Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
How will my child get to school?
The school does not directly organise transport to and from school for students. It is the responsibility of parents and carers to ensure that travel arrangements allow students to arrive at school in time for morning registration.
However, we do recognise that our students do come from a wide catchment area and we are therefore, happy to act as a liaison between parents/carers who may be looking for help with transport, but we will need the consent of all parties in order to release personal contact information. All enquiries of this nature should be made via email@example.com
Buses: The school is served by a number of different bus companies. Details can be found here.
Cars: Parents/carers bringing students to school or collecting them by car are asked to note that there is no space to park or wait on the school premises and limited space on the roads in the immediate vicinity of the school.
In the interests of the safety of students and staff, we ask parents/carers NOT to bring their cars on to the school premises when dropping off or collecting students at the beginning or end of the school day. These are extremely busy times and priority must be given to the school buses that service the school.
Cycling: Students who can are encouraged to cycle to school and lock their bike in the rack. They should always wear a helmet
During the Spring term, the school offers the opportunity for Year 7 students to undertake the Advanced Cycling Award course run by the County Road Safety Unit. This will be advertised via e-mail nearer the time.
What equipment do I have to purchase?
Any items purchased through our Online Shop (Denmark Road High School - On-line School Shop) will be supplied to students when they start with us.
What uniform do I have to purchase?
The School's Parent and Staff Association sells second hand uniform. Most items are £4 and blazers are £5 - £10, depending on condition. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
ALL ITEMS MUST BE CLEARLY NAMED.
Students often lose things (coats, glasses, pencil case, jumpers etc) and if they are found and named we can get them back to the student. If they are not named they go in lost property for students to look through and are given to charity at the end of each term.
What jewellery and/or makeup is my child allowed to wear?
Students with pierced ears are permitted to wear one small stud in the lower lobe of each ear.
No other facial piercings, including nose studs, are permitted - not even with a clear stud.
Necklaces may be worn but not visible.
A wristwatch is also allowed.
ALL jewellery must be removed for PE
Students are allowed to wear very subtle makeup but no eye shadow, lipstick or nail varnish. Acrylic nails are not permitted.
Hair must be a natural colour.
How do I report an absence?
Parents and carers are asked to contact the school if their child is going to be absent and to give the reason.
Please email email@example.com before 8.00 am on the first and subsequent day of any absence. Alternatively, please contact the school via School Gateway before 8.00 am on the first and subsequent day of any absence.
What happens if my child needs to attend a medical appointment during school?
Routine medical appointments (e.g. doctor and dentist) appointments for students should be made outside of school time.
For emergency appointments, a leave of absence form, which can be found on our website here must be completed. This form should be used for all appointments. This, and a copy of the appointment letter, must be handed to the Headteacher, via the Wellbeing Centre, as soon as the appointment is received.
Hospital and orthodontist appointments can occur in school time.
A leave of absence form, which can be found on our website here, must be completed. This, and the appointment letter, must be handed to the Headteacher, via the Wellbeing Centre, as soon as the appointment is received.
What happens if my child is ill whilst at school?
If a student feels unwell during the day, they must tell the teacher they are with or report to the Well-being Centre, where they will be assessed. Students must NOT phone home independently. Staff in the Wellbeing Centre will contact home if they deem it necessary.
Who do I contact if I am concerned about my child?
If you have any concerns about your child your first point of contact is your child’s Tutor. You can contact them, or any of their subject teachers, using firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01452 543335.
Generally, the staff you will have most contact with your child will be their Tutor and KS3 Director and Assistant Director.
The other person that you may need to contact if your child has special needs of any sort, will be Miss Ryall, our school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCO) from September 2022.
If you have a Safeguarding concern about your child you can speak to any member of staff or speak directly to one of our Designated Safeguarding Team.
What is the role of the School Nurse?
The School Nurse assigned to the Denmark Road High School runs a weekly ‘Drop-In’ session available to all students. This is currently held on Tuesday lunchtime.
At these 'Drop In' sessions, students can visit to discuss any aspect of their health or well-being. At these meetings, confidentiality is assured, within agreed limits. No appointment is necessary.
