Primary to Secondary
We try to make the move from primary to secondary as smooth as possible. Primary students have the opportunity to visit the College in Years 5 and 6. Primary colleagues meet with our staff on a regular basis to discuss the transfer and curriculum continuity.
All parents are invited to visit the College for an Open Evening in the autumn preceding their child’s progression to secondary school to see the facilities; there is also an opportunity to see the College in action during the day. Special arrangements can be made for parents who cannot visit on the designated evening.
The Year Leader will be responsible for placing students in their tutor groups. Year Leaders will consult with primary teachers and the students themselves. There is an introduction evening in the July preceding transfer, to allow parents and students to meet their tutors and obtain any further information regarding the transition to Year 7.
We try to retain good working relationships whilst ensuring new students are given the opportunity to meet new friends.
The College is divided into Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and Sixth Form. The purpose of these year teams is to break down the College into smaller units where students can be clearly identified, cared for, encouraged and, where necessary, supported to improve their levels of achievement and behaviour. Each year group has its own Leader along with a team of form tutors, offering whatever assistance is required by the Year Leader.
Each year group holds a regular assembly in the Assembly Hall. These are organised by the Year Leader and can be presented by a number of people, including students, staff and outside speakers. When students enter the College they are assigned to a Tutor Group. Each Tutor Group is part of a year team, enabling the Tutor to work closely with the Year Leader, Curriculum Managers and other staff who come into contact with their students.
Through constant consultation, a close knowledge of each student will be shared by both Tutor and Year Leader. If students have any concerns they should raise them with their Tutor or Year Leader.
A number of students in Year 11 are appointed as Prefects. This occurs in May of the previous College year and students take up the appointment at the end of Year 10. Prefects wear badges and assist in supporting younger students in a variety of ways.
Prefects are expected to be an example to other students and will help at College functions and parents’ evenings. The team of Prefects is led by a group of Senior Prefects.
Partnership with Parents
We hope parents will support the partnership between College and home in a variety of ways.
We expect parents to let us know of any matter which might adversely affect their child’s welfare or progress.
Parents are encouraged to take an interest in their child’s school work and homework and sign the Student Planner on a regular basis to confirm they have checked that homework has been completed.
Our Parent Council meet each term. This is a forum which allows us to be better informed as to parents’ views and we strongly encourage as many parents as possible to come along.
We hope parents will support the College by always sending their child dressed in the correct uniform.
We would ask parents to contact us on the designated absence line or e-mail address to inform us on the first day of a child’s absence.
Since September 1999 schools have to adopt, by law, a Home-School Agreement and associated Parental declaration.
The Sir Harry Smith Home-School Agreement is a statement explaining the College aims and values, the responsibility of the College, as well as the responsibility of parents and the expectations of students. Parents are expected to sign the document. The College welcomes the philosophy of the Home-School Agreement and recognises it as a valuable document with which the partnership between teachers and parents can help raise students’ achievement. Copies of the Home-School Agreement will be forwarded to parents when a student starts the College. Associated College policies that parents may require in conjunction with the agreement are:
- Behaviour Management Policy.
- Anti-Bullying Policy.
- Special Educational Needs Policy.
The College operates a computerised system which allows staff to recognise the achievements of students. Parents, Form Tutors and Year Leaders are regularly e-mailed with “good news slips”.
We have two prestigious award celebration events in the year. The Awards Evening takes place in July and recognises Academic Excellence, Outstanding and Continued Effort and the Most Improved Performer in Years 7 - 9. In December there is a Celebration of Success Evening when GCSE, A level Certificates and a number of special awards for outstanding achievement are presented. Parents are invited to join the students on these special occasions. We also hold Celebration Assemblies for each year group at the end of each term to publicly highlight and celebrate student success.
Reporting to Parents
Punctuality and Attendance
The College is responsible for ensuring that all absence is either “authorised” or “unauthorised”. Parents should explain any absence and it is the duty of the College to decide if the explanation is one that can be authorised. Reasons such as looking after younger children or shopping are not authorised absences. In particular, absence will not be authorised for students with a poor attendance record.
- parents should avoid taking their children out of school during term-time to go on holiday, and do not have any right or entitlement to do so.
- leave for the purpose of a family holiday will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and in most cases will be refused(exceptional circumstances are exemplified in the guidance on the college website, and on the leaflet “Family Holidays during Term Time and Extended Visits Overseas” - www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk)
- if leave is granted, it is for a single period of absence which o.ccurs once in a school year, not several two or three days breaks.
- if a student’s average attendance falls below 95%, it is highly unlikely that the holiday request will be authorised (NB, a two week holiday immediately takes a student’s attendance to just below 95%).
- holidays which are taken without the College’s permission are coded as unauthorised and the Educational Welfare Officer is informed.
- holidays should, at all costs, be avoided during external examination periods (GCSEs, A Levels).
- In extreme circumstances the College reserves the right to direct the Educational Welfare Officer to take parents to court, in cases of persistent absence.