This document has been written to reassure pupils joining us in Year 7, September 2021.  While Covid-19 impacts upon our typical day to day ways of working, some of our usual processes will have to alter but hopefully it won’t be too long before we are back to Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School’s ‘normal’.


Before you start in September, we will send you clear instructions on where to enter the site and our safety procedures so these are not included here.  Instead, we’ve aimed to give you a flavour of what ‘normal’ will look like when we get back to school fully.  

You should arrive at school by 8.35am each day. You can only enter the site via the main gate on Woodbrooke Road The school gate closes at 8.45am if you are late a member of the senior leadership team who is on late duty will speak to you. If you are late, you will receive a late detention after school.

Once you are on the school site, you can go to the playground, the canteen or the library. You could arrange to meet a friend but if you do not know anyone else, do not worry. There will be many staff about who are keen to meet you. They will welcome you to reassure you and guide you, especially in the first few days as you get to know new faces.

You must be at your form room by 8.40am.
It is best practice to catch the bus that will get you into school with plenty of time to spare. Do not risk being late by catching a bus that just gets you in before 8.35 am. If you do miss your bus, do not worry - get the next bus. If you arrive at school after the gates have closed, go straight to the main gate, press the buzzer and then a member of staff from reception will let you in and direct you to the attendance office.
It is important to check how much money you have on your Wisepay account every day. If you forget the canteen staff can help you, or you can go to your House Office, where your Head of House will be able to help you. Remember we are a cashless school so reminding your parents to check your account is vital so that you can make any purchases on site.
Making a checklist of things you will need each day when you start will help you to be organised. It is useful to check your bag each day before you leave too but sometimes we forget things. If you leave your packed lunch at home, you should go to your House Office where someone will be able to help you.
If you do not bring your kit, you will be given kit from the PE department to wear. This is not optional. Your PE kit should be one of the things on your checklist for the evening before PE lessons. You will receive a negative and detention for not bringing your kit.

When you first start with us, we know that you will be getting used to the timetable so staff may make allowances if you forget your kit in the first week or so.
It's normal to feel worried about making big changes like starting a new school or meeting new friends but don't worry. Everyone in Year 7 is in the same situation. If you do feel nervous, you should talk to your Form Tutor who you will see every day during registration. They will be able to give you some strategies to cope with the nerves that we get when we start something new.

You can also talk to the Prefects who are Year 10 and 11 pupils. They wear green ties so you can identify who they are. A Prefect will always be willing to listen and help you.
You should make sure that you pay attention when your teacher is setting your homework so that you get all of the details you need recording in your planner.

Sometimes, even though we try, we do not always understand our homework when we get home. If this happens, you should go and see your teacher as soon as you can but definitely before the work is due to be handed in. If you do not complete your homework properly, your teacher will place you into Progress Club where you will be able to get some support with the homework. You can also go to homework club that runs 3 times per week.

At the homework club, you will find help and encouragement too. We will let you know which room homework club will be in when you start in September.

Avoid leaving homework until the last minute. That is often when problems occur.
The best way to avoid this is to pack your bag each evening before school so that you are ready for the day ahead and you do not have any distractions before you leave the house.

If you do forget to bring your homework, you need to go and speak to your teacher before the lesson. Do not wait until it is due to be handed it in.

Teachers will issue a negative if homework is not handed in on time and you will have to attend Progress Club.
You will have a timetable that you will write into your planner that will include 5 lessons each day. Every day you will need your stationery and you will need the books and homework for the lessons of the day. Your bag should be packed and checked against your planner each evening.

Do not bring every book you have every day because that is a lot of books to carry. It is a good idea to keep a box at home where you store your books so that they do not get lost when you take them out of your bag.

You will have PE each week. You must remember to wash your kit ready for the next week so that it is clean and fresh. When you are deciding on which school bag to buy ready for September make sure you consider being able to fit your PE kit, your books and even your lunch in at the same time.
You can wear a coat to school but you are not allowed to wear coats in school. You will be directed to remove it as soon as you enter a building. You can store it in your locker during the day. Make sure that all of your possessions are labelled with your name.
When a member of staff raises their hand straight up in the air, this indicates that you need to be silent. You should raise your hand immediately, stop doing whatever you are doing and be silent. Leadership will raise their hand at the end of every lunch sitting for an orderly dismissal.
As silly as it sounds, start practising now. You could ask for some help at home or you could watch a ‘how to’ video on Youtube.
Each lesson will last for 60 minutes. We do not have bells here so your teacher will tell you when a lesson is drawing to a close and it is time to move to your next lesson. You will be expected to walk into your classrooms sensibly and quietly, take out your equipment and wait to be invited to be seated. All of your teachers will have allocated you a seat when you first begin so you will know where you are to sit.

Each lesson will be different. You will usually have a book for a lesson where you will capture all of your learning. Teachers will give you feedback in your books too so it is essential that you keep them safe, neat and tidy, and take them to each lesson.

Lessons are chunked into sections by the teacher so that your learning is being built upon over the hour. Some of the ways that we help you to learn and recall knowledge are: quizzing, using knowledge organisers, experiments and practicals, reading, discussing ideas and topics and recording or reporting through writing.

We will check your progress through regular assessments and give you feedback on how to improve or develop your ideas.
Any lost property is handed in to one of the House Offices and stored in the uniform cupboard. It is always worth retracing your steps so that you visit the rooms that you have been in before you realised that your item was not with you. Make sure that you label everything with your name.
If you do not feel very well during a lesson, let the teacher know. They will assess the situation and call for a first aider if they deem it necessary. If you feel unwell during break or lunch time speak to a member of staff on duty.
You can buy snacks and drinks from the canteen or hall at break time. You can eat the items that you buy in there. A whistle will go to let you know that it is the end of break time.

At lunch you stay in the canteen or hall to eat your lunch sitting quietly with your friends. Staff will dismiss you at the end of lunch to allow you to get to lessons on time.
DECS is a Telling School and we encourage you to tell us if something or someone is bothering you. You can tell your Form Tutor who you will see every morning or you can report issues to your Head of House too. You can speak to the Anti Bullying Ambassadors (ABAs), they wear light blue ties to help you recognise them.

. Do not keep things bottled up; share them and we can help to sort problems out.
Yes. We encourage pupils to bring their bikes to school to help them to stay healthy. We encourage pupils to bring their bikes to school to help them to keep healthy. We have bike shelters where you can lock up your bike. You must provide your own lock. We expect you to wear a helmet, use lights, and ride safely. You should use cycle paths when riding to and from school if they are available. You are not allowed to ride your bike on-site; you must only push your bike when you are on school site.
You are able to drink water in lessons in all classrooms except for the Science Labs. We have water filters around school where you can fill up your bottles. You cannot leave lessons to fill up your bottles so you need to plan the times when you want to fill up. Energy drinks, fizzy drinks and glass bottles are not allowed on school site. They will be confiscated. No eating is permitted in lessons.
Do not panic. You can ask any pupil or a member of staff and they will be able to help you. When you first start with us, we know that you will be finding your way around and getting used to where your classrooms are so we do make allowances for some delayed arrivals in the first week. Once pupils have found their way around, we will expect them to be punctual to all lessons and ready to learn when they arrive.
It is expected that in every classroom-based lesson you get your planner and equipment out on the desk ready to learn at the start of each lesson. Your equipment should include your planner, a pen, green pen, pencil, ruler and planner.
Your timetable will have a staff code and your Form Tutor will tell the names of your teachers. You will then write these into your planner. All of your teachers will introduce themselves to you but if you forget, all you need to do is ask them to remind you of their name. Remember, they will be learning everyone’s names too.