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SAMUEL KINGS SCHOOL

Samuel Kings School aims to provide a welcoming and friendly atmosphere in which people can focus and learn.

Welcome
Thank you for showing an interest in our school. We pride ourselves for knowing each student and family well. This is unique, far from the norm in todays secondary schools. We are an 11-16 school with strong links to local primary schools and the community. Results are good, with 66% of students gaining five or more GCSE grades at A*-C including English and Maths significantly above the national average. Despite our size, we are able to offer a wide range of GCSE courses. This gives every student the chance to develop their own particular interests and skills before they move on to post 16 learning. Relationships with sixth forms, colleges and universities are similarly positive. Regular visits enable each Year 11 student to choose the right courses and provider for their next stage of learning. We are a caring school which aims to help students to develop not only academically but in a wide range of personal and social skills. To this end, we expect older students to be role models and at times to support the learning of those younger than them. The School has a family feel. Partly this is a result of our mixedaged tutor groups. But some of our classes are mixed-aged too, a system that enables students to begin to achieve GCSE success from the end of Year 9. All of our students, including the most able, are challenged academically as well as nurtured. Please feel able to visit us, contacting the School Office to make an appointment. You should find us open and approachable, even to the extent of existing parents being able to contact me by email and mobile phone.

The Headteacher has been able to ensure that a vision for continuous improvement is easily understood by staff and governors.
OFSTED

This really is a unique school.

Ian Johnson Headteacher

www.samuelkingsschool.co.uk

General Information
Headteacher Mr Ian Johnson BA. MEd. School address Sanuel Kings School Church Road, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3QU Telephone 01434 381236 Fax: 01434 382082 Email office@samuelkings.cumbria.sch.uk Web www.samuelkings.co.uk Office hours 8.00am to 4.30pm (including most of the school holidays) School day Registration/Assembly Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Lunch Registration Period 4 Period 5

09.00 - 09.25am 09.25 - 10.25am 10.45 - 11.40am 11.40 - 12.35pm 12.35 - 1.25pm 1.25 - 1.35pm 1.35 - 2.30pm 2.30 - 3.25pm

Frequent contact between home and school is essential; the following examples may be helpful: By telephone At any time during office hours. By letter/email/text You may always write/email/text the school about your child. All communication received will be answered as quickly as possible. To report a school absence you can email us at office@samuelkings.cumbria.sch.uk To make an appointment Please write or telephone to make an appointment to see the appropriate member of staff or to view documents relevant to your child. Reporting to parents Progress is monitored half termly and communicated through reports, progress days and subject consultations. Sporting and cultural occasions Concerts, drama performances, sports fixtures and open days. Parents are welcome at all such occasions. Newsletters The school publishes regular newlsetters. The Headteacher writes to parents monthly about activities and events. These are all archived on our website. In an emergency Please contact or call at the school. Someone will always see you. Outside office hours telephone the Headteacher directly.

The School links well with external partners, with both staff and students benefitting from these links. OFSTED
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The proportion of students gaining good grades in GCSE rose by 12% last year. OFSTED

Admissions
Primary Liaison Parents of children in Year 6 of their primary school are asked to indicate their preferred choice of secondary school by October. In September, leading up to this date, parents and children are invited into Samuel Kings School for an Open Evening and during the working day by arrangement. We warmly welcome such visits believing that they help the parent and children to appreciate the quality of education and support that we provide. Places at secondary school are usually allocated by March. From this time we make frequent visits to the primary schools to get to know those students who are set to join Samuel Kings School the following September. We hold transition days in June / July and will also invite parents in for a transition evening. This is when detailed information on transfer arrangements is available and individual concerns can be addressed. Throughout the process, parents are encouraged to find out as much as they can about the school.

