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.

Information for Parents

Where can I access information about my son/daughter’s progress?

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

Target Setting

What is Fischer Family Trust?

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.

Where do Year 7 target grades come from?

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.

Where do Year 8 target grades come from?

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 based on the additional knowledge of pupils that they have gained during the year.

Where do Year 9 target grades come from?

In Year 9 the end of year target will be two sub-levels above the target for the previous year. For example, if the target at the end of Year 8 was a 7c, the target for the end of Year 9 will be a 8a. This means that we expect a pupil to make two whole levels of progress across Key Stage 3.

Where do Year 10 & Year 11 target grades come from?

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 then used throughout the rest of Year 10 and 11 without further adjustment.

Where do Year 12 target grades come from?

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.

Where do Year 13 target grades come from?

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

What are 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.

What does the AtL grade mean?

Please see the full explanation of AtL grades here:

My son is in Year 7-8. What does the achievement grade mean?

Please see the full explanation of new Attainment grades here:

My son is in Year 9. What does the achievement grade mean?

An achievement grade is awarded for each subject. This takes the form of an STRS Sub-level. These follow the same format as the National Curriculum levels that most parents will be used to from primary schools. In most subjects, pupils will have entered STRS with a National Curriculum level between 4 and 6. We continue to award achievement grades in this format with each level subdivided into three Sub-levels. For example Level 5 is divided into 5c, 5b and 5a with 5a being the highest. The grade awarded will be based on the level of the work produced during the previous Order Period. These grades will no longer be used after 2017-18.

My son is in Year 10 or Year 11. What does their achievement grade mean?

Their achievement grade is a GCSE grade based on the quality of their work over the previous Order Period. This will either be A*-G for legacy GCSEs or 1-9 for reformed GCSEs.

My son or daughter is in Year 12 or Year 13. What does their achievement grade mean?

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.

What does green highlighting on the Order grade mean?

Green highlighting in Years 7-8 indicates that a pupil is on track to meet or exceed their end of year target. Green highlighting in Year 9 indicates that a pupil is on track to exceed their end of year target. In Years 10-13 it indicates that a pupil is currently working at a level above their target grade.

What does yellow highlighting on the Order grade mean?

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 (a grade in Years 7-8 or two sublevels in Year 9). In Years 10-13 it indicates that a pupil is currently working at one grade below their target grade.

What does red highlighting on the Order grade mean?

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 (two grades or more in Years 7-8; at least one whole level in Year 9). In Years 10-13 it indicates that a pupil is currently working at least two grades below their target grade.

What is the significance of white on the Order grade?

An attainment level without colour highlighting for an Order Grade in Year 9 indicates that a pupil is on track to achieve their end of year target. In Years 10-13 it indicates that a pupil is currently working at their target grade.

Options

What is the procedure for choosing options in Year 9?

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

How much homework is my son / daughter expected to do?

For Years 7 - 9, approximately 1-1½ hours per night with English and Mathematics 2 x 30 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).

Pastoral & Curriculum

I think my son is being bullied, but I don’t want anyone to find out that it has been reported. Can you reassure me of an approach that will prevent repercussions?

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.

Is there a school nurse and how might he/she support my child?

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.

Can a pupil contact the school nurse outside of these times?

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.

Who do I contact if I would like to discuss my son’s / daughter’s progress?

The relevant Form Tutor (see question below).

Who are the Heads of Year / Heads of Key Stage / Form Tutors?

Please see relevant link below:

Who looks after pupils with SEN D?


Mrs K Hansen Assistant SenCo kh@strs.org.uk

Who are the Heads of Department?


Art Mr Barry O'Neill bjo@strs.org.uk
Biology Mrs Rebecca Zurick rcz@strs.org.uk
Business Studies Mrs Fiona Banks fjb@strs.org.uk
Chemistry Mr Robert Birkett reb@strs.org.uk
Computing Mr Peter Johnson pwj@strs.org.uk
Design Mr Chris Bream cdb@strs.org.uk
Drama Mrs Sarah Jones sej@strs.org.uk
Economics Mrs Fiona Banks fjb@strs.org.uk
English Mrs Clare Saunders crs@strs.org.uk
French Mr Alexander Gregory ajg@strs.org.uk
Geography Mr David Gowler dag@strs.org.uk
Geology Mr David Green dfg@strs.org.uk
German Mrs Birgit Testoni-Ranken btr@strs.org.uk
History Mrs Kim Hansen kh@strs.org.uk
Italian Mrs Jane Hanson jkh@strs.org.uk
Mathematics Mr Kevin Jobson kj@strs.org.uk
Music Mrs Pauline Jones pyj@strs.org.uk
PE Mr Rhys Williams rgw@strs.org.uk
Physics Mr Alan Passey acp@strs.org.uk
Psychology Miss Samantha Load sjl@strs.org.uk
Religious Studies Mrs Deborah Glover djg@strs.org.uk
Science Mr John Buttle jgb@strs.org.uk
Spanish Mr Tom Reece tjr@strs.org.uk
Technology Mr Chris Bream cdb@strs.org.uk

Who are the Senior Management Team?


Headmaster Mr Matthew S.R. Morgan msrm@strs.org.uk
Deputy Headmaster Head of KS4 Mr Chris D.A. Carter cdac@strs.org.uk
Assistant Headteacher Head of KS5 Mr Peter Daniell pmd@strs.org.uk
Deputy Headteacher Learning & Teaching Miss Debbie Brake db@strs.org.uk
Assistant Headteacher Data & Timetable Mr David Dempsey dd@strs.org.uk

Parents' Evenings

When are the Parents' Evenings?


Please see the school calendar

Reports

When will full written reports be sent home?


Please see the school calendar

Examinations

When are Internal (School) exams held?


Please see the school calendar

When are External (Public) exams held?

Each pupil will receive an individual examination timetable. Spare copies are available from Mrs Sylvia Kellaway.

What equipment should be taken into the examination room?

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

When are the GCSE and A Level exam results available?

Please see the school calendar

Examination Preparation Timetable


Please see the school calendar

By what date should school books be returned?

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

When is the Sixth Form induction?

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

When is the ‘new’ Year 7 induction?

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

Sports

Who do I contact regarding extracurricular / sports fixtures or Curriculum PE?

Mr Rhys Williams Director of Sport rgw@strs.org.uk

What sports kit is required for each activity?

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

Uniform

Where can I buy school uniform?

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

What are the uniform expectations?

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

Cashless Catering

What is the School's Cashless Catering System?

Please see this FAQ document about the school's Cashless Catering System.