Traditionally, when children 'fell out' with each other, they either waited until the following day or spoke over the phone to put things right. Unfortunately, text messages are more immediate (you can send one before you have thought it through), written (so they do not just go away) and do not usually reflect the feeling behind the message.
Similarly, children have always talked about each other behind their backs and swapped stories about each other etc. Electronic media, such as 'Facebook', allows conversations between a few people to be seen by many ? and throw away comments? are now written down for all to see.
It is most likely that cyber-bullying will happen outside of school time. For example, pupils should not be using mobile phones whilst in school and web-sites such as 'Facebook' are not accessible through the school ICT network.
Like most things that happen outside of the school it is difficult for us to deal directly with the incident. We are not responsible for our pupils at night or at the weekend and, of course, we cannot police the internet.
However, if we are notified about an issue we will always talk to all the children involved and warn them of the consequences. Most incidents will stop in this way. We will of course always deal with any follow-up incident that happens in school using our regular school sanctions.
If the incident is serious you may wish to get advice from the CEOP website (there is a place to report incidents on-line, see below), or contact the local police.
To answer this question, it is easier to consider Key stage 4 qualifications as a whole.
In Year 11 nearly all of the qualifications available to your child at Woodhey High School are GCSE qualifications. For most subjects these are taken at either Foundation Level (where grades C to G are available) or Higher Level (where grades A*-D are available). All grades from G upwards are classified as a pass. You will often hear people talk of a grade C and above as a 'good pass'
Setting the standard for, and enforcing, a school uniform is not just a matter of appearance. It is a matter of upholding discipline, ironing out defiance and ensuring that staff have appropriate authority. The school uniform plays an invaluable role in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.
A healthy and civilised society runs on a series of rules that enable everybody to live together safely and in harmony. Aligned with the rules, society has a series of etiquettes and conventions that allow people to feel comfortable in their dealings with each other, and give guidance to the way in which each individual should act. Firm knowledge and use of these conventions will enable young people to gain employment and have success in other areas of life. Most employers set a dress code and other rules on appearance of their employees. In many cases this is a uniform.
We do not always understand or agree with the rules, but we have a duty to follow them. It is a large part of a school's role to develop responsible citizens who will work within the rules for the benefit of all and try to follow and use conventions to support their own development. Setting and upholding a school uniform is a major part of this.
Uniform can also:
- provide clarity. If a school has no school uniform, it will almost certainly have a dress code. This can be difficult to describe, hard to interpret and virtually impossible to police.
- reduce cost. Although a school uniform is an additional expense, over a full year a parent will find that a reasonable school uniform plus out of school leisurewear will cost less than leisurewear every day of the year. The uniform policy also makes it clear how a school can support parents who struggle to pay for school clothing. Parents don't have to shop for expensive and varied wardrobes for their children to 'keep up with' or 'show-off to' other children and students worrying about what to wear each day.
- show membership that you are part of the Woodhey community and be a positive advertisement for the school. Our reputation in the local and wider community is of immense importance to both the school and the student. Woodhey has an excellent reputation based on many factors, not least our standards of behaviour and presentation. When our students are out together on a school trip we all have the same uniform and so it is easier to stay together. Wearing a uniform instils a sense of pride and discipline in students.
Although there is no legislation that deals specifically with school uniform or other aspects of appearance such as hair colour and style, and the wearing of jewellery and make-up, the Department for Education gives non-statutory guidance in support of school uniform.
The DFE says that "It is for the governing body of a school to decide whether there should be a school uniform and other rules relating to appearance, and if so what they should be. This flows from the duties placed upon the governing body by statute to conduct the school and to ensure that school policies promote good behaviour and discipline amongst the student body. Matters such as permissible length of a students' hair and piercings should be taken into consideration by each school, when deciding its policies on both health and safety, and school uniform (whilst having regard to its obligations to anti-discrimination legislation). "
Discussions about school uniform are delegated to the Academy Council’s Standards Committee. School rules regarding uniform are discussed and agreed on a regular basis with this committee who meet termly. Where new trends occur, requiring the school to clarify their existing rules re uniform, this is also discussed.
