A-Z For New Families

We know that there are a million and one things that families might want to know or ask about life at secondary school. This page is designed for you! We hope it will give you short bursts of information and provides links to the people or resources you want to know. In addition, there is an ‘FAQ section’ for new families based on the most common questions we are asked each year.

A to Z

Key facts…

Website link

Any questions…


Research proves that high attendance leads to academic success and a greater sense of belonging. When a child is absent, we are committed to helping that student catch up on missed learning. We also take a fast action response to unexplained absence and our pastoral team will contact families to discuss any concerns.

Click here to view our attendance policy for families.

Email or speak to Mrs L Cox, our Attendance Officer.



At CNS we pride ourselves on achieving excellence as standard. We experience high standards of behaviour and students have a positive attitude to learning, leading to a calm and purposeful learning environment. This is supported by our behaviour policy that puts restorative justice at its core.

Click here to view our behaviour for learning policy for families. And here to see our simple code of conduct for students.

Email or speak to Ms Hancock, Deputy Headteacher.


Every form of bullying is intolerable. We do not pretend it cannot or does not happen and therefore we enjoy a growing referral culture from victims and from bystanders – who are the key to a culture of safety. Our Character Education programme encourages great conduct because it is the right thing to go. Whilst we are tough on bullying, we are also tough on the causes of bullying and ask what is making that child feel so little empathy for others, or why they do not seek to do the right thing.

Click here to view our anti-bullying policy for families.

Email or speak to Ms Hancock, Deputy Headteacher.


In year 7, students study 16 different subjects (hours per fortnight are in brackets) including: active tutorial (1), art (2), computing (1), dance (1), drama (2), English (7), French (2), German (2), geography (3), history (3), mathematics (7), music (2), RE (2), science (7), technology (4) and PE (4). A total of 50 lessons per fortnight, on top of five (15-minute) tutor time sessions each morning between 8:40am and 8:55am.

Click here to explore all of our departments and the topics they teach with each year group.

Email or speak to Mr Trainer, Deputy Headteacher.

Child Protection and Safeguarding

We understand that our primary responsibility is to keep your children safe in school and to help them stay safe when they are not in school.  We have a planned PSHCE curriculum to guide children and trained staff to support when needed.

Click here to view our child protection policy.

Our senior Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Ms Hancock.

CNS Newsletter

Mrs Bovington, our super School Librarian, publishes the ‘CNS Newsletter’ at the end of each term. This celebrates: our students’ personal and academic successes; the work our students do in the wider community, particularly with our local charities; and shares the array of fantastic trips and opportunities our students enjoy as part of the wider extra-curricular life at CNS school.

Click here to see the most recent and archived CNS newsletters!

Click here to find out more from the editor, Mrs Bovington.



Extra-Curricular Life

We have a very wide range of extra-curricular activities that students can participate in, from afternoon clubs in sport, music and drama, to school trips, that range from the War Memorial Museum in London, to sports tours to South Africa. We have strong primary partnership links, which allows us to offer our Family Focus events. Mrs Fisher, our School Community and Community Partnership Coordinator, also provides a comprehensive “Extra-Time” package utilising local coaches and expertise within our community.

In year 7, we encourage students be get actively involved in as many clubs as possible, as this presents the perfect opportunity to meet people who have shared interests and to make new friends. We run a wide range of clubs from Book Club and Choir to LAMDA and Pilates. Some of the most popular clubs include healthy cookery and trampolining. In addition, we offer a full calendar of sporting clubs and students have the opportunity to represent the school in games against other local secondary schools.

Click here to explore the wide variety of opportunities for your children.

Click here to contact Mrs Fisher about our Extra Time and community programmes.

Financial Assistance

Extensive financial assistance is available to students in receipt of the Pupil Premium grant and can support families with trips, uniform and or any other barriers that prevent a student from making equal progress as their peers. We also support families who experience sudden or unexpected financial challenges. In addition to this, the local charity, THRIVE, has helped to provide additional laptops and essentials for families in times of need.

Click here to find out more about THRIVE.

Click here to contact Mrs Green who can talk through how we can help.


In year 7, a student will be set about 40 minutes of homework per subject. This works out to be about 75 minutes per night. All homework is set on ‘Show My Homework’ – an App for students and their parents or carers.

Click here to view our homework policy.

Email or speak to Mr Gent, Assistant Headteacher.

Letters to Families

The headteacher writes to families every Friday. Letters are received via email and also appear on the website at the same time.

Click here to see the headteacher’s most recent and archived letters home.

Click here if you would like to contact Mr Doherty personally.





Our beautiful 92 year old library provides a quiet and calm learning environment that also celebrates CNS’ love of reading – from fiction to fact, you name it, we have it all – and if we don’t then our supportive library staff can probably source it for you! The library team run the Accelerated Reading Programme to support students establish clear reading routines. Mrs Bovington runs a book club for our gifted and talented students and, with Mrs Blundell, takes pride in providing an extensive calendar of events throughout the year to promote reading opportunities to both our students and local primary links. World Book Day is always hotly anticipated with “Reading off the Rails” being a huge success last year!

Click here to find out more about our library and facilities.

Click here to find out more from School Librarian, Mrs Bovington.

