Frequently Asked Questions

Panoramic

 

Please select from the Frequently asked Questions below…

HOW CAN PARENTS BE INVOLVED IN THEIR CHILD’S LEARNING?

Parents are involved in their child’s learning in many ways;

Academic support:

Attending parents’ evenings and raising achievement days. Discussing end of year reports. Helping set targets for learning. Contacting school if they have a concern.

Study support:

Helping with homework and coursework. Signing their child’s planner each week. Encouraging their child to do personal study (other than homework). Ensuring homework is completed before going out. Asking teacher(s) how they could best support at home. Encouraging reading at home. Trying to create a suitable set of conditions for doing homework.

Behaviour support:

Meeting with teacher(s) to discuss behaviour If appropriate, signing their child’s monitoring or full school report sheet on a daily basis. Discussing any misbehaviour with their child and supporting the school rules and sanctions put in place.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF PARENT GOVERNORS?

Every school has a Governing Body.  The key role of the Governing Body is to act as the ‘critical friend’ to the school, supporting our self-evaluation work, questioning the evidence base with us and supporting how we respond.  Therefore, as a team, Governors are responsible to parents, the LA, the DCSF and the wider community, making sure the school provides a good quality education and promotes high standards of educational achievement.

One way you can get involved with your child’s education is by becoming a parent governor.  As full members of the Governing Body your task is to represent parents’ viewpoints in the Governing Body’s work.  Although there are no financial rewards from being a parent governor you can achieve personal satisfaction from performing an important public service.  It also enables you to build effective and valuable relationships with many of the school’s partners.

WHAT DOES THE SCHOOL DAY LOOK LIKE?

MONDAY – FRIDAY

Timing of the school day

Our school day runs with the following structure and students follow a two–week timetable

8.30 am                Individual 1:1 progress interviews with tutors

8.40 am                 Tutor time – structured activities to support literacy/PSHE

9.10 am                 Period 1

10.10 am              Break

10.25 am              Period 2

11.25 am              Period 3

12.25 pm              Lunch break

13.15 pm              Period 4

14.15 pm              Period 5

15.15 pm              End of formal school day

Please note that on Wednesday afternoons, students in Years 7,8 and 9 undertake Enrichment activities from 14.15 – 15.15

Assemblies are primarily arranged by house blocks but may also be organised in Year groupings depending on appropriateness.  These are scheduled for one morning a week during tutor time.

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY CHILD IS BEING BULLIED?

Relationships between young people can be very rewarding and positive but when they go wrong people can be upset.  Sometimes they hurt each other thoughtlessly or accidentally.  However, if any child sets out systematically and deliberately to humiliate or hurt another, this is bullying behavior and will always be treated extremely seriously

If you suspect there is a problem contact your child’s Tutor straight away.

Here are some ideas suggested by Childline about how you can deal with bullying.  Think about your situation, and what options might be best for you.

Don’t ignore bullying, it won’t go away on its own and it may get worse. Tell someone you trust – a teacher, parent or friend. Remember, it’s not your fault.  No one deserves to be bullied.

Here are some other things you might want to try:

Keep a record and save any nasty texts or emails that you have been sent. Try to stay away from bullies or stay with a group when you feel unsafe. Try not to retaliate – you could get into trouble or get hurt. Try to act confident – even if you don’t feel it.

Call Childline for extra help on 0800 1111

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK MY CHILD IS STRUGGLING WITH CLASSWORK AND/OR HOMEWORK?

It is always better to address these sorts of concerns sooner rather than later.  We suggest that you;

1. Contact the classroom teacher by phone or email (these details are listed under the question ‘how can I contact your child’s teachers’?) Click Here

2. If you still have concerns then contact the subject leader for that department (again details can be found Click Here).

 

HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD WITH THEIR HOMEWORK?

Parental support for homework is essential.  Monitor homework to make certain that it is completed, and that your child is able to do it.  If your child is having difficulty with homework, this may be an early warning sign of a problem that you should discuss with your child’s teacher.