Make-up is not allowed to be worn by students. Therefore any make-up is inappropriate in terms of our school uniform (make up includes nail varnish, false tan, false nails and false eyelashes).
We encourage all parents to ensure that their child leaves home without make-up. If a child arrives in school wearing make-up then we will assume that they have applied it since leaving home. They will be asked to remove their make-up (including nail varnish) and a record will be made of the system. At that time, if we find that they have make-up in their bag/pockets we will confiscate it until the end of the day. They may collect it from Student Services at the end of the school day. For repeat offenders, parents/carers will be asked to collect the make-up from school.
Any student found applying make-up in school will be asked to remove it immediately and the make-up will be confiscated (see above).
Students who persistently flaunt the rules regarding make-up will be put onto a report, where they will be checked for make-up in every lesson.
Students who have skin conditions requiring medicated cream giving a 'make up' appearance will need to provide medical evidence. We will then support the student in ensuring an appropriate look. We would usually ask a parent to come into school to agree what 'appropriate' means.
Please note that there has been a recent tendency for some students to have eyebrows changed for cosmetic purposes. If the school considers the outcome to be inappropriate as part of Woodhey's uniform then our infringement rules will apply - however permanent the process.
As with all aspects of uniform, we will make judgements which may be considered to be subjective. You may not agree with our judgement but, in order to enable us to remain consistent, the school’s Relationship and Behaviour Policy will be followed and the appropriate sanction applied until the situation is rectified.
Jewellery is not a part of school uniform and as such is not permitted.
Piercings are not allowed, even when covered by a plaster. This includes tongue piercing. Please factor this in if you plan to allow your child to have their ears/nose pierced. Normally recommendations seem to be to be that the stud cannot be removed for about 4 weeks, so please have them done at the beginning of the summer holidays. A student will not be allowed into school with a piercing, even if it is covered with a plaster!
If a child is found to be wearing jewellery in school, they will be asked to remove their jewellery and a record will be made of the system. The jewellery will be confiscated until the until the end of the day. They may collect it from Student Services at the end of the school day. For repeat offenders, parents/carers will be asked to collect the jewellery from school. If the child cannot, or will not, remove the jewellery, then they will be asked to work in the Inclusion room until such time as the jewellery is removed.
The same principles are held for earphones, earpods etc.
Woodhey High School has a school uniform, as it has since it opened in 1979, and will continue to do so. The uniform is the same as they were when your child started at our school.
At Woodhey, when we refer to the term "school uniform", we mean the following:
- The type, style and colour of clothing, including footwear, that is expected to be worn by all students; - Acceptable hairstyles;
- Students are not allowed to wear any form of jewellery, make-up, or have earphones/earpods on display (make up includes nail varnish, false tan, false nails and false eyelashes).
Inappropriate uniform is any clothes, hair, make-up or jewellery which does not comply with the expectations of the school, as judged by the school. It is not a matter for debate and is the uniform that was in place when every parent of every student currently in the school applied for their child to come.
Black, sensible flat, shoes without badges, coloured bands or coloured laces. If a student has footwear showing a non-black logo, we will expect them to colour them with polish etc.
Students will wear their school shoes for five days a week - having appropriate, sturdy footwear is important for their feet.
If a child has the wrong footwear, they will be given the opportunity to change it - either by wearing a pair of shoes(if available) from school or by going home (with parental permission) to collect the correct shoes, or by re-colouring logos etc.
Students unable, or unwilling, to change their footwear will work in the Inclusion Room until such time as they have the correct footwear. Financial support can be offered to families who cannot afford new shoes.
Please note that trainers are not considered to be appropriate footwear. Please see photographs on the website of acceptable and unacceptable school footwear.
School starts promptly at 8.30am and pupils are expected to be in registration by this time.
Punctuality is an important part of adult life, and we advise all pupils to be on site by 8.25am to allow them to get to registration on time.
Please support us by speaking to your child about punctuality and by ensuring that if you are dropping them off, it is by 8.25am.
Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.
- protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
- preventing harm to children's health or development
- ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care-taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.
