Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ page. Please feel free to browse the content. If you do not find the answer you are looking for, please contact us directly and we will do our very best to answer your query.

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Information for Parents

The 'Parent Gateway' section on the website provides parents with information about their child’s progress and attainment including attendance merits and detentions.

Parent Gateway

Please see the school day outline below:

8.40 amRegistration
8.50 amAssembly/Form Period
9.00 amPeriod 1
9.40 amPeriod 2
10.20 amPeriod 3
11.00 amBreak
11.20 amPeriod 4
11.55 amPeriod 5
12.35 pmPeriod 6
1.10 pmLunch
2.10 pmRegistration
2.15 pmPeriod 7
2.55 pmPeriod 8
3.30 pmEnd of School

Either:
1. Log on to parent gateway and report the absence. You must report the absence for EVERY day that they are absent.
or
2. Phone the School on 01452 338400, press option 5, and leave a message on the absence line. Again, this must be done for EVERY day of absence.

Target Setting

Fischer Family Trust (FFT) is an organisation which provides schools with data relating to examination performance including estimates of GCSE grades based on their prior attainment. (For example, attainment in Key Stage 2 SATs). FFT estimates are widely used and similar to the measures used by OFSTED. FFT provide estimates with varying degrees of challenge, and we use FFT 20 as the basis of our Key Stage 4 targets; these use the level of progress seen in the best 20% of schools to calculate estimates. We also use Fischer Family Trust estimates to help us set targets and monitor progress at Key Stage 5.

A raw target is based on a combination of a pupil’s Key Stage 2 SATs results; their score in the Grammar school entry test; and assessments in the individual subject. Subject teachers are then given an opportunity to adjust these targets, based on their knowledge of the pupil, to arrive at a final end of year target and these will appear on reports from Order 2 onwards. The targets will take the form of a new LAL grade (see Order Grades). Teachers will have an opportunity to adjust targets again at the end of Year 7 to arrive at those which will be used in Year 8.

In Year 8 target grades are based on the target set in Year 7 with the end of Year 8 target usually being one grade higher than that set for the end of Year 7 (see ‘Where do Year 7 grades come from?’ above) The targets will take the form of a new LAL grade (see Order Grades). For example, if the target at the end of Year 7 was a grade 5, the target for the end of Year 8 will usually be a grade 6. There will have been an opportunity at the end of Year 7 for teachers to adjust the Year 8 target based on the additional knowledge of pupils that they have gained during the year.

In Year 9, target grades are based on the target set in Year 8 with the end of Year 9 target usually being one grade higher than that set for the end of Year 8 (see ‘Where do Year 7 grades come from?’ above). The targets will take the form of a new LAL grade (see Order Grades). For example, if the target at the end of Year 8 was a grade 6, the target for the end of Year 9 will usually be a grade 7. There will have been an opportunity at the end of Year 8 for teachers to adjust the Year 9 target based on the additional knowledge of pupils that they have gained during the year.

GCSE raw target grades are based on Fischer Family Trust 20 estimates (see above). Subject teachers then have the opportunity to adjust these based on their knowledge of the pupil. These appear on reports from Year 10 Order 2 onwards and they are then used throughout the rest of Year 10 and 11 without further adjustment.

Year 12 target grades are based on the GCSE grades achieved by a pupil with extra weighting in the GCSE taken in that subject (or the closest subject). Subject teachers then have the opportunity to adjust these grades based on their knowledge of the pupil.

The target A Level grade for Year 13 is set by subject teachers based on a combination factors. This will include the target grade set in Year 12, progress made in Year 12 and the result of the end of Year 12 Examination. It will usually be the same as the UCAS prediction in the subject.

In general, however, Target Grades are not predictions, but the basis for an on-going discussion with the pupil, focusing on the question: “How are you doing?”

Order Grades

Each academic year is split into five Order Periods. At the end of each of these periods, teachers in each subject will award an Order Grade consisting of an AtL (Approach to Learning) grade and an attainment grade. Parents can view these grades in the Progress Report which is published on Parent Gateway at the end of each Order Period.

