Darton College Prospectus

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1 Unlocking Potential Changing Lives Darton College Prospectus

2 ADMISSIONS POLICY The College is a fully inclusive comprehensive College for boys and girls aged The Standard Admission Number for each year group is 240. Applications for admission to the College should be made to the Local Authority. Parents/carers are invited to contact the College at any time prior to making an application for admission of their son or daughter. For the normal admission in September we arrange visits during the Autumn Term, usually in September and October. We have a full transition programme in place. TIMINGS OF OUR DAY The students day begins at 8.50 and ends at Students are welcome to come into College from 8am and can enjoy breakfast whilst accessing our learning resources. The midday break is to hours per week are spent in classes: there are three lessons in the morning and two lessons in the afternoon with a form period at the start to support students preparations for the day. These timings are currently under review, there will however only be minor changes and will have minimal impact on the start and finish times of the College day. You will be consulted throughout. All students are required to remain on the premises. As at any other time through the College day, the College cannot be held responsible for students who leave the premises without permission. FORM GROUPS Your child will be looked after by one of our Form Tutors, who meet groups for registration at 8:50 am every day. They are your first point of contact. They maintain records and take an active part in helping students to get the most out of their education; for example, they monitor attendance and progress made in College and they give advice on planning work, coping with homework and examinations, choice of courses at the appropriate time and other educational matters as they arise. 1 of 16

3 ATTENDANCE Parents and guardians are required by law to ensure that children of compulsory schooling age receive full-time education. We want all students to attend College because they feel safe, comfortable and able to develop their full potential in a positive environment. We recognise good attendance by praise and reward - both oral, written and through our rewards scheme. Parents and guardians have a responsibility to ensure that their children attend promptly and stay in College. They must also inform the College of any absence as soon as possible, usually in the morning of the first day, and they should state the nature of illness and how long the absence might last. On return, a note is required even if previous telephone contact has been made. A child should only be absent for unavoidable reasons. Allowing a child to be absent without good reason is against the law. Every half day absence has to be classified by the College (not the parents) as authorised or unauthorised. This is why prompt contact and a detailed explanation are vital. AUTHORISED absence may be caused by illness or a similarly unavoidable reason UNAUTHORISED absence may include truancy (internal or external) or absence through trivial and unacceptable reasons ( eg shopping, minding the house or pet, or a treat). The Principal is empowered to grant authorised discretionary leave of absence from College including for family holidays for up to 10 days in any one College year. In practice due to the effect leave of absence has during term time on a child s progress it is rarely, if ever, granted. You should note the dates of examinations and assessments: leave of absence will not be granted during these periods under any circumstances. Leave of absence will not be considered in the following periods: At any time for Year 11 due to the importance of their examination year. During the first half of the term of a new academic year. If the student has internal or external examinations/assessments near or during the time of the proposed absence. If, on granting the request, the student s attendance rate falls below 94% as a result of the granted leave. Absence that is not authorised by the Principal is recorded as unauthorised. All unauthorised absence is monitored and may lead to the involvement of the Education Welfare Officer. A small minority of children need encouragement to attend College. However, early recognition and involvement from all bodies, governors, parents, teachers, Parent Support Advisor and educational welfare, can normally resolve the problem. There is a need for firmness and rigour, tempered by understanding and support. A full policy on attendance and related issues is available at the College. 2 of 16

4 OUR CURRICULUM To achieve the overall aims in the curriculum we endeavour: To offer equal opportunity for all to experience the full range of the curriculum. To offer a personalised learning experience for all. To provide a balanced range of subjects and courses. To deliver the National Curriculum in exciting and stimulating ways. To ensure all students achieve their potential in all subjects. To develop natural links between subjects. To foster links between College and industry. To provide the basis for progression. CURRICULUM ORGANISATION In years 7, 8 and 9 students follow a common curriculum which fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum in: Art Geography RE/Citizenship Dance/Drama/Music History Physical Education English Information Technology Science French Mathematics Technology During Year 9 students make a choice from a range of options, in four pathways, which are taken in Years 10 and 11 in addition to the fixed core curriculum. This is currently Mathematics, English, RE/Citizenship, ICT and Science. We also offer the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) qualification to students who wish to take this route - this includes English, Mathematics, Double Science, either History or Geography and a Modern Language. Both English and Science can lead to dual certification at General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) level if students opt for the academic pathway. Students currently choose three subjects from the following: Art (BTEC) Graphics MFL (French, Spanish, German, Italian) Additional Science History Music Business Studies Hospitality & Catering PE (BTEC) Child Development IT Extended Science (BTEC) Sociology Electronics Fine art Dance (BTEC) Leisure & Tourism Textiles Geography Media Studies Triple Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) We also offer an extensive range of additional support courses at KS4, such as Careers and Guidance. Also in October we hold a Post 16 Opportunities Evening for Year 11 students. This is a Careers Fair where there are representatives of the major providers of Post 16 education, training and employment in the area. We maintain regular links with Lifetime Careers, Barnsley College, local Sixth Form providers, Connexions (South Yorkshire) and other agencies throughout the year and prepare students for employment, training as well as further and higher education. 3 of 16