Child protection is part of the safeguarding process. It focuses on protecting individual children identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. This includes child protection procedures which detail how to respond to concerns about a child. Safeguarding children and child protection guidance and legislation applies to all children up to the age of 18. You may wish to read further - the DFE has published a document called 'Keeping Children Safe in Education, which can be found on the DFE website.
This is one area that Ofsted inspect when visiting a school. Ofsted found Woodhey's safeguarding procedures to be effective.
(Terminology from Ofsted Report) Ofsted said that improvements in teaching have not had enough impact on pupil progress. How do Ofsted judge pupil progress?
Nationally, progress is measured by a measure called 'Progress 8'. The measure compares how pupils improve from their Key Stage 2 scores in Maths and English to GCSEs (or equivalent) in specific subjects.
The Progress 8 score looks at GCSE (or equivalent) in 8 subjects, although Maths and English are 'double counted' so the final score is divided by 10. The subjects are:
- English (the best of English Language or English Literature, but pupils must study both);
- Three subjects from the English Baccalaureate (Geography, History, GCSE Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Modern Foreign Languages);
- The Open Element or 'Other Subjects' - from a list of approved courses.
We were surprised that Ofsted judged Woodhey's Progress 8 score so harshly. As can be seen on the School's Performance Table website, Woodhey's overall Progress 8 score is average for the country and better than many schools who are judged to be 'good' by Ofsted.
The Progress 8 score is also broken down by subject group:
- For English, the score has always been, and continues to be, high;
- For Maths, the progress score increased considerably in 2017 and is broadly average;
- The English Baccalaureate progress score is at the national average.
The area where our pupils perform less well in terms of their progress is the 'Open Element'. There are some 'tricks' that have been used by some schools to increase their score in this area. I would like to re-assure parents that we will continue to offer subjects in the 'Open Element' that are useful to your child, rather than some qualifications that are 'good for the school score' but do not increase your child's opportunities. We also continue to seek increased funding to allow us to fund a wider range of more vocational qualifications.
Unfortunately any measure of progress (against GCSE results) will always have flaws, which is why we do not consider only this measure when looking at individual pupil needs. There are other things that are important for a pupil to achieve whilst at high school and we were pleased to see the following quotes in the Ofsted report:
- "Pupils regularly apply for, and take, positions of responsibility";
- "Pastoral staff, teachers and leaders support pupils' social, moral, spiritual and cultural development well";
- "An extensive range of extra-curricular activities is well used by pupils";
- "The school provides good careers advice and guidance." (We are currently waiting for our Silver Accreditation Careers Information, Advice and Guidance) ;
- "The school's work to promote pupils' personal development and welfare is good";
- "Pupils are well-prepared for life in modern Britain";
- "Most pupils move on to courses at college or a sixth form, apprenticeships or employment with training". This is always well above local and national averages both for all pupils and for disadvantaged pupils.
'Disadvantaged pupils' is a term used by Ofsted and some other agencies to refer to those pupils who attract an additional amount of funding called 'pupil premium funding'. The funding is allocated where pupils have claimed free school meals in the last six years or the pupil is in care (or has left care through adoption or another formal route). In most cases, the funding is not directed at a specific child, but is pooled together to support the learning and progress of the group as a whole.
When GCSE results are published the school is judged on the GCSE performance of all pupils, but also on the performance of specific groups e.g. boys, girls, upper/middle/lower ability. In particular, the progress of disadvantaged pupils is looked at i.e. how well did disadvantaged pupils do in their GCSEs compared to the level they attained at Key Stage 2?
The Ofsted report indicates that, on average, disadvantaged pupils at Woodhey do not make as much progress as other pupils and they have low attendance. In reality, most disadvantaged pupils at Woodhey attend as well as other pupils and make similar progress to their peers. Because the number of disadvantaged pupils at Woodhey is low, the very low attendance/progress of a small amount of pupils has had a significant impact on the 'average'. We would like to assure parents that this small minority of pupils are well-supported by the school - they often have a bespoke curriculum and other significant intervention. Our most important priority is to prepare them for their future and for some pupils this is not about their GCSE qualifications. In 2017, 100% of disadvantaged pupils at Woodhey went on to be in suitable Education, Employment of Training - this is not the case nationally.
