spring Term – Health Education
- Attitudes to mental health
- Promoting emotional wellbeing and resilience
- The worry tree
- Caffeine consumption and energy drinks
- The sleep factor
- Dental health
- Personal hygiene
Summer Term – Living in the wider world
- Decision making
- British values
- Discrimination and The Equality Act 2010
- Careers (organised by Mrs Bull)
- Barclays life skills (organised by Mrs Bull)
- Coercive friendships (preventing involvement in crime)
Students will study the following topics during their 2-hour ‘event’ sessions:
- Year 7 Induction
- Bullying (including a bullying speaker session)
- Online safety (including a police speaker session)
- First aid
- Thinking about others (charity event)
- Healthy eating and exercise
Year 7 Tutor Programme
In Year 7 pupils have a dedicated lesson called ‘Tutor period’ on their timetable once a fortnight. The purpose of this is to help them settle in and to develop their skills and knowledge, so that over a period of time they become more independent in their approach to learning, and understand the higher expectations we have in secondary school.
They all will follow a structured programme.
Topics covered in these sessions will include:
My School – the first introductory sessions during the first few days
Uniform and equipment, using your planner
Using the school computer system / ICT and VLE
What should I do if…? / problem solving
Rules and consequences
Presentation of work
Teasing and Bullying / friendships
Hobbies and interests
Review of Reports/Target Setting
Achievements this Year
Careers and Employability
Charity organisations and how school supports their work
Growing Up / Puberty
Diversity – What make me, me?
In addition to these topics pupils will be taught how to use the Library resource centre to access the vast amount of resources available to support their learning.
All pupils will have a school planner. This is packed with information about school and the pupils will use this every day as it contains their school timetable and they will record all homework in this.
The planner can be a key communication tool between parents and tutors. If there is a problem or a question you may have there is a useful section at the bottom of each week in which you can contact us.
Please encourage your child to check their planner every night. For the first term we asked that parents sign the planner every night as this helps pupils to settle into their new routine. In the spring and summer term we ask that planners are signed by parents on a weekly basis.
Access to computers
We understand that not every pupil will have access to a computer to complete homework. To enable pupils to complete tasks they are allowed access to computer rooms at break and lunchtimes.
The High School Leckhampton has high expectations for pupils in how they present their work. Pupils work is best used for revision and assessment when it is presented well. Therefore, we have introduced our The High School Leckhampton Minimum Standards. Pupils will find this information in their planner in September, we expect all work to meet the standards below:
Literacy in the curriculum
We believe that Literacy has a key role to play in a child’s progress.
Literacy is important in all areas of learning. Being able to read and write accurately, to listen carefully and to talk clearly about ideas will increase the opportunities for young people in all aspects of life and will allow them to participate fully in learning and later in a work environment.
Literacy is more wide ranging than just being able to read and write, it involves listening and talking, reading and writing and is the responsibility of all subject teachers. Literacy may involve critical and creative thinking, competence in listening and talking, reading and writing skills in using language and personal, interpersonal and team-working skills.
Reading regularly is essential for academic success but also important for our emotional well-being too. We know that many students get in to good habits at Primary School and you may be used to listening your children read every day and we aim to encourage this to continue in Year 7. Whilst we realise the time implications this may have, this is sometimes lost in the early years of secondary school. Please encourage your child to read at home regularly and to continue questioning them about their understanding, and what they are reading. Parents can contribute further to their children’s learning by encouraging children to talk about their thoughts and ideas. Parents can encourage children to explore literacy outside the classroom.
The school library at Balcarras is staffed by a qualified librarian Mrs Springer. Pupils from THSL are welcome to use this. The library has a wide range of resources to support students and staff in school. It is open before school, during break and lunch and again after school. Mrs Springer is always available to talk to about reading and study material.
In their writing, they will learn how to use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar and how to ensure their writing makes sense. We will continue to build on these areas and as young people become more skilled, they will learn how to find, comprehend and use information, and communicate more effectively.
There is more to good literacy than purely the understanding of printed texts. In the 21st century young people experience a wide range of information, so they need the skills to work with written or printed texts as well as other forms of text, such as web pages, social networking sites, films, graphs, and the spoken word. Young people will enjoy reading different types of texts and all reading helps them to develop their skills. So whether they are reading a book, a blog, a magazine or a sports report, it will help if parents are encouraging and supportive.
How will my child be assessed in Key Stage 3?
We will have TARGET GRADES of 1-9 (1 being the lowest, 9 the highest) instead of levels.