Other aspects of the School Nurse’s role include:
- Liaising with school staff
- Co-ordinating and delivering immunisation sessions
- Training for staff regarding specific health conditions
The School Nurse can be contacted and a message left for her on 01452 543335. She will then contact you when she is in school.
What mental health support is available?
Mental health and well-being is at the focus of everything we do at Denmark Road. Our young people are very much encouraged to talk about their worries and concerns and there are a number of people on hand to support students.
All of our staff complete mental health awareness training so they are equipped to support students within the classroom and also as form tutors. In addition, a number of members of staff are trained in Mental Health First Aid.
We are proud of the pastoral support that we offer at Denmark Road. Students have daily access to their form tutor but can also visit our dedicated Wellbeing Centre.
We are fortunate to have the school nurse visit every week for a drop-in session or appointments can be arranged in advance. The school nurse service also offers a fantastic free text service to young people and this information is shared with all students.
We also employ the services of a school counsellor who is able to offer more specific support to individuals. Young people are referred into this service by their Progress and Wellbeing Coordinator.
Finally, we also have a fantastic team of Year 12 "Peer Supporters" they offer lunchtime support sessions for students as we know that sometimes young people are more confident talking to a peer rather than an adult. Students can pop in and chat to them about any worries or concerns that they have. All of our "Peer Supporters" receive mental health awareness, anti-bullying and safeguarding training to support them in their roles.
What opportunities are available to see teachers?
There are two formal reporting times during the academic year when parents/carers will receive a progress report.
You will also be invited to attend a “Meet the Tutor” day in October/November and have the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with her subject teachers during our Year 7 Excellence Evening in February/March. The dates will be published on the school calendar and can be viewed on our website.
In addition, if necessary, the Progress and Wellbeing Co-ordinator will contact you if they are concerned about any aspect of your child’s wellbeing or academic progress whilst at school.
What is the School Gateway communication system?
We use the School Gateway to share information such as personalised lesson and exam timetables, achievements and assessment results with parents and carers quickly via email, text and the smartphone app.
You can also use the app or website to receive key news and updates from the school, view and let us know of any updates to your own details and send information to us our attendance officer.
What you need to do:
Ensure you have signed up to our Applicaa system, so you are officially registered with us at Denmark Road.
Please be aware that until your details are on our system you will be unable to sign for School Gateway. You will still receive communications from the school.
Download the app: If you have a smartphone, please download School Gateway from your app store (Android and iPhone). The app shows the same information as the website PLUS you can send app messages to the school for FREE (for example updates to attendance) – this will also save the school money when we send text messages.
Visit the website: www.schoolgateway.com and click on ‘New User’.
You will receive a text message with a PIN number. Use this PIN to login to School Gateway.
Can’t activate your account?
If you are having trouble activating your School Gateway account please call us on 01452 543335 or email email@example.com
We hope that you will find School Gateway a valuable way to keep up to date.
What are the rules for students in terms of using mobile devices?
Students are allowed to have mobile devices in lessons if the teacher gives permission for them to be used. Mobile devices should be switched off if they are not being used. Students are free to use them at break and lunchtime
Should you wish to contact your child during the day please telephone/email the school office and the message will be forwarded to your child. Please do not ring/text your child during the school day.
What is the policy for taking holidays during term time?
Students are not permitted to take time off for holidays during term time as this greatly hinders their progress.
How can I support my child with common concerns during transition?
Useful advice to consider before starting in September:
- Time the journey to school, the bus stop or the railway station.
- Be sure your child is clear about what time they are expected to get home and what to do if they are delayed for any reason.
- Make sure they know/have all relevant contact numbers.
- Make sure you have spoken to your child about personal safety e.g. not wearing headphones whilst walking to school.
- Work out with your child what time they will need to get up and what time they will need to leave the house to get to school/the bus stop/railway station on time.
- It is recommended that they pack their bag, fill their water bottle and get prepare their snacks/packed lunch the night before - so they only need to get up, get washed/dressed and have breakfast before leaving in the morning.
