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Secondary School FAQs
Contact and Personal Information
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT MY CHILD?
The first point of contact should always be your child’s tutor. The tutor is the person who sees your child morning and afternoon and has the best overview of their progress at school.
If necessary, the tutor can bring in other teachers, such as Heads of Department for academic questions, and senior teachers as necessary.
If you are not happy with the response from the tutor, contact Mr T. Davidson, Head of Secondary, for questions relating to academic matters, and Mr P. Baldwin, Head of Pastoral Care, for pastoral questions.
HOW DO I BEST CONTACT TEACHERS AT SCHOOL?
The best way to contact teachers is via email. All teachers have a school email account in the same format:
email@example.com eg Alastair Castle = firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact a teacher via ENGAGE (see below)
WHAT DO I DO TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE A TEACHER AT SCHOOL?
Contact the teacher via email. Alternatively, arrange the appointment via the school secretary, Mrs Nicole Smolders at email@example.com.
It will generally not be possible to see all of your child’s teachers at one time, as they will be teaching, except at parents’ evenings (see below).
HOW WILL TEACHERS COMMUNICATE WITH ME?
Teachers can communicate with you via:
- Your child’s homework diary
In certain circumstances a teacher may request that you attend a meeting at school to discuss your child’s progress.
WHAT IS ENGAGE?
ENGAGE is the school’s new database and information platform. Although still in development, it allows improved communication between the school and parents. It contains a parents’ portal, which allows you to access information about your child’s teachers, timetable, attendance and behaviour record, grades and reports.
Please address any questions about the use of ENGAGE to the administrator, Ms Sandra Daroca, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY PERSONAL INFORMATION (EG ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER) CHANGES?
Please inform your child’s tutor immediately. It is vitally important that we have up-to-date contact information for you in case we need to contact you in an emergency, for example if your child is ill or has an accident at school.
Transport and Parking, Bus Rules
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT BUS ROUTES?
WHAT DO I DO IF MY CHILD WANTS TO CHANGE BUS ROUTE?
Many bus routes are full or nearly full. Therefore it may not be possible to change bus route. Contact Sra Pineda in writing in good time before the proposed change of route. For one-off changes of route, your child must see the School Secretary, Mrs Smolders the day before, with written authorisation from parents, and 5 euros in cash if your child does not usually travel by school bus.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE ARE PROBLEMS ON THE BUSES?
If you have a complaint about the bus service, please contact Mr P Baldwin, Head of Pastoral Care.
Pupils are expected to behave well and follow the instructions of the bus monitor for the safety of all passengers. Persistent poor or disruptive behaviour can lead to a pupils losing the right to use the school bus for a day, a week, or permanently. Please see the Bus Rules for more details.
WHERE CAN I PARK WHEN DROPPING/PICKING UP MY CHILD FROM SCHOOL?
Expectations for Driving and Parking near the School
Many of you will have noticed the faculty and administrators out and about each morning for drop off and afternoon for pick up time, ensuring the vehicles and pedestrians are moving about the very busy School area in a safe manner. Please remember to follow all traffic rules that apply to all roads in Spain and refrain from trying to take ¨short cuts¨ as this can lead to a dangerous situation for our students and family members. Please remember to leave yourself additional time to drop off and collect your children as we have a limited number of parking spaces close to the entrances. That said, we have ample parking on the road ¨below¨ the Primary school, so feel free to park there and take a short walk up to the School. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
RULES FOR THE USE OF SCHOOL BUSES
By making use of the school bus service, you and your parents accept the following rules:
- Please get to your bus on time, at the beginning and at the end of the school day.
- The bus monitors are there for your safety. Listen to them carefully, follow their instructions and speak to them politely.
- Do not speak with or otherwise distract the driver.
- Take your assigned seat immediately, put on your seatbelt (correctly tightened) and stay sitting (not kneeling) in your seat for the entire journey until the bus has come to a complete halt. Do not get out of your seat unless given permission by the bus monitor.
- Do not eat or drink on the bus. Put your bags in the hold under the bus (make sure that food ingredients are safely stored in airtight containers).
- Use your mobile phone or other device to listen to music with headphones or earphones. No loud music or singing. Do not take pictures or videos of other pupils. Make sure that anything you are watching on your phone is appropriate.
- You should behave in the bus as in the classroom – in particular, do not throw anything, shout across the bus, use bad or offensive language.
- Leave the bus in an orderly way as soon as the doors are opened (including when arriving at school). At school, walk straight up out of the coach park into school – you can wait for friends in the cafeteria. At your bus stop in the afternoon, take your things out of the hold, then wait on the pavement until the bus has moved off.
