FAQ for Parents/Carers
What are the times of the academy day?
The day begins at 8.30am and finishes for all students at 2.50pm Mondays and Fridays and 3.40pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The lessons are 50 minutes long. This is designed to maximise the learning experience of all students across a broad curriculum. Throughout the school year, there are a range of after-school clubs and lessons available for students, especially those sitting public examinations. The library is also available for students after academy hours most days of the week.
Is there a Parent Teacher Association?
Yes, we do have a PTA and are always looking for new members. The PTA has over the years helped to strengthen the link between home and the academy. For further information about the PTA please get in touch with Mrs Gawkrodger, Assistant Principal on 0208 405 5070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I get involved with the academy?
There are a variety of ways to get involved including: attending various musical performances and rewards evenings; regularly visiting the academy website, and following us on Twitter. We welcome feedback via email, letter or in person.
Can I see the Excecutive Principal or Heads of Academy?
Of course. However, to ensure your concern is dealt with as swiftly as possible we would ask that you first try the member of staff directly responsible for the issue/enquiry you have. If you need to make an appointment to see the Executive Principal or Heads of Academy then please contact Mrs Harris, PA to the Executive Principal on email@example.com
Who is the best person to contact with general questions about my child?
Your child's form tutor and Assistant Principal are the primary points of contact. If your concern is about the academy or more than one subject, we would recommend you speak to the tutor and then Assistant Principal.
If your concern relates to a subject, then we would recommend the first point of contact being the class teacher, then the Coordinator. In some smaller departments we also have subject leaders who are here to help.
I’m concerned that my child is unhappy – who is the best person to talk to?
In the first instance, the person to contact would be your child’s form tutor. The form tutor will be able to discuss any concerns. Our Progress and Welfare Leaders are also available throughout the day to support students and ensure they are happy during their time at school.
I have emailed my child's form tutor but they haven't replied. What should I do?
All of our staff have a significant teaching commitment. Therefore, it is likely that there is a genuine reason why you have not yet received a reply. The Progress and Welfare team are also able to help in terms of ensuring your concerns are responded to ASAP. You can contact the academy to reach a Progress and Welfare Leader on 0208 405 5070.
What if I have a query about uniform?
Please call the main office and they will assist you with any queries. If you are unsure about purchasing the correct uniform, then please see our Uniform Guide which is designed to provide clarity on our expectations.
What if my child’s shoes break?
Please send your son/daughter in to the academy and the Progress Welfare team will provide a spare pair for his/her use until you are able to purchase a new pair.
What if my child has lost or forgotten his/her tie?
Your child can go to the Student Information Centre and borrow a tie for the day. New ties can be purchased in the Student Information Centre for £3.
Absence and Lateness
Will the academy contact me if my child doesn’t arrive at the academy?
Yes. Ms Hall, our Attendance Officer, closely monitors attendance, and will contact you by phone or text if your child is absent and you have not called in. Please make sure that your contact details are up-to-date. You can contact the Student Information Centre with any change of contact details on 0208 405 5100.
Who do I tell if my child needs to be absent from the academy for a medical appointment?
Please contact the Student Information Centre on 020 8405 5100 if your child is going to be absent from school. Please be aware that medical evidence may be requested for prolonged absence.
My child has broken his/her leg – what should I do?
Once your child is ready to come back to the academy after an injury, we will make necessary arrangements to ensure that he/she can continue to learn at school in a safe environment. We will undertake a risk-assessment with you to ensure you are content with the arrangements in place. Please feel free to call the Student Information Centre to discuss further.
What if I want to take my child on holiday during term time?
Students are expected to attend school for 190 days of the year. We expect students to have strong attendance and not below 95%. Attendance below this seriously jeopardises a child's educational attainment. The academy does not authorise family holidays during term time.
When should my child arrive to the academy?
Your child must be in school by no later than 8.30am.
Will I receive a home visit from the academy if my child is persistently absent from academy?
Yes, perhaps even if you have phoned in. This is intended to be a supportive measure.
How can I find out what level/class my child is streamed into?
Please attend Parents’ Evenings regularly, and contact individual teachers for up-to-date information. Dates for Parents’ Evenings can be found on the school calendar.
Is it okay to email teachers directly?
Yes. There is a link on the academy website that will allow you to do this. We aim to respond to emails within 24-48 hours. If you have not heard from a member of staff in this time then please do contact our main office.
What if I am concerned about my child’s academic progress?
Please contact your child’s teacher, subject leader or Assistant Principal to arrange a meeting to discuss any concerns.
How will I know if my child receives a detention?
The school will contact you by text, phone, letter and/or email if your child receives a detention for more than 15 minutes (or after-school detention). Please ensure your contact details are up-to-date to avoid any issues with communication. You can contact the Student Information Centre with any change of contact details on 0208 405 5070.
I’d like to discuss my child’s behaviour outside of school – who is the best person to speak to?
Your child’s Assistant Principal is available to discuss any queries you may have and can direct you to the person most suited to support. Please be aware that we sanction students for misbehaviour outside of academy hours. All students are expected to leave the high street 30 minutes after academy hours. This is in place to keep students safe.
Enrichment Clubs – Does my child have to attend every week or can they drop in?
Your child is welcome at enrichment clubs whenever they want to attend. However, some extra-curricular activities such as academy performances may require committed attendance to avoid letting others down. A copy of the numerous enrichment clubs are available on our website.
How much homework should my child receive?
We aim to set students in key stage 3 (Year 7, 8 and 9) at least one piece of meaningful homework each night. In key stage 4 (Year 10 and 11) there is usually one/two pieces per night. However, this will vary at more demanding times in the school year. In addition to this, all students have a reading book and we encourage them to spend around 15-20 minutes reading each day. Sixth Form students are expected to use their independent study sessions as well as wider reading to support their learning, as well as completing formal homework set. ‘Show my homework’ is used as a device to set homework by our teachers at Harris Academy South Norwood.
Who do I contact about homework?
Please contact your child’s teacher to discuss any homework queries.
How do I apply for a place during the academic year?
All in-year transfer requests are made directly to the academy by completing an In-Year Admissions Form. The school is heavily oversubscribed in every year group so there is likely to be a waiting list for a place. For information about admissions please contact our Admissions Officer, Mrs Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I apply for my child to attend Harris Academy South Norwood in Year 7?
For admissions into Year 7, parents/carers are required to complete an application form by the specified deadline. The governing body is responsible for admissions and applies oversubscription criteria in the event that there are more applications than places available.
Special Education Needs (SEN)
Who should I contact about my child’s special education needs?
Please contact your child’s form tutor to discuss queries around your son/daughter’s SEN needs. Alternatively, please contact our Assistant Principal for Inclusion, for queries regarding provision available for your child's specific needs.