5 QUALITY OF TEACHING The quality of teaching was graded by Ofsted as being good 76% of lessons were judged as good or outstanding, with no inadequate lessons. We strive to ensure that not only do students make at least good progress in every lesson, but that lessons are well planned based on individual needs, with a variety of activities and tasks which make them engaging and enjoyable. We also have easy access to a variety of equipment to widen the learning experience, such as net books and hand held flip cameras; the whole College has access to interactive resources such as whiteboards, learner response systems and visualizers. We expect that students know what levels they are achieving at, and are coached and challenged to improve it to achieve their potential in the learning environment whether in the College or at home. Students are issued with the right materials for their lessons and needs, as well as planners to record home to College communication, achievement points, attendance and rewards. MARKING AND ASSESSMENT Work done by students in College and at home is regularly assessed by teachers. Teachers follow a whole College policy whereby work is marked to show students what went well and how they can improve. They are also given an effort grade. Students are given KS3 levels or GCSE grades for milestone pieces of work identified in our schemes of learning. Students are also expected to peer and self assess pieces of work in order to identify their own strengths and areas for development. Assessment is also on-going in class via question and answer and oral feedback from teaching staff. KS3 and KS4 students also receive any examination grades in order to track their progress. Information about current attainment is provided for parents three times each year via a data report. REPORTING ON PROGRESS You will receive 3 reports describing the progress and achievements of your child throughout the year. Two will be interim reports which show target grades, current attainment and motivation grades for each subject. The third is an annual data report which outlines the information above but also shows progress across the year in English, Maths and Science, achievement points and behaviour points accrued. A parent-teacher consultation evening is arranged for the parents of students in each year group at an appropriate time of the year. The dates of these meetings are sent to you at the beginning of the academic year. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child's life in College at any time please do not hesitate to contact us. HOMEWORK We set homework regularly for all students and ask you to look at the homework timetable and the homework record in the Student Planner. We ask that you try to provide suitable facilities at home where your child can work comfortably and free from distractions. The Learning Resource Centre is open before and after normal hours, offering ICT facilities and access to the internet. 4 of 16

6 INCLUSION & STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OR DISABILITIES The Inclusion Team work to support students with learning or physical needs to fully access the curriculum and other activities. The Inclusion Coordinator, a fully qualified Special Educational Needs Coordinator, leads a team of Learning Support Assistants to work with staff and students ensuring potential barriers to learning are addressed and appropriate individual or group interventions provided. The College continues to develop expertise in dealing with a range of learning needs with members of the team achieving a range of learning support qualifications. It is our policy to address potential learning needs as students enter the College in Year 7; work with primary schools ensures we are able to plan appropriate and effective intervention. The College aims to help students make progress and where it is clear that learning support has been effective, in consultation with parents and carers, students will be removed from the SEN/D Register. We are also committed to ensuring students presenting difficulties once in College receive the benefit of being placed on the SEN/D register. Learning Support Assistants provide excellent and appropriate support for students with a Statement of Special Educational Need, working closely with staff to ensure full and manageable access to the curriculum. College policy for students with learning needs and/or disabilities is informed by the Equality Act (2010). THE MORE ABLE AND GIFTED AND TALENTED We work hard to enhance the learning experience we share with all students and those students who achieve highly or demonstrate a talent are no exception. The Assistant Principal for Inclusion takes responsibility for helping staff develop exciting and innovative learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. Students are identified once with us and the College uses prior attainment and Cognitive Ability Test scores along with teacher and parental recommendation to determine which of our students are gifted, more able or talented. Using nationally agreed criteria, we determine that gifted students are those likely to achieve in academic subjects whilst the talented are those showing skills in artistic areas or subjects requiring physical expression. These students will be placed on the Gifted and Talented Register and their progress encouraged and monitored. More Able students are those not on the Gifted and Talented Register but who are displaying qualities suggesting they will achieve well. A growing group of more able students have taken responsibility for their learning; gauging the thoughts of other students and those of staff the group has developed a Student Charter for the More Able and Gifted & Talented at Darton College (on our website). The Charter makes clear what students expect of their teachers as well as the high expectations they have of themselves. Curriculum areas across the school provide extra learning opportunities for the more able; these include bespoke learning days and visits out of school, learning days organised by local universities as well as opportunities to become involved in the day to day running of the College. Darton College works hard to make sure all students can shine. 5 of 16

