What are the times of the school day? There are six, 50 minute periods during the day. This is designed to maximise the learning experience of all students across a broad curriculum. The day begins at 8.40am (however we like pupils to be on the yard at 8.36am lined up and ready to go to form with their Form Tutor) and finishes for all students at 3.10pm. Throughout the school year, there will be a range of after-school clubs and lessons available for students, especially those sitting public examinations. Years 7, 8 and 11 go on first lunch 12:40-1:30pm. Years 9 and 10 go on second lunch 1:30-2:20pm. Breaktime is 10:40-11am.
Where can I pick up/drop off my child from school?
Please do not drive up to the main school gates to drop off/pick up your child as it is a health and safety concern. Safe drop off/pick up points are the Leisure Centre, the multi storey car park and Tesco car park.
Is there a Parent/Teacher/Friends Association (PTFA)? Yes, we do have a PTFA and are always looking for new members. The PTFA was relaunched in recent years to help strengthen the link between home and school, while raising money to help invest in the education of the children of the school. For further information about The PTFA please get in touch with Mrs Louise Penny, Business Manager on 01495 765800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I get involved with the school? There are a variety of ways to get involved including: parent council, parent forums, PTFA, attending various sporting, musical and liturgical performances; regularly visiting the school website and following us on Twitter. We welcome feedback via email, letter or in person too.
What’s the easiest way to contact the school?
Please download our Parent App – School Comms if you haven’t already done so. This is a free, convenient messaging service that allows the school to communicate with parents. This is our primary form of communication with home to let you know about visits, sports tournaments, exams, revision sessions, achievements, behaviour, attendance and so on. It is also a great way for you to communicate with the school as it allows you to send us a message, for example, if your child is unwell, you would like to arrange a meeting with a member of staff or if you simply have a question to ask us.
Can I see the Headteacher? 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 or your child’s Head of Year. If you need to make an appointment to see the Headteacher then please contact Mrs Louise Penny, PA to Headteacher email@example.com
Can my child take their mobile phone to school?
Yes they can but it must be switched off and not used throughout the school day 8:40-3:10pm. If a pupil urgently needs to contact home or vice versa then emergency calls can be made via the main office.
Who is the best person to contact with general questions about my child? Your child’s Form Tutor and Head of Year are the primary points of contact. If your concern is about school or more than one subject, we would recommend you speak to the tutor and then head of year.
If your concern relates to a subject, then we would recommend the first point of contact being the class teacher, then Head of Department.
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 or Head of Year, to ensure they are happy during their time at school.
I have emailed my child’s head of year 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 you have not yet received a reply. The pastoral team are supported by an administrative assistant, Mrs Jayne Howells, who manages their diaries. If you contact Mrs Jayne Howells she will be able to help in terms of ensuring your concern is responded to ASAP. You can contact Mrs Howells at school via firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I have a query about uniform? Please call the main office or the pastoral team and they will assist you with any queries. If you are unsure about purchasing the correct uniform, then please see our Uniform Expectations Guide which is designed to provide clarity on our expectations.
What if my child has lost or forgotten his/her tie? Your son/daughter can go to the main office and borrow a tie for the day if they have forgotten or lost their existing one. New ties can be purchased from Pretty Miss in Cwmbran.
Absence and Lateness
Will the school contact me if my child doesn’t arrive at school? Yes. Mrs Sarah Holcombe, our Attendance Officer, closely monitors attendance, and will contact you by email, text or phone call if your child is absent and you have not informed us. To report your child’s absence please call 01495 765800 option 1 or message us via our Parent App – SchoolComms. You must give a specific reason such as flu/sickness bug, we are unable to authorise ‘unwell’ as a reason for absence. Please make sure that your contact details are up-to-date. You can contact the school office with any change of contact details on 01495 765800.
Who do I tell if my child needs to be absent from school for a medical appointment? Whilst we prefer medical appointments to occur outside of school hours, please contact Mrs Sarah Holcombe, Attendance Officer on 01495 765800 option 1 or message us via our Parent app – SchoolComms if your child is going to be absent from school. Please be aware that medical evidence may be requested for prolonged absence and evidence should always be provided in advance of medical appointments. If it is possible your child should attend before and/or after the medical appointment.
My child has broken a limb – what should I do? Once your child is ready to come back to school 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 main office 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 96%. Attendance below this seriously jeopardises a child’s educational attainment. The school does not authorise family holidays during term time.
When should my child arrive to school? Your child should arrive at school by 8.36am to line up on the yard ahead of morning registration at 8.40am.
Will I receive a home visit if my child is persistently absent from school? Yes, perhaps even if you have phoned in. This is intended to be a supportive measure. The visit will likely be carried out by one of the Education Welfare Officers for Torfaen who monitor attendance at schools in the Borough.
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. Approximately every 6 weeks a progress report will be sent home via the school app to give up to date progress information.
Is it okay to email teachers directly? Yes. We aim to respond to emails within 24-48 hours during term time. If you have not heard from a member of staff in this time then please do contact the main office.
What if I am concerned about my child’s academic progress? Please contact your child’s teacher, subject leader or head of year to arrange a meeting to discuss any concerns.
How will I know if my child receives a detention? The school will record the detention either in the pupils planner or let you know via the school app. Please ensure your contact details are up-to-date to avoid any issues with communication. You can contact the school office with any change of contact details on 01495 765800.
I’d like to discuss my child’s behaviour outside of school – who is the best person to speak to? Please contact your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year.
After School Clubs – does my child have to attend every week or can they drop in? Your child is welcome at after-school clubs whenever they want to attend. However, some extra-curricular activities such as school performances may require committed attendance to avoid letting others down. A copy of the numerous lunchtime and after-school 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.
Who do I contact about homework? If you have questions about homework then please raise these with your child’s Head of Year or alternatively Mrs Emma Read, Assistant Head and Head of Teaching and Learning.
How do I apply for a place during the academic year? All in-year transfer requests are made directly to the school by completing an Admissions Form. For information about admissions please contact our Admissions Assistant, Miss Claire Williams on 01495 765800.
How do I apply for my child to attend St Alban’s RC High School 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. For any queries please contact our Admissions Assistant, Miss Claire Williams on 01495 765800.
Additional Learning Needs
Who should I contact about my child’s additional learning needs? Please contact your child’s teacher to discuss queries around your son/daughter’s additional learning needs. Alternatively, please contact our ALNCO Mr Richard McLennan on 01495 765800, for queries regarding provision available or your child’s specific needs.