· We will use the CAT4 cognitive ability test to inform the targets set. This is the UK’s most widely used test of reasoning abilities for children aged 6 – 17+ years. Year 7 pupils will sit this test in their first term at THSL. No revision is needed before a pupil sits this test. We will also consider any department ‘baseline tests’ and set them a target at Christmas of Year 7.
· The target grade (e.g. grade 6) remains the same grade for all three years (7, 8 and 9) but the work and assessment criteria to meet that grade gets progressively tougher year on year.
· We will report progress on whether the pupil is successfully below/on/above that target using ‘interim’ and full written reports throughout the three years.
· Targets may be raised over the years if pupils achieve them too easily. But they will rarely be lowered as we think every pupil should strive to reach their potential with our help.
· Many styles of work – not just official assessments will be marked using the numbers 1-9. However, other marking techniques can also be incorporated to assess progress as subject teachers see fit.
· There will be no assumption that a Grade 7 at KS3 should mean a grade 7 at GCSE (however, it will give us an indication of their ability).
Parents will be given more information about assessments at appropriate times throughout your child's journey through school
Homework is set according to the school’s homework timetable. Pupils will write this information in their school planner. During the first term, Year 7 pupils are set one or two pieces of homework per night. No homework is set for the first two weeks as we feel this is an important settling in time. In the first half term, homework is set, completed and then returned the following day to your child’s tutor. Each piece of homework should last 20- 30 minutes.
In the second half term, having established a good routine and homework habits, pupils will be given a longer period of time in which to complete extended homework tasks.
On the school’s VLE (balcarras.fireflycloud.net) staff will post homework tasks for your child to complete, as well as information regarding events and school notices. You will be able to access this information, by setting up your parent account. Your child will be shown how to use this by their tutor.
If your child needs support to complete homework, then this can be accessed through the school’s Homework Club which will be run at lunchtime by the Individual Learning Department. It will be supervised and pupils may receive further guidance on homework if necessary.
At home you may want to consider how your child is going to complete homework. Have they access to a desk, table, good lighting, storage for their books or do you need to consider their study environment? A few plastic wallets in which to keep worksheets may help with organisation.
It is best that pupils get in to a good homework routine. It is important for their progress in later years that good habits are learnt early. It is worth the effort of getting it right from the start.
The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
The VLE is an online extension of the classroom, which can be accessed by students, parents and staff, and aims to share information and resources in a simple, clear and intuitive way. Any device which has internet access can view the site at the following address: balcarras.fireflycloud.net
The system, called Firefly, allows the opportunity for personalised learning for your child and the ability for them to become increasingly independent and responsible for their learning and self-organisation. It also enables you as a parent or guardian to support your child at The High School Leckhampton, by viewing their homework, resources, attendance and potentially see their progression through the school. Parents will be given information about how to log in the Autumn Term.
In September, every child will be allocated a username and password to access this site and this is their normal student network login.
There are also mobile apps available for both parents and students, which can be downloaded from the appropriate app store. These are called Firefly for Parents and Firefly for Students, and are free.
Mrs McAlpine will oversees our VLE and she will ensure that all pupils and families know how to access the system. Any queries should be directed to her.
Mobile Phones and personal belongings
We are a 'phone free' school. This means that mobile phones must be always turned off and kept out of sight at the bottom of your child’s school bag. If they fail to do this then the phone will be taken from them and given to the Pastoral Lead Teacher. Pupils are not allowed to use a mobile phone in school, unless special permission has been given by a teacher. Mobile phones should never be used to take photographs or videos in school.
Please remember it is the responsibility of the pupil to keep these safe. These are very attractive objects and, even though we hope all pupils at The High School Leckhampton are completely honest, the safety of expensive phones cannot be 100% guaranteed. We do not encourage pupils to bring in other personal belongings because of the cost to parents of replacing devices. All expensive items should be handed into PE staff during a PE lesson, and not left in the changing rooms. The school's insurance does not cover pupils' equipment. If you would like you son/daughter to have a phone with them for safety reasons, we would recommend a cheap handset, and always make sure your house insurance covers any expensive items brought to school.
The High School Leckhampton has access to a school nurse, who will visit school on Monday lunchtime to see anyone who needs her help or advice on a confidential basis. The nurse will regularly liaise with staff and parents on health issues and will contribute to the Health Education programme run by the school.
Travelling to school
In Year 7 Your child will be travelling to school by themselves, probably for the first time. You might want to consider how long your child will take to get to the bus stop or discuss what they should do if they miss a bus or are going to be late to prevent unnecessary worrying. If they cycle they may want a practice run to ensure they know the route.
