A summary of our key policies on discipline, uniform and behaviour follows below:
We believe in strong discipline, but in a firm approach that is consistent and fair. High standards of behaviour and courtesy are expected of all students and we place a strong emphasis on a positive work ethic, high aspiration and respect for all members of the school community.
We will always endeavour to work with parents to find ways to help the pupil to improve their attitude or behaviour. If, despite our efforts, the pupil does not respond, we will use a range of sanctions, which includes detention after school for up to an hour and a half and on Saturday mornings. We will normally give twenty-four hours’ notice for the after school detention but in exceptional circumstances we reserve the right to detain a student for up to an hour without notice. Saturday detentions will always have at least 24 hours notice. We also collaborate with the full range of outside support agencies to provide specialist help as and when needed. The school will issue fixed term exclusions for serious breaches of the rules. Permanent exclusion is used as a last resort.
Verbal, physical or cyber bullying can be a source of anxiety for many students and parents and is an issue the school takes very seriously. Happily, it is infrequent at FCHS, but if it does occur, prompt and effective measures are taken by staff to combat it. If you have any concerns, please share them with us at a very early stage.
Diversity and Equality:
In keeping with the Church's social teaching, we believe that every person possesses a basic dignity that comes not from race, gender, status or ability but from God. We are therefore committed to promoting equal opportunity in employment and education as well as maintaining an environment free from every form of racism, intolerance and discrimination, and - as our school site develops - making it more accessible to people with disabilities.
Our school rules make clear that mobile phones are forbidden in school, for students in years 7 to 11. We rightly expect our parents to support us in upholding this role which is very clear and known to all.
Should a student breach this rule, and bring a phone into school, it will be confiscated and only returned to a parent/carer after 24 hours.
If we suspect that a student has brought a phone into school and used it inappropriately, we will confiscate the phone and examine data and files on the device. In doing so, we are following very clear guidance issued by the Department for Education in January 2018 ‘Searching, Screening and Confiscation;’ reference paragraph 15, which is copied below for parents’/carers’ benefit.
Statutory guidance for dealing with electronic devices
“Where the person conducting the search finds an electronic device that is prohibited by the school rules or that they reasonably suspects has been, or is likely to be, used to commit an offence or cause personal injury or damage to property, they may examine any data or files on the device where there is a good reason to do so. They may also delete data or files if they think there is a good reason to do so, unless they are going to give the device to the police. This power applies to all schools and there is no need to have parental consent to search through a young person’s mobile phone if it has been seized in a lawful ‘without consent’ search and is prohibited by the school rules or is reasonably suspected of being, or being likely to be, used to commit an offence or cause personal injury or damage to property.”
A summary of our other key policies on parental responsibilities and the pastoral system follows below:
Partnership with Parents:
Our 'parent-school partnerships' are a strong feature of the school and vital in the learning and development of each pupil. They depend on a sense of trust and mutual respect. We encourage parents to approach us whenever there is a concern or a need to share information. Contact the school to make an appointment with the relevant person. Similarly, we undertake to contact you if we are concerned about anything to do with your son or daughter, be it academic or social.
Communication with Parents:
In addition to Parent Consultation Evenings and Records of Achievement, a number of other systems exist for communicating with parents and ensuring they are kept well informed. These include Parent Information Evenings, our regular newsletter ‘The Albanian’ and a variety of other forms of written communication sent home via email or communicated via this website. When appropriate, it is also possible to arrange ad hoc meetings with your son’s Form Tutor, Pastoral Leader or a member of the Senior Leadership Team. We also encourage all parents to play an active role in the school’s Parent and Teacher Association.
To ensure that our communication is as timely as possible we would also like to have the facility to contact parents by email and text message, as well as via this website. To facilitate this type of communication, we would request that parents notify us of the relevant contact details, establishing an email account if necessary. In addition we would like as many students as possible to have Internet access at home via a broadband connection as we continue to make use of ClassCharts to set homework as well as other online educational resources.
On entry to the school, each pupil is allocated to a form group. The form tutor has daily contact with their charges and is the first point of contact with regard to routine matters. The Pastoral Leaders and Mentors coordinate the academic, pastoral and extra-curricular activities of the whole year group. It is customary for the Pastoral Leaders (apart from in Year 7) to stay with their year group through Key Stages 3 and 4.
The school day is as follows:
- 08.30: Lesson 1
- 09.30: Lesson 2
- 10.30: Break (Years 7-9) or Tutorial (Years 10-13)
- 10.50: Break (Years 10-13) or Tutorial (Years 7-9)
- 11.10: Lesson 3
- 12.10: Lesson 4 (Years 10-13) or Lunch (Years 7-9)
- 13.00: Lunch (Years 10-13) or Lesson 4 (Years 7-9)
- 13.50: Lesson 5
- 14.50: Registration
- 15.00: Dismissal
The school regards regular attendance as vital to students’ progress and absences are followed up promptly via a text messaging system. Our attendance figures are amongst the best in the country and we ask parents not to arrange holidays during term-time and, if possible, to organise dental and medical appointments outside of school hours. We award Certificates of Commendation for students who maintain 100% rates for punctuality and attendance.
Homework is given a very high priority in the school. The amount set and its nature will vary according to the pupil’s age and level of study. ClassCharts is used as an online record of what has been set and parents are asked to check it regularly. KS3 pupils are also encouraged to record homework in the Student Planners which are signed by parents weekly.
Growing up in the 21st century can be difficult and we take seriously our part of the responsibility for all aspects of personal and social education such as health matters (including drugs and alcohol), sex education and citizenship. We firmly believe that a strong lead from home is vital if our boys are to mature into caring responsible adults. We also employ a professional counsellor as a student mentor who is available to see students and/or their parents should there be a need.
Our cafeteria and Sixth Form ‘Food Cube’ serve a wide range of hot and cold dishes at breakfast, break and lunch, and every effort is made to provide and promote healthy options to our students. We operate a cashless catering system so parents do not have to worry about their children carrying money to school. Some students bring a packed lunch and those who live very close to the school may be allowed to go home for lunch on dispensation from the school.
We hope that causes for complaint will be few and that any problems can be quickly dealt with in the normal daily contact with the school. However, if you have a complaint that cannot be resolved in this way, you are invited to write to or telephone the Headteacher at the contact details supplied. Please click here to contact us, and see our policies page for our Complaints Policy.