Frequently asked questions for Parents
- What are the timings of the school day?
Daily Times and Dates
|8.40 am||-||9.40 am||Lesson 1|
|9.40 am||-||10.40 am||Lesson 2|
|11.00 am||-||11.20 am||Break|
|11.20 am||-||12.20 am||Lesson 3|
|12.20 pm||-||1.20 pm||Lesson 4|
|1.20 pm||-||2.20 pm||Lunch|
|2.20 pm||-||3.20 pm||Lesson 5|
- What are the term dates for 2020-21?
Term Dates 2020-21
2020/21 calendar under review due to Covid19
Term 1 Thursday 3 September – Thursday 22 October 2020
Term 2 Tuesday 3 November – Friday 18 December 2020
Term 3 Monday 4 January – Friday 12 February 2021
Term 4 Monday 22 February – Thursday 1 April 2021
Term 5 Monday 19 April – Friday 28 May 2021
Term 6 Wednesday 9 June – Friday 16 July 2021
These term dates are still subject to change. Term dates for 2021/22 will be available on our website under parental information when they are finalised.
*NOTE: These term dates are for students and parents’/carers’ reference. Staff Training Days (INSET), when the school is closed, have been allocated outside these dates.
- How will my daughter get to school?
The school does not directly organise transport to and from school for students. It is the parents/carers’ responsibility to ensure that travel arrangements allow students to arrive at school in time for morning registration at 8.30 am. 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 on the website under transport information.
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.
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 the weekly e-mail and school assemblies nearer the time.
- How do I report an absence?
Parents/carers are asked to telephone the school on 01452 543335 and follow the automated message or email: firstname.lastname@example.org before 8.30 am on the first and subsequent day of any absence.
- What happens if my daughter needs to attend a medical appointment during school?
A reminder to all parents/carers that routine doctor and dental appointments for students should be made outside of school time. For emergency doctor and dental 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.
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 Well-being Centre, as soon as the appointment is received.
- What uniform do I have to purchase?
Team polo shirts, athletics vests and rugby shirts are available to borrow from the PE Department
for matches/tournaments. Therefore, there is no need to purchase the optional items. The PE
Department have a small selection of football boots that may be borrowed for clubs/matches.
There is of course no guarantee that your daughter’s size will be available.
ALL ITEMS MUST BE CLEARLY NAMED.
Information about the official suppliers of our uniform can be found on the school website in the
Jewellery and make-up - students with pierced ears are permitted to wear one small stud in the
lower lobe of each ear. Nose studs are not permitted. Necklaces may be worn but not visible.
Jewellery will need to be removed for PE lessons. A wristwatch is allowed. Hair must be natural
colour. Students are allowed to wear very subtle make up but no eye shadow, lipstick or nail
varnish. Acrylic nails are not permitted.
Information about the official suppliers of our uniform can be found on the school website in the uniform brochure.
Please see here for updated Monkhouse Schoolwear Specialist
- What jewellery and makeup is my daughter allowed to wear?
Students with pierced ears are permitted to wear one small stud in the lower lobe of each ear. A wristwatch is also allowed. It is not suitable to wear eye-shadow, nail varnish, coloured lipstick or heavy make-up. Any make-up worn must be subtle. No other facial piercings are permitted, not even with a clear stud.
- What equipment do I have to purchase?
The following items are required by your daughter:
Art and Design Sketchbook (available to purchase from school) Please don’t purchase your own.
Set of mini white board pens and small rubber
Pad of lined paper
Small earphones for Music lessons
Set of colouring pencils
Set of highlighters
Scissors for paper
A purple coloured biro
Collins (or similar) French dictionary
Collins (or similar) English dictionary
Other items such as house badges will be added shortly.
Any items purchased through our website will be supplied to students when they start with us.
- Whom do I contact if I am concerned about my daughter?
If you have any concerns about your daughter your first point of contact is your daughter’s form tutor. You can contact them, or any of her subject teachers, using email@example.com or calling 01452 543335.
Generally, the staff you will have most contact with will be your daughter’s Form Tutor, Miss Hodnett and Mrs Kittle, our Student Support Officer.
The other person that you may need to make contact with if your daughter has special needs of any sort, will be our school’s ‘Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator’ (SENCO) Mrs King.