- Get a copy of your child’s timetable. Keep this on display so that you and your child can refer to it. Make sure that your child knows whether it is Week 1 or Week 2 on the timetable at the start of the week.
- Agree a bedtime for school days with your child, to ensure that she gets enough sleep. Research details that this should be a minimum of 8 hours per night.
- Make sure mobile devices are not in bedrooms overnight and downstairs being charged ready for the next day.
Concerns your child may have and how to help
Falling out with friends
This can be very common as students form new friendships and new friendship groups are established. Give advice but don’t overreact - tears can be normal but most friendship patterns sort themselves out without adults getting involved.
Contact your child’s Tutor if you have any ongoing or more serious concerns about friendships.
Worrying about particular lessons
Try to find out exactly what it is that your child is worried about. If it is because the work is too hard try to spend some time working with them on the subject.
If your child continues to find the work too hard after the first couple of weeks, please contact your child’s teacher or form tutor.
Being in the right place at the right time
Reassure your child that they will quickly get to know their way around school (most have it mastered within a couple of weeks) and that students will move around as a group to start with.
Teachers are very understanding about Year 7 students getting lost to begin with and usually help is at hand if it is needed. Your child just needs to ask an older student or a member of staff.
Encourage your child to learn what lessons she has on which days so that she can become independent.
Make sure your child knows what to do if they are going to be late or get lost.
Organising books and equipment
Try to make sure your child has access to a desk, good light and storage space for school books.
Have a good stock of equipment at home: pencils, pens, rubber, sharpener, coloured pencils, ruler, maths equipment (protractor, compass, set-square and calculator), Sellotape, glue, paper (lined and plain) and plastic wallets.
If possible, be around for your child for the first few days/weeks and ‘supervise’. Praise and encourage independence but be ready to offer a helping hand.
Go through the routine regularly with your child; if necessary provide a tick-list to help them stay organised.
Insist on the routine being kept to – it will save you hours in the long run!
Stick to your agreed routine whenever possible.
- Try to ensure that homework is done on the night it is set to prevent ‘build-up’.
- Spend time with your child in the first few weeks, establishing the routine.
- Recognise how hard it is to work unsupervised. Help your child structure the time and use it effectively – provide a clock or timer and agree the tasks that should be done in each time slot e.g. a half-hour period.
- Try to be available to do ‘progress checks’ – have they completed the task in the set time? (But otherwise leave them to it – don’t establish a pattern of always doing homework together – it’s unsustainable and your child will not learn to work independently.)
- If your child is stuck – either because they don’t understand the task or because they ‘can’t do it’ - offer support but don’t do it for them. They can always speak to the teacher about it the next day.
- Encourage your child to check in the lesson what the task means – rather than leaving to when they get home.
- Take an interest in the feedback your child receives for their homework.
- Your child’s homework will be set using a website called Show My Homework or SatchelONE.
- You will be given a login too so you will be able to see the homework that has been set and when it is due.
- Agree a routine for homework with your child. Life can become a constant ‘nag’ if you don’t start this from the beginning. Homework becomes an increasingly important part of the curriculum as your child goes through the school.
- A good time for homework is after a short break when your child returns from school. Get it out of the way early, leaving the rest of the evening free.
- Agree with your child that TV, other activities, phone-calls etc. will only be possible after homework is done.
- Many young people will say that listening to music helps them concentrate and do their work. If their attention is on their favourite song, it may not be on their homework (and more so for the television!) but the important thing is to make an agreement about it and stick to it.
- Be prepared to invest time at first – for example, be available for a set time each day to help with homework until the routine is established – it will be time well spent.
How can I help as a parent/carer? (Give us a HUG)
Denmark Road High School is your school of choice as it provides excellence of education. This is despite, for many years, being in one of the lowest funded authority areas.
To continue to be able to offer students a wide range of academic and enrichment opportunities in a safe, nurturing environment that promotes progress and wellbeing for all, we have the Help Us Grow (HUG) Fundraising Campaign.