If you are using a car please remember the rush hour and consider car sharing. In order to ensure pupils safety please avoid driving in to the school playground before and after school.
In order to keep hydrated throughout the day pupils are allowed to drink water in lessons. Please note it should only be water in their bottles and they can refill these at one of the many water fountains around the site. Please encourage your child to use a recyclable refillable water bottle rather than plastic.
The school uses the excellent catering service on site at Balcarras, serving hot food at breaktime and lunchtime. At break time we serve a range of hot snacks, sandwiches, fruit and homemade cakes and lunch time provides a choice of three hot main course dishes, including a vegetarian option and a large selection of salads, snacks, baguettes, sandwiches and of course tempting traditional hot desserts.
We reinforce a healthy eating message as part of the whole school approach to healthy lifestyles, for example our caterers source many of their ingredients from local suppliers, and everything is prepared on the premises.
We operate a cashless system and each student will be issued with a card. You can top up their account online, as well as seeing what they have purchased throughout the day. Your child is issued with a card at the start of the year free of charge. Please let us know if you are entitled to Free School Meals and the school will top up your child’s card each day.
We believe that tasty and nutritionally balanced school lunches, will contribute to general wellbeing and help everyone achieve their full learning potential.
Your child is also welcome to bring in a packed lunch from home.
Allergies—If your child has any specific dietary requirements or allergies then the catering team will be happy to arrange an appointment to discuss these.
It may be beneficial to have a structured routine for the first few weeks of Year 7. It is surprising how long it can take to get dressed, have breakfast, set off for school.
It may be useful to agree after school arrangements and to ensure they know what to do if something goes wrong, make sure they have emergency contact numbers and know which family member or friend to contact.
It might be useful for the first few weeks to help check the timetable and to assist with packing of school bags.
The school has an online payment facility for all school related purchases, including trips. To access this you will be issued a code, unique to your child. Once you have this, you will then be able to access the online payment system through the school website. Here you will find a guide to assist you through the process. Should you have any issues with this then Mrs Sue Davis—trips coordinator at Balcarras School should be able to assist you—you can contact her by email at email@example.com
Throughout the year, your child will hopefully have many opportunities to take part in educational visits to extend learning. Information regarding these visits will be sent home with pupils and also accessed through the school’s VLE pages. Please note that due to circumstances beyond our control, sometimes numbers of pupils who can participate in activities are at times restricted. In the event that a trip is oversubscribed we will revert to the ballot system. Those that have returned both the reply slip and made payment by the date stated will be entered into the ballot for placed to be allocated.
The school runs on a two week cycle, an example of which is below. Each week is either week 1 or week 2. This year, they will start on Thursday, week 2. Pupils will need to ensure they have the correct kit and books for both weeks. In the published calendar you will be able to see for which week they should be bringing books. Pupils are also encouraged to write this in their planner.
In the first few weeks you may want to help your child by emptying and packing their bags. Gradually, let them take over, until you are happy they can do this independently.
It is also a good idea to have a copy of the timetable at home.
We would like you to order PE kit on line and you will be provided with information about how to do this. As with all school equipment please NAME everything. If something is lost and it is named then it will usually make its way back to pupils.
For their first PE lesson, pupils will not need to bring their PE kit. They will be issued with their schedule of lessons and their ordered PE kit. They will then know which kit to bring for their first unit of PE.
PE extra-curricular clubs
The PE department offer a wide range of extra curricular clubs that are open to both boys and girls
These clubs will take place before school, lunch time and after school. Pupils are notified of the times of these clubs each term and information will be displayed on their tutor room noticeboard.
Covid allowing we encourage parents to come and watch competitive matches, which take place after school. If your child is in a team then please come along to offer your support!
At The High School Leckhampton School, we will regularly use photographs of pupils on the school website and in various publications.
Pupils love to see themselves in photographs and we are keen for all of our pupils to be seen on the website, in the local press and in various other educational journals.
Parents are asked to give consent on the Pre-Admissions Form. Please contact the school if you have any queries.
Free School Meals
Some children are entitled to free school meals. If your child currently receives school meals at primary school, it might be advisable to check with us that this information has been received. Please do not assume that this information will be automatically transferred.
During these difficult economic conditions, some family circumstances may have changed. Consequently, some families may now be in a position where their children are eligible for free school meals.
To qualify for free school meals, you must be in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:
· Income support
· Job Seekers Allowance – income based
· Employment and Support Allowance – income related
· Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
· Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
· Child Tax Credit (conditions apply)
If you think this could be the case, or are unsure, full details of the scheme can be found on the local authority website.
