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A Parent’s Guide to Transition September 2021

I am both delighted and privileged to warmly welcome you to our rapidly improving school, Rushden Academy. We are 1 of 7 secondary schools in the Tove Learning Trust (TLT). The Trust provides great stability for Rushden Academy along with excellent support and healthy challenge.

As the Principal of Rushden Academy, I am determined that we will consistently deliver our Team Rushden values and have the highest expectations of ourselves. To put it quite simply I want Team Rushden to do their best, to achieve their best and to be cared for the most!

Team Rushden permeates throughout our school, our staff and pupils sign up to our values and we have an unwavering sense of duty to continuously drive up our high standards.

Rushden Academy provides excellent opportunities for all students to aspire, explore and succeed. We recognise individual strengths and collectively celebrate shared goals. We achieve success by living by our values of being smart, respectful, hard-working and resilient. We are part of a highly successful trust, Tove Learning Trust and together we ensure that students have inspiring educational experiences that lead to outstanding outcomes.

School leaders are highly visible and extremely proactive in supporting staff and pupils. We have a highly supportive pastoral system with effective form tutors. Pupils say that bullying is rare, that they feel safe and if issues arise they know who to talk to and that it will be dealt with swiftly. The work of The Ethos Team and The Hub further enhance our student pastoral support and well-being.

We offer a broad curriculum with a wide range of extra-curricular experiences. Teachers are passionate about their subject specialisms and engage students in their learning. Students achieve well and many stay on in the sixth form college, TENC and continue to further education, some to top ranking universities.

Personal development is strong, students have opportunities to develop outstanding character and become successful, self-assured and responsible citizens. We value what students say, they discuss their ideas through the student forum and student leaders drive through change. We are proud of the student leadership team and how they are shaping the future for all.

Our website aims to give you further insight into our values and purpose, we email weekly bulletins so that you are kept up to date with the progress we are making. However, to fully appreciate everything Rushden Academy has to offer, I warmly invite you to visit us after the 21st June if all restrictions are lifted as per the Government Lockdown Roadmap. Further details with regards to a visit will be shared in due course.

Mrs J Burton - Principal

Our Values

Our Values set out the key principles whereby Team Rushden will Achieve, Explore and Succeed. These values are student led and support our further core principles of:

  • Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
  • Working hard to achieve excellence
  • Respecting others
  • Having fun and a good quality of life
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Tolerance and forgiveness
  • Confidence to lead
  • Kindness
  • Courage to stand up for what we believe
  • Humility, compassion and concern for others

These are the guiding principles of everything we do. They underpin our ambition for excellence and provide the touchstones for our everyday discussions, our focus on teaching and learning, and our collective approach to leadership and growth.

Term Dates & Times of the Day

Expectations

Homework

Students make the most progress when they establish positive attitudes and routines for learning. Regular homework is an important element of education as it helps students to become independent learners. Students make the most progress when they establish positive attitudes and routines for learning. Regular homework is an important element of education as it helps students to become independent learners. We understand that some students may struggle to complete homework independently to begin with therefore, we have a homework club that runs Monday to Thursday in our Library. These are supervised sessions with computer and internet access which allow students to complete work before leaving the Academy. All homework should be recorded in your child’s planner and you will find a space each week where you can sign to indicate you have checked their planner. Tutors also check their students’ planners, however, the most effective way of keeping students on track is a combined approach from school and home. We also use an online site called “Go 4 Schools”. All students will be registered at the start of the year and will be able to view homework, communicate with their teacher and even sit tests and quizzes online. Parents are also able to access the site and can keep an eye on homework .

Personal Possessions

We cannot accept responsibility for the loss or damage of any personal possessions on our premises. Students must take full responsibility for their belongings.

Mobile phones

Phones are allowed to be brought to school however, they must be switched off and out of sight during lessons. Staff can confiscate mobile phones if they are seen during a lesson. Students are not allowed to have earphones visible during lessons.

Bicycles

Any students who cycle to the Academy must ensure that they lock their bike inside the cycle sheds. Our insurance will not cover loss or damage to cycles so you may wish to consider adding this to your home insurance policy. Please also note that bikes must not be ridden anywhere on our site.

Money

Students must not bring large sums of money to the Academy. If there is a particular need to bring cash (e.g. to pay for a trip), it should be handed in to the Finance Office at the start of the day.

Lost Property

Please ensure that all clothing and belongings are clearly marked with the student’s name. Any lost property is handed to Student Reception. Please note that students can only visit Student Reception to check for lost property before or at the end of the day, or at break or lunchtime.

Lockers

Our lockers are owned by an external company called Independent Locker Solution (ILS) and not by the school. The company rents the lockers out on an annual basis at a cost of £20 per year. To reserve a locker, you will need to go online to: www.ilsschools.co.uk . Unfortunately, we do not have enough lockers for every student and lockers will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please see the letter from ILS for more information or visit their website.

Go 4 Schools

What is Go4schools?