Homework is a window into what is being taught in the classroom.  If you know what your child is studying, you can take advantage of opportunities to extend that learning.

Parents can help their children organise for homework in the following ways:

  • Set aside a place for homework to be done; this can be as simple as the end of the kitchen table or as elaborate as a desk with a lamp in a special place (perhaps your child’s room).
  • Make sure the necessary equipment is available – pencils, rubber, paper, ruler, etc.
  • Set aside a special time for homework each day; don’t wait until your child is nearly ready for bed, it is likely they will be too tired.
  • Insist that the television be turned off so that your child can concentrate; sometimes playing music at low volume helps to mask household sounds.
  • Sign your child’s Planner for the appropriate week and report any concerns to your child’s Tutor via the planner.
  • Help with homework – but don’t do it for them.

HOW DO WE SET INDIVIDUAL TARGETS FOR STUDENTS IN YEAR 7?

The school uses two main pieces of information when setting targets for students in Year 7.  Some subject areas use Fischer Family Trust (FFT)* data, others use their own baseline assessments.

The following subjects have used targets based on prior attainment – a company called FFT.

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • RE

The following subjects have set their own targets based on a baseline task that was given to the students on entry – these subjects start from a much lower level (often entry is at level 2) than the subjects above and therefore the targets may also be lower.

  • Art and design
  • German
  • ICT – this target has a maximum level of 5
  • Music
  • PE
  • Technology

The levels are split into thirds, “a” being high and “c” being low.

* The FFT Data Analysis project produces ESTIMATES of likely attainment. The estimates are calculated for each pupil and, from these, school and LA estimates are calculated. They are called estimates – not predictions or targets – because they provide an estimate of what might happen if pupils make progress that is line with that of similar pupils in previous years.

Why are some targets lower than others?

The FFT* makes “estimates” based on prior attainment and historical data and projects a level of attainment.  This will of course vary considerably pupil to pupil. Foundation subjects start at a much lower level than core subjects, around level 2, so a target of level 4 is the expected 2 level of progress.

Can the targets change?

All targets can potentially change.  If any changes are to take place then subject teachers must provide evidence to support the amendment.  After further consultation a change in target may be agreed by senior members of staff.

Targets are reviewed at least twice a year against assessments and it is in year 9 that pupils may have met or exceeded their target and alterations are made.

 

HOW DO STAFF ARRIVE AT CURRENT ASSESSMENTS’ ON ACADEMIC REPORTS IN YEARS 7,8 & 9?

Throughout year 7 and 8 students are assessed on a mixture of formal assessments and classwork.  The end of year level awarded is a combination of what the students have achieved that year.
In year 9 students are introduced to GCSE RE and Citizenship and complete a GCSE task for each subject.  Other levels through the year are based on a mixture of formal written assessment and classwork.

WHAT IS AVAILABLE THROUGH OUR LEARNING RESOURCE CENTRE (LRC)?

Key Stage 3 students (Years 7, 8 & 9) use the LRC to do Accelerated Reading, whereby students read books and do online quizzes about the book.  This has proved to be very successful in improving students’ reading ability and understanding of books.  A prize draw is held each week for students who achieve 100% on their quizzes.  We also have an end of term pizza party for students who reach their Points Target.

Sixth Form students use the LRC for study periods as it is a quiet space they can study with little distraction.

We also have a computer suite attached to the LRC which is used all the time by students and teachers in the school to do research work, homework and to teach lessons.

There are also a variety of reference books, newspapers and magazines which students can access to help them with their schoolwork and look up any particular hobby or leisure pursuit they may be interested in.

We hold most of the prospectuses for all of the major universities in the UK that Sixth Form students can have a look at to help them choose where they would like to study after leaving school.

The LRC is extremely popular at breaktime and lunchtime, where students are free to use the computers to play games.  We also always have a section which is just solely for the use of students who wish to do homework over their lunch and breaktime.

