Above all else the well being and happiness of every child that attends Sedgefield Community College is our prime concern. Whilst we are confident, that we can maximise every child’s learning potential and ensure that this will result in high achievement, we are equally confident that we can provide a safe and caring environment in which each child that joins our school can flourish and grow.
We recognise that for both parents and children, joining a secondary school can be a daunting experience, however we know from experience that the caring ethos that is shared by all adults at Sedgefield and the structures that we have created successfully makes the transfer from primary to secondary school relatively stress free, and in most instances enjoyable for the child.
Crucial to this process of transfer from primary to secondary school is close communication between schools. To allow this to happen, Sedgefield employs a Transition Support Assistant (Mrs Anderson) to work between schools during year six/seven getting to know students whilst in their Primary schools and making arrangements to meet specific needs BEFORE they arrive at the Community College. Then when in year seven Mrs Anderson is that friendly face who will help a child settle into their new environment and find friends if they don’t already have existing friendship groups.
Working alongside Mrs Anderson is our Student well being Coordinator (Mrs Spencer) who will have a detailed knowledge of each child well before they arrive at Sedgefield and will structure support programmes to ensure those that need this extra support receive it at the right time during the transition programme.
Parent/school communication is crucial during this stage for some students, and parents are encouraged to not wait until their child starts at Sedgefield to contact us if they have any concerns. Rather please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Upon entry to Sedgefield Community College each of our students is allocated to a tutor group. The Tutor takes initial responsibility for the pastoral welfare of each child in that group, and in most instances can help resolve any issue that a child or parent may have. However, each year group also has a Year Group Manager, this person works closely with the Tutor and can provide the ‘next level’ of support should a child/parent require it. Indeed Year Group Managers have overall responsibility for the students in their year group. They also lead their team of Tutors and help the Tutor monitor student progress on a day to day basis as well as supporting students general care and welfare.
Year Group Managers have the overview of student progress and a responsibility to co-ordinate student learning support and intervention programmes when required.
Parents that need information or who have a problem concerning their child should contact their child’s Tutor initially.
If helpful or necessary, a meeting with the Year Manager can easily be arranged by contacting school. The Headteacher, Deputy Headteachers and Assistant Headteachers are always ready to meet parents if required.
We encourage parents to contact us about any matters or concerns as soon as they arise and about any unusual difficulties experienced by their children. This means we can usually resolve issues before they become too troublesome.
Conduct and Discipline
A major aim of Sedgefield Community College is to develop in every student a sense of responsibility, self discipline and respect for the rights of others. This begins with the building of good relationships between staff and students and among students themselves.
The college aims to treat all students with understanding and recognises fully the need to give our students the opportunity to develop personal and social skills.
Within this framework we expect a very high standard of behaviour and a willingness to follow the rules of the college and all instructions given by staff. The vast majority of our students understand this and behave in a responsible manner, obeying the college rules on conduct, discipline, attendance, completion of work, including homework and the wearing of uniform.
Sedgefield Community College recognises that bullying is a major concern for many students, parents and teachers and that it can affect a child’s college attendance and performance. Bullying affects everyone: not just the bullies and victims. It also affects other children who may witness the aggression of the bully and the distress of the victim.
At Sedgefield we believe that all forms of bullying (verbal or physical) are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We encourage our students to talk about bullying, not only in the classroom but on an individual basis. We want them to feel confident in telling an adult and not to feel they are ‘telling tales’.
If you think your child is being bullied or involved in bullying in any way, we can only take appropriate action if we receive this information. Every reported incident is dealt with promptly.
Attendance – an absolute priority
Sedgefield Community College’s policy on attendance is quite simple. Every student is expected to attend on every occasion the college is open. The only acceptable exception is when illness or injury is so serious that it prevents the student from attending college. Every absence at Sedgefield Community College is followed up and checked.
Parents should be aware that daily attendance at school is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5-16 and that is their legal responsibility that their children attend college on a regular basis. Failure to ensure attendance can result in instant ‘fines’.
Research carried out both nationally and within Sedgefield Community College shows that daily attendance is the biggest single factor in helping students to achieve above average examination results. To allow your child to miss college for any non-medical reasons is not in his/her best interest and likely to have an unnecessary negative effect on their progress. Non attendance also places children at risk and in some cases can result in students being drawn into anti-social or criminal behaviour.
There are of course isolated special circumstances for absence such as attending a funeral or keeping a specialist hospital appointment.
We ask parents to consider very seriously the educational consequences of taking children on holiday during term time. Any financial saving is unlikely to outweigh the educational cost to your child. Hays Travel currently offer 10% discount on any holiday taken during holiday time.
What to do when your child is unavoidably absent
Parents are asked to let the school know of an absence by telephoning (01740 617884) before 8.45am. After the period of absence and on return to school, please give your child a signed and dated note confirming the length of absence.
If the school is unaware of the reason for your child’s absence we will make every effort to contact you on the first day your child is absent either by telephone, text, email or by letter. It is therefore appreciated that you let the college know as soon as possible of any absence.
The college employs the services of Education Welfare Assistants to work alongside our staff to ensure good attendance of all students.
Faye Henderson is our Attendance Officer and can be contacted on 01740 617884.