Selection of Students Students will be admitted at age 11 without reference to ability or aptitude. Admissions Criteria Where applications for admission exceed our published admission number, the following criteria will apply in the order set out: 1. Looked After Children. 2. Children living in the catchment area with siblings already in the school. 3. Children in the catchment area giving priority to those living closest by AA Autoroute Planner. 4. Children living outside the catchment area with siblings who were directed to the school by the Local Authority. 5. Children living outside the catchment area with siblings already in the school. 6. Children living outside the catchment area giving priority to those living closest by AA Autoroute Planner. Special Needs An exception is made to the Admissions Criteria where, under the Local Authoritys arrangements for the education of children with special needs, a child holds a Statement of Special Educational Needs or is currently being assessed and has been identified as having physical / medical difficulties, and it is considered that attendance at Samuel kings School is necessary to meet those needs. Late Applications Within the terms of the Coordinated Admissions Scheme the Local Authority will handle late applications to ensure consistency. Appeals Samuel Kings School has an independent appeals committee. For parents to contact this committee they must do so in writing to the Local Authority. Parents will be given at least 20 school days from the date of notification that their application was unsuccessful to prepare and lodge their appeal.

www.samuelkingsschool.co.uk

Behaviour Policies
Prospective parents and other visitors who tour the school during lessons comment on the good behaviour, happy students and the positive relationships with staff. Our expectations of how people should behave are clear and set out in the Good Behaviour and Anti Bullying Policies, available with all other policies on the school website. Good Behaviour Good behaviour starts with the staff who we expect to be model professionals in their dealings with students, parents and each other. We expect colleagues to be assertive in maintaining our positive learning environment, but never aggressive, intimidating or belittling. Similarly high expectations are placed on students in terms of their listening skills, focus and concentration in class and treatment of each other. We encourage them to do everything they can to get into the right pattern of work and behaviour at school. We expect them to be honest when they have got things wrong. We do apply a full and fair range of sanctions to help students change their behaviour. Disruptive students are removed from a lesson after two warnings. We expect students to impact positively, not negatively, on other students learning and progress. We also do all we can to recognise and value student achievement. We make weekly phone calls to the families of students identified as working well. Students are also rewarded by individual teachers. A high profile Prize Evening takes place in November each year. Bullying We do not tolerate bullying in any form and deal with it very firmly. We will also provide every support to the victims of bullying. The fact that we know the students so well is a big advantage; we are quick to pick up any signs of someone being off colour and work closely with families to resolve issues. A good number of our staff, including the Headteacher, live in Alston; we believe this also helps anyone feeling vulnerable. Drugs The School Governors would take any involvement of our students with illegal substances seriously. Students using or in possession of illegal substances face a fixed term exclusion and police involvement. Any student supplying drugs in school would face permanent exclusion and a police investigation.

www.samuelkingsschool.co.uk

The students behaviour in and around the school, including mixing with others at break and lunchtime, and in showing respect for the building and the resources they use in lessons is good. There are few incidents of bullying. OFSTED

Parents/carers spoken to were unanimous in agreement about a culture change regarding homework. They see homework set, marked, levelled and with guidance on how to improve.
Local Authority Report
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Curriculum
Based on breadth and balance, the curriculum we offer encompasses everything required by the demands of the National curriculum and more.

Where it is best, teachers ask questions that make the students think, at a pace which allows all abilities to make good progress in their learning. OFSTED

Key Stage 3 In practical subjects such as PE, Art, Catering and Design Technology, classes in Years 7 & 8 are organised by year group. In subjects like Maths, Science, English, History and Geography, students are grouped by ability. We organise the groups in this way to encourage the development of a year group ethos. But we are also keen to challenge more able students to progress quickly. Equally important is our ability to give students in the second set the support they need in a class of no more than ten students; we expect them to make rapid progress too! Key Stage 4 Like a growing number of schools across the UK, Samuel Kings School begins the GCSE options courses from the start of Year 9. We find that this extends the range of courses available and enables students to take six options over three years rather than the usual four. We do allow students to repeat up to two courses should they want to specialise ahead of their A Levels. For a smaller school, the range of courses we offer at GCSE is impressive and includes: Art; Biology; Business Studies; Catering; Chemistry; Dance; Design Technology; Drama; Engineering; English Language and Literature; French; Geography; History; ICT; Mathematics, Physics and Sports Studies. We can also offer Music to individual students if desired. In addition to the taught curriculum, we also offer a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities including: field trips; theatre trips; sports fixtures; visits abroad; links with local businesses; work experience; and community work. Homework We believe strongly that homework is a valuable ingredient in academic progress and success. It also contributes to the development of independent learning skills and the ability to organise yourself and to meet deadlines. We urge parents to support and help their children in this most important area of school life. .