At lunchtime students can also play board games e.g. draughts. Chess, Connect 4 etc. which proves very popular.

If teachers need a quiet space to speak on a one to one with students it is also a good place for that.

We have a large variety of novels, non fiction books and DVDs, which students can borrow free of charge.

WHAT IS THE HOME-SCHOOL AGREEMENT?

The home-school agreement is a document that spells out the responsibilities of the school and the parents.  It also contains information on what the school expects of its students.  All state school should have a written home-school agreement, which explains the aims and values of the school.  Young people achieve more when schools and parents work together, so this agreement will help you to work with your child’s school.

WHAT TO DO IF; (CHILD ILL, HEAVY SNOWFALL, CHILD NEEDS MEDICATION AT SCHOOL)

My child is ill or cannot attend school?

To report a student absence telephone (0191) 4334026 and press option 2.

 

There has been heavy snowfall?

Check the website

Listen to Radio Newcastle
Telephone the school (0191) 4334026 and press option 1.

 

My child needs to take some medication during the school day?

You should contact the Health Unit who will advise you of the procedures.  The contact number is (0191) 4334026 extension 231.

GENERAL TIPS FOR PARENTS

It would be great if every child were to go from childhood to full adulthood without any hitches.  Many do, but most encounter the occasional physical or emotional hurdle.

Here are some examples, and suggestions, on how you can help your child.

 

Helping your child

Young people can get the blues.  If your child doesn’t seem happy or is acting differently try and find out what is upsetting them.  If nothing seems to work us know, but also check with your child health clinic or contact your GP.

School aged children can be really demanding and irritable.  Even if they are driving you mad, be patient and say that you know they are worried or unhappy.  Under all this moodiness, there may lie lots of hidden anxiety and unhappiness.

Help your child get the best out of their school.  If they seem low and don’t want to go to school, try and find out why and contact the school with your worries.  Remember that we’re here to help.

Young people need, and like, clear guidelines.  Set some ground rules with your teenagers but be prepared to give and take on what they can and can’t do.  You’ll be showing them that you are on their side.

Don’t demand and expect constant love and affection from your children especially if you are feeling low and your children know it.  You could be putting too much of a burden on them and building up layers of guilt and resentment.

Conflict between couples, divorce and separation can cause a lot of anxiety amongst children of any age.  Talk them through what is happening and listen to how they feel.  That way you’ll keep their trust and help them deal with change.

All families go through change.  If your family is going through change allow people to have mixed feelings.  Different family members may feel differently about the same event.  Let everyone express how they feel.  Feelings change in time and we can find ways of getting used to them.

Some children like to have other trusted adults they can talk to – a grandparent, aunt or uncle, a teacher, youth worker or family friend.  Don’t feel threatened if they reach out to someone else.

 

Helping yourself

Remembering the fears and anxieties you felt as a child can help you see what your child might be going through and what reassurance they might need.

Is there something small you can do to make time for yourself?  Make a deal with your children – a trip to the park in exchange for five minutes peace and quiet.  A cup of tea on your own, a hot bath, a chat with your friend.

You may be feeling isolated, guilty and helpless when trying to comfort your child.  You need someone to talk to too – share your feelings with friends, family, partners and other parents or contact Parentline Plus on 0808 800 2222 or visit The Parents Centre website(www.parentscentre.gov.uk).

Trust your own judgement.  If you feel your child is in need of professional help and you are at all uncomfortable with what is being offered or who is doing the offering, go on looking.

When trying to get professional help seems an impossible uphill struggle, talking to friends or other members of your family could help you see other ways to ask for help and how you can get heard.  Contact school to see how we may help.

HOW DO I CONTACT THE SCHOOL NURSE?

