Please see below for our FAQs for new parents and carers:
What uniform do I need to buy?
For rules and information on required uniform, PE kit and suppliers can be found here.
What equipment will my child need to bring to school?
Every student should have the following equipment, which tutors will check regularly:
- Black Pens
- Colouring pencils
- Pencil sharpener
- Maths equipment – calculator, protractor and compass
- Small hardback notebook for making notes, noting homework and other important information
They may also choose to bring coloured pens, highlighters and a glue stick. Art materials are provided in school for lessons but you may like to buy some basic equipment.
Text books and exercise books are supplied by the school. We really encourage all students to take pride in their work and keep their books neat and tidy. They can be covered if you wish. Books that are lost or damaged must be replaced.
Students are encouraged to get into a routine of checking their timetable every evening to ensure their bag is packed with everything required for the following school day.
Our Resources Department offer a range of products at very competitive prices and is open to students at break and lunchtime, as well as before and after school. Some stationery and sports equipment may also be purchased via ParentMail.
Can my child bring their phone to school?
For safety reasons mobile phones may be brought into school at the student’s own risk but should be switched off and stored inside bags throughout the school day. Any student using their phone whilst in school will have it confiscated and parents will be asked to collect the phone at the end of the day.
Please discourage your child from bringing other valuable items into school. Any items bought to school are at the owner’s risk as there is no school/authority insurance policy covering personal belongings. All valuables (e.g. watches, money) should be handed to the PE staff for safe keeping during PE, although they can accept NO responsibility for these items.
Can my child ride a bike to school?
Yes! We have a number of bike sheds which are locked during the school day but they may also wish to lock their bike or have it security stamped. Students must not ride their bike whilst on the school site. They should walk it to the bike sheds.
Please ensure they wear a bike helmet and are visible. Make regular checks to ensure the bike is in good condition and good working order, and that they ride safely.
Is there a school bus?
Reading Buses provide three bus services for getting to school. You can find the map and timetables here
Who should I contact if I need to talk to someone about my child?
Your child’s Form Tutor will usually be your first point of contact day to day, but the Head of Year 7 or subject teachers may also be contacted if problems arise. You can find contacts for Key Stage 3 here. All teachers’ email addresses can be found on here.
If your child is feeling unhappy or worried, they can speak to their Form Tutor and they will be happy to help. If their Form Tutor is not available, they can speak to:
- Mr Linz in the Student Wellbeing Office
- Members the Smile Team
- A member of the Key Stage 3 office
- Head of Year
Ms Button and Mrs Rayner are also around to help.
If your child has trouble with another student, speak to the Form Tutor who will talk to them about the best way of dealing with it. If there is a problem in a lesson then they should speak to that subject teacher. If a problem continues, do follow it up.
What do I do if my child is unwell?
Good attendance is vital to your child's progress. It is the legal duty of a parent/carer to ensure their child attends school regularly, but equally it is important that when children are ill, they stay at home. If your child is unwell please call the Attendance Officer, as soon as possible, on that day and on each subsequent day of absence. The number is 0118 942 7337 and select option 1 to leave a message. In the message please give your child's full name, tutor group and brief reason for the absence.
If your child becomes unwell during the school day, they should come to Pupil Reception during break or lunchtime. If they are unwell during a lesson, the teacher will give them written permission to leave the class and come to Pupil Reception. We are able to administer one paracetamol and will do so if permission has been given via the Admission Form.
If we deem it necessary for them to go home, we will contact you.
Should a student require any medication in school hours, a supply of this medication may be sent to Main Reception clearly labelled with the child’s name, class and detailed instructions of dosage.
If your child is prescribed an EpiPen or inhaler for any medical conditions, it is advisable for you to send a spare one into school for emergencies. You will be asked to complete a separate form, please contact us to discuss this further.
For more information on attendance and punctuality click here.
What do I do if my child needs to be absent from school?
Parents must request the permission of the Headteacher to take students out of school for holidays or other events in term time. There is a form for this which can be collected from Main Reception and must be completed a month in advance of the proposed absence. Permission is only given in exceptional circumstances and, for obvious reasons, must be obtained before making any booking.
What if my child has an appointment in the school day?
If they have a medical or dental appointment, or need to be out of school for part of the day, you will need to provide a letter. Please confirm the time they need to leave school and what the appointment is for i.e.; Doctor, Dentist, Optician etc. They will need to get a ‘signing out slip’ from Pupil Reception.
‘Signing out slips’ are only issued on the day they have the appointment and cannot be obtained in advance. They can get them from Pupil Reception first thing in the morning or at break or lunchtime.
If the appointment is first thing in the morning, and they are not coming into school, then they do not need a signing out slip. You will need to leave a message on the absence line to inform the school you will not be attending morning registration. Your child must report to Pupil Reception when they arrive at school and sign in with a letter detailing why they are late into school.
