HOW CAN PARENTS BE INVOLVED IN THEIR CHILD’S LEARNING?
Parents are involved in their child’s learning in many ways;
Attending parents’ evenings and raising achievement days. Discussing end of year reports. Helping set targets for learning. Contacting school if they have a concern.
Helping with homework and coursework. Signing their child’s planner each week. Encouraging their child to do personal study (other than homework). Ensuring homework is completed before going out. Asking teacher(s) how they could best support at home. Encouraging reading at home. Trying to create a suitable set of conditions for doing homework.
Meeting with teacher(s) to discuss behaviour If appropriate, signing their child’s monitoring or full school report sheet on a daily basis. Discussing any misbehaviour with their child and supporting the school rules and sanctions put in place.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF PARENT GOVERNORS?
Every school has a Governing Body. The key role of the Governing Body is to act as the ‘critical friend’ to the school, supporting our self-evaluation work, questioning the evidence base with us and supporting how we respond. Therefore, as a team, Governors are responsible to parents, the LA, the DCSF and the wider community, making sure the school provides a good quality education and promotes high standards of educational achievement.
One way you can get involved with your child’s education is by becoming a parent governor. As full members of the Governing Body your task is to represent parents’ viewpoints in the Governing Body’s work. Although there are no financial rewards from being a parent governor you can achieve personal satisfaction from performing an important public service. It also enables you to build effective and valuable relationships with many of the school’s partners.
WHAT DOES THE SCHOOL DAY LOOK LIKE?
MONDAY – FRIDAY
Timing of the school day
Our school day runs with the following structure and students follow a two–week timetable
8.30 am Individual 1:1 progress interviews with tutors
8.40 am Tutor time – structured activities to support literacy/PSHE
9.10 am Period 1
10.10 am Break
10.25 am Period 2
11.25 am Period 3
12.25 pm Lunch break
13.15 pm Period 4
14.15 pm Period 5
15.15 pm End of formal school day
Please note that on Wednesday afternoons, students in Years 7,8 and 9 undertake Enrichment activities from 14.15 – 15.15
Assemblies are primarily arranged by house blocks but may also be organised in Year groupings depending on appropriateness. These are scheduled for one morning a week during tutor time.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY CHILD IS BEING BULLIED?
Relationships between young people can be very rewarding and positive but when they go wrong people can be upset. Sometimes they hurt each other thoughtlessly or accidentally. However, if any child sets out systematically and deliberately to humiliate or hurt another, this is bullying behavior and will always be treated extremely seriously
If you suspect there is a problem contact your child’s Tutor straight away.
Here are some ideas suggested by Childline about how you can deal with bullying. Think about your situation, and what options might be best for you.
Don’t ignore bullying, it won’t go away on its own and it may get worse. Tell someone you trust – a teacher, parent or friend. Remember, it’s not your fault. No one deserves to be bullied.
Here are some other things you might want to try:
Keep a record and save any nasty texts or emails that you have been sent. Try to stay away from bullies or stay with a group when you feel unsafe. Try not to retaliate – you could get into trouble or get hurt. Try to act confident – even if you don’t feel it.
Call Childline for extra help on 0800 1111
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY CHILD IS STRUGGLING WITH CLASSWORK AND/OR HOMEWORK?
It is always better to address these sorts of concerns sooner rather than later. We suggest that you;
1. Contact the classroom teacher by phone or email (these details are listed under the question ‘how can I contact your child’s teachers’?) Click Here
2. If you still have concerns then contact the subject leader for that department (again details can be found Click Here).
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD WITH THEIR HOMEWORK?
- Set aside a place for homework to be done; this can be as simple as the end of the kitchen table or as elaborate as a desk with a lamp in a special place (perhaps your child’s room).
- Make sure the necessary equipment is available – pencils, rubber, paper, ruler, etc.
- Set aside a special time for homework each day; don’t wait until your child is nearly ready for bed, it is likely they will be too tired.
- Insist that the television be turned off so that your child can concentrate; sometimes playing music at low volume helps to mask household sounds.
- Sign your child’s Planner for the appropriate week and report any concerns to your child’s Tutor via the planner.
- Help with homework – but don’t do it for them.
HOW DO WE SET INDIVIDUAL TARGETS FOR STUDENTS IN YEAR 7?
The school uses two main pieces of information when setting targets for students in Year 7. Some subject areas use Fischer Family Trust (FFT)* data, others use their own baseline assessments.
The following subjects have used targets based on prior attainment – a company called FFT.