If you break any of these rules three times, you will be suspended from the bus for a day. In the case of three further incidents of poor behaviour, you will be suspended from the bus for a week. Three more incidents and you will lose the right to use the bus for the rest of the school year.
If there is a police inspection and a fine is levied because you are breaking any of these rules, you or your parents will have to pay the fine.
WHAT TIME SHOULD MY CHILD ARRIVE AT/ BE PICKED UP FROM SCHOOL?
If arriving by car, your child should arrive at 08.45 and be picked up from 16.10.
The school buses are scheduled to arrive at 08.45 and leave the coach park at 16.15.
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE SCHOOL DAY?
09.00 – 09.10 Registration
09.10 – 10.00 Period 1
10.00 – 10.50 Period 2
10.50 – 11.10 BREAK
11.10 – 12.00 Period 3
12.00 – 12.50 Period 4
12.50 – 13.35 LUNCH (Key Stage 3)/Period 5
13.35 – 14.20 LUNCH (Key Stage 4 & 5)/Period 6
14.20 – 15.10 Period 7
15.10 – 16.00 Period 8
16.00 – 16.10 Registration
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE SCHOOL DAY ON ASSEMBLY DAYS?
Assembly days take place on the first Thursday and the third Tuesday of each month.
On these days the timetable will be as follows:
09.00 – 09.10 Registration
09.10 – 09.50 Assembly
09.50 – 10.35 Period 1
10.35 – 11.20 Period 2
11.20 – 11.40 BREAK
11.40 – 12.25 Period 3
12.25 – 13.10 Period 4
13.10 – 13.50 LUNCH (Key Stage 3)/Period 5
13.50 – 14.30 LUNCH (Key Stage 4 & 5)/Period 6
14.30 – 15.15 Period 7
15.15 – 16.00 Period 8
16.00 – 16.10 Registration
WHAT TIME DO THE AFTER-SCHOOL CLUBS START AND FINISH?
After school clubs generally start at 16:30 and finish at 17.30. Please be on time to collect your child.
HOW DO I KNOW THE DATES OF HALF TERMS AND FIESTA HOLIDAYS?
Term dates, and other important information, are contained in the school calendar, which is available on the school website and ENGAGE.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE SCHOOL IS CLOSED BECAUSE OF EXTREME WEATHER?
The school is only closed because of extreme weather if the school transport service is suspended by the local authorities. You will be informed by a notice on the school website and Facebook page and notification via ENGAGE.
Absence and Illness
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF MY CHILD IS ABSENT FROM SCHOOL THROUGH ILLNESS OR MEDICAL APPOINTMENT?
Please contact your child’s tutor by email before 9.00am on the first day that your child is ill. Otherwise your child will be marked in the register as absent without authorisation.
WHAT IF MY CHILD NEEDS TO MISS SCHOOL FOR OTHER REASONS?
Please write to your child’s tutor in advance of any planned absences.
WHAT IF MY CHILD ARRIVES LATE OR HAS TO LEAVE EARLY?
In each case, your child should sign the signing in/out book in Reception, and speak to the School Secretary to let her know that he/she has arrived or is leaving.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF MY CHILD HAS LOW ATTENDANCE?
Regular attendance is linked to good achievement. If your child’s attendance is poor, his/her tutor or a senior teacher will be in touch with you to arrange a meeting in order to discuss how to improve attendance.
If your child’s attendance falls below 75%, the school is obliged to contact the school attendance officer in your municipality.
SHOULD I SEND MY CHILD TO SCHOOL IF HE/SHE IS FEELING ILL?
You should not send your child to school if he/she has a fever or is likely to be infectious.
WHO WILL LOOK AFTER MY CHILD IF HE/SHE FEELS ILL DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
The School Nurse, Mrs H Gabriel, is on the school site all day, and will look after your child. If she is absent, your child will be looked after by one of the teaching staff with first aid qualifications. However, only the School Nurse can give medication, and only if that has been authorised by you on the relevant form. The School Nurse cannot take the place of your child’s doctor, and if she feels that your child is too ill to remain at school, she will contact you and ask you to come and pick up your child.
WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS AN ACCIDENT DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
If your child suffers a significant accident whilst at School, you will be informed immediately. You will be informed of any head injury, regardless of its severity. Should it be deemed necessary, your child will be taken directly to IMED Teulada, accompanied by the School Nurse. You will be informed of this step and asked to go IMED immediately. Should your child develop a problem after School, which started in School, you must take them to IMED Teulada, Centro Medico, Denia or Hospital Levante, Benidorm and then they will be covered by the School’s Insurance.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD IS TAKING MEDICATION?