Go4schools is an online school data system which gives parents and students access to:

Timetable – Your child’s daily and weekly timetable

Attendance – Shown from the start of the academic year

Homework – The homework your child has been set and when it is due to be handed in

Progress – A detailed look at your child’s progress in each subject area

Reports – Your child’s most recent school report

How to access Go4schools

In the first week that your child joins the Academy they will be given log in details in order to gain access to ‘Go 4 Schools’. You will be unable to gain access until this first week. In order to log onto Go4schools you need to visit www.go4schools.com and click on the ‘Parents’ icon in the top right hand side. Alternatively a link to Go4Schools can be found on our schools website at www.rushden-academy.net. Enter your email address in the First-time User? section. This address must be the one we have on file for you. If you have changed or need to provide us with an email address please contact s.attwood@rushden-academy.net. If you have more than one child at Rushden you can choose which to view on the next screen. If you forget your password use the Forgotten your Password? section. This will email the address registered a new password.

Rushden Academy Leadership Team

All students should wear full uniform at all times and make sure they are ready to present.

Jewellery : A single discreet bracelet, bangle, wristband and necklace. A maximum of two rings and two stud earrings can be worn. No hoops or bars allowed. Nose studs, tongue and any other visible piercings are not permitted. The school will not be held responsible for expensive items of jewellery lost on the premises.

Make-up: All students are allowed to wear a small amount of make-up. Make-up should remain neutral and reflect skin tones. Nails should be kept at a suitable length.

Hair : No bright or un-naturally dyed hair. Hair colouring should remain close to natural.

Belts: Must not be seen. If worn, must be plain black and not a fashion belt e.g. with a large buckle.

Hats/Scarves: To be worn outside school buildings only, not allowed in lessons. Suitable for winter weather and not as a fashion accessory.

All uniform can be purchased from https://ksschoolwear.co.uk/product-category/rushden-academy/

PE Uniform

All PE uniform must be purchased online from https://ksschoolwear.co.uk/product-category/rushden-academy/ Please be aware that orders should be placed in good time and allow 2-3 weeks for delivery (allow more time for busy times). The option to try items on in store and purchase in store at KarlSports in Kettering are available. Please call on 033 000 80401 to book an appointment.Please see below compulsory items; Rushden Academy sweatshirt and tracksuit bottoms are both optional items. If you have any problems regarding uniform, please contact us and we will do all we can to help. Please see our website for further information on uniform: www.rushden-academy.net

Boys

  • Rushden Academy sports top
  • Rushden Academy shorts
  • Rushden Academy socks
  • Rushden Academy rugby shirt
  • Trainers
  • Football/ rugby boots

Girls

  • Rushden Academy sports top
  • Rushden Academy shorts
  • Rushden Academy socks
  • Plain black sports leggings
  • Trainers
  • Football/ rugby boots

Attendance

School Attendance Matters. Attendance + Punctuality = Success. Rushden Academy's attendance target is 96%

Good attendance at Rushden Academy means..

What should I do if my child is off school? Telephone the school as early as possible on each morning of their absence to give the reason. 01933 417854 or s.barrett@rushden-academy.net

If you have to make an appointment during school time, help your child to be at school for most of the day and let the school know about the appointment. You may be asked for a medical certificate or appointment card if your child is regularly absent due to illness or dental/medical appointments.

Canteen

Students remain on the site all day and the dining room is open at breakfast, break and lunch. There is a wide range of healthy hot and cold dishes such as, baked potatoes, pasta pots, salads, baguettes and sandwiches. Prices range from £1.20 - £2.40. Students not wishing to buy a meal may bring a packed lunch which they are allowed to eat in the canteen or the designated eating area outside. Students receiving a free school meal can choose options up to their daily allowance. Drinking water is available from the water dispensers around the Academy. Students may bring bottles which can be filled up at the start and end of the day or at break and lunch.

Please note: We do not allow students to bring excessive quantities of sweets or crisps and energy drinks, containing caffeine, are strictly forbidden on the premises. Energy drinks will be confiscated from students if found. Students will need to wear warm and waterproof clothing during the winter months as we encourage students to be out in the fresh air during break and lunch, unless the weather is extremely wet, in which case, the wet bell will ring and students will be able to come inside to a designated area.

Our break and lunchtimes are supervised by members of staff and there are designated areas for ball games to be played; students are welcome to bring their own ball. There are also various sports’ clubs at lunch throughout the year for all students, our library is also open at these times and there are lots of clubs to enjoy. Students will be given full details of our rules and expectations at break and lunchtime in September.

Parent Pay & Cashless Catering

At Rushden Academy our canteen uses a biometric system. The system uses a form of ‘fingerprint’ recognition in which only certain points of the print are recognised and no image is saved. Our main reason for this is to make use of a cashless catering system. The system will interface with parent pay, an online payment system, which is also used to make payments for things like trips and uniform.