Funds raised will be used to develop our curriculum and facilities so that students continue to Discover, Realise, Honour, Shape.
How can I get involved with the Parent and Staff Association as a helper or through the committee?
All parents and carers of students at the school are automatically members of the Parent and Staff Association. The Committee consists of a small group of parents and carers and staff representatives. Other parents/carers can be co-opted on to the Committee as necessary.
Various social and fundraising events are held throughout the year, such as the Summer Fun Day and Quiz Nights. The P & SA also run second-hand uniform sales and organises refreshments at school functions.
New committee members and, just as importantly, new volunteers to help at various events are always welcome and there is every opportunity therefore for parents and carers to become involved in the school in a practical way.
In turn, the school is enormously grateful for all the help given by so many parents/carers.
How will Denmark Road High School differ from primary school?
Students often have to travel further (some making their way to and from school independently for the first time).
Students have to wear a full school uniform and have a whole list of new rules to remember.
Instead of having one class teacher, students will be taught by nine or ten teachers and have to get to know a whole range of adults in different roles within the school.
The site will be much bigger and students will have to find their way around, moving from classroom to classroom between lessons, carrying their belongings with them.
Students will have a two-week timetable.
Students will be fully responsible for ensuring that they have the correct books and equipment for five different lessons, PE equipment, homework, etc.
There will be new lessons (e.g. SHAPE) and new variations on familiar ones (Science in a laboratory, for example).
Break-time and lunchtime will be organised differently with less adult supervision and students having more independence in terms of getting back to lessons on time, choosing their own snacks and lunches etc.
In general, students are expected to be more independent, self-reliant and self-organised, a welcome development for many students but a challenge for others.
What do I need to know about data protection and acceptable use of IT?
Students are required to read our ICT Acceptable Use and BYOD Acceptable Use policies and both the student and a parent/carer must sign and return the ICT Acceptable Use sheet to acknowledge they will abide by the provisions and conditions of the documents. This will enable them to have access to our ICT facilities including a network login and G-Suite access providing cloud storage, online productivity applications and an e-mail account. Forms available here.
What are the expectations with loaning books and equipment?
Textbooks and specialised equipment will be issued on loan and students will be required to pay for any loss or damage to these or for any damage to school property. No responsibility can be accepted by the school for any lost/damaged items.
What happens if my child loses property?
Students’ property is brought to school at their own risk, however any items found are normally taken to lost property or the Wellbeing Centre and sorted by staff.
Named items are returned to students. Staff will email students if a named item is brought to lost property. Unnamed items are stored until the end of term. We do not have space to store large amounts of lost property for any length of time so items that are not claimed after the end of term are given to charity.
Please ensure that everything is named.
Students are expected to be proactive in searching for items they have lost. If a lost item is valuable, students should ask at the Wellbeing Centre and Reception as well as the Well-being Centre and also tell their Form Tutor.
What is the policy on rewards and sanctions?
We recognise that the majority of students work extremely hard both in lessons, when representing their House and also in their homework. Students receive House Praise Points in recognition of positive actions. Students are given House Praise Points in line with our school ethos:
- Discover – for example discovering your personal best in a subject area
- Realise – in recognition of effort and progress made
- Honour – for example, helping in the school and wider community
- Shape – for example, responding positively to feedback.
At the end of each Term those students achieving the highest number of House Praise Points will be seen by senior members of school staff to celebrate their excellent work, effort and contribution.
At the end of the year, the House with the highest number of House Praise Points will have a celebration event in Term 6.
These will be issued for incidents of poor behaviour (e.g. being unprepared for a lesson) Accumulation of 4 consequences points in a Term in Years 7-11 will lead to an after-school detention.
After School Detention (Wednesdays – 3.40 - 4.30 pm in M3)
A letter will be sent to parents/carers prior to the detention.
What extra-curricular opportunities are available?
One of the great strengths of the school is the impressive range of extracurricular activities available and the variety of opportunities therefore offered to the individual.
We encourage every student to become involved as much as possible, although of course we would expect new students, particularly in Year 7, to have some settling in time before they commit themselves to any great extent.