Potential worries and how we will deal with them!
The school has an Anti-Bullying Strategy which can be accessed on our website (as part of the Behaviour Policy) It will be discussed with pupils in tutor time and is often revisited throughout the year.
Any form of bullying is not tolerated at The High School Leckhampton and you can rest assured that any incident will be dealt with quickly, discreetly and effectively.
For many pupils they will for the first time be taught by a number of new teachers. Many worry that the teachers will be very strict. We have clear and high expectations at The High School Leckhampton and pupils will learn that they will be rewarded for excellent effort and attainment through our merit system. They will also quickly realise that if they deliberately do not meet our expectations they will receive a form of punishment. We hope to achieve a good balance, so all pupils have a positive, rewarding experience in a calm and safe environment, free from poor behaviour.
Some pupils will come from large primary schools, others from very small ones. They will all be apprehensive about meeting new people and making new friends. During the first few weeks the tutors will work through a variety of activities to ensure they develop new friendships. Some pupils will maintain their friendships groups from primary schools, however it is not uncommon that by the end of the year you may find that your child will have a completely different set of friends.
The High School Leckhampton is located at Balcarras for one year and it is a large site. Tutors will work with the pupils to make sure they know where they are going. It can take a few weeks to get used to the school environment. Staff and older pupils are on hand to help give advice in between lessons during the first few weeks until pupils are more confident about their environment.
The School Day
We will follow these timings for 2021, they will be reviewed when we move to Farm Lane in 2022:
8:40 - School Starts (Registration and Tutor Period)
9:00 - Lesson One
10:00 - Lesson Two
11:00 - Break Time
11:20 - Lesson Three
12:20 - Lesson Four
1:20 - Lunch Time
2:15 - Registration and Tutor Period
2:35 - Lesson Five
3:25 - End of School Day (buses depart)
Remembering what they need on what day is a challenge for pupils. We will spend considerable time helping them to do this and it would be useful in the first few weeks if you could check their timetables and bags and ensure they have the right resources for the right day. As the weeks progress we encourage them to become more independent in their organisation. This may also be something that you can encourage them to do at home. After just a few weeks children will have forgotten about all these worries.
Pupils with Medical Conditions
Medical Administrator: Mrs C Crowley
Health Care Plan: If your child has any type of physical or mental health condition, allergy or intolerance please ensure you inform us of the situation as soon as you can so that we are able to help and support your child should it be necessary during school time. You are welcome to discuss the situation directly with your child’s tutor or The Pastoral Lead Teacher and then please ensure that you fill in a Health Care Plan form so that we have all the up to date, accurate details.
The form can be found on our school website or by emailing the school’s Medical Administrator. The form can be filled in online and returned to the school digitally. The form will then be stored in your child’s online file.
Please note we treat all medical information with the strictest confidence.
Please note that if your child has an SEN pupil passport at THSL and also a medical condition, we would still require a separate Health Care Plan to be filled in.
Medication – kept in school: For some pupils it will be important that medication is kept in school. If you would like us to keep medication in school for your child, please ensure you have filled in all the relevant details on the Health Care Plan and please bring the medication to the main school office.
The medication will be stored in your child’s file in the school office, together with their Health Care Plan (there is also facility to keep medication refrigerated in the school office, if required). If the medication is required, pupils are able to come to reception. The School can only keep prescribed medication which is in-date and supplied in its original container as dispensed by the pharmacist with the dispensing label intact, including instructions for administration, dosage and storage.
Medication – kept by the pupil: Where a parent/guardian allows a pupil to carry their own medication, we expect them to accept full responsibility. We also would require a Health Care Plan which states the pupil is carrying their own medication.
Becoming unwell at school: If a pupil becomes unwell whilst in school, they can speak to their teacher/tutor or another member of staff and they will be asked to go to the main reception at Balcarras or have someone accompany them if necessary. They can wait in the reception area or in the medical room (for more privacy) until they feel better. If necessary, the receptionist will phone the contacts given to us for the pupil to be collected from school (please ensure you keep the school updated with any change in contact information).
In this instance, the Pastoral Lead Teacher will be required to give permission for the pupil to leave school. Pupils will not be able to leave the school site without a parent/guardian giving permission over the phone. If necessary, we might require you to come and collect the pupil.
Paracetamol Permission: If a pupil requires pain relief during school time, they can speak to their teacher/tutor or another member of staff to get written permission in their planner (please ensure they always have their planners in school). They can then go to reception where they will be given a paracetamol tablet.