7 PASTORAL SUPPORT & CARE The Children s Act (2004) requires us to ensure that Every Child Matters. We are committed to the wellbeing of every single child at Darton College. There are five outcomes which all children have the right to expect: Be healthy. Be safe. Enjoy and achieve in College. Make a positive contribution. Achieve economic wellbeing. All parties - teachers, support staff, other adults in College, governors, parents and students are committed to working together to achieve these outcomes. We will use other agencies as we need to. All bodies - Colleges, police, social services, health etc must cooperate in working to achieve these targets for all children. To achieve the overall aims in our community we endeavour: To encourage our students to develop their self esteem and to value their own contributions to College life. To establish a caring and supportive relationship with all our students. To develop social skills in our students. To promote links with all who can contribute to the welfare and development of our students. To offer opportunities for all students to have access to the full curriculum. To respond to the needs of all students. There is a team of dedicated staff, the pastoral team, led by an Assistant Principal, who works to support students with behavioural and social issues. The team includes five full time Heads of Year who are specific to the year group your child is in. These provide daily support for all students in their year group. This greatly increases availability to respond promptly to issues. The pastoral team is based in the Darton Inclusion and Support Centre (D.I.S.C.). This area includes the seclusion room, the HUB (emotional and social support), student information point, the external Pupil Referral Unit and various meeting and function rooms. The academic mentoring staff focus on learning and in liaison with all staff support students to achieve their potential while at Darton. They play a crucial role in ensuring students do not underachieve and actively monitor performance. 6 of 16

8 CHILD PROTECTION Darton College has a legal and moral duty to work with other agencies in protecting children from harm and responding to allegations of abuse. All Colleges are required by law to assist with enquiries into possible abuse. Abuse is identified in four forms: Neglect Physical abuse Emotional abuse Sexual abuse The College will always listen to and respond to the needs of its students. College staff, especially teachers, are in daily contact with students and they can identify not just physical signs but serious changes in attitude and behaviour. However, the College will not investigate, and will not pass judgements. It will pass on relevant concerns to the appropriate agencies especially Social Services and the Police. Parents will be kept informed unless the College feels that this would represent a serious threat to the child. If parents themselves have concerns then they can relay them to the nominated Child Protection Officer in College, or in their absence to any member of the pastoral or senior team. CONDUCT Our discipline policy aims to promote good behaviour. We have a policy for the promotion of good behaviour which students have helped to produce. Most students develop caring relationships with staff, parents and others, in addition we also have rules which support civilised standards and they are included in the Student Planner. All staff use an agreed framework both in and outside the classroom. Our students understand that choices they make about behaviour bring consequences - good choices bring rewards, poor choices bring sanctions. When behaviour falls short of acceptable standards there are some simple steps we can take in classes. If other more serious steps are necessary we will contact you; for example, we do use detentions after College but we always give you at least 24 hours notice. We also use seclusion but these are used when behaviour falls well short of expectations. We hold violence of any kind, including offensive language, to be inexcusable and unacceptable. Students who use such aggression in relations with other people must expect to be treated with the utmost severity. Self-discipline is the best discipline and recognises the need for mutual respect, care and concern. 7 of 16