When they are leaving school, you must go to Pupil Reception and write their name in the signing out book. They will need the name of the person who gave them permission – usually the Head of Year. If they return to school after their appointment, please do not forget they need to sign back in at Pupil Reception. The school must know who is here at all times.
What happens if my child is late for school?
If a student is late to school they will need to enter through the main gates at the front of school. A member of staff will be there between 8:50am and 9.15am and will ask them why they are late. If they do not have an acceptable explanation (accompanied by a written note from home) they will be set a lunchtime detention for 25 minutes that day.
If they arrive after this time they need to sign in at Pupil Reception and they will receive a Same Day Sanction (SDS) for one hour after school. If there is a reason for their lateness you should contact Main Reception so send them in with a letter.
What is the school timetable like?
To find out about the school timetable, click here.
What subjects will my child study in Year 7?
Your child will study:
- Personal Development Programme
Personal Development Programme teaches personal, social, health and careers education, as well as some work on study skills, financial management, current affairs and relationships. It is vital for your child’s academic progress that they develop good study skills. Further details of the Key Stage 3 curriculum can be found here. In addition, students will follow a programme of tutor work to complement their lessons including Circle Time, where they will discuss important current affairs issues or challenging and interesting topics that the students discover. They will also learn how to use a Library and reference material. We also run the Accelerated Reader Programme in school, which is designed to support, develop and enhance students’ reading and comprehension skills.
What if my child is unable to take part in their PE lesson?
If a student cannot physically take part in the lesson, a note from home is necessary to explain the circumstances. Without a note students will be put in detention. Students must still bring their kit and either gently join in parts of the lesson or help to coach, organise or referee. It should be noted that students often find that a little light, controlled exercise can help alleviate minor complaints
What PE lessons are offered in Year 7?
The school has a vibrant PE Department and follows a National Curriculum Physical Education programme. Year 7 students will receive two one hour lessons per week where they will be taught a selection of sports including rugby, netball, basketball, football, hockey, athletics, gymnastics, dance, tennis, badminton, cricket, rounders and health related fitness.
For those children who want to extend their learning, we provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities at lunchtimes and after school. These include a wide range of inter-form and inter-school competitions. Transport home after a club or practice is the responsibility of the parents/carers.
The PE department keeps detailed and confidential records of students’ injuries and illnesses. This helps to ensure that all staff that need to know are aware of any problem which may prevent a student from enjoying full participation in any activity. Children who suffer from asthma should also forward details from the doctor to the school. Students with asthma will be expected to use their inhalers before the lesson (where appropriate), to carry their inhalers with them or to pass them on to their PE teacher for safe keeping.
What homework can we expect in Year 7?
Satchel One (sometimes referred to as Show My Homework) is our main method for setting homework. Students and parents receive a login. As parents you can see what homework has been set, how long it should take, the submission date, and you can download relevant resources. Please help your child to use this system at first, and build a habit of checking the website regularly. This system is also available as an app.
We regard independent study at home as an essential part of a student’s study programme and we expect parents/carers to support this element of the school policy. Some evenings students will have more homework set than on other evenings. Try to encourage them to plan ahead to ensure they are not trying to complete several pieces of homework on one night.
If they finish all their homework, we would encourage students to read. It increases general knowledge, vocabulary and improves written work.
Or you could do some additional research, watch YouTube clips on your favourite subject or watch a tv programme about it, or look more things up. Teachers are learners too and they will love to hear about any additional things you have been doing in their subject!
If you are concerned that your child is not studying properly at home, please contact us. It is important that students take responsibility for their own learning, as well as doing the set work to a good standard. Students should not, therefore, restrict their study to the basic homework; they should read widely and watch appropriate supplementary programmes or access appropriate websites and videos to help learning. If they have access to the internet, we encourage sensible use. You Tube has videos on all topics covered in school. It is also helpful for them to discuss both their academic studies and current affairs with you on a regular basis. It is your interest that will make the most difference. A homework club operates Monday to Thursday from 3.25pm to 4.15pm in the Inclusion Department and the library can also be used for additional study.
What happens if my child is struggling with a subject or the homework?
If they are having any problems in this area, then the first person they should speak to is their subject teacher. They are there to help, and they should discuss any difficulties with them first. If this is for any reason impossible, they should speak to their Form Tutor. They can help you by talking to the subject teacher on their behalf, and can help with any problems, big or small. Please ensure your child that they shouldn't be afraid to talk to their teachers and ask them for help. It’s what they are here for! No-one wants to think of anyone struggling, so please ask or email them.
When will I receive a school report?