- What happens if my daughter 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 Well-being Centre will contact home if they deem it necessary.
- How does the timetable work?
We follow a two-week rolling timetable so it is entirely a matter of choice for the student as to whether books are normally kept at home or at school. What is crucial of course is that the correct books are brought to school for the lessons, and that the correct books are taken home for homework. Students are provided with a locker to store books, small musical instruments and other equipment if they wish to use one.
- 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 and have the opportunity to discuss your daughter’s progress with her subject teachers during our Year 7 Excellence evening. The dates will be published on the school calendar and can be viewed on our website. In addition, if necessary, the Progress and Well-being Co-ordinator will contact parents/carers if they are concerned about any aspect of your daughter’s welfare or academic progress whilst at school.
- What is the School Gateway communication system?
We use School Gateway to share information such as personalised lesson and exam timetables, achievements and assessment results with parents 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 ULAS 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. Please wait until mid August to sign up. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope that you will find School Gateway a valuable way to keep up to date.
- What are the rules for using mobile devices?
Students are currently not allowed to have mobile devices in lessons, but they are free to use them at break and lunchtime. Mobile devices should be switched off until these times.
Should you wish to make contact with your daughter during the day please telephone/email the school office and the message will be forwarded to your daughter. Please do not ring your daughter on her mobile 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 daughter with common concerns during transition?
Useful advice to consider before starting in September:
- Time the journey to school or the bus stop.
- Be sure your daughter is clear about what time she is expected to be home and what to do if she is held up for any reason.
- Make sure she knows/has your contact numbers.
- Make sure you have spoken to your daughter about personal safety eg not wearing headphones whilst walking to school.
- Work out with your daughter what time she will need to get up at to get to school on time. Work backwards from the time she needs to be at school. Include all the things she will need to do.
- Agree a routine for the mornings and after school. (eg. When will she get her school bag ready, the night before or in the morning? Who will make the packed lunch?)
- Agree a bedtime for school days with your daughter, to ensure that she gets enough sleep. Research details that this should be a minimum of 8 hours per night.
- Have a couple of practice runs at getting up at the correct time and getting ready.
- Does anything need changing?
Concerns your daughter 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 daughter’s tutor if you have any concerns about friendships.
Worrying about particular lessons
Try to find out exactly what it is that your daughter is worried about or why she dislikes a subject. If it is because the work is too hard (or too easy), try to spend some time working with her on the subject. If your daughter continues to find the work too easy or too hard after the first couple of weeks, please contact your daughter’s teacher or form tutor.
Being in the right place at the right time
- Reassure your daughter that she will quickly get to know her way around school (most have it mastered within a couple of weeks), and that she will move around as a group to start with. Teachers are very understanding about students getting lost to begin with, and usually help is at hand if it is needed. Your daughter just needs to ask an older student or a member of staff.
- Ask your daughter to use the map distributed on day 1 by the Form Tutor.
- Get a copy of your daughter’s timetable. Keep this on display so that you and your daughter can refer to it. Make sure that your daughter knows whether it is Week 1 or Week 2 on the timetable at the start of the week.
- Encourage your daughter to learn what lessons she has on which days so that she can become independent.
- Make sure your daughter knows what to do if she is late or is lost.
- Make sure she has a watch.
Organising books and equipment
- Help your daughter organise her living space so that she has a place for everything to do with school. Try to make sure she has access to a desk, good light and storage space for her school books.
- Equip her with the tools that she will need 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 daughter 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 daughter; if necessary provide a tick-list to help her.
- 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 daughter in the first few weeks, establishing the routine.
- Recognise how hard it is to work unsupervised. Help your daughter structure her time and use it effectively – provide a clock or timer and agree the tasks that should be done in each time slot eg. half-hour period. Try to be available to do ‘progress checks’ – has she completed the task in the set time? (But otherwise leave her to it – don’t establish a pattern of always doing homework with her – it’s unsustainable and your daughter will not learn to work independently.)
- If your daughter is stuck – either because she doesn’t understand the task she has written down, or because she ‘can’t do it’, offer support but don’t do it for her.
- Encourage your daughter to check in the lesson if she hasn’t understood what the task means – it’s too late by the time she gets home.