Sir Thomas Rich’s school has devised a new set of grades to reflect a pupil’s approach to their learning. These will be awarded with each Order grade and replace the effort grades which were formerly used.

The grades are based on what the school believes to be the ten most important elements of effective learning behaviour. The grade awarded will be based upon how often a teacher perceives that a pupil has exhibited these good habits during the order period; the qualifiers: Always, Mostly, Sometimes and Rarely are used to complete the following ten statements to describe how the pupil routinely approaches his/her learning.

Always...

Mostly...

Sometimes...

Rarely...
... reflects on and takes responsibility for their progress; actively involved in their learning.
... responds to verbal and written feedback from teachers and peers.
... experiments with new and existing knowledge and skills, understands the value of learning from mistakes.
... perseveres with tasks regardless of difficulty.
... takes opportunities to deepen learning, e.g. through independent research or questioning.
... uses homework as an opportunity to consolidate understanding and apply new and existing knowledge and skills.
... works productively on their own and with peers.
... organised and ready to learn, arriving to lessons on time and with the correct equipment.
... has a conscientious approach to meeting deadlines and catches up any work missed due to absence from lessons.
... aware of the impact of behaviour on their own learning and that of others, respecting the Classroom Code of Conduct.

On pupils reports, the AtL grade will be represented by codes as follows: Al (Always); Mo (Mostly); So (Sometimes) and Ra (Rarely).

At Sir Thomas Rich’s we use our own system of Attainment Grades in order to measure the progress and performance of pupils in Key Stage 3. These have been carefully devised by the school based on academic research, with input from staff, pupils and parents. (They replace the previous system which was reliant on National Curriculum levels which have been removed from the new National Curriculum; each school has been tasked with the job of designing an assessment scheme suited to the needs of their own pupils). These grades will be used for the first time in 2016-17 for Year 7 Order grades – they will be rolled out to the whole of Key Stage 3 in the following two years (subject to ongoing reviews).

For each year group, there is an ascending scale of grades which are associated with descriptors of a pupil’s knowledge and skills of the curriculum in that year. Each descriptor represents a level of knowledge and understanding which is broader and deeper than the next descriptor down. The grades available in Year 7, for example, range from 1 to 5 and the associated generic descriptors for Year 7 can be seen in this table:

Example - Year 7 Attainment Grades:
Grade 5 - Mastered

Pupils demonstrate a deep understanding of the work taught and are able to select from a range of different approaches. They are able to generalise their knowledge and apply it to new areas. They demonstrate a mastery of all skills taught.

Grade 4 - Confident

Pupils demonstrate a deepening understanding of the work taught and are able to combine different strands of the curriculum. They can select and apply skills and apply most skills correctly.

Grade 3 - Secure

Pupils demonstrate a secure knowledge and understanding of the work taught and can identify connections between different areas. They can apply most of the skills covered.

Grade 2 - Developing

Pupils have a basic knowledge and understanding of the work taught and are starting to make simple links. They can apply some skills independently.

Grade 1 - Emerging

Pupils can recall basic facts from the work taught. They are aware of the skills needed and are beginning to use these in some areas with support.

Grades awarded before the end of the year are only judged against content covered up to that point so a grade 5 could still be awarded in Order 1. However, for most pupils, the expectation would be that there would be some improvement over the year as ideas and metacognitive techniques are reinforced (even in topic based subjects).

In Year 7, pupils will be set individual targets which will be published with the second Order grade. These targets will be based on Key Stage 2 entry data, Grammar school entry test results and assessments carried out in every subject at start of Year 7. These would be highlighted using a traffic light system with green indicating on or above target, amber one grade below target and red two or more grades below target.

The grades awarded in subsequent years will be based on a scale which moves up as shown in the table. The changes to the numbers used in Year 8 and Year 9 reflect the increase in how demanding the content of the curricula are in these years.