Trousers should be black, smart, full length with ankles fully covered. Jeans, leggings, tracksuits and jeggings are not allowed. Please note that, although some retailers may label them as trousers, any legwear made from legging material will not be considered as appropriate at Woodhey - with or without a seam.
Socks should be black or dark grey and cover the ankles.
Woodhey determines the following as being inappropriate hairstyles for our school:
- Hair of an unnatural colour;
- Hair of two or more noticeably different colours;
- Long hair which hangs over the face or over the eyes (girls or boys).
- Hair with lines or patterns cut into it.
Please note; We are not the 'fashion police'! Hairstyles will come in and out of fashion. We will make judgements by using the bullet points above. Making judgements on hairstyles will never be able to be a scientific process and some judgements made will be subjective. You may not agree with our judgement but, in order to enable us to remain consistent, we will still ask your child to spend lessons in the Inclusion room until the situation is rectified.
When making our judgements, we will not take into account whether the student "has had this hair cut before" or "has been in school for the last week with it". This does not mean that it is an acceptable hairstyle. It means that we have not yet dealt with it. If another student is said to have the same hairstyle, then we will seek out that student and deal with them in the same way.
If your child is about to have a new hairstyle, then please check against the criteria above before the haircut takes place. If it is your intention to have your child's hair cut in a different style or dyed a different colour please feel free to contact us first to see if it will conform to the uniform requirements. Experience tells us that young people will often suggest something is fine when in fact it can end up with them being withdrawn from lessons. If in doubt, it is better not to have the hair cut in this way as it will be hard to rectify quickly.
The Isolation Room is a quiet room separate from normal classrooms. This keeps pupils separate from the school population:
There are any number of reasons why a pupil will be working in there e.g.;
- Disruptive behaviour;
- Removal from a lesson to enable other pupils to learn;
- Separation from peers whilst a situation is investigated;
- Anxiety in large classes;
- Disapplication from a particular subject;
- Incorrect uniform - separated from peers to make it clear that the uniform has been judged not to be suitable for lessons.
As your child would still be in school during their regular hours, we are not obliged to let you know in advance that your child has been placed in the Isolation room. If necessary, you will be informed by letter, text or email. Work is sent for from the lessons which the pupil would usually attend.
Refusal to follow instructions in the Isolation Room will be treated as defiance.
From 1st September 2021, students are not allowed to access their mobile phones when on the school site. Before arriving in school students should put their phones switched off in their bag. They should not keep them in a pocket of their blazer or trousers.
Students may not use a phone anywhere on the school site. This includes when they are outside at break or lunchtime.
If students are found with their phones out, their phone will be confiscated. They will not be able to collect it until the end of the school day, when they may do so from Student Services. If a student becomes a persistent offender, then the confiscation period will be longer and parents will be asked to collect the phone from school.
If a student refuses to hand over their phone then this will be considered to be defiance. The school’s Relationship and Behaviour Policy will be followed and the appropriate sanction applied.
We also acknowledge that there are a small number of times when use of a mobile phone in school can be useful to contact parents e.g. in the case of heavy snow. This will only be allowed if a member of staff has given a direct instruction that phones can be used at that time.
We recognise that parents may prefer their child to be able to contact them via mobile phone on the way to or from school. However, you may consider whether it is more sensible for your child to leave their phone at home as the school cannot be responsible for any breakages that occur.
Why do the government say that there is more money in schools than ever before, when schools speak of reduced funding?
Since 2010, there are more than half a million more pupils in schools. As a result the government has had to put more money into education to pay for these extra pupils. The amount of money overall per pupil has not increased.
Traditionally, some schools have received more money than others. The government has introduced a National Funding Formula which was designed to give greater equality in funding between schools. In reality, any additional funding given to those schools who had traditionally had lower funding has been dwarfed by increased costs.
Whilst the amount of money per pupil given by the government has stayed broadly the same, there have been some significant increases in costs. Many of these have been caused by government decisions but have not then been funded. These include:
- Rise in Insurance costs;
- Rise in Energy costs;
- Buying in of services which were previously free through the Local Authority.
