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Published by St Albans Catholic High School, 2018-07-30 07:54:22

Parents Handbook 2019-20

Parents Handbook 2019-20

Parent & Carer Handbook 2018—2019


1 Mission statement
2 Headteacher welcome
3 Contacting the School
4 Tutor Groups, Prefects & Peer Supporters
5 Spiritual Life
6 Absence from School
7-8 Uniform
9 Equipment
10 Personal Money & Belongings
11 School Organisation
12 Catering Services
13 Arrival on School Premises
14 Arrangements for the Provision of School Meals


St Alban’s Catholic High School: “Learning, Respecting, Caring”
St Alban's Catholic High School strives to provide an excellent education for
our students within a caring Christian community where all are respected,
valued and supported to achieve their potential. We aim to inspire everyone
with the strength and purpose to begin the journey of learning for life and to
prepare our students to lead by their example in the modern world.



Dear Parents and Carers

I am delighted that you have chosen St Alban’s Catholic High School and welcome you most warmly
into a relationship with us and your children over the years to come. Our greatest pride is in our
My promise to you will be to develop a second family for our young people in a deep bond of love
and cooperation, so ensuring that our strong and special theological community delivers a simply
outstanding education in these rapidly changing times.
Since my appointment in February, I have a led a renewed sense of purpose and endeavour, based
on the values that the school was founded upon. For me and my staff, academic excellence goes
hand-in-hand with personal and spiritual development.
Students learn best in a disciplined, nurturing, and engaging environment. I will hold everyone to
account in this regard, expecting the highest standards in conduct and discipleship . Students must
take pride in being members of the school, moreover they should be prepared to add their own
special contribution to its life. Our motivations all stem from care, courtesy and consideration for all.
I keep stakeholders informed with daily tweets, regular parent consultations and feedback, as well as
monthly ‘Contact’ bulletins. I look forward to meeting you in the coming months; please do not
hesitate to get in touch if you have any concerns or suggestions as to how St Alban's can improve

Yours faithfully

Matt Baker


Contacting the

Parents are asked to be aware that staff will respond to any messages as quickly as they are able.
However, please be aware that staff spend most of every day teaching and may not be able to
respond immediately. It is for this reason that parents are asked to make an appointment to see a
member of staff, rather than simply arrive in school.

The school office has an answerphone, which is in operation outside of normal school hours. This
enables parents to contact the school at any time so that problems or concerns can be dealt with

Please refer to the “Contact Chart” in this booklet to enable you to direct your call to the most
appropriate person. Telephone: 01473 726178. School can also be contacted via
email: [email protected]

People You May Need To Contact

Form Tutor

The Form Tutor is your first point of contact for the day-to-day concerns you may have about your
child. They will be able to offer you advice and help relating to most everyday concerns you or your

child may have, including absences, appointments etc.

Subject Teacher

Contact the subject teacher about issues that are subject-related. This could be for advice to help
solve a subject related problem or a SAIL concern.

Student Support Manager

Mrs. Bradley is the Student Support Manager for Years 7 and 8. She will support you if you have con-
cerns about your child’s welfare, happiness or well being at school.

Alternatively if would like to discuss issues outside school that you feel are affecting your child’s educa-
tion, please do not hesitate to get in touch with her.

Head of Year

Mrs Lewis is the Head of Year for Years 7. She is a good person to contact about student attainment
and progress. She may not be able to talk about specific individual concerns in subjects, but can help

find out the answers to questions you may have or put you in touch with the right person.

The school’s website contains information which may be of interest and it is worth having a look to
become familiar with it. The bulletin board often contains items which are up and coming.

Please keep an eye on the school calendar section of our website. It contains important information
and dates for you to put in your diary. These dates include Consultation Evenings for Parents and Car-
ers about academic progress.




Year 7 students will be placed into tutor groups and feedback from the primary schools is taken into
account. All tutor groups are mixed ability and are identified by the school abbreviations: 7S, 7T, 7A,
7L, 7B, & 7N. The form tutor is the first point of contact if you have any concerns and you can make
contact with them by calling the school directly or sending an email to:
[email protected]

Each tutor group is assigned a ‘House’. The House system is designed to encourage both collabora-
tion and competition. Houses are designated with a Saint and a colour.