The following subjects have set their own targets based on a baseline task that was given to the students on entry – these subjects start from a much lower level (often entry is at level 2) than the subjects above and therefore the targets may also be lower.
- Art and design
- ICT – this target has a maximum level of 5
The levels are split into thirds, “a” being high and “c” being low.
* The FFT Data Analysis project produces ESTIMATES of likely attainment. The estimates are calculated for each pupil and, from these, school and LA estimates are calculated. They are called estimates – not predictions or targets – because they provide an estimate of what might happen if pupils make progress that is line with that of similar pupils in previous years.
Why are some targets lower than others?
The FFT* makes “estimates” based on prior attainment and historical data and projects a level of attainment. This will of course vary considerably pupil to pupil. Foundation subjects start at a much lower level than core subjects, around level 2, so a target of level 4 is the expected 2 level of progress.
Can the targets change?
All targets can potentially change. If any changes are to take place then subject teachers must provide evidence to support the amendment. After further consultation a change in target may be agreed by senior members of staff.
Targets are reviewed at least twice a year against assessments and it is in year 9 that pupils may have met or exceeded their target and alterations are made.
HOW DO STAFF ARRIVE AT CURRENT ASSESSMENTS’ ON ACADEMIC REPORTS IN YEARS 7,8 & 9?
WHAT IS AVAILABLE THROUGH OUR LEARNING RESOURCE CENTRE (LRC)?
Key Stage 3 students (Years 7, 8 & 9) use the LRC to do Accelerated Reading, whereby students read books and do online quizzes about the book. This has proved to be very successful in improving students’ reading ability and understanding of books. A prize draw is held each week for students who achieve 100% on their quizzes. We also have an end of term pizza party for students who reach their Points Target.
Sixth Form students use the LRC for study periods as it is a quiet space they can study with little distraction.
We also have a computer suite attached to the LRC which is used all the time by students and teachers in the school to do research work, homework and to teach lessons.
There are also a variety of reference books, newspapers and magazines which students can access to help them with their schoolwork and look up any particular hobby or leisure pursuit they may be interested in.
We hold most of the prospectuses for all of the major universities in the UK that Sixth Form students can have a look at to help them choose where they would like to study after leaving school.
The LRC is extremely popular at breaktime and lunchtime, where students are free to use the computers to play games. We also always have a section which is just solely for the use of students who wish to do homework over their lunch and breaktime.
At lunchtime students can also play board games e.g. draughts. Chess, Connect 4 etc. which proves very popular.
If teachers need a quiet space to speak on a one to one with students it is also a good place for that.
We have a large variety of novels, non fiction books and DVDs, which students can borrow free of charge.
WHAT IS THE HOME-SCHOOL AGREEMENT?
The home-school agreement is a document that spells out the responsibilities of the school and the parents. It also contains information on what the school expects of its students. All state school should have a written home-school agreement, which explains the aims and values of the school. Young people achieve more when schools and parents work together, so this agreement will help you to work with your child’s school.
WHAT TO DO IF; (CHILD ILL, HEAVY SNOWFALL, CHILD NEEDS MEDICATION AT SCHOOL)
To report a student absence telephone (0191) 4334026 and press option 2.
- You may receive a text message direct to your mobile phone (Please ensure we have your latest number.)
- If not check the Academy website or App.
- Listen to Radio Newcastle
Telephone the school (0191) 4334026 and press option 1.
You should contact the Health Unit who will advise you of the procedures. The contact number is (0191) 4334026 extension 231.
GENERAL TIPS FOR PARENTS
It would be great if every child were to go from childhood to full adulthood without any hitches. Many do, but most encounter the occasional physical or emotional hurdle.
Here are some examples, and suggestions, on how you can help your child.
Helping your child
Young people can get the blues. If your child doesn’t seem happy or is acting differently try and find out what is upsetting them. If nothing seems to work us know, but also check with your child health clinic or contact your GP.
School aged children can be really demanding and irritable. Even if they are driving you mad, be patient and say that you know they are worried or unhappy. Under all this moodiness, there may lie lots of hidden anxiety and unhappiness.
Help your child get the best out of their school. If they seem low and don’t want to go to school, try and find out why and contact the school with your worries. Remember that we’re here to help.
Young people need, and like, clear guidelines. Set some ground rules with your teenagers but be prepared to give and take on what they can and can’t do. You’ll be showing them that you are on their side.
Don’t demand and expect constant love and affection from your children especially if you are feeling low and your children know it. You could be putting too much of a burden on them and building up layers of guilt and resentment.