- Consecutive pay rises awarded by the DFE, but paid for by existing school budgets, including 'living wage' increases;
- Increased employer contributions to National Insurance;
- Increased employer contributions to Pensions;
None of these decisions are made at school level and none can be changed by the school. For example, new government imposed increases to employers pension contributions will cost Woodhey around £200 000 per year for the same staff that we employed in the past. This will have to be found from our existing funding.
There has been a significant reduction in funding to Local Authorities, which means that they are no longer able to offer services which used to be free e.g. Careers advice, Attendance Officers. Consequently schools have to either do without these services or pay for them.
Reduction in funding for other children's services, such as Child Mental Health, means that they now have a much higher threshold before children get support. Children will still have the same needs and schools are doing their best, within reduced capacity, to meet some of these needs.
Mobile phones are a distraction to students in school. During school hours, they should be focussing on learning and their relationships with the people around them. They are a distraction to the phone user and to others around them. There is no need for a child to use a mobile phone for communication purposes during the school day.
Some students also use them to arrange meetings at inappropriate times - for example, some students arrange to meet `in the toilets` halfway through a lesson.
Predominantly however, schools ban the use of mobile phones for safeguarding reasons.
Unfortunately, mobile phones are often used inappropriately. Students use them to photograph or video, often without the permission of the subject. They are also often the tool used by cyber-bullies and those who target others over social media. We feel that children should feel safe from this during school time.
Schools have thorough filters on their IT system to prevent students from accessing inappropriate information on the internet. They also filter all internal communications (e.g. student emails) for use of any concerning language e.g. relating to bullying, self-harm, prejudice etc. This is for the safety of all students. Unfortunately we cannot monitor mobile phones in the same way. Therefore for the safety of students, mobile phones are banned on school premises.
Listening to Music or other audio is a distraction to students in school. During school hours, they should be focussing on learning and their relationships with the people around them.
There is no need for a child to use their headphones/earphones/earpods during a lesson or between lessons. During the school day, students should keep their headphones/earphones/earpods switched off in their bag.
Students may not use headphones/earphones/earpods on the school site. As well as all teaching areas this also includes all other inside areas of the school including corridors, toileting areas, the canteen and all outdoor areas.
If students are found with their headphones/earphones/earpods out they will be confiscated. They will be able to collect at the end of the school day, when they may do so from Student Services. If a student becomes a persistent offender, then parents will be asked to collect the headphones/earphones/earpods from school.
If a student refuses to hand over their headphones/earphones/earpods then this will be considered to be defiance. The school’s Relationship and Behaviour Policy will be followed and the appropriate sanction applied.
A `fixed term exclusion` occurs when a pupil is sent home from school because of their behaviour for a fixed period of time. This can be half a day or longer. They are then allowed to return to the school, usually after their parents/carers have met with a senior member of staff.
A `permanent exclusion` occurs when a pupil is not allowed to ever return to the school.
Some pupils may ask pupils to stay behind at the end of a lesson or come back to see them at break or lunch. This is an informal detention and does not fall under the school`s formal detention system.
When a pupil has an issue that is considered to be appropriate for the school`s detention system, the member of staff concerned will inform the child that they are in detention for the next available lunchtime. The staff member will then use our electronic recording system to allocate the pupil to the detention.
Once recorded on the detention system, the pupil`s name will appear as red on the register. This means that every teacher is able to remind the pupil that they have a detention. The teacher who teaches the pupil directly before lunch will escort the pupil to the detention, or will ensure that another member of staff does so.
The detention will last for 30 minutes.
This has been changed from an after school sanction as the sanction will be more immediate and parents/carers will not need to be informed in advance. Parents/carers will be informed later that day that their child had a detention and we ask parents/carers to talk with their child about the behaviour that led to the detention.
Refusal to attend detention will be seen as defiance.
We acknowledge that some pupils will neglect to follow some school rules, even when they are perfectly aware of them. Although sanctions may be applied, this is not usually seen as defiance unless it is a regularly repeated offence.
