Starting at St John's
Behaviour, respect, compassion and tolerance for one another are essential in our Catholic school.
Students will be encouraged and rewarded for displaying good or positive behaviour by an encouraging word and often a ‘good’ comment in their diary. Poor behaviour will not be tolerated from any student in the school. This includes on the journey to and from school, in school or on school trips. Any behaviour which calls into question the good name of the school will be dealt with by an appropriate sanction, as will any student disrupting their own learning or the learning of others. It is vital that we treat each other in the way we would like to be treated ourselves i.e. with respect and dignity. Any form of swearing, name-calling or bullying will also be dealt with in the strictest fashion.
The diary is the main form of communication between home and school. Where a student’s behaviour falls below the expected standard, a member of staff will record a bad comment in the pupil’s diary as well as on our internal SIMS system. Where a student does something worthy of praise he/she will receive a good comment. If a student should receive three bad comments in a week, he/she will have an automatic 30-minute detention after school on the following Monday. Four bad comments would generate a 45-minute detention and five bad comments a 60-minute detention. Good comments will lead to certificates and rewards. Where a student meets certain milestones with regards to good comments we hope that parents will also find an appropriate way to reward their son or daughter. Finally, good comments will add to the House-points total, while bad comments will detract from that total. It is our aim that students support their own House by working hard and avoiding receipt of any bad comments.
A smart appearance is important and extremes of fashion are to be avoided. Haircuts and hairstyles must be of a conservative style and of a uniform length. Recently, we have had to take a firm stance with a number of boys shaving the sides of their head. The rule is no less than a ‘Grade 2’, and once again your support in ensuring that your child adheres to this would be greatly appreciated. With regard to uniform and appearance, the final decision with regard to appropriateness will be the responsibility of the Headteacher and his decision will be final. As a general rule, students should look smart, professional and avoid any excesses of fashion. Where students fail to meet expectations they will be given an appropriate sanction. Some pupils have asked specific questions with regard to what is and is not suitable. In answer to these questions, bags should be suitable to carry school books and necessary equipment without damaging them, winter jackets should be a dark colour without an obvious logo, while hoodies are not allowed under any circumstances. Please refer to the school diary for more specific information relating to uniform, haircuts, standards, etc.
It is our firm belief that all students should attend school ready to learn with the correct equipment. Each child is required to have their ‘Learning Kit’ with them every day – pencil/pen/ruler/calculator/maths equipment - as well as their school diary and an appropriate reading book. Please ensure that your child comes to school each day with the correct equipment.
Chewing gum and fizzy drinks
St John’s has a zero tolerance on chewing gum and fizzy drinks. Students in breach of this will be dealt with appropriately.
Mobile phones are a part of everyday life and most people now use these for regular communication. Most parents would like their daughter or son to carry a mobile phone so that they can reach them if there are any problems or concerns. Therefore, the school policy will reflect parents’ desire to be able to contact their child, as well as the need to focus on Teaching and Learning. During the school day, any parent who needs to contact their daughter or son is requested to do this via the school office or relevant Pastoral Manager. Where a student needs to contact home during school hours they will also need to do this through the relevant member of support staff. Students will be allowed to bring mobile phones to school but if they are seen or heard once a student is on the premises (enters the school gate) they will be confiscated for ten school days. There will be no exceptions to this rule for students in Years 7 to 11. If a student refuses to hand over their phone when requested by a member of staff, they will be immediately excluded until their parents have seen a relevant member of our Senior Leadership Team.
Attendance and Punctuality
In order for students to reach their full potential they are expected to maintain 100% attendance at all times and to only have an absence/s in unavoidable circumstances in line with our Attendance Policy. Kent County Council’s expectations are that those students whose attendance falls below 95% are to be monitored closely under our Attendance Policy procedure. If attendance falls below 90%, which equates to one day off a fortnight, a student’s progress and attainment is severely affected. An attendance figure below 90% over time, often leads to Educational Welfare intervention. Our school day begins at 8.40am and we expect all students to be in school ready for a prompt start at this time. Students who are late for school will be dealt with appropriately. For more information on reporting absences see our attendance section of the website.
Holidays in term time
In line with Kent County Council policy, the school is no longer able to grant holidays in term time except in the most exceptional of circumstances. Any time taken off school for holidays will be unauthorised and the Headteacher has the right to consider the option of imposing a fine for unauthorised absence. Please refer to our Attendance Policy if you would like further clarity on this issue.
How we communicate with you
At St John’s, while being very traditional in some respects, we also embrace future technologies and this forms part of our communication strategy. We ask parents to support us by providing an up to date email address and mobile contact number, these details allow us to send you electronic letters and text messages through our “call parents” system and we would ask that you ensure that you add our school to your safe senders list to receive the latest school newsletters as well as important letters.
Helping parents and students with school related issues
We have a fantastic pastoral and student services team which are available to parents and students to assist in helping them through their time at the school and you can contact them via our school phone system. Please note it is not always possible for our pastoral teams to answer calls directly but you have the option of leaving them a voicemail message. With regards to student sickness and absence messages, please leave these with our school’s attendance staff. An up to date list of pastoral staff members is available on our pastoral care section of the website.
Arranging to see teaching staff
We are well aware that sometimes parents will want to see a class teacher or form tutor regarding an issue at the school. Please understand that it is not always possible for staff to meet with parents immediately due to their daily working commitments. If you would like to see a member of teaching staff, this must be booked via our reception staff who will be able to support you with your request.
We have a tremendously dedicated, supportive and talented staff at St John’s who are determined to achieve the ultimate goal of providing an outstanding Catholic education to all of the students in our care. We look forward to continuing to foster positive relationships between the school and our parental body so that together we can achieve the very best outcomes for each and every child. St John’s is already judged by both Ofsted and the Catholic Schools’ Commission as a ‘Good’ school and I know that with your support and with the efforts of our staff, we have the potential to rapidly improve towards an ‘Outstanding’ judgement in the future.
Our contact details are listed below:
St John's Catholic Comprehensive School
Telephone: 01474 534718