Any medication should be left with the School Nurse clearly labelled with your child’s name and with written instructions indicating the exact dose, times and method of administration. Pupils should not keep medicines in their bags or lockers.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT MY CHILD’S ACADEMIC PROGRAMME AND PROGRESS?
First point of contact is your child’s tutor.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MY CHILD’S TIMETABLE?
In your child’s homework diary. Information about your child’s timetable and teachers is also available via ENGAGE.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY CHILD WITH THEIR HOMEWORK?
Your child’s homework schedule will be in his/her homework diary. It is important to encourage your child to write the homework down accurately. There will be occasions on which homework is not set. Departments will provide a list of general activities which your child can usefully do if no specific homework is set.
HOW WILL THE SCHOOL REPORT TO ME ON MY CHILD’S PROGRESS?
You will receive a grade sheet with teacher and tutor comments at the end of each term via ENGAGE. There may also be interim reports. Most subjects will set unit tests – please ask your child for the results of these tests. If a teacher or tutor has particular concerns about your child’s progress, he/she will be in touch with you directly.
Each year group has one or two parents’ evenings per year. This is your opportunity to see all of your child’s teachers together. Please make every effort to attend. The schedule of parents’ evenings can be found in the school calendar.
ARE SUBJECTS SET BY ABILITY, AND CAN MY CHILD MOVE BETWEEN GROUPS?
Some subjects are set or streamed by ability but not all. The decision to set, and the method of setting, is made in the professional judgement of the relevant Head of Department.
Yes, your child can move between groups. However, the decision to change groups will be made by the Head of Department based on evidence of your child’s attainment.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EFL AND FIRST LANGUAGE ENGLISH, AND CAN MY CHILD MOVE FROM ONE STREAM TO THE OTHER?
EFL (English as a Foreign Language) concentrates on developing the skills or comprehension and communication in English, including the acquisition of vocabulary and grammatical accuracy. English as a first language assumes a full command of English and develops deeper understanding of language and literature and the ability to write in a variety of styles and registers.
Yes, your child can move from one stream to the other, but this would have to be agreed with both the Head of EFL and the Head of English.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MFL (MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) SPANISH AND FIRST LANGUAGE SPANISH, AND CAN MY CHILD MOVE FROM ONE STREAM TO THE OTHER?
As above for English. A move between streams needs to be agreed with both the Head of the Spanish Section and the Head of the MFL Department.
WHAT IS THE SPANISH SECTION?
The Spanish Section is compulsory for all pupils of Spanish nationality and recommended for non-native fluent speakers of Spanish. In the Spanish Section curriculum, pupils learn Spanish language and literature, history and geography in Spanish, and Valenciano, and in the Sixth Form a wider variety of subjects taught in Spanish. Successful study of these subjects, combined with passes at (I)GCSE or A Level, allows pupils to achieve the Secondary Spanish certificates: “Graduado en Educación Secundaria” and “Bachillerato”.
CAN MY CHILD JOIN THE SPANISH SECTION IF HE/SHE IS NOT A FLUENT SPEAKER OF SPANISH?
The school offers a special programme called PIPSE to support pupils who wish to join the Spanish Section. For more details, please contact the Head of the Spanish Section, Sra J Triviño email@example.com.
WHAT ARE (I)GCSES?
These are externally assessed public exams taken by pupils at the end of Year 11 after a two-year course of study. The exams are taken in school, but are externally set and assessed – exam fees are therefore payable for each subject. Pupils must take these exams in Maths, English, Spanish and at least one Science. The other 4-5 subjects are chosen by the pupils at the end of Year 9.
WHAT IS THE ENTRY REQUIREMENT FOR MY CHILD TO CONTINUE INTO THE SIXTH FORM?
Generally, the school expects passes in the Spanish Section subjects (if relevant) and at least four to five (I)GCSE passes, Grade C (4) or above, or the equivalent from their country of origin. However, each pupil will be considered individually. Please contact the Head of Sixth Form, Mrs M Wickman for advice.
WHAT ARE A LEVELS?
These are externally assessed public exams taken by pupils at the end of Year 12 and/or 13 after a twoyear course of study. The exams are taken in school, but are externally set and assessed – exam fees are therefore payable for each subject. Pupils may choose the 4 -5 subjects they wish to study, within the constraints of the timetable.
CAN MY CHILD CHANGE OR DROP SUBJECTS AT (I)GCSE OR A LEVEL?
Changes of subject can generally only be made within the first month of the two-year course. After that, a decision to drop a subject will only be considered after the mock exam in that subject, and can only be made with the agreement of the relevant Head of Department and Mr T Davidson, Head of Secondary.