Conflict between couples, divorce and separation can cause a lot of anxiety amongst children of any age. Talk them through what is happening and listen to how they feel. That way you’ll keep their trust and help them deal with change.
All families go through change. If your family is going through change allow people to have mixed feelings. Different family members may feel differently about the same event. Let everyone express how they feel. Feelings change in time and we can find ways of getting used to them.
Some children like to have other trusted adults they can talk to – a grandparent, aunt or uncle, a teacher, youth worker or family friend. Don’t feel threatened if they reach out to someone else.
Remembering the fears and anxieties you felt as a child can help you see what your child might be going through and what reassurance they might need.
Is there something small you can do to make time for yourself? Make a deal with your children – a trip to the park in exchange for five minutes peace and quiet. A cup of tea on your own, a hot bath, a chat with your friend.
You may be feeling isolated, guilty and helpless when trying to comfort your child. You need someone to talk to too – share your feelings with friends, family, partners and other parents or contact Parentline Plus on 0808 800 2222 or visit The Parents Centre website(www.parentscentre.gov.uk).
Trust your own judgement. If you feel your child is in need of professional help and you are at all uncomfortable with what is being offered or who is doing the offering, go on looking.
When trying to get professional help seems an impossible uphill struggle, talking to friends or other members of your family could help you see other ways to ask for help and how you can get heard. Contact school to see how we may help.
HOW DO I CONTACT THE SCHOOL NURSE?
- Your NHS School Nurse can be contacted on 0191 2832473.
- There is no longer a School Nurse drop in session in the Academy.
- Referrals can be made via the Health Unit 0191 4334026 [ Ext 231 ]
TALKING TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT SEX, RELATIONSHIPS AND GROWING UP
For many parents talking to your child about sex, relationships and growing up can seem difficult. Talking to Your Child About Sex and Relationships is packed with support for mums, dads and carers of children of all ages who want to talk comfortably about sex and relationships. This booklet is produced by FPA (Family Planning Association), the UK’s leading sexual health charity. The website address is http://www.fpa.org.uk/
TALKING TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT ALCOHOL
There are well documented and current concerns about young people and ‘binge drinking’ and the links to juvenile nuisance. A recent survey was conducted on the role of parents/carers in preventing and addressing underage drinking. It was recognised how the behaviour of parents/carers as role models was very powerful, and shaped children’s attitude towards alcohol. A useful website which offers further guidance and support is http://familylives.org.uk/advice/teenagers/
TALKING ABOUT DRUGS
Drugs are a fact of life these days, especially for young people – your children, too! You should know about the dangers they face and how you can help. The following websites offer support and advice;
www.talktofrank.com offers basic, simple and clear information on the A to Z of drugs and their effects. www.pada.org.uk offers support and services to the families of substance users across the country.
Another, more local organisation is SMART (Substance Misuse Awareness Raising and Treatment). Their contact details are as follows;
SMART Young People’s Service
5C High West Street
Tel; 0191 4998110
WHAT IS THE 5-POINT CHECKLIST FOR MAKING A HEALTHY LUNCHBOX?
- Have you got something from the BREAD, CEREALS AND POTATOES group?Ideas: Wholemeal and white breads, pitta bread, pasta and rice salads.
- Have you got something from the FRUIT AND VEGETABLES group?Ideas: Salad in sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, apples, pears, satsumas, bananas, grapes, fruit salad and pure fruit juices.
- Have you got something from the MEAT, FISH AND ALTERNATIVES group?Ideas: Slices of ham, chicken and turkey, boiled eggs, canned tuna and salmon, prawns, hummous, mixed nuts and peanut butter.
- Have you got something from the MILK AND DIARY FOODS group?Ideas: Milk, Cheddar, Edam, cheese triangle, cottage cheese with pineapple chunks, fruit yogurt, drinking yogurt and pots of rice pudding.
- Have you got a drink?Ideas: Milk, drinking yogurt, smoothie, fruit juice, sugar-free squash and water.
TALKING ABOUT SEPARATION AND DIVORCE
There is little that is more traumatic for a young person than the divorce of their parents. Sadly it is all too common an occurrence. A young person’s reaction to this depends upon their age and their ability to comprehend what is happening. Younger people in particular have a hard time dealing with the changes that are occurring at this time. Consistency is very important to younger people and the trauma of their parents separating is extremely difficult for them to handle. The loss of routine, the change in daily habits and the loss of friend’s, school and other familiar patterns is especially difficult. The way in which they are informed of the divorce is significant as well. Often their ability to cope with the situation depends upon how well or poorly they are told about it.
A useful website is: