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'Success in Partnership'

THE SCHOOL AIMS

Our main aim is to provide the highest quality education and training for all of our students. We believe a safe, caring, yet work-centred environment provides the best chance of ensuring that your child has a happy and rewarding experience here. Well-qualified staff are fully experienced in teaching young people with problems that hinder learning and all are committed to developing your child’s talents to the full. We develop a sense of community where we encourage consideration, respect for others, good manners, self-esteem, self-control, responsibility and the ability to work independently and with others. Our intention is that all of our students will take on their responsibilities as valued citizens in an ever-changing world.

THE CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 3, students study all subjects that are their entitlement within National Curriculum guidelines.

All Key Stage 4 students follow a two year course in English, Mathematics, Science, Technology and PSHCE. There are Options in Independent Living, Preparing for Work, Textiles, Art, Sports Leadership, ASDAN Youth Award and Personal and Social Development. Students follow a course which reflects their academic ability gaining either Entry Level Pathways, Functional Skills or GCSE qualifications from AQA, EDEXCEL or WJEC examining bodies.

Personal and Social Development/Lifeskills is studied by students according to their needs.

The school is committed to the Halton Healthy School Standard.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

The School follows the Halton Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Teaching is based on Christianity but other major religions in Britain are also examined. Each day contains an act of worship. If you do not want your child to attend short acts of worship, which are held in the school, you should let us know so that suitable alternative arrangements can be made.

SEX EDUCATION AND RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION

The biological aspects of sex education are a legal requirement in the Science National Curriculum. The study of sex organs, puberty and how babies are made, are a legally required part of the Science curriculum and parents cannot withdraw their children from these lessons.

Sex and Relationship Education includes the moral aspects, which cover relationships, marriage, parenthood, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS, are related to students’ ages and experience. Parents may withdraw their child from these lessons if they wish but the School Governors and staff strongly believe moral guidance is equally important if students are to grow into well-informed and responsible adults. All teaching materials are available for inspection.

SCHOOL COMMITTEES

We are a listening community whose citizens are driven by a desire to work in partnership to achieve high performance across all tasks.

The school maintains a very high profile both locally and nationally for the opportunities it provides in supporting student democracy.

Our students are recognised as special not for how their disabilities might find description but for what they can achieve. All students and staff sit on form councils, which are in direct communication with student Council, other student Committees and Governors.

School Council has won Speakers School Council Award for the last 3 years. We have a designated school council chamber, which has hosted people from all walks of life, the famous and not so famous. As exemplars of active citizenship our school community has been quoted in a number of government documents.

We have featured in a Channel 4 programme and were one of eight schools chosen to launch citizenship education in London. "Eco Schools" has identified the school as a leader in the field of environment education. Our school ethos is nurtured by a corporate commitment to study the life and writings of Anne Frank. Anne Frank was a victim of racial abuse yet never lost her faith in humankind. Our Anne Frank committee has worked closely with the Anne Frank Trust UK and students attend the annual Holocaust Memorial Day event in Liverpool.

CAREERS EDUCATION AND GUIDANCE

Careers Education is taught as part of the PHSCE curriculum in Years 9-11. It aims to develop students’ knowledge of their skills and abilities, the world in which they live and the choices and opportunities available to them when they leave school.

Students in their final year produce a Record of Achievement which contains a Personal Statement and evidence of their Academic and non-academic achievements.

The school organises educational visits, speakers from work-based training providers and work closely with Career Connect and the Local Education Business partnership.

All students have the opportunity of two weeks work experience in Year 11. Students are well-prepared for this and all study towards Workplace Hazard Awareness certificate which is awarded by the Health and Safety Executive of the British Safety Council. Completion of their student logbook is a vital part of their ASDAN Youth Award and PSD accreditation.

All students in Years 9, 10 and 11 receive their entitlement to independent Careers advice and guidance from Career Connect.

EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Extra-curricular activities at Ashley High school will provide equal opportunities and access for all in order to develop positive attitudes and provide links with the wider community. There are opportunities for all of our students to engage in a range of after school sports clubs delivered by staff at school as well as external providers such as the Widnes Vikings and Everton in the Community. Sports include visits to leisure centres, all racquet games, gymnastics, dance, basketball, Duke of Edinburgh football, Kinball and many more. The school is also committed to attending inter-school competitions where students will experience the values of being in a team in a competitive environment where representation for borough and county sports may be achieved.

Lunch time clubs include ICT club, Art Club, Gym Club and Homework Club.