WILL THE QUALIFICATIONS OFFERED BY THE SCHOOL ALLOW MY CHILD TO APPLY TO UNIVERSITY?
Yes, but different universities in different countries have different entry requirements. It is therefore vitally important that your child communicates his/her plans for university to the tutor as early as possible so that correct advice can be given.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF MY CHILD IS UNHAPPY AT SCHOOL?
First point of contact is always your child’s tutor. The tutor will ask for support from the Head of Pastoral Care or other relevant teachers as necessary.
CAN MY CHILD CHANGE TUTOR GROUP?
The school seeks to create well-balanced tutor groups. Usually, changes to tutor group will not be made after the start of the school year. If your child wishes to change tutor group at the end of the school year, please write to the Head of Pastoral Care, Mr P Baldwin (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving reasons.
WHAT IF MY CHILD IS BEING BULLIED?
Please keep a record of any case of bullying or suspected bullying and contact your child’s tutor, the Head of Pastoral Care, or any teacher, immediately. Do not let your child suffer in silence – the majority of cases of bullying can be dealt with effectively if parents and teachers work together.
Behaviour, Discipline and Support
EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR – 1
“I arrive on time with the correct equipment and make a good start and end to every lesson.”
- You should have a copy of your timetable in your homework diary including the room number for each lesson.
- Every instance of lateness will be challenged by the teacher.
- If you are more than 5 minutes late without good reason, you will receive a B1. Three B1s means a lunchtime detention.
- Wait quietly outside the classroom until asked in by your teacher.
- When invited into the classroom, go quietly to your assigned seat and stand in silence behind your chair until asked to sit down.
- Make sure you bring the correct equipment to the lesson (this includes exercise book and textbook, PE kit and ingredients for cooking) – if you do not, you will receive a B1.
- You will not be allowed to leave the classroom during a lesson unless you are ill or there is an emergency. Organise your books, water and toilet visits during break time.
- You will not be able to use the cafeteria or vending machines except during break times.
- At the end of the lesson, tidy the area around you, push in your chair and stand in silence behind it until dismissed by your teacher.
EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR 2
“I am responsible and considerate in the way I go around school and treat the school building and grounds with respect.”
- Walk around the school on the left. Running in the corridors or on the stairs is dangerous and will result in a B1.
- Be helpful and polite around stairways and doorways – don’t push through and hold the door open for others.
- Form an orderly queue against the wall outside your classroom until asked in by your teacher.
- Leave your bag in your locker area during break times.
- Eat and drink only in the cafeteria. Eating or drinking anywhere else is bad manners. Listen to and follow the instructions of the duty staff or monitor.
- Once you finish eating, go to the designated play area for your year group – sports court or rear play area. Running games and sports should take place only in that area.
- Put your rubbish in the bin. Dropping litter will lead to a B1 and maybe litter-picking.
- Graffiti is unacceptable. Drawing on a desk, wall or toilet cubicle will lead to an immediate B2.
- Report any damage to the building immediately to the caretaker or a teacher.
EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR 3
“I take pride in my appearance, wearing the uniform correctly, and in the neat presentation of my work.”
- Make sure that you have enough clean uniform for each day – if there is a problem, bring a note from your parents.
- Write your name on your uniform, bag and other equipment.
- If you are cold, use the uniform jumper and sweatshirt. If you bring another top, coat or scarf, it should be removed as you enter school and left in your locker until the end of the day.
- School shoes means formal leather shoes, no canvas or trainer-style footwear.
- Proper PE kit should be worn – otherwise you may not be able to take part in PE lessons.
- Make up must be discreet and hairstyles reasonable.
- On non-uniform days, wear sensible daytime clothes, not overly short or revealing party clothes – otherwise your parents may be called to bring more appropriate clothing.
- Write with a black or blue pen rather than pencil. If you make a mistake, cross it out neatly and write the correct version.
- Include the date, title, textbook page and exercise number (all underlined) for each piece of work.
- Treat textbooks with care.
- Do not doodle in your exercise book or diary – it is the same as graffiti.
EXPECTED BEHAVIOUR 4
“I listen carefully to my teacher (particularly to instructions), and to other pupils, always putting up my hand if I want to ask or answer a question or make a comment.”
- Good listening skills are vital for a safe and positive learning environment in the classroom, and important skills for life.
- Leave your social conversations at the door when you enter the classroom – you can pick them up again during break time. While in the classroom, you should be talking only about the topic of the lesson.
- When the teacher is presenting the lesson, there should otherwise be silence in the classroom.
- During question and answer sessions, there should only ever be one person speaking – the others should be listening.
- Show that you know the answer to the question by putting up your hand – if you are not chosen to answer, listen to the answer given by another pupil.
- Shouting out an answer deprives other pupils of the opportunity to think and therefore to learn.
- Failing to listen properly and disrupting the lesson by talking have a very negative effect on teaching and learning for the whole class – for that reason they are unacceptably poor behaviour and will lead to a B1 or B2 or academic sanctions.
WHAT UNIFORM SHOULD MY CHILD BE WEARING AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE YEAR?
Summer uniform is worn in the Summer Term and before half term in the Autumn Term. The rest of the year, full winter uniform is to be worn. Please see the Uniform lists for details of the uniform requirements.
At Prize Day (at the end of the Summer Term), pupils will need the long-sleeved white uniform shirt and tie.
WHAT ABOUT MAKE-UP, HAIRSTYLES AND JEWELRY?
Make up may be worn, but should be discreet. Extreme hairstyles are not allowed – if in doubt, consult with your child’s tutor before allowing an extreme haircut. Pupils should only wear stud or sleeper earrings, a single necklace and one bracelet.
WHAT IF MY CHILD LOSES AN ITEM OF UNIFORM?
Please label all uniform. Found items will be kept in the office of the caretaker.
HOW CAN I ORDER NEW UNIFORM ITEMS FOR MY CHILD?
School Equipment and Books
WHAT SCHOOL EQUIPMENT SHOULD MY CHILD BRING TO SCHOOL EVERY DAY?
See the published school equipment list.
WHAT ABOUT TEXTBOOKS AND EXERCISE BOOKS?
These are generally supplied by the school. Please name and take care of school textbooks.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY CHILD LOSES A BOOK SUPPLIED BY THE SCHOOL?
Please inform your child’s teacher. You will be required to pay for the cost of replacing the textbook
Mobile Phones and Valuables
CAN MY CHILD BRING A MOBILE PHONE OR OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE TO SCHOOL?
Yes. However, all devices must be switched off (and headphones removed) as soon as your child leaves the car or school bus. Phones and electronic devices must be handed in to the tutor at the beginning of the school day and will be returned during afternoon registration (but must not be used until the pupils is in the school bus or car). Any device which is found on a pupil during the school day will be confiscated and kept until the parents come to school to collect it.
Sixth Formers are allowed to keep their phones, but should not be using them while walking in the school corridors.
HOW CAN I CONTACT MY CHILD, AND HOW CAN MY CHILD CONTACT ME, DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
Please phone the school office on Tel: 96 573 1960 and speak to the School Secretary, Mrs N Smolders, with any important message.
Your child may ask to use a phone in the School office if he/she needs to contact you during the day.
HOW CAN MY CHILD KEEP MONEY AND VALUABLE ITEMS SAFE DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
Money should be kept in a purse or wallet in a secure pocket.
Valuables should be handed in for safekeeping with the mobile phones, or locked in the pupil’s school
locker. Please do not bring valuables to school unless absolutely necessary.
WHAT FOOD IS OFFERED IN THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA?
The school catering company, Aramark, offers hot food cooked on the premises. A monthly lunchtime menu is published on the school website.
The caterers also offer sandwiches (bocadillos) at break and lunch time.
HOW CAN MY CHILD PAY FOR MEALS AND SNACKS?
School lunch is paid for on a monthly basis. If children require just a ‘one off lunch’ then this can be paid for in the Accounts Office.
CAN MY CHILD BRING A PACKED LUNCH?
Yes. The packed lunch should be eaten in the cafeteria, and all packaging should be put in the litter bins. Please supply the cutlery needed to eat the packed lunch.
Music and performing arts
CAN MY CHILD LEARN A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT, OR SINGING, AT SCHOOL?
Private music lessons in most instruments and singing can be arranged with peripatetic teachers who visit the school on a weekly basis. If you are interested, please contact the Head of Performing Arts, Mrs Suzanne Millington (email@example.com).
The School is also a centre for examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music and for LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art).
WHAT OTHER MUSICAL OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE AT SCHOOL?
The School Choir rehearses on set mornings during the week, and performs both within the school and at a variety of prestigious events in the local area. Please contact Mrs Millington for all information regarding the choir: Mrs Suzanne Millington (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There is also a performing arts club on Tuesdays after school which presents annual musical theatre performances.
WHAT ARE THE ‘HOUSES’?
Each pupil in the school is allocated to one of the four Houses – Red, Green, Yellow and Blue (siblings are generally put in the same House). Each House is led by a teacher, and by a group of senior pupils. There are regular inter-house competitions in a variety of areas, and the Houses work together to raise money for charity.