Parents’ Evenings

In October we host a “Meet the Tutor” Evening – which is a perfect opportunity to meet your child’s tutor to check how well they have settled into CNS and secondary school life. There is also an annual Parent-Teacher Consultation (PTC) evening for each year group. The year 7 PTC is in term 5 and it is your chance to speak to each one of your child’s teachers.

Click here to see the school calendar including this year’s full timetable of Parents Evenings.

Email or speak to Mr Trainer, Deputy Headteacher.

Parent Pay

ParentPay is an online payment system for schools and is Chipping Norton School’s preferred method of payment. It allows parents to pay quickly and securely for items such as school meals, trips and activities.

Click here for more information on Parent Pay.

Email Mrs Trimmer, our School Business Manager, for more information.

Parents’ Association

We have a vibrant and hugely successful Parent Association. It plays a significant role in supporting the school by raising money for additional resources to improve opportunities and learning for all pupils; providing support at various events throughout the year; enabling parents to play an active role in the life of the school; and supporting teaching and learning.

Click here to find our more.

If you are keen to join then please email Tanya Harrington.



Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is a pivotal feature of CNS, providing a network of support for our students and families. Every student has three pastoral leads: their tutor, the assistant head of key stage (e.g. Mrs Cottrell) and the head of key stage (e.g. Mrs Faulkner).  We also have a school nurse that is available to our students to support both their physical and mental health and development. Our school nurse (Mrs Llewellyn), also supports our PSHE curriculum in terms of delivering assemblies and workshops around sex & relationship education and consent. Parents and carers can also seek advice and support from our vulnerable learners co-ordinator (Mrs Green), family support worker (Mrs Budd), or the assistant headteachers linked to key stage 3 (Mrs De Bruyn), key stage 4 (Mrs Armistead), who can help with anything from financial support to accessing support from external agencies.

Click here to see the school’s contact page

Click here to see the school’s contact page.

Personal Development

Personal development and character education centres around our four core school values: creativity, curiosity, compassion and courage. These themes run through all aspects of school life and support us in helping our students grow into mature adults capable of leading healthy, happy and successful lives.

Click here to see more information about the Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) curriculum and programmes of study.

Email or speak to Mrs De Bruyn, Assistant Headteacher.


Reading brings the world to life and is a fundamental skill in achieving academic success. We aim to retain and foster a love of reading amongst all our students. Reading is promoted and taught through the Week A Tutor Programme, reflecting the high profile importance of reading for pleasure and reading to promote independence at CNS.

Click here to find out more about our library and facilities.

Email or speak to Mrs Armistead, Assistant Headteacher.


Like all schools, our most recent examinations were in 2019. Since then we have had Centre Assessed Grades (in 2020) and Teacher Assessed Grades (in 2021).

Click here to view students’ recent outcomes in their GCSEs and A levels.

Email or speak to Mr Trainer, Deputy Headteacher.



Reporting to Parents

Every year you will meet your child’s tutor in October, and then, later in the year, a traditional parents’ evening with each teacher. At the end of each term (i.e. before Christmas, Easter and the summer holidays), you will also receive a ‘Personal Scorecard’ and a ‘Standards Report’ that will flag up any classwork or homework concerns from each teacher. In addition, twice per year, you will receive an ‘Academic Report’ that indicates the standard of work your child is producing in each subject. That’s two meetings per year, plus eight different reports per year.

Click here to read more on the types of reports we send home and what those reports contain.

Email or speak to Mr Trainer, Deputy Headteacher.


Students must be recognised and rewarded for the progress and success in all they achieve. Success breeds confidence, and confidence breeds commitment. At CNS we do this in a variety of ways from the daily and subtle interactions between teachers and students, to the more public Celebration Assemblies at Christmas, Easter, and end of summer term. Students are rewarded for their efforts in and out of the classroom through the awarding of house points, phone calls home, praise postcards, Fantastic Friday nominations or the Headteacher’s Award.

Click here to find out more.

Email or speak to Mrs De Bruyn, Assistant Headteacher.


Our preferred means to resolve difficulties is to use a restorative approach that helps young people learn from their mistakes. Nevertheless, when things go wrong we have lunchtime detentions (for more minor issues), or after school detentions (for more serious misbehaviours).

Click here to view our policy for families.

Email or speak to Mrs De Bruyn, Assistant Headteacher.

School Day

0835: Warning bell

0840: Tutor time begins

0855: Movement time

0900: Period 1

1000: Movement time

1005: Period 2

1105: Break time

1125: Warning bell

1130: Period 3

1230: Movement time

1235: Period 4

1335: Lunch time

1410: Warning bell

1415: Period 5

1515: End of school

1525: Buses begin to depart




School Meals

Our school canteen offers a wide range of healthy snacks and meals at both break time (1105-1130) and lunchtime (1335-1415). Items on our menu include fresh fruit pots, pasta with a choice of toppings, homemade soups, a main meal, sweet treats and yoghurt with a granola topping. Drinks are also available. Students have a cashless catering system using a lunch card. Please note that there is a maximum daily limit of £5.00. Parents can use their Parent Pay account to add money to their child’s lunch card. Free School Meals students have £2.50 added to their lunch card automatically each day to enable them to purchase either snacks or the main hot meal of the day.  

Click here to view the latest information about our in-school food offer.

Email Mrs Trimmer, our School