- Woodhey judges a pupil to be defiant when they directly refuse to follow an instruction from a member of staff or when they perform an action just after being told not to. Examples include:
- Refusing to move or leave a classroom when asked;
- Running off from staff and refusing to listen to them. This sometimes includes;
- Returning to a place they have been asked to leave;
- Continuing to bother another child after being warned;
- Refusing to go to class;
- Refusing to remove a `hoodie`;
- Refusing to take part in a sanction e.g. refusing to go to a detention or refusing to behave in the Isolation Room;
- Refusing to hand over items to be confiscated e.g. mobile phones, earphones, `vapes`;
- Refusal to behave in detention or in the Isolation Room.
These are all examples that we consider to be defiance.
When pupils directly refuse to follow instructions in this way a senior member of staff will be called and the pupil will receive a sanction.
If pupils continue to refuse to follow instructions, they will be sent home for the rest of the day and this will be recorded as fixed term exclusion.
In the first instance, it would be better to deal with your concern by contacting the appropriate member of staff. If this is not successful and you still wish to complain, then a complaints procedure can be found on the school website under 'About Us/Policies'.
I am a parent with a child with special educational needs. What if I want to make a complaint about the provision ?
In the first instance, it would be better to deal with your concern by contacting SENCo, who may not realise that there has been an issue and may be able to rectify the situation or explain the school policies more clearly. If this is not successful and you still wish to complain, then you may wish to contact the Headteacher.
You are able to access some independent guidance and/or support by contacting Bury Special Educational Needs, Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). This is a service organised through the Barnardos charity.
Their contact details are: Blue Pit Mill, Queensway, Castleton, Rochdale, Lancashire, OL11 2YW.
A parents' evening at Woodhey runs for 3 hours between 4 pm and 7 pm. Each teacher must be at the parents' evening for at least 2 of the hours (4 - 6pm, 4.30 to 6.30 pm or 5 to 7 pm), although many will stay for longer.
Each pupil will have an appointment sheet stuck into the front of their homework planner. This shows 3 minute appointments ranging from 4 pm to 7 pm. As your child goes from lesson to lesson in the week before the parents' evening, they can make appointments with their teachers.
We encourage pupils to make appointments 6 minutes apart (e.g. if one appointment is at 4.00 pm, the next would be at 4.06 pm) to allow their parent time to move between appointments.
Please tell your child what time you would like to attend the parents' evening and also which subject teachers you would most like to see.
On the evening itself, all teachers are in the Frank Bennett Hall. They are grouped in subjects. The subjects are labelled on the walls. If you are not sure how to find a particular teacher, please ask one of our staff or pupils.
The appointments that your child has made are only a rough guide. They are designed to help you to know which teachers to see and roughly at what time. The appointments also tell the teachers which parents to expect and roughly what time.
It is not necessary to see teachers in the order they are shown on your appointment sheet. If a teacher is available, please feel free to see them immediately - even if it is ahead of your appointment time.
The ‘Covid’ timetable for Year 8 is structured differently to our ‘standard’ Year 8 timetable. On the ‘standard’ timetable, pupils are taught in separate subject blocks and, within each subject block, pupils are placed into sets. On the ‘Covid’ timetable, there are no individual subject blocks; instead there are common groupings for English, Maths, Science, Languages, Geography, History and RE. Given that so many subjects are grouped together, in order to come up with the groups for the 'Covid' timetable, we used the KS2 data.
When pupils arrive in year 7, they are placed into ability bands, which will have been displayed on your child’s Year 7 report:
Name’s Ability Band is - M
The table below shows the four ability bands used for tracking purposes based on pupil’s average KS2 scores along with pupil’s expected GCSE target range:
80 - 89
S = Support
90 - 99
W = Working towards required standard
100 - 109
M = At expected standard
U = Above expected standard
The groupings for Year 8 use these ability bands. Most of the pupils in groups 1-4 are from the 'U' ability band and most of the pupils in groups 5-7 are from the 'M' ability band with the remaining groups made up from the 'W' and 'S' ability bands. Within each ability band, pupils have been placed into a mixed ability group of pupils with a similar range of KS2 scores. Please note therefore that these groups are not sets. So, if your child is in group 6, this is not set 6, it is a mixed ability group of ‘M’ pupils.
The staff are aware of the grouping situation and are therefore differentiating/extending pupils as required.