- Take an interest in the feedback your daughter receives on her homework.
- Your daughter’s homework will be set using a website called Show My Homework. 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 daughter. 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 daughter goes through the school.
- A good time for homework is after a short break when your daughter returns from school. Get it out of the way early, leaving the rest of the evening free.
- Agree with your daughter 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 you can help ....
- How can I get involved with the PTA as a helper or through the committee?
All parents/carers of students at the school are automatically members of the Parent Teachers’ Friends Association. The Committee consists of elected parents/carers, plus the Headteacher, an Assistant Headteacher 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 a Quiz Night. The Association also runs second-hand uniform sales and organises refreshments at numerous 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/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. Further details are available by emailing email@example.com or on our school website. Forms can be found here.
- 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 expectation 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. Lockers are provided for every student. We strongly advise the use of a padlock (available to buy from our online shop in September) on a locker to ensure all valuables are kept secure during the school day. No responsibility can be accepted by the school for any lost/damaged items.
- What happens if my daughter loses property?
Students’ property is brought to school at their own risk, however any items found are normally taken to lost property or the Well-being 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 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 (based on a 6 Term year) those students achieving the highest number of House Praise Points will be seen by senior members of school staff to celebrate their excellent work. At the end of the year the Houses with the highest number of House Praise Points will have a celebration afternoon in Term 6.
These will be issued for incidents of poor behaviour eg distracting others or being unprepared for a lesson and other similar misdemeanours. Accumulation of 4 consequences points in a Term in Years 7-11 will lead to an after-school detention.
After School Detention (Tuesdays – 3.30-4.20 pm in M3)
A letter will be sent to parents/carers prior to the detention. The reply slip should be returned to Miss H Leathart (Assistant Head Progress and Well-being).
- What extra-curricular opportunities are available?
One of the great strengths of the school is the impressive range of co-curricular 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. Parent Pay 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 Parent Pay account at www.parentpay.com Full details on how to do this can be found on our website under Parent Pay.
- What is the Leader of Learning Programme?
Our Leader of Learning Programme is a bespoke and innovative cognitive science programme designed by Ms Wickson and her team to empower all members of the Denmark Road School Community, using ground-breaking meta-analysis from the EEF.
We explicitly utilise metacognition and self-regulated learning in our curriculum intent and planning to enable students to understand how and why they learn best. This includes how we sequence our curriculum, so that students have the opportunity to develop their long-term memory and are able to approach the curriculum in a holistic way.
Year 7 have a comprehensive tutorial programme to teach them the key principles, which are then applied in the classroom and everyday lives. Our core learning and teaching objective is that all our students should strive for excellence through active, independent learning, and our Leaders of Learning Programme enables this transformation to take place.
Ms Wickson also runs parent workshops throughout the year to share the principles and impact of our Programme.
For further research on metacognition and self-regulated learning, please see the EEF’s guide - EEF.
- 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 in a Meeting Room.
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 Mrs Kittle our dedicated Student Support Officer. Mrs Kittle is a non-teaching member of staff who is able to help support students with worries and concerns, and also help signpost students and their parents to outside agencies where appropriate. 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 Well-Being 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 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:
7.45–8.30 am - Breakfast Club is available serving bacon rolls, toast and hot drinks, water and fruit juices.
11.00 - 11.20am - Selection of hot snacks, sandwiches/rolls, hot and cold drinks
1.20 - 2.20pm - Choice of main meals, snack meals, vegetarian choice, selection of sandwiches, hot and cold desserts, fresh fruit and 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.
Menus are available to view here.
- 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 daughter 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 daughters 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 daughter 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 daughter has a lesson in the LRC then she may also use the LRC’s laptops and iPads. In the Autumn Term your daughter 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/carers are asked to ensure that the school has up-to-date contact information in case of an emergency or illness. The easiest 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 e-mail 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 Mrs Kittle if you think your daughter 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 On-line shop?
Parents/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). Parents/carers will be contacted by a member of staff via email/letter when they are required to purchase an item from our online shop below and your daughter will be able to pick up the item from the school shop, when notified.
There are currently no items for Year 7 on the On-line shop; so please don’t purchase anything.