Our House Saints are:


& Peer Supporters

Many Year 11 students are involved in activities which support the staff in the day to day running of the
school. These students have specific responsibilities and can help with guidance for Year 7 students.

Some students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 are trained to be Peer Supporters. These students are trained
by the school, and act as caring guides to youngsters within our school. All Year 7 tutor groups will have a
peer supporter attached to their form. The project is supervised by staff and is offered in addition to the
pastoral care provided.

At St Alban’s we endeavour to create a supportive and caring community and encourage older students
to develop a sense of personal responsibility in the creation of this environment.


Spiritual life

We are firmly and fully committed to supporting the faith journey of all members of this school
community. The school has a lay chaplain and a school and sixth form chaplaincy team who are
supported by local Catholic clergy in Masses and special liturgical events. They also organise various
pilgrimages and retreats and take a students to our partner primary schools. Members of the team
are also available to speak with or sit and listen to students as required.
The school day begins with a staff briefing which includes our daily prayer intentions. At morning
registration students share prayer together. Each form group has its own prayer intention book into
which students write their prayer intentions. Our chaplain also leads staff and student prayer
sessions and is available on a daily basis to students and staff who need support and guidance.
Morning prayer takes place daily in the chapel.
Year assemblies are held once a week. We celebrate Mass as a whole community on special
occasions and every year group holds its own family Mass once a year. There is also a weekly Mass
for staff and students during registration on a Wednesday and all students attend a student Mass as
part of their RE timetable.
The entire philosophy of the school rests upon Christian values and experience. RE is a compulsory
subject that is taught throughout the school. St Alban’s is a Catholic school and students are
encouraged to explore their own faith within a Catholic context.


From school

On the first day that a student is absent from school (for illness, emergency medical/dental appoint-
ment etc.) we require a call from a parent/carer advising us of the student’s name, form, reason for
and anticipated duration of absence. Please telephone 01473 726178, taking Option 2 to leave a mes-

If the period of absence is for more than two days then we appreciate further regular updates.

If you have not previously been able to contact the school regarding an absence then on the student’s
return we require a completed ‘Reason for Absence form’ (available from the school) explaining the
reason for the absence. Prior to any planned term-time student absence we require written notifica-
tion. One month’s notice is required for authorisation requests; forms are available from the school
We discourage routine dental appointments during the school day.

Please note: The school only authorises term-time absences in exceptional circumstances (funerals are
good example). Term-term family holidays will be not authorised, nor will shopping trips, birthday
outings, visits to home countries etc. These kinds of activities must take place during the school holi-

A record of unauthorised absences will be referred to the Educational Welfare Officer whose actions
may include penalty fines and, ultimately, prosecution proceedings in court.

The school’s Attendance Officer may be contacted:

via email: [email protected]
or on the school number: 01473 726178.



At St Alban's we expect students to take a pride in their personal appearance. This includes whist
representing the school on the journey to and from school. We call this ‘door to door’ pride!
Uniform must be worn at all times; this includes on journeys as well as in school itself. We do not accept
extremes of fashion, outrageous hairstyles or unnatural colours. Jewellery is not permitted for reasons
of security and safety, with the exceptions of a watch, a chain of religious significance and one gold or
silver stud in each ear lobe. Other body piercing jewellery is not permitted in school.
Parents are asked to mark all items of clothing and personal belongings, with their child’s name. The
Headteacher reserves the right to make the final decision about items of clothing, jewellery and hair-
styles as sometimes items may be open to interpretation. We would ask that students do not have
painted nails in school; this includes stick on nails.
A full list of school uniform is shown on the next page. They should wear a smart, plain coloured out-
door coat; denim jackets and ‘hoodies’ are not allowed.
Please note that trousers should be mid-grey and be a tailored style. They should not be jersey fabric or
elasticated material. We expect a formal style. Coe’s of Ipswich is our uniform provider and items can be
tried on and ordered through their store.
The Friends of St Alban’s have some clean and tidy used uniform for sale; please contact the school
office if you require further information.


All items marked with an * are available to purchase from Coe’s in Ipswich, where uniform can be tried
on, ordered and purchased.