9 DRESS AND APPEARANCE We specify College uniform because: We want our students to care about their appearance. It helps develop a sense of belonging and pride. It is practical, reasonably priced and safe. It spares parents from chasing fashion. Governors expect that parents who apply for the admission of their child to Darton will ensure their child continues to wear College dress through the full five years. Darton College has introduced a blazer as part of the College uniform; these are available for purchase from the College at a reduced cost. The blazer must also have the badge bearing the College logo placed onto the top left hand pocket. The blazer will be worn at all times, along with College jumpers/cardigans, that can also be worn depending on temperature. Black College trousers or black skirts may be worn. The trousers must not be fashion items and the skirt must be a reasonable length, either just below or just above the knee. Students wearing a skirt deemed too short will receive a letter of notification home. White shirts, not blouses, are to be worn with the top button fastened and a tie done up to the neck. The College tie must also be worn by all students, and must be visible when wearing the College cardigan or jumper. Flat, plain, black College shoes with no logos must be worn with the uniform. A plain black polo shirt and black shorts/jogging trousers are to be worn with suitable footwear for P.E. EQUIPMENT Some equipment will be provided by the College during induction as a welcome gift and to ensure each student has the basics required to fulfil the pen, pencil, planner requirement at the start of each lesson (referred to as the 3P s). This will consist of a pencil case, pen, pencil, rubber and a ruler. Students may wish to add to this as and when they see fit. The Mathematics Department can supply a suitable calculator at minimal cost. Other basic equipment is sold at Reception or in the library. For reasons of safety we do not allow the use of Tippex Fluid in College. JEWELLERY With the exception of a wristwatch and a single small stud in the earlobe, jewellery can be dangerous and must not be worn in College. Earrings must be removed for PE. Any student who arrives at College whose dress and appearance do not comply with the code outlined above will be dealt with in an appropriate manner. MOBILE PHONES AND MP3 PLAYERS These items are allowed in College for use at break and lunchtimes. They must be switched off at all times in lessons unless a teacher gives express permission for use. The recording or publishing of any College activity is forbidden. Please note that the College cannot be held responsible for any loss of, damage to, or theft of these items. Your support in matters of uniform and equipment is always greatly appreciated. 8 of 16

10 EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND ENRICHMENT The College is committed to the whole student and to this end we also provide a wide range of extra curricular and enrichment activities. SPORT The College is developing a wide range of sporting activities. These include: football, rugby, futsal, cricket, tennis, athletics, cross country and trampolining. Our sports facilities are extensive: astro-turf, fitness suite, cricket, rugby and football pitches, multi use games areas including tennis and basketball courts, a gymnasium, trim trail, sports hall and fully sprung dance studio. We are also associated with many local and regional teams as well as having national links to the FA and Hockey England. PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS The performing arts is a strength of the College. We have regular dance and music events and we also produce a whole school show. Drama events are also growing in number and through all these performances students are continually developing confidence. Again the facilities the students can utilise and learn about are fantastic, ensuring that those who are less keen on performing can also achieve through learning about marketing, front of house, sound and lighting. There are regular visits run by the Art department to major galleries and to places of interest in order to inspire our students very high quality work. The studio space the students have access to is open throughout the day, at lunchtime and after school. It is a thriving area. Students regularly enter competitions and opportunities are also available to work with the community on larger projects. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION In accordance with the Education Acts, if you wish your child to withdraw from Religious Education and/or Collective Worship on religious grounds, this request can be accommodated following a meeting with the Principal. However, parents making the request will be required to draw up a scheme of learning and provide lesson content for their child. Your child will be monitored under general supervision only, we are unable to staff this on a 1:1 basis. SEX EDUCATION Sex Education is delivered to all students at the College through Science lessons and moral and social aspects are taught through dedicated days off timetable and are age appropriate. This may take the form of theatre groups and workshops, where the material is delivered in a sensitive way to being taught or exploring issues in a safe environment. 9 of 16

11 ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION We have strict rules for electronic communication in College in order to ensure our students are kept safe from inappropriate materials. Students and parents sign up to these rules. We support parents through regular courses on ways of dealing with internet safety and cyber bullying when it occurs out of College hours. Policy documentation can be requested at any time through the College. Dates of courses are also available on the website and through Jill Heald at the College. COLLEGE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS In a bid to continually keep improving communication with parents, we currently have two systems in the College; Schoolcomms and Engaging Parents. Any parent/carer wishing to take advantage of these systems needs to sign up to take part. Please read the information below carefully and ensure that you have provided up to date contact information to the College. SCHOOL COMMS Schoolcomms is a fast and reliable way of improving communication between the College and parents via text messaging and . It is a quick and reliable system and ensures that parents are contacted immediately, regarding attendance and after College activities such as, courses, trips, arriving late and sanctions for behaviour. This service will allow the College to text or you with these details. As a parent you can text back a reply/reason allowing communication to flow quickly and easily between the College and parents. If you do not have a mobile phone or address, don t worry, we will continue to contact you via a land line or post. ENGAGING PARENTS Engaging parents/carers is a government initiative for parent/carers to access College information via the internet anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection, a username and password that is created by the College in order to view your son/daughter s College reports, attendance, behaviour and achievements through a secure website (referred to as a Platform for Learning). As a parent/carer you will have regular, up-to-date information about your son/ daughter, the system is live which means the information College records on your child is instantly available to view. The engaging parents initiative aims to create a three-way partnership between the College, students and parents/carers. Students will also have access to the Platform for Learning, as we begin to develop new ways of setting and monitoring homework activities. 10 of 16

