FAQ for Families
Being a parent/carer of a secondary school age child can be challenging. There are huge pressures on students as they mature and develop. Below are a list of frequently asked questions which are e designed to support families. However, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your child's form tutor, year tutor of another member of the Wellbeing team.
What are the times of the school day? There are five, 60 minute periods during the day. This is designed to maximise the learning experience of all students across a broad curriculum. The day begins at 8.30am and finishes for all students at 2.50pm. Throughout the school year, there will be a range of after-school clubs and lessons available for students, especially those sitting public examinations.
Is there a Parent/Teacher/Friends Association (PTFA)? Yes, we do have a PTFA and are always looking for new members. The PTFA was relaunched in recent years to help strengthen the link between home and school, while raising money to help invest in the education of the children of the school. For further information about The PTFA please visit the relevant section of the website.
How can I get involved with the school? There are a variety of ways to get involved including: attending various sporting, musical and cultural performances; regularly visiting the school website and following us on Twitter. We welcome feedback via email, letter or in person too.
Can I see the Executive Headteacher/Head of School? Of course. However, to ensure your concern is dealt with as swiftly as possible we would ask that you first try the member of staff directly responsible for the issue/enquiry you have. Mr Belli, is our Executive Headteacher and he has responsibility for leading both Caldicot School and The Bishop of Llandaff in Cardiff. As a result, he is only on site here for three days per week. Mr Grech, who is Head of School leads the school on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, we ask that any concerns are sent to Mr Grech in the first instance since he is the operational head of the school. Each first Monday of the calendar month, there is an 'open door' evening, where families can attend (between 4.00pm and 6.30pm) to discuss any matters with Mr Grech. Should you require an appointment with Mr Grech and/or Mr Belli please contact Mrs Lawrence, PA to Executive Head/Head of School [email protected]
Who is the best person to contact with general questions about my child? Your child's form tutor and year tutor are the primary points of contact. If your concern is about school or more than one subject, we would recommend you speak to the form tutor and then year tutor. If you are still concerned then we would recommend you speak to one of the Pathway Leaders assigned to specific key stages: Mrs Thomas (Years 7 - 8); Mrs Rogers (Years 9 - 11); and Mr Bryant (Sixth Form).
If your concern relates to a subject, then we would recommend the first point of contact being the class teacher, then subject leader. A list of staff contacts is avilable under the 'about us' section.
Why does the school have a chaplain? Mrs Richards is our school chaplain. She is on hand to discuss any concerns students may have. Mrs Richards supports the Wellbeing team to help ensure they are happy during their time at school.
I have emailed my child's head of year but they haven't replied. What should I do? All of our staff have a significant teaching commitment. Therefore, it is likely that there is a genuine reason you have not yet received a reply. We aim to reply to any concern within 24-48 hours. However, if you have not heard in this timeframe then please get in touch with one of the Pathway Leaders.
What if I have a query about uniform? Please call the main office or the wellbeing team and they will assist you with any queries. If you are unsure about purchasing the correct uniform, then please see our Uniform Expectations Guide which is designed to provide clarity on our expectations.
What if my child’s shoes break? Please send your son/daughter into school and the pastoral team will provide a spare pair for his/her use until you are able to purchase a new pair.
What if my child has lost or forgotten his/her tie? Your son/daughter can go to the pastoral office and borrow a tie for the day if they have forgotten or lost their existing one. New ties can be purchased at the main school office for £5.00 for a replacement.
What is a 'Yellow Slip' Day? We have high expectations of uniform as we believe it sets the tone for learning. Periodically, we use 'Yellow Slip' Days to reinforce our expectations. Where students do not meet these then they will receive a sanction. We ask for your support with this.
Will the school contact me if my child doesn’t arrive at school? Yes. We have dedicated support staff who closely monitors attendance, and will contact you by phone or text if your child is absent and you have not called in. Please make sure that your contact details are up-to-date. You can contact the school office with any change of contact details.
My child has broken his/her leg – what should I do? Once your child is ready to come back to school after an injury, we will make necessary arrangements to ensure that he/she can continue to learn at school in a safe environment. We will undertake a risk-assessment with you to ensure you are content with the arrangements in place. Please feel free to call the main office to discuss further.
What if I want to take my child on holiday during term time? Students are expected to attend school for 190 days of the year. We expect students to have strong attendance and not below 95%. Attendance below this seriously jeopardises a child's educational attainment. The school does not authorise family holidays during term time.
When should my child arrive to school? Your child must be in school by no later than 8.30am.
Will I receive a home visit from the school if my child is persistently absent from school? Yes, perhaps even if you have phoned in. This is intended to be a supportive measure.
How can I find out what level/class my child is streamed into? Please attend Parents’ Evenings regularly, and contact individual teachers for up-to-date information. Dates for Parents’ Evenings can be found on the school calendar.
Is it okay to email teachers directly? Yes. There is a link on the school website that will allow you to do this. We aim to respond to emails within 24-48 hours. If you have not heard from a member of staff in this time then please do contact the main office.
What if I am concerned about my child’s academic progress? Please contact your child’s teacher, subject leader or year tutor to arrange a meeting to discuss any concerns.
How will I know if my child receives a detention? The school will contact you by text, phone and/or email if your child receives a detention for more than 15 minutes (or after-school detention). Please ensure your contact details are up-to-date to avoid any issues with communication.
I’d like to discuss my child’s behaviour outside of school – who is the best person to speak to? The wellbeing team are available to discuss any queries you may have and can direct you to the person most suited to support. Please be aware that we sanction students for misbehaviour outside of school and outside school hours.
After School Clubs – does my child have to attend every week or can they drop in? Your child is welcome at after-school clubs whenever they want to attend. However, some extra-curricular activities such as school performances may require committed attendance to avoid letting others down. A copy of the numerous lunchtime and after-school clubs are available on our website.
How much homework should my child receive? The school uses MILK as a mechanism to set work to be undertaken at home. We aim to set students in key stage 3 (Year 7, 8 and 9) at least one piece of meaningful homework each night. In key stage 4 (Year 10 and 11) there is usually one/two pieces per night. However, this will vary at more demanding times in the school year. In addition to this, all students have a reading book and we encourage them to spend around 15-20 minutes reading each day. Sixth Form students are expected to use their independent study sessions as well as wider reading to support their learning, as well as completing formal homework set.
Who do I contact about homework? Please contact your child’s teacher to discuss any homework queries. If you have broader questions about homework then please raise these with Mr Downs, Assistant Head.
Who should I contact about my child’s additional learning needs? Please contact your child’s teacher to discuss queries around your son/daughter’s additional learning needs. Alternatively, please contact Mrs Rogers, Head of Inclusion/ALNCo via [email protected], for queries regarding provision available or your child's specific needs.