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Mastered 5 6 7
Confident 4 5 6
Secure 3 4 5
Developing 2 3 4
Emerging 1 2 3


Targets in Years 8 and 9 should usually be one grade above that of the previous year but these can be adjusted by subject teachers following the final Order grade during the previous year (i.e. by the previous year’s subject teacher).

Their achievement grade is a GCSE grade based on the quality of their work over the previous Order Period. This will be a numeric GCSE grade from 9 to 1 (see next section).

Following reforms which started in 2015, new style GCSEs have been phased in. All subjects at STRS are now following new style GCSEs in Years 10 and 11. The grades awarded for these new qualifications are 9 (highest) to 1 (lowest). Grades 9 to 7 replace the old A/A* grades; grades 6 to 4 replace B/C grades (with grade 5 classed as a “strong pass”) and grades 3 to 1 replace grades D to G.

Their achievement grade is an A-level grade based on the quality of their work over the previous Order Period. This will be A*-E or U.

Green highlighting in Years 7-9 indicates that a pupil is on track to meet or exceed their end of year target. In Years 10-13, green highlighting indicates that a pupil is currently working at a level above their target grade.

Yellow highlighting in Years 7-9 indicates that a pupil is on track to achieve an end of year attainment level which is slightly below their target. In Years 10-13 it indicates that a pupil is currently working at one grade below their target grade.

Red highlighting in Years 7-9 indicates that a pupil is on track to achieve an end of year attainment level which is significantly below their target. In Years 10-13 it indicates that a pupil is currently working at least two grades below their target grade.

An attainment level without colour highlighting may mean that a target has not yet been set in this subject (see target setting). In Years 10-13, it is also used to indicate that a pupil is currently working at their target grade.

Options

In the Spring Term of Year 8 parents are notified of the dates of meetings, parents’ evening, talks and deadlines. There is an information evening for parents at the beginning of the spring term in Year 9.

Homework

For Years 7 - 9, approximately 1-1½ hours per night with English and Mathematics 1 x 60 minutes per week and all other subjects 1 x 30 minutes per week.

For Years 10 - 11, approximately 1½-2 hours per night with 1 substantial piece set per week per subject (English may set 2 smaller pieces of homework per week).

For both Year 12 & Year 13, not less than 3 hours per night (45 minutes per subject) or 15 hours per week outside private study time (at least 45 minutes of homework, per subject, per night).

For pupils in Years 7 to 10, the school uses a system called Show My Homework. More details can be found here.

Pastoral & Curriculum

Heads of Year are experienced in dealing with such incidents with tact and discretion. They would always prefer to be made aware of the situation.

The school nurse visits once every other week and she may be seen in confidence. Sometimes the nurse will liaise with Heads of Year and external agencies as well as contacting parents.

ChatHealth is a service offered by Gloucestershire Care Services (GCS) NHS Trust School Nursing Team. Messages sent to the dedicated number (07507 333351) are delivered to a secure website, and responded to by a GCS School Nurse. The service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm, excluding bank holidays. Automatic bounce-backs will respond to incoming messages out of hours.
We have a collection of useful websites, phone numbers for a wide variety of topics, located here: helplines.

Subject Name Email
ArtMr Barry O'Neillbjo@strs.org.uk
BiologyMrs Rebecca Zurickrcz@strs.org.uk
Business StudiesMrs Fiona Banksfjb@strs.org.uk
ChemistryMr Robert Birkettreb@strs.org.uk
ComputingMr Peter Johnsonpwj@strs.org.uk
DesignMr Chris Breamcdb@strs.org.uk
DramaMrs Sarah Jonessej@strs.org.uk
EconomicsMrs Fiona Banksfjb@strs.org.uk
EnglishMrs Clare Saunderscrs@strs.org.uk
FrenchMr Alexander Gregoryajg@strs.org.uk
GeographyMr David Gowlerdag@strs.org.uk
GeologyMr David Greendfg@strs.org.uk
GermanMrs Birgit Testoni-Rankenbtr@strs.org.uk
HistoryMrs Kim Hansenkh@strs.org.uk
MathematicsMr Kevin Jobsonkj@strs.org.uk
MusicMrs Pauline Jonespyj@strs.org.uk
PEMr Nick O'Neilno@strs.org.uk
PhysicsMr Stuart Coopersrc@strs.org.uk
PsychologyMiss Samantha Loadsjl@strs.org.uk
Religious StudiesMrs Deborah Gloverdjg@strs.org.uk
ScienceMr John Buttlejgb@strs.org.uk
SpanishMr Tom Reecetjr@strs.org.uk
TechnologyMr Chris Breamcdb@strs.org.uk