This system offers students and parents significant, benefits including:

  • Greater control over what your child is spending lunch money on
  • Improved security for handling cash transactions in the academy
  • Reduction in administration time and cost dealing with lost or forgotten cards/passwords/PINs
  • Students not having to carry cash which can be lost or misplaced
  • Students will not have to remember to bring a card
  • Enables you to pay for School Meals and other items such as Trips gives you a history of all the payments you have made
  • Shows you all items available for payment relevant to each of your children
  • Emails a receipt of your payment to the email address you register
  • Offers a highly secure payment site

How do you get started?

We will send you an activation letter containing your activation details to enable you to set up your ParentPay account, this will happen the first week that your child starts. If you have more than one child at a ParentPay school/s you can add them to a single account, providing one login for all children at ParentPay schools.

Library

Our library is a hive of activity from when it opens at 8:30am to when it closes at 4pm. Many of our students use the library before school, break time and lunch time. There are numerous activities for students to be involved in such as: Chess Club, and Games Club during lunch-times. The library also hosts themed evenings such as the Harry Potter Book Night event pictured below. Although the library has a buzz during unstructured times, it is also used in the traditional way, as a place for quiet study. For example, students may have lessons taught in the library or they may use our Study Club which runs after school on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It is during these times students need to respect others in the quiet learning environment. All Year 7 students will be included in our Accelerated Reader programme and will also have a weekly Library lesson where they can read, choose new books and take quizzes on the books they have read, along with other activities. As well as a wide range of books, students have access to many other resources such as: audio books, First News newspapers and the internet. Each student may borrow two books free of charge for up to three weeks, with the option to renew if they have not finished it. All students automatically become members of the library; we use a web-based library management system which all students have access to. Our student librarians assist with issuing and returning resources at break and lunch time. The library is a diverse, open-access area for all students to use and enjoy throughout the school day and after. Students will be given a full Library and Accelerated Reader induction in September.

Communication With School

The first point of contact is your child’s form tutor or class teacher. Tutors and class teachers can be contacted in a number of ways:

  1. Via your child’s planner: The planner provides an easy method to communicate with your child’s tutor or class teacher. Notes can be written and passed via the student in the planner.
  2. Email: This is a very efficient way of contacting your child’s tutor or class teacher. As staff are teaching, it is often difficult to contact them during the day, therefore, emailing allows them to respond whilst not teaching.
  3. Telephone: Parents are welcome to contact the Academy over the phone, however, during teaching hours, tutors and class teachers will most likely be unavailable to accept calls but will get back to you at the earliest opportunity.
  4. Face to face: Parents are welcome to see staff, however , it is essential to make an appointment.

Tutors or teachers may seek the support of their Head of Year or Head of Faculty and they can be reached in the same ways.

Safeguarding Team

In order to protect our students at Rushden Academy, we aim to:

  • Create an atmosphere where all our students can feel secure, valued and listened to
  • Recognise signs and symptoms of abuse
  • Respond quickly and effectively to cases of suspected abuse

Our Academy will support all students by:

  • Encouraging self-esteem and self–assertiveness whilst not condoning aggression or bullying
  • Promoting a caring, safe and positive environment within the Academy

Everyone working with our students are aware that:

  • Their role is to listen and note carefully any observations which could indicate abuse
  • They should not attempt to investigate once the initial concern is raised
  • They should involve the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) immediately
  • If the DSL’s are not available, the Principal should be contacted
  • A disclosure of abuse or harm can be made at anytime. (lesson times, break times, after school etc.)
  • A disclosure of abuse or harm can be made at anytime. (lesson times, break times, after school etc.)
  • Before outside agencies are invited into the Academy to work with our students or to carry out work on the premises, staff are required to ensure that all the relevant DBS checks and identification has been seen

First Aid Team

A number of our staff are trained to administer first aid and, in the case of an accident or sudden illness, we are confident that students will receive appropriate emergency aid. If your child has an ongoing medical condition that requires routine medication, you may wish to come in to arrange how and when they will take their medication with the staff at student reception. As a rule, students will not be allowed out of lessons to report to the medical room, except in exceptional circumstances.

Academy Structure

Pastoral Structure – HOY and Tutor Team

Students register every morning and afternoon in their tutor group and complete various activities during their tutor time, including an assembly once a week. Your child’s tutor provides the vital link between the Academy and home and they are your first point of contact should issues arise. Where possible, a tutor stays with their tutor group throughout their time at Rushden Academy. The Head of Year has overall responsibility for all students within their Year group. They oversee the progress and achievement of students, as well as provide support to tutors where necessary.

Faculty Structure - HOFs and Class Teachers

The Head of Faculty (HOF) has overall responsibility for their subject area. They are accountable for curriculum development and overseeing progress of students across all year groups. HOFs also manage the class teachers within their faculty.

Senior Leadership Team

At Rushden, our SLT is made up from: a Principal, Vice Principal, several Assistant Principals and Director's. The Principal is the most senior member of staff and takes overall responsibility for the Academy. The Vice Principals and the Assistant Principals all have certain areas of expertise which they use to oversee different faculties and areas of the school.