Boys' Uniform Girls' Uniform

A school blazer with badge* A school blazer with badge*
Plain white shirt with school tie*
St Albans school tie in house colours Plain white shirt with school tie*

Tailored mid grey school trousers (no cords, St Albans school tie in house colours
sportswear, denim or tight trousers)
Tailored mid grey school trousers (no cords,
*Dark green v–necked long-sleeve pullover, sportswear, denim or tight trousers)
trimmed at the neck with blue and white
(Skirts are no longer part of the St Alban's uni-
Black waterproof shoes: not suede or fabric and form).
no high boots.
Avoid logos. *Dark green V-necked long-sleeved pullover,
trimmed at the neck with blue and white
Dark coloured socks, grey or black
Apron or other protective clothing for DT and Art Black waterproof shoes.
Low heeled, not suede or fabric and no high
boots. Avoid logos.

Grey or black tights or socks

Apron or other protective clothing for DT and Art

Trainers (no black soles) with white sports socks Trainers (no black soles) with white sports socks

*White collared polo shirt (plain) with school *White collared polo shirt (plain) with school
badge badge

*Black shorts *Black skorts

*Dark green football socks *Dark green hockey socks

Football boots and shin pads (essential) Hockey/football boots and shin pads (essential)

Plain black tracksuit bottoms; also used for Dance/ Plain black tracksuit bottoms.
School sweatshirt (plain)
School sweatshirt (plain) Mouth guard (optional)
A coat for bad weather (not a hoodie)
Mouth guard (optional)
A coat for bad weather (not a hoodie)



All students need to bring a pencil case to school with them each day containing at least a pen (blue or
black), pencil, ruler and a calculator. It would also be helpful for them to have a spare pen (or two!) a
spare pencil, a rubber and coloured pencils. All students need to have a sturdy school bag in which to
carry their belongings. Items of stationery may also be purchased from the school each morning.
A calculator for use in Mathematics lessons is essential and we would advise buying a scientific calculator
which would be adequate for use up to GCSE. These may be purchased from school if desired during the
first week. Geometry sets are also available from the school.
A dictionary is an essential item of equipment for many lessons and it is important to choose items which
will suit your child. ‘Collins’ are generally quite good.
Throughout their time at St Alban’s students will be encouraged to remain avid readers. The students are
expected to have a reading book for every English lesson. The school Library is a fantastic
resource to enable students to always have a reading book.
An English-French dictionary is desirable. A pocket-sized dictionary is adequate and ‘Harraps’ are reason-
ably priced.


Personal money
& belongings

Students should not bring large sums of money to school.
Money for a bus fare, a snack and school lunch should be sufficient. The school cannot accept
responsibility for the loss of money or other belongings. If it is necessary for a large sum of money to be
brought to school, it must be handed to the school office at the beginning of the day for safekeeping.
This should be clearly labelled with the student’s name. In general, electronic equipment should not be
brought to school; we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage.

Mobile Phones / device management
Mobile phones and devices must be switched off and out of sight in school, except where directed by
staff otherwise. Students will have their phones confiscated if in breach of this.

The use of mobile communication devices and the recording of images, audio or video are not allowed in
the school, except at the permission of a member of staff and only under supervision to support

The school cannot accept responsibility for any damage caused to or loss of the phones or electronic de-
vices when they are on school premises.

Parents or carers are reminded that in cases of emergency, the school office reception remains a vital
and appropriate point of contact and can ensure your child is reached quickly and assisted in any relevant
way. Passing on messages through school reception also reduces the likelihood of disrupting lessons

Student safety is a key concern. We do not say students cannot bring mobile phones to school. However
the rules must be clear. Whilst in school it must be turned off, out of sight and certainly never used in a
lesson or at social times.

We understand that some students have long and complicated journeys to school and recognise that be-
ing able to talk to parents during their journey may be important.

School will endeavour to supply a locker to all Year 7 students who wish to make use of one. They can
claim this on their first day. Lockers will require a padlock, which students need to supply; a padlock of a
reasonable size is required to secure the turning mechanism; if it is too thin the handle can sometimes
still be operated.

Students need to use their locker in a sensible manner and to be responsible for the security of it.