Headmaster   Matthew S R Morgan mm@strs.org.uk
Deputy Headmaster Extra Curricula and Director of Sport Chris D A Carter cdac@strs.org.uk
Deputy Headteacher Teaching & Learning Debbie Brake db@strs.org.uk
Assistant Headteacher Head of KS4 Peter Daniell pmd@strs.org.uk
Assistant Headtacher Data & Timetable David Dempsey dd@strs.org.uk

Parents' Evenings

When a Parents’ Evening is approaching, you will receive an email which will tell you how to book an appointment online using the Parent Evening Booking System. You can sign in to the system here.

Reports

Progress Reports, Examination Reports and Full Written Reports are published on the Parent Gateway

Progress Reports are published after each Order Period unless an Examination Report or Full Written Report is scheduled.

Year 7 to 10 will receive full written reports with comments from subject teachers and pastoral staff once during the school year. Year 11 receive an examination report (comments from pastoral staff) following the Trial GCSE examinations, as well as two Parent Evenings. Years 12 to 13 receive two Parent Evenings in place of a full written report. The exact dates that these reports are published can be found on the School Calendar

Examinations

Each year group from Year 7 to Year 10 will have annual domestic examinations arranged by the school. Year 11 will have Trial GCSE examinations. Year 12 have two sets of examinations in November and June. Year 13 have Trial A Level examinations. For the exact dates of these examinations, see the School Calendar

Basic equipment list as follows:
  • Clear pencil case
  • Water bottle - without label
  • Pens x 3
  • Pencils x2
  • Full Geometry set (compass, protractor, ruler, set square)
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Scientific calculator
  • *Please ask the subject teacher if you are unsure about what to bring*

Examination Results

The dates in August when the exam results are available will be published in the School Calendar

Text books, past papers, etc. should be returned on the day of the final examination in each subject. Should this not be possible, all text books must be returned by end of June. AN INVOICE WILL BE SENT HOME FOR BOOKS NOT RETURNED TO SCHOOL BY THIS DATE.

Pupils should collect a Clearance Certificate from Reception. When handing in books, pupils should ensure that they get their Clearance Certificate signed by the subject teacher. Library books must be signed for by the Librarian. It should then be signed by the Form Teacher and then handed in to Mrs Sally Walker, Receptionist. All pupils must hand in a completed Clearance Certificate.

If pupils wish to leave early, they should arrange to hand in their books to Subject Teachers and the Librarian, and get their Clearance Certificate signed by their Form Teacher and the Headmaster. Completed Clearance Certificates should then be handed in to Mrs Sally Walker, Receptionist. They are then free to leave.

Induction Days

These are usually held in July of each year. For exact dates, please see the School Calendar.

These are usually held in July of each year. For exact dates, please see the School Calendar.

Sports

Fixtures: Chris Carter - Deputy Headmaster and Director of Sport cdac@strs.org.uk
Curriculum PE: Nick O'Neil - Head of PE no@strs.org.uk

Please see the Uniform Expectations, in the Parents' section of the website:
Uniform Expectations

Uniform

The Parents’ Association runs the Uniform Shop. Email pauniformshop@strs.org.uk for opening times or see the Parents' Association section below.
Uniform Shop

Please see the Uniform Expectations, in the Parents' section of the website:
Uniform Expectations

Cashless Catering

Please see this FAQ document about the school's Cashless Catering System:
Cashless System FAQ [PDF]