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Pastoral Care
The Importance of our Tutor Groups The role of the Form Tutor is key. He or she contributes to the welfare, discipline and guidance of all members of their form. Overarching this is their role in overseeing their students academic development and progress. Obviously, getting to know and working with parents is essential. Each tutor group contains students from Years 7-11 and students stay with their Tutor throughout their time at Samuel Kings School. This means that students grow from being one of the youngest in their tutor group to one of the oldest an important development as we expect the older students to support and encourage the progress of those younger than them as well as their own. The friendships that exist between students of different ages are amongst the real strengths of Samuel Kings School. There is absolutely no sense of Year 11 students being remote or a bother to the younger ones; unlike some other schools, it is the exact opposite.

Senior Leader Support All senior leaders at Samuel Kings School are expected to know and work closely with our students. As teachers themselves, this happens to an extent that is not common elsewhere. Both Assistant Headteachers regularly visit registration sessions and lessons. They are also available at tutor and subject teacher parent sessions. One of the Assistant Headteachers oversees the additional support put in place for students with special educational needs. With the Headteacher similarly visible and accessible, everyone here is completely student focused.

Helping young people to grow with confidence and turn the challenges of life after school into opportunities. Pastoral guidance at Samuel Kings School is a vital part of every young persons time with us.
The school has embedded systems to provide a strategic overview of the performance of students.
Local Authority Report 14 www.samuelkingsschool.co.uk 15

Miscellaneous
Medical Matters The School Office works closely with families to keep up to date medical information on each student. Trained staff will administer medication with written parent approval. No sick student will be sent home without parent permission. In an emergency, we work closely with the medical centre next door to take prudent action necessary for a childs welfare. A school nurse is available at certain times to offer confidential advice on medical and personal matters. Fire Drill It is essential that everyone knows what to do in the event of the fire alarm sounding. The procedure is clearly outlined in every room, but we also carry out several drills during the year to make sure that everyone understands their part in a successful evacuation of the building. Transport Students living within our catchment area, and this includes upper Weardale, travel free to school by minibus or public transport between Alston, Nenthead and Garrigill. Many students walk to school or are dropped off by their parents. Snow Days Barring several feet of snow, we do not close. However, if travel is difficult we do organise shorter days. Normally this means a 10am start and 2.30pm finish with students having their normal lessons for a shorter length of time. Parents and staff are informed by email and through the website. But with several members of staff living in Alston, the phone lines are manned during normal office hours. Insurance The Schools responsibility and insurance for injury only applies if there has been any negligence. Accidents can happen in school, on the sports field or during visits. The provision of personal accident insurance is therefore considered the responsibility of parents. Charging Policy As required by law, students are educated free of charge at Samuel Kings School. Occasionally parents will be asked to make a voluntary contribution towards a specific activity such as an educational visit. The same applies to the ingredients used in catering lessons and the materials used in Design Technology. Parents are also asked to provide smaller items of equipment such as pens, pencils rulers etc. The school pays for all examination fees, but may ask for reimbursement should a student fail to attend. We may also ask for reimbursement for any wilful damage caused on site.

Governors are well-informed about how well the school is doing; this applies, in particular, to the quality of teaching. The governors take their role very seriously , and regular contact between the Chair,Vice-Chair and senior managers is helping to build positive relations between staff and the governing body.

Governors The Governing Body is made up of volunteers. Ultimately it is responsible for the smooth running of the school and its development. Currently nearly half of our governors are parents. This gives the parent community a strong voice in the schools direction and progress and is as it should be. Governors spend time in school in lessons as well as in meetings. It is important that they have a first-hand feel for how things are going.

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In all the lessons observed teachers had planned for and implemented collaborative and independent working . . . Students were unanimous in reporting that they now take responsibility for, and enjoy learning.
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SAMUEL KINGS SCHOOL


Church Road Alston Cumbria CA9 3QU Tel: 01434 381236 Fax: 01434 382082 Email: office@samuelkings.cumbria.sch.uk

www.samuelkingsschool.co.uk