COMMUNITY LINKS

We pride ourselves on our links with the local community and this includes other schools, business, industry and recreational establishments. We see this as a two-way process where both our students and our community partners receive benefits.

CHARGES FOR SCHOOL ACTIVITIES

Occasional educational visits are made to reinforce work in the classroom. By law we cannot charge for these but we will request a voluntary contribution to cover admission and travel costs. However, no student will be prevented from going on financial grounds.

HOME AND SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP

The school has a Home/School Agreement Plan. We believe that students learn better when teachers and parents work together. To help your child we need your full co-operation. Our doors are always open and your child’s form tutor will be only too pleased to meet you. If you have a more serious concern, please make an appointment with the appropriate teacher or Headteacher.

RECORDS AND ASSESSMENT

All students have their own targets for each subject that they are taught. Your child’s progress is assessed each term and any serious concerns will be discussed with you. A written report is sent out mid-year and at the end of the academic year. We also select work throughout your child’s time at Ashley High and record other school or outside activities and awards to compile a Record of Achievement which is presented when they leave. Parents’ Evenings are held once a year when you can meet your child’s teachers and discuss progress and achievements and Annual Reviews are carried out on a termly basis. Special Educational Needs Statements and Education, Health and Care Plans are reviewed on an annual basis.

HOMEWORK

We believe that learning at home as well as at school is an essential part of our students’ education. It is an essential part of the learning journey in all subjects across school.

On average a student should expect to receive the following:-

  • Yrs 7,8 & 9: anywhere between 1 hour to 1 ˝ hours per week
  • Yr 10: anywhere between 1 hour to 2 hours per week
  • Yrs 11: anywhere between 1 hour to 2 ˝ hours per week. Students will be allocated homework depending on the exam subjects being studied.

(The suggested times are a guidance for minimum – maximum task requirements)

SUPPORT SERVICES

Ashley High School is supported by several other specialist services: School Nurse – lessons, drop in at lunchtimes etc.

Speech and Language Therapist - Works with students who experience a range of speech, language and communication difficulties. Provides:

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  • Assessment
  • Individual and group programmes
  • Classroom based targets
  • Monitoring of progress and input into Annual Reviews
  • Advice to parents and teachers regarding appropriate strategies to support individuals.

EDUCATION WELFARE OFFICER

Has contact with the school and parents on any matters regarding non-attendance.

EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Occasionally works with the teaching staff on specific teaching programmes and is involved in assessments of students’ educational needs. Parents are always consulted when a formal assessment is required and results are discussed with you.

SOCIAL WORKER

We do encourage and welcome full participation in all meetings and discussions where a social worker or other professional is involved with a family. The school has a designated teacher and governor for students in Public Care.

Other support services e.g. Barnados etc.

ADVISER FOR HEARING IMPAIRED

Liaises with staff to support the needs of students with hearing problems.

MINIBUS

Members of staff who drive the minibus have completed the MIDAS Driver Accreditation course.

CARE AND DISCIPLINE

We are aware that we share responsibility with parents. We control movement about the School, supervise students at play and encourage a sensible independence. By praise and positive values, we discourage physical and verbal bullying and instil a caring attitude to other students and adults in the school. Each classroom has clearly displayed rules. There are also rules for playground behaviour. Praise, certificates, privileges, letters to parents, tokens for the tuck shop etc, all reward good behaviour. Poor behaviour has consequences from a warning to removal from the class, detention, parental contact, internal exclusion and in very serious cases fixed term exclusion or permanent exclusion. For some students, an individual behaviour plan or pastoral support plan will be set up by the form tutor and taught to the student. Parental support is expected and is vital if the School is to be safe for everyone.

COMPLAINTS OR CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY STUDENTS, PARENTS, STAFF OR VOLUNTEERS

We recognise that listening to students is an important and essential part of safeguarding them against abuse and neglect. To this end expression of dissatisfaction or disquiet in relation to an individual student will be listened to and acted upon in order to safeguard his/her welfare.

We will also seek to ensure that the student or adult who makes a complaint is informed not only about the action the school will take but also the length of time that will be required to resolve the complaint. The school will also endeavour to keep the student or adult regularly informed as to the progress of his/her complaint.

MEALS

Lunches are prepared each day in our own kitchens and students in Years 7-11 must stay for lunch. We encourage a family atmosphere, good eating habits and table manners. Packed lunches may be brought in if parents prefer. Year 11 are allowed to go out of school to purchase lunch which is then brought back to eat in school. This is only allowed with written parental permission.