School reports are sent to parents/carers by email three times during the academic year. An explanatory document will accompany the report, but if you ever need any support with understanding the reports, please get in touch. The date of Parents’ Evening will be available to parents at the beginning of the academic year
What school trips are available?
We offer a wide and varied range of educational visits, including theatre, art, sports, careers and museum trips. Some take place during the school day and others are residential. We always aim to give good notice of these trips and for larger visits we offer a stage payment scheme
How does the school library work?
Please click here for more information about the library.
What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is a computer programme that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child selects a book at a level appropriate to them and reads it at their own pace. When finished, your they take a short quiz on the computer (passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read). Accelerated Reader gives both students and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set targets and direct ongoing reading practice
What is DEAR time?
We allocate 20 minutes each day for students to ‘Drop Everything And Read'. They are asked to bring in a reading book, or to select one from the library.
What food provision is available at school?
Our canteen service is run by Caterlink. We use a cashless, biometric system to pay for food items. Once you have registered, a biometric image of your finger is recorded and translated into a unique reference number. Payments are made place your finger on the reader in the Canteen.
For more information on the canteen and the current menus, please click here.
How can I help my child to settle into life at Little Heath?
Encourage them to grab opportunities… make new friends, try new things… new clubs or school trips. If they did brilliantly at primary, continue to work hard, but if they didn’t, this is their opportunity for a fresh start and we will give them it, so please encourage them to be the person they want to be!
Find somewhere they can work peacefully at home. Getting into good study habits from the start of secondary school can make a big difference, so perhaps negotiate the best way to work. Some students love getting homework out of the way before doing anything else, others like a break after school. You know your child best and encouraging them to find their favoured way of working at home will be invaluable.
When tackling homework or difficult topics at school, please encourage a Growth Mindset approach. If your child says, ‘I can’t do it.’ Try getting them to look at it differently and say, ‘I can’t do that, yet.’ When we talk to them about first learning to swim, ride a bike or play a computer game, they don’t give up after the first go, they try and try and try until they can do it, but all too often with a difficult topic at school, they will say they can’t do it and give up. We find this image as a really helpful way of looking at learning development.
Development of skills will be hindered if students cannot read well and you can assist in this by ensuring that your son/daughter reads regularly. Encouraging your child to read in their spare time remains the best way you can support their learning. Please try to talk to them about their Accelerated Reader tests and encourage them to read to you or younger siblings, if possible.
Please monitor their use of social media. We often find that when students start secondary school, their social media use increases and some of the children are really not able to cope with this. Many disagreements and misunderstandings can be avoided if parents keep an eye on their children’s social media use and encourage them to make sensible choices. We often ask students to imagine social media conversations taking place in real time. Would they say those things in real life, would they stand and point and laugh at someone being bullied? So often the children look horrified at such suggestions and re-think the way they behave online.
What if my child needs additional help?
Some students spend some lessons each week in the Inclusion Department. However, most support for special educational needs and disabilities is provided with Teaching Assistants in the classroom.
If you feel that you need advice or guidance regarding any form of special educational need then please contact the school and we will be happy to help.
For more information about the Inclusion department, click here.
What is a typical day like?
You will spend 10 minutes at the start of every day with your form tutor. Here you will have the register called and will do quick uniform and equipment checks. If you have forgotten something, here’s the time to ask your tutor for help.
All of our lessons are one hour long and you will go to a different classroom for each lesson. Most teachers will have a seating plan and ask you to sit where they would like you to be.
Break is at 11am and lunch is at 1.20pm. It might take a bit of getting used to after the earlier lunches at primary school. Many students eat some of their lunch or a snack at break time.
Afternoon registration starts at 2.05pm. There are different activities each day, one day will be an assembly, another a quiz, another numeracy ninjas or literacy work, some silent reading and circle time. This is where you will discuss a variety of topics and really get to know one another.
How will my child find their way around school?
This is the thing that most students worry about, but they don’t need to. If they are not sure where their next lesson is, they can ask their teacher to help them. If they get lost, they can ask any student or teacher, they understand, and they will want to help. If they cannot see anyone, they can go into a classroom and ask the teacher for help, or go to the KS3 Office or Pupil Reception… someone will always be around to help. Teachers understand that it takes some time to get used to the school, so they will not get into trouble.
What if my child loses something in school?
Firstly, they should retrace their steps and look carefully for the item themselves. They can ask their subject teacher or Form Tutor, who may be able to help. Finally, Pupil Reception collects lost property, they can go along at break or lunchtime to ask if it has been handed in. They will return all named items, so please make sure that you label everything, including uniform.
Large amounts of money and expensive items should not be brought to school. Under no circumstances should money or personal belongings be left unattended. These items can be handed to staff during PE and Drama lessons. They are allowed to bring their phone to school but it must always be switched off and in their bag at ALL TIMES.