12 CASHLESS CATERING PAYMENT SYSTEM A cashless system is used for the payment of College meals, where no cash is taken at the point of sale. Each student and member of staff using the system will be allocated an account, much like a bank account. This information is held on a secure server and stores details of individual cash balances, food purchased and the exact date and time the money was spent. Money can be paid into an account by cheque, online or by cash. All individuals intending to use the system will have their finger scanned. This finger scan will be converted into a number and stored on the system against that individual. Once the finger scan has been taken it is automatically converted to numeric form. No register of fingerprints is kept and it is impossible to reconstitute a fingerprint from the numeric reference. You may request that your child s biometric details not be taken, in which case they will be given a 4 digit pin number to access the system. This must be kept safe and private by the student, so others do not use the individual s account. At the till point is a small dermal scanner; when the student wishes to pay for the meal they simply place their finger on the scanner - this will show the individual s account. A display will show the terminal operator the cardholder s photo, name, tutor group and current cash balance held within the system. The selected food items will be entered into the system from the touch screen terminal while the product values and the total balance will show on the display. Individuals using the system will not be allowed to be overdrawn on their account; however, a loan facility will be available as an emergency measure only. The student should notify either the Head of Kitchen or staff in Reception if they have insufficient funds. Designated staff will loan the individual sufficient money for a meal. It is then the responsibility of the individual to repay any monies owed and credit the system the following morning. The emergency loan facility will not become available again until any outstanding money has been repaid. No child will ever be allowed to go hungry. FREE MEALS The system works exactly the same for all students whether they pay or have a free College meal. The amount allocated for the free College meal will be entered into the system by the software daily and will only be accessible at dinner break. Any unspent allowance will not be added to the next day s balance. The student can also add extra cash onto his or her balance in the system by using the Revaluation Unit, to enable purchases over the free meal allowance, extra cash added into the system can also be used for breakfast. All students in receipt of this benefit will retain complete anonymity, a real plus of our cashless system. SQUID This is a method of paying for your child s meals from your home computer. This is our recommended approach and means students do not have to carry any money. 11 of 16

13 HOME COLLEGE AGREEMENT The purpose of the agreement is to set out clearly the responsibilities of the College, parents and students. By working together, and fully accepting the responsibility to play a full part in the education process, we can ensure that students not only benefit from their time at College, but also leave College with a sense of future purpose and a commitment to on-going learning. The main principle behind this agreement is that the parent/guardian accepts that, by law, the prime responsibility for their child s education rests with the parent/guardian and that the College will assist them to carry out this responsibility. Parents will: See that their child goes to College regularly, punctually and properly dressed in College uniform equipped to ensure the learning process takes place. Let the College know about any concerns or problems that might affect their child's work or behaviour so that the College knows and can be sensitive to the child's needs. Support the College's rules and policies to ensure equality of opportunity for all students and to enhance a sense of responsibility within the community. Support their child with learning out of College. Attend parent's evenings and discussions about their child's progress and behaviour so that they are fully aware of their child's development and progress. Discourage truancy by informing the College if their child will be/is absent and on their return send a letter giving the reason for absence. Ensure that the College is informed of changes of address and contact numbers immediately so that in an emergency situation they can be informed quickly and without delay. College will: Contact parents if there is a problem with attendance, punctuality or equipment to assist students to get the best from their education. Let parents know about concerns and problems that affect their child's work or behaviour to ensure liaison between home and College and to give support where needed. Set, mark and monitor homework to reinforce the learning process. Arrange parent's evenings during which progress will be discussed to promote sound home College links and the opportunity to work together in the child's best interests. Keep parents informed about College activities so that parents and students have the opportunity to participate fully in College events. Care for children s safety and well-being so that parents can have confidence concerning their child's safety and well being. 12 of 16

I CHAPTER - OVERVIEW. 5 1.1. 6 1.2 7 1. 3 8 1.4 & 9 1.5 10 1.6 11 II CHAPTER - ORGANISATION. 12 2.1 13 2.2 14 2.3 15 2.4 16 2. 18 3.1 MEDUCA. 19 3.1.

I CHAPTER - OVERVIEW. 5 1.1. 6 1.2 7 1. 3 8 1.4 & 9 1.5 10 1.6 11 II CHAPTER - ORGANISATION. 12 2.1 13 2.2 14 2.3 15 2.4 16 2. 18 3.1 MEDUCA. 19 3.1. PARENT HANDBOOK Table of Contents I CHAPTER - OVERVIEW... 5 1.1. Overview of our School... 6 1.2 Mission, Vision and Motto... 7 1. 3 Core Values and Beliefs... 8 1.4 Admissions & Placement of Students...

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