The cost of a school meal is published at the start of each term. Lunch money, for the week ahead, should be sent in every Monday morning.

ILLNESS

If your child is unwell at school, you will be asked to collect him/her. You will be asked to complete a form with parents or other emergency contact telephone numbers. If your child is absent for any reason, please telephone or send a note of explanation as soon as possible.

MEDICATION

If your child is taking medication, you must fill in the necessary form before it can be administered.

SCHOOL HOURS AND TRANSPORT

Students should arrive in full school uniform between 8.50a.m. – 9.00a.m. School hours are 9.00a.m. to 3.25p.m. If your child comes to school on transport provided by the Halton Education Authority, please make sure your child is at the pick-up point in plenty of time to avoid delay or non-attendance. Transport arrangements are made by Halton Education Authority and will be confirmed to you by letter. Students in Years 10 and 11 take part in Independent Travel Training.

ADMISSIONS

Halton Education Authority administers admissions to Ashley High School. Parents are always welcome and visits can be arranged by contacting the Headteacher. Students are required to have an EHC plan detailing a diagnosis of Autism or Social Communication difficulties. A Placement Panel from the Local Authority will look at individual students’ paperwork and decide if Ashley High School is the best place to meet their needs.

ATTENDANCE

We are constantly trying to find means to improve and encourage our students to attend school regularly. Regular school attendance is of utmost importance to student progress, in all areas of development. It is also a legal requirement of all students until the end of Year 11. A telephone call is required on the first day of absence especially if the absence is likely to be three days or longer. An absence note, to explain the absence, is required. This should be dated and signed by a parent/guardian/carer on the date of return to school. The school cannot record a day to be "authorised" should the reason be unacceptable i.e. unavoidable, or insufficiently explained. In cases of continual unauthorised absences, the Educational Welfare Service may become involved.

HOLIDAY DURING TERM

Absences for this reason are discouraged as the progress and development of students may be affected and they fall behind the rest of the class. Parents requiring authorisation for holidays should apply in advance to the HEADTEACHER.

MEDICAL AND DENTAL APPOINTMENTS

We would ask parents/guardians/carers to make these appointments outside school hours wherever possible. However, we do appreciate some students do travel from quite a distance and this cannot always be possible. However, we would appreciate a dated, signed note in advance wherever possible.

LATENESS

All students should be in their form classroom by 9.00am. After this time a student will be recorded as late. Students should report to the office if late, to record their mark.

SCHOOL CLOSURE

It is the school policy that in the event of severe bad weather or other emergency the school will be closed. It is expected that parents make alternative plans for this VERY RARE eventuality.

UNIFORM

  • Black or navy trousers or skirt.
  • Pale blue shirt and school tie.
  • Navy blue Ashley sweatshirt with school logo*
  • Black shoes. No trainers.
  • For safety reasons, the only jewellery allowed is a watch and stud earrings.

*Available from School.

SPORT & EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Students follow a differentiated national curriculum P.E. programme, gaining experience and knowledge of a variety of sports and activities. They access on and off-site facilities, enjoy coaching from a variety of visiting sporting professionals and have the opportunity to represent the school in leagues, tournaments and festivals. Students also have the chance to represent Halton Borough and Merseyside County at inter-counties events. Ashley High students have found much success here.

Students can extend their achievements in sport and other subject areas within extra-curricular clubs at lunchtime and after school. Clubs are currently running in Art, Computers, Gym, Homework and Pokemon. Students have a direct influence on the clubs available to them and on how they function.

Students benefit from a wide range of residentials and day visits linked to all subject areas, these include a Canal Boat Adventure, Quarry Bank Mill, spectating major sporting events, Theatre-Music-Dance events/concerts, Museum and Art gallery visits, Blue Planet Aquarium, outdoor pursuits week in the Lake District and many more. They enjoy experiences provided by visiting Theatre and Music companies.

Ashley High School works closely with many external agencies to develop new opportunities for personal development within a wide range of interests. Work with Widnes Vikings Rugby League Football Club and Everton Football Club has been recognised as a major success. Activities are constantly reviewed, updated and developed in line with student’s needs and aspirations.

P.E. KIT

  • T-shirt
  • Shorts or gym skirt
  • Sports socks
  • Pumps or trainers
  • Swimming costume or trunks
  • Towel
  • Old trainers/football boots for outdoor activities.

All clothing must be clearly labelled with your child’s name. The Authority does not accept any responsibility for loss of, or damage to, personal property whilst on, or left at, the Authority’s premises.