  • Your NHS School Nurse can be contacted  on 0191 2832473.
  • There is no longer a School Nurse drop in session in the Academy.
  • Referrals can be made via the Health Unit  0191 4334026 [ Ext 231 ] 

TALKING TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT SEX, RELATIONSHIPS AND GROWING UP

For many parents talking to your child about sex, relationships and growing up can seem difficult. Talking to Your Child About Sex and Relationships is packed with support for mums, dads and carers of children of all ages who want to talk comfortably about sex and relationships.  This booklet is produced by FPA (Family Planning Association), the UK’s leading sexual health charity.  The website address is http://www.fpa.org.uk/

TALKING TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT ALCOHOL

There are well documented and current concerns about young people and ‘binge drinking’ and the links to juvenile nuisance.  A recent survey was conducted on the role of parents/carers in preventing and addressing underage drinking.  It was recognised how the behaviour of parents/carers as role models was very powerful, and shaped children’s attitude towards alcohol.  A useful website which offers further guidance and support is http://familylives.org.uk/advice/teenagers/

TALKING ABOUT DRUGS

Drugs are a fact of life these days, especially for young people – your children, too!  You should know about the dangers they face and how you can help.  The following websites offer support and advice;

http://www.talktofrank.com/

http://www.pada.org.uk/

www.talktofrank.com offers basic, simple and clear information on the A to Z of drugs and their effects. www.pada.org.uk offers support and services to the families of substance users across the country.

Another, more local organisation is SMART (Substance Misuse Awareness Raising and Treatment).  Their contact details are as follows;

SMART Young People’s Service

5C High West Street
Gateshead
NE8 1EH

Tel; 0191 4998110

 

WHAT IS THE 5-POINT CHECKLIST FOR MAKING A HEALTHY LUNCHBOX?

  1. Have you got something from the BREAD, CEREALS AND POTATOES group?Ideas: Wholemeal and white breads, pitta bread, pasta and rice salads.
  2. Have you got something from the FRUIT AND VEGETABLES group?Ideas: Salad in sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, apples, pears, satsumas, bananas, grapes, fruit salad and pure fruit juices.
  3. Have you got something from the MEAT, FISH AND ALTERNATIVES group?Ideas: Slices of ham, chicken and turkey, boiled eggs, canned tuna and salmon, prawns, hummous, mixed nuts and peanut butter.
  4. Have you got something from the MILK AND DIARY FOODS group?Ideas: Milk, Cheddar, Edam, cheese triangle, cottage cheese with pineapple chunks, fruit yogurt, drinking yogurt and pots of rice pudding.
  5. Have you got a drink?Ideas: Milk, drinking yogurt, smoothie, fruit juice, sugar-free squash and water.

TALKING ABOUT SEPARATION AND DIVORCE

There is little that is more traumatic for a young person than the divorce of their parents.  Sadly it is all too common an occurrence.  A young person’s reaction to this depends upon their age and their ability to comprehend what is happening.  Younger people in particular have a hard time dealing with the changes that are occurring at this time.  Consistency is very important to younger people and the trauma of their parents separating is extremely difficult for them to handle.  The loss of routine, the change in daily habits and the loss of friend’s, school and other familiar patterns is especially difficult.  The way in which they are informed of the divorce is significant as well.  Often their ability to cope with the situation depends upon how well or poorly they are told about it.

A useful website is:

http://www.partnershipforchildren.org.uk/

WHAT IS RAISING ACHIEVEMENT DAY?

Raising Achievement Day (RAD) and Parents’ Evening are one of the best opportunities for you to meet teachers to discuss how your child is doing; it is important for you to attend Parents’ Evenings and Raising Achievement Days.

At Lord Lawson of Beamish School we operate an appointment system during our Raising Achievement Days and it is best to make sure you are armed with questions!

 

Tips for Parents’ Evenings and Review Days

Read your child’s school report and relevant progress information.

If the teacher says anything you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask what they mean.

If you feel nervous about meeting teachers, remember they probably feel the same way about meeting parents!

Try to come away with some positive steps for you, your child and teachers to help your child succeed.

If you think a meeting might be difficult, take another adult – a family member or friend – for support and to bring a different perspective to the situation.

Make a few notes of the meeting if it will help you remember what was said and what was agreed.