In order to do this, we require written permission from their parent/guardian in advance. You have already been asked to give consent on the pre-Admissions form. This only needs to be done once during their time at THSL unless you would like to change the permission.
Once they have been given a tablet, they will receive a sticker in their planner so that you are aware of the time and the dosage.
School trips: Please ensure you keep us updated throughout the school year on any medical conditions, however small, so that we always have the correct information and medication and are prepared for any kind of school trip.
If your child is due to be vaccinated at school we will put information on the website and send information home. If you have any further medical related questions, please contact the school’s Medical Administrator, or speak to your child’s Tutor or The Pastoral Lead Teacher. We are always available to help with any situation.
Top Tips for Parents
Over the first few weeks with all the changes to their routines they will be very tired. Try to find out about their day but don’t be surprised if when you ask them what they have done that they will be reluctant to tell you!
· Encourage them to get to the bus stop on time and wait in a mature, safe manner.
· Check their bags and their planners every night – ensure children are fully equipped for the day ahead.
· Be aware of their subject and homework timetables.
· Sign up to the VLE—you will then have access to your child’s homework and be able to access information to support your child’s leaning.
· Allocate a time for homework each night, provide support and assistance.
· Try to encourage them over a period of time to be more independent and praise and encourage them wherever possible.
· Reassure them and support them in developing organisation skills.
· Have a routine. This will help their organisation in the morning and evening. Teach them a routine for emptying bags. Help them to pack their bags in the evening. Getting them into a good routine will save hours and a great deal less stress!
· You may have another child or children at Secondary School; remember that no two children are the same and you may have a different transition experience with each child.
· Please encourage them to get involved in clubs and activities, this will help them make new friends outside their house
· Remind them to look out for others, and to be kind and helpful—this is how a strong community will develop
· Ensure pupils wear the correct uniform. Uniform and equipment can be expensive so please name everything.
· If you have a concern then please contact us. Difficulties are best resolved at an early stage .
· Reinforce and support the school’s expectations, children struggle with mixed messages from school and home—let’s work together!
· Do not worry – it can be just as stressful a time for parents as pupils. The vast majority of pupils will transfer to THSL with no difficulty at all. If, at any time, you have a concern please contact your child’s tutor.
The penultimate week of school will be Activities Week. During this week pupils will undertake a range of enrichment activities. The first two days of the week will be Curriculum Days, where pupils work with a department and complete a day of activities based around their subject. During the rest of the week pupils can select activities in which they wish to participate. This will vary from in-school activities to days out. We hope it will be a real highlight of the year!
There will be a wide range of activities from which pupils can choose at varying costs. Obviously, you have significant say in what they choose. We thought you would appreciate knowing that this happens sooner rather than later so that you can consider the financial implications. In some cases you will be asked for a deposit to secure places.
The PTFA (Parent, Teacher and Friends Association)
Our PTFA is a committee whose purpose is to provide social opportunities for families and to raise money to support the School. The committee will organise a number of events during the school year to raise the funds. We may use these funds towards equipment and materials for departments and extracurricular clubs.
We welcome further support and assistance from parents either as a member of the committee or just helping for an hour or longer at one or more of the numerous events they hope to hold to raise funds. All meetings will be held at the school from 7pm on the following dates.
PTFA Meeting 9th September 2021 7pm
Icebreaker Disco 24th September 2021 7-8.30pm (Year 7’s & Parents)
PTFA Meeting 3rd November 2021 7pm
Christmas Celebration Event 2nd December 2021
PTFA Meeting 6th January 2022 7pm
PTFA Meeting 15th March 2022 7pm
PTFA Meeting 27th April 2022 7pm
PTFA Meeting 8th June 2022 7pm
We welcome all
Careers and Personal Development
Preparing pupils for the world beyond THSL is as vital as academic success. We are committed to supporting all pupils from Year 7 upwards to be ready for the choices that they will have to make in the future. The key principal for Year 7 pupils is to be engaged in a process of skills awareness that is reinforced through the school’s 'employability' values. Careers guidance and personal development is delivered through the tutor programme and also PSHE. The children will have access to a designated Careers Hub at Balcarras School where they are welcome to come to speak to Mrs Bull and Mrs Lewis.
The School Calendar
At the beginning of the school year you will be issued with a school calendar. This contains all key dates including school holiday dates and Inset days. Please refer to these dates when planning family holidays. Holidays MUST NOT be taken during term time. The school calendar, timings and term dates for the year will also be published on the VLE, both on the dashboard and in the Parent Portal.