The key to success in advanced study is full attendance, a genuine commitment to study and the belief that meeting the demands of their studies should be a top priority in their lives. Parental contribution to assisting them in adopting this approach can make a significant difference and so, for example, we ask for your assistance where possible in ensuring that your son or daughter leaves home promptly in the mornings and arrives punctually at school.
It is very difficult to ‘copy up’ work when missing a lesson means not just missing information, but failing to take part in an important debate on a topic or to conduct an experiment. Nothing is more damaging to their prospects than missing lessons and arriving late causes substantial disruption to both their studies and the work of others.
Students are registered electronically for every timetabled lesson with an Attitude to Learning Grade. The grades are awarded as follows:
Just as in years 7-11 our ‘Behaviour for Learning system’ provides a BFL grade in every lesson. The Grades range from 1 to 4. The minimum expectation is a 2 and within that lesson, through behaviour, the teacher may move the grade up to a 1 or perhaps move it down to a 3 or 4 if behaviour becomes unacceptable.
In addition to the BFL grades the students are also eligible for fortnightly ‘Subject Star’ nominations and rewards including postcards home and vouchers for the Sixth Form Bistro.
These grades are aggregated over a period of a month and taken into account along with attendance and achievement grades when reviewing students’ performance and awarding rewards.
Students in receipt of the 16-19 Bursary need to check their weekly attendance record regularly as their payments could be affected by any inaccuracy in the recording of an absence.
We are asked to comment on attendance and punctuality in references. In an increasingly competitive Higher Education and employment market the value of a good attendance record cannot be stated highly enough. Obviously where there are mitigating circumstances surrounding a student’s absence these will be explained in the reference.
- Lessons begin promptly at 8.40 am. Year 12 students are expected to arrive at 8.40am every morning whether they have lessons or not. This allows them to get into a routine and establish good study habits. Early morning is a good time to catch up on some homework or some extra reading in the Sixth Form Work Room or the LRC. If they have a study period in lesson 5 they may go home at 2.15.
- Year 13 students are permitted to come in at the time their first timetabled lesson starts as long as there have been no concerns raised by their teachers. We see this as a way of preparing them for the self-discipline and decision-making skills they will need to develop for Higher Education and employment. Due to timetable adjustments, in Year 13 some students may have a day without timetabled lessons and may remain at home, providing they are fulfilling their commitments and dedicate this time to home study. Such permission to work from home will be revoked if circumstances change at any stage.
- Students who arrive at school during a study period must sign in at the Main Entrance so that we know who is on site. They should also sign out if they go home before the end of the day so that we know that they have left the premises. In line with all other adults in the school they must wear their identity badges at all times whilst on site.
- Students must not take on any part-time work during the school day (8.40am until 3.15pm) and are asked to be careful not to make any unauthorised external commitments which are dependent on leaving school before 3.15pm as there may be times when their presence in school will be required, as above. We advise them that their first priority must be their study commitments; other demands must come second to these and we would expect them to cancel unauthorised arrangements, if required to be in school.
- Driving lessons must not be arranged during teaching time but we will authorise absence for driving theory or practical tests, providing documentary evidence is available and the student is meeting their commitment to study.
Procedure for reporting an absence:
For absences known in advance such as medical/dental appointments and university open days/interviews/driving tests students should inform Mrs Pass as soon as they are able to do so. For medical/dental appointments and driving tests they will need to show an appointment card or letter. However, where possible such appointments should be scheduled outside of school hours. Students should also see the teacher(s) of the lessons that they will miss and arrange to catch up missed work.
If a student is ill or if there is a family emergency we also ask either the student or parent to phone the dedicated absence line on 01270 871137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before 9.30am on every day of the absence
We allow students to report their own absence from school in an effort to ensure that they take responsibility for their own attendance, just as they would in a place of employment. However, in circumstances where students take advantage of this privilege we would then request parental notification by telephone for future absences.
Parents/carers of students in receipt of the 16-19 Bursary should note that unless students keep to the conditions as listed on their bursary application, their payments will be wholly or partially withheld.
Examples of absences that would be authorised:
- A medical or dental appointment which cannot be arranged outside school hours.
- A one-off caring responsibility for a close family member.
- A religious holiday.
- A visit to a university either to attend an open day or for interview, or a career-related interview.
- A work experience placement.
- Participating in a significant extra-curricular activity, such as drama, music, sport or volunteering, which has been agreed in advance.
- Attendance at a funeral of a close family member.
Holidays during term time
We urge you to consider very carefully the impact of taking a family holiday in term-time upon your son’s or daughter’s chances of success.
If parents wish to take the student out of school for a holiday in term time they should fill in a holiday request form which is available from the Sixth Form Office. Each case will be considered on its own merit and authorisation will not automatically be given. Authorisation for attendance at music festivals will not be given.
Please note that regulations about holidays apply throughout the two years of post 16 study as any time out of lessons in this period will mean that they will miss essential examination work which will have an impact on their studies and final grades.
It is also strongly recommended that students come into school on A Level Results Day (or at least make contact with us) in August as essential guidance and advice is available which will assist them in any decisions that have to be made.
Procedure for dealing with attendance concerns
- Mrs Pass reviews attendance on a daily basis and emails the parent of any student who has an unauthorised absence from any lesson throughout the school day.
- Where Mrs Pass has concerns about persistent absence or patterns of absence she will either contact home directly or report the concern to Mrs Pole or Mr Evans who will then contact home.
- We also review attendance on a monthly basis when reviewing student performance and awarding rewards
- At each Assessment Point students who have an attendance figure of less than 95% will receive a letter/email home (unless there are known mitigating circumstances).
- Where there is no improvement in attendance following parental contact both the student and parents will be invited in for an interview with the Headteacher
- In cases of very poor attendance (below 95% across the whole academic year) the school may ask the student to pay their own exam entry fees.
- In cases of extreme and prolonged absenteeism from school without genuine reasons the student and parents will be required to meet with Mrs Pole, Director of Sixth Form and Mr Middlebrook, Head Teacher in line with the Escalation Policy which can be found on the website.