 Useful questions

  • What are my child’s strengths?
  • Has my child shown any special talents?
  • What is my child finding difficult and how can I help with this?
  • Does my child try hard enough?
  • How can I help with my child’s school work in general?
  • Has my child made sufficient progress since his/her last report?
  • Does my child’s behaviour give cause for concern?
  • Does my child’s attendance give cause for concern?

WHAT ARE OUR ACADEMY POLICIES?

Please find below a list of Lord Lawson Academy Policy documents to download.

WHAT SCHOLAR BUS SERVICE OPERATES FOR LORD LAWSON?

LORD LAWSON of BEAMISH ACADEMY

SCHOLARS SERVICES TIMETABLES 2015

 


 

MORNING SERVICES

864 SERVICE – DEPARTS BIDDICK ARTS CENTRE 08:20

VIA: Worm Hill Terrace, FATFIELD BRIDGE (0822), Bonemill Lane, Vigo Lane, RICKLETON CHAPEL (0826), Vigo Lane, Picktree Lane, Birtley Road, Vigo Bridge, Portobello Road, Birtley Lane. Enter school grounds.

ARRIVES LORD LAWSON OF BEAMISH ACADEMY 08:33

 

872 SERVICE – DEPARTS SPRINGWELL VILLAGE SOCIAL CLUB 08:05

WITHDRAWN SERVICE – AMALGAMATED WITH 874

 

873 SERVICE – DEPARTS SPRINGWELL VILLAGE (School) 08:05

VIA: Springwell Road, Springwell Lane (B1288), Springwell Road (B1296), WREKENTON HIGH STREET (0810), Wrekenton Row, Rockcliffe Way, EIGHTON BANKS (0815), Sheddon’s Hill, Portobello, Birtley Lane, turn and set down in school grounds

ARRIVES LORD LAWSON OF BEAMISH ACADEMY 08:25

 

874 SERVICE – DEPARTS KIBBLESWORTH (TURNING CIRCLE) 07:45

VIA: KIBBLESWORTH (0745), Front Street, Moormill Lane, Long Acre, Lamesley Road, Durham Road, Newcastle Bank, Long Bank, EASDALE GARDENS (0755) Springwell Road, Springwell Lane, Springwell Village, SPRINGWELL SOCIAL CLUB(0800) Springwell Road, Mount Lane, Rockcliffe Way, Sheddons Hill, B 1231, Portobello Road, Birtley Lane , Lord Lawson

ARRIVES LORD LAWSON OF BEAMISH ACADEMY 08:15

 


 

AFTERNOON SERVICES

864 SERVICE – DEPARTS LORD LAWSON OF BEAMISH ACADEMY 15:20

VIA: Non-stop Birtley Lane, Portobello, VIGO BRIDGE (FIRST SET DOWN   POINT), Birtley Road, Picktree Lane, Vigo Lane, RICKLETON CHAPEL(1530), Vigo Lane, Sycamore Avenue, Harraton/Wear Bus Link, Sedling Drive, Ayton Road, Dunlin Drive, AYTON VILLAGE (1535), Fulmar Drive, Ayton Road, Raby Road, OXCLOSE BUS LINK (1537),(Brancepeth Road, Castle Road, Washington Highway, Bonemill Lane, FATFIELD BRIDGE, Worm Hill Terrace, Biddick Lane, BIDDICK ARTS CENTRE(1542), Biddick Lane, Fatfield Road, Parkway, GLEBE BUS LINK (1547) Police Station Bus Link

ARRIVES WASHINGTON BUS STATION 15:50

 

873 SERVICE – DEPARTS LORD LAWSON OF BEAMISH ACADEMY 15:20

VIA: Birtley Lane, Portobello Road, B1288, Springwell Road.