Pastoral care
The school operates a year and house system from years 7-13 co-ordinated by an Assistant Headteacher, Heads of
year, and Student Support managers/leads responsible for the day-to-day needs of their groups. Close liaison exists
between the pastoral staff and form tutors who are an integral part of the guidance system. The form tutor is
responsible for the welfare and happiness of students in that group and students are encouraged to ask their form
tutor if they have any questions that need answering or help in solving problems that may arise.

In accordance with the college aims and our mission statement each student is entitled to receive a broadly based,
balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum, including the national curriculum, and has the right to participate
in college society without discrimination. As developing individuals, all young people are entitled to the whole
range of opportunities in education, including specialist resources, specialist teaching and consultation with other
The role of the learning support department is to enable students who have special educational needs to gain
equal access to the curriculum and to take all measures necessary to ensure that this takes place. This is achieved
through learning support staff working with teaching colleagues to meet the individual needs of students as an
integral part of normal curriculum delivery.
In years 9, 10 and 11 students with ECHP or statements of SEND are offered a differentiated timetable, where
appropriate, together with enhanced career provision and transition support. In years 7–8 they may receive extra
literacy and numeracy tuition, which is offered either as in-class support or as withdrawal, individual and small
group teaching sessions. The school has responded to the disability act by adding lifts to each building. We also
have ramps, handrails, painted steps, disabled toilets ,and a shower.


Catering Services at
St Alban’s High School

Caterlink are delighted to be working Our menus are refreshed every Get in touch
In partnership with St Alban’s Catholic term to ensure we reflect the Please feel free to
High School and would like to tell you changing seasons and trends from contact our friendly
about us and our catering services. the high street. 95% of all our food team. Our manager
is freshly prepared from scratch on will be happy to talk
We love food and hope you will love site by our team, so if you have a to you and answer
what we provide for you at your school. fantastic recipe you would like us to any questions you
consider, come and talk to us at any may have.
We embrace natural ingredients, love time you visit the facilities.
seasonal produce and develop ethical If you would rather
trading with many of our suppliers. Our Look out for our special offers and not talk then simply
meat, fruit & vegetables and bakery is promotions throughout the year! fill in one of our com-
all sourced from suppliers as near to the We are also proud to say all our ment cards or drop
school as possible. Our menu meets the meals are nutritionally compliant us an email to the
SILVER Food for Life Standard. for the Government Standards for address below.
Food Serves in School.

You can find out more about us on our website

[email protected]

The Price is Right……… Item Price

We believe in keeping prices as low as we possibly can so 2 course meal deal, pasta/jacket £2.35
always ask about our meal deals and loyalty schemes to deal or packed lunch deal
ensure you get the best value you can for your school Mineral water 500ml 70p
meals….. All our meal deals are £2.35 and look out for our Deal always available of 2 for £1
termly promotions and special offers! Hot snacks at break From 65p
Meal deals at break From £1
Dessert & fruit pots From 40p

Cakes and tray bakes From 45p


Arrival on
School premises

Our school has one entrance and exit on Digby Road. 1020 students use this twice a day and cars are a
significant hazard. Please avoid driving onto the site at the start and end of the day. Dropping off and
picking up your child a couple of streets way reduces both congestion and risk.
If you agree a safe meeting point a few streets away it really helps buses get to the site and it avoids
conflict with residents trying to get to and from their house. If you establish a routine early on, this will
help everyone stay safe.
The school appreciates that many students travel considerable distances to school each day and some
students arrive at school well in advance of the official opening time of 8.50 a.m.
As the risk of accidents outside the school grounds is greater than within it, students are allowed onto
the school premises on the understanding that staff supervision begins at 8.40 a.m.
The dining hall is open for students from 8am if they wish to buy hot drinks or breakfast.


Arrangements for
the provision of school meals

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following*:
 Income Support;
 Income-based Jobseekers Allowance;
 Income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
 Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
 The guaranteed element of State Pension Credit;
 Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross
income of no more than £16,190);
 Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit;
Universal Credit.
Application forms for free meals can be obtained from the school or County Council website and should
be completed and forwarded to the Area Office:

Free School Meals
Endeavour House

Russell Road

Tel: 01473 260989

It is important that you claim ‘free school meals’ for your children if you are entitled to do so – even if
sometimes you do not wish your child to have them. Part of the school’s funding is based on how many
of our students are registered for free school meals.
Please contact the school office if you have any questions or concerns about this.
*obtained from website


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