Changes to Denmark Road High School
Denmark Road High School
I love this time of year. You may think that this love is driven by the proximity of the summer break, which of course it is in part! It is also because the end of the school year for the leaders and staff within the school is a time largely spent focusing on the beginnings of the next academic year, planning for the exciting things that are going to happen. There will be some important changes for 2019-20, please read on for details.
Timings of the School Day
From September the timings of the school day will be as follows:
We have chosen to do this for a number of reasons:
- Sixth Form students asked us to consider if they would be able to leave the site to study from home from the beginning of lunch.
- We want tutor time to be more meaningful, perceived and treated as a taught lesson. De-coupling it from registration and moving it to before break we believe will help us to achieve this. We have also completely reviewed the curriculum on offer.
- Staff workload is something we need to constantly review, we want staff to have an appropriate work to life balance and to have as much time as possible within school to perform their roles.
As we now take registers every lesson using lesson monitor we are able to remove registration time (instead taking the registers in lesson 1 and lesson 4 as AM and PM registration). We will also move to a biometric system of signing in and out for sixth form students, enabling them flexibility in use of their study time either on or off site.
Students waiting for buses
In order to maximise the safety of our students who wait for buses that collect from school later than the end of the school day, from September these students will congregate and remain in the restaurant area, supervised by a member of SLT. From there we can see the buses arrive and students may then proceed to them.
The new Sixth Form Centre and the Big Move
As you are aware the current English & Performing Arts Centre is being transformed into a new Sixth Form Centre. As a result we are moving some subject areas to different locations within the school. The moves are as follows:
- Music will be in the current Sixth Form area. The large rooms there are perfect spaces for teaching and rehearsals, there will also be 5 practice rooms. At the centre there is also a kitchen and work area which will allow the music community to balance their busy working lives with having a well-deserved break!
- English will move to classrooms that exist and are being created around the Learning Resource Centre. Physically uniting these two areas at the heart of the school will we trust further promote a love of reading at DRHS.
- RS and Sociology will move to the top floor of the main building (where Psychology and Economics/Business/Politics are currently taught)
- The teaching of Psychology, Economics, Business and Politics will move to the Sixth Form Centre
Show My Homework
As detailed in the parent survey response I sent out to all last week, the school will be implementing Show My Homework next academic year. This is in response to parent and student feedback. Many thanks to parents who have donated to the Help Us Grow campaign thus far, your generosity has enabled this significant development for the school which will ultimately impact on the outcomes of students. We do hope that more parents will now choose to donate as you can see the immediate benefits it enables us to deliver. If you have yet to make your donation, please follow the link below where details of how you may contribute are.
Prior to the launch to students we will need to train staff in use of Show My Homework. It is so important to us to get this right that we have taken the decision to close the school early on Monday 9th September 2019. Students will leave school that day at 2.20pm, we therefore ask that parents make note of this and amend their travel plans for their sons / daughters accordingly. Students on school buses will be supervised as normal until buses arrive at their usual times.
The introduction of Show My Homework also means that paper planners are no longer required and therefore the school will not be providing these for students in future. Students are of course welcome to use their own should they wish to. We will also run some sessions for students outlining how to use google calendar effectively to schedule their busy lives using their school accounts on their mobile devices.
The term dates and INSET days are already on the website here. In order to assist you with your plans please be aware of the following early closures:
- Monday 9th September – 2.20pm (Show My Homework training for staff)
- Thursday 10th October 2019 – 2.20pm (School Open Evening, it takes a lot of time to prepare areas so an early finish is necessary)
- Wednesday 11th December 2019 – 2.20pm (Year 8 Parents’ Evening. We are trialling an extended evening this year for Y7 & 8 evenings to see if we can address the concern from parents as regards limited access to teachers)
- Friday 20th December 2019 – 2.20pm (Last Day of Term)
- Thursday 23rd January 2020 – 2.20pm (Sixth Form Open Evening, it takes a lot of time to prepare areas so an early finish is necessary)
- Thursday 6th February 2020 – 2.20pm (Year 7 Parents’ Evening. We are trialling an extended evening this year for Y7 & 8 evenings to see if we can address the concern from parents as regards limited access to teachers)
- Friday 17th July 2020 – 1.20pm (End of the school year)
Please note that unlike in previous years we will not be closing early on the last day before the Easter break. This is due to the proximity to exam season when time with teachers is even more precious.
In September I look forward to outlining to you all our school improvement plans for the academic year 2019-20.