ARRIVES SPRINGWELL, School 15:27

 

874 SERVICE – DEPARTS LORD LAWSON OF BEAMISH ACADEMY 15:20

VIA Birtley Lane, Portobello Road, A1231, Rockcliffe Way, Mount Lane, Springwell Lane, Springwell Village (1530), Springwell Road, Wrekenton(1535), B1296, Easedale Gardens, Harlow Green Lane, Hertford(1542), Chowdene Bank, Lamesley Road, Haggs Lane(1548), Kibblesworth Bank, Kibblesworth Square

ARRIVES KIBBLESWORTH SQUARE 15:56

 

01912033303 – Tony Nelson, Nexus. (33 St James’ Boulevard, NE1 4AX)

 

Go North East – 0845 606 0260

Kingsley Coaches – 0191 492 1299

Arriva Northumbria – 0191 388 1109

 

 

 

 

CAN I ACCESS INFORMATION ABOUT MY CHILD ONLINE?

You will have been issued a password and user name from your child’s tutor, for Lord Lawsons

E-portal system. Here you can monitor your childs school information, assesments, grades, behaviour etc. If you require a new password please contact your child’s tutor/ Head of House.

Visit:  E-PORTAL ACCESS

JARGON BUSTER

Assessment Ways of judging how well students are progressing.
Attainment What students accomplish.
Catchment area A defined geographical area from which a school takes its students.
Connexions A youth service providing advice, guidance and support for all 13 to 19 year olds.
Community schools Schools wholly funded by the Local Authority.
Curriculum

All the courses and learning opportunities a school offers, or a course of study being followed by a student.

DCSF

Department for Children and Families. The government department with responsibility for children’s services, families, schools and 14-19 education.

Differentiation

The way in which the school’s curriculum and teaching methods are adapted to meet the needs of children.

ESBD Emotional, Social and Behavioural Difficulties.
Evaluation How well did it work?
EWO

Education Welfare Officer – a person employed by the Local Authority to make sure that children are getting the education they need. They deal mainly with school attendance. Our EWO is Karen Mullinder.

Exclusion

Exclusion means that your child may not attend lessons or go on the school premises for a set period of time, or permanently in some cases.

GCSE

General Certificate of Secondary Education

IEP

Individual Education Plan – drawn up by a school’s SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-Coordinator.) It sets targets for a student to achieve and a date for a review of progress.

ICT

Information and Communication Technology – refers to the whole area of computers.

INSET days

In-Service Education and Training. INSET days are set aside to allow teachers to update their skills and knowledge in order to raise student achievement.

Key Stage

Your child’s progress through school is measured in Key Stages. Key Stage 1 covers students from 5-7. Key Stage 2 from 7-11, Key Stage 3 from 11-14, Key Stage 4 from 14-16 and Key Stage 5 16-18.

LA

Local Authority. A body responsible for providing education for students of school age in its area. It also has responsibility for early years, the youth service and adult education.

Learning difficulty

If a child has a learning difficulty s/he finds it muchharder to learn than most children of the same age.

National Curriculum

The basic framework setting out what children aged 5 to 16 in state schools should learn.

OFSTED

Office For Standards in Education – the body which inspects schools.

Progression Do students move forward with their learning?
PRU

A Pupil Referral Unit is a centre that can provide part-time or full-time support for children who are currently not attending school or who need additional help with their behaviour or learning.

SATs

Standard Assessment Tests – which check children’s progress.

SEN

Special Educational needs. Learning difficulties, talents or other needs, for which a child requires special help. One in five children may have some sort of learning difficulty during their school life.

SENCO Special Educational Needs Co-Coordinator. The teacher in a school who is responsible for arranging the extra help for children with special educational needs. Our SENCO is Mrs Sue Turner.
Specialist School Schools who use government grants and business sponsorship to improve their facilities and resources in a particular area. Lord Lawson of Beamish School is a specialist school in Art and Applied Learning.
Statement A document that sets out a child’s needs and all the extra help (provision) s/he should get.
Targets The individual goals set for a student. Targets are a way of checking a student’s progress.
Work Experience

A system which allows students approaching the end of their secondary education the opportunity to take part in work placements.

Students