The process of becoming accustomed to the new environment, together with the length of the day, where a longer journey to school might be necessary, and the demands of homework are often enough to cope with in the first few weeks.
For this reason, most activities for Year 7 take place at lunchtimes, although some are after school.
Details of clubs and activities will be displayed in the Hall during the first few weeks of September.
How do I sign up for ParentPay?
Denmark Road is a cashless site. We ask that parents pay for school trips, school meals and other orders by Parent Pay. Parent Pay is easy-to-use and offers you the freedom to make online payments whenever, and wherever, you like, 24/7.
ParentPay uses the highest internet security available ensuring that your money will reach school safely while making payments by credit or debit cards. You will also be able to see full payment histories and statements. Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about your children losing their money at school.
You will receive an activation letter from the school which will allow you to create your ParentPay account at www.parentpay.com. Full details on how to do this can be found on our website under ParentPay.
What are the catering options available?
Our catering service is provided by Aspens; provision to students and staff in our school Restaurant is well-received and represents value for money in comparison with local establishments and shops.
The school promotes a "healthy eating" policy and has been awarded ‘Healthy School’ status. We cater for a variety of dietary needs and our Chef Manager will work with individual students in respect of allergies. Menus for each term are available on the website and through downloading the Aspens app. Our daily offer has a vegetarian option and we can also cater for vegans.
Drinking water is available from the drinking fountains.
Food service is as follows:
Breakfast is available serving bacon rolls, toast and hot drinks, water and fruit juices.
At Break – a selection of hot snacks, sandwiches/rolls, hot and cold drinks
Lunch - a choice of main meal, snacks, vegetarian choice, selection of sandwiches, hot/cold desserts, fresh fruit, yoghurts, hot and cold drinks.
A full school lunch (main course and dessert) is currently available for £2.50 per day. A selection of rolls, baguettes and sandwiches are currently available from £1.50 and hot snacks currently from £1.00.
What resources are available in the Learning Recourses Centre?
The Learning Resource Centre is open from 8.15am until 5.00pm every day except Friday when it closes at 4.30pm. Your child can borrow books, use the computers or get help with her homework. There are many people to help her if she cannot find what she is looking for with the Librarian always on hand and at lunchtimes, Sixth Form librarians, helping out too.
There is a great selection of fiction books for students to borrow and students will find all their favourite authors on our shelves, as well as some new ones for them to try. The LRC also has lots of information books which your child can take home to help with school work. Students may also borrow DVDs, CDs and audio books. DVDs may be borrowed overnight and most other resources can be kept for three weeks and even renewed if your child wants to keep them longer. The LRC has 9 PCs; they must be booked at lunchtimes but they can also be used before school, during break and after school. If your child has a lesson in the LRC then she may also use the LRC’s laptops and iPads. In the Autumn Term your child will have lessons when she will learn more about how to find out information and what other things are on offer.
The LRC offers a number of fun activities and clubs students can join.
How do I tell you about a change of address or contact number?
All parents and carers are asked to ensure that the school has up-to-date contact information in case of an emergency or illness.
The way to submit changes is by updating your information on the School Gateway app or website.
If you have not signed up for School Gateway, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any changes of address, telephone numbers or change of contacts.
What is the support available for Pupil and Service Premium students?
We receive additional funding from the Government for students who are in receipt of Free School Meals (FSM) or if they have had FSM in the past 6 years or have had a parent in the Armed Forces in the previous 4 years. Please ensure you contact the school if you think your child may be eligible for either to allow us to set up appropriate provision in school.
Alternatively, you can complete the short questionnaire on the School Gateway app and we will contact you if you are eligible. Further information about Pupil and Service Premium can be found on our school website here.
How do I access the Online shop?
Parents and carers are able to purchase a variety of stationery and subject-related items on the On-line shop on our website, with a debit or credit card (not ParentPay).
You will be contacted by a member of staff via email/letter when you are required to purchase an item from our online shop below and your child will be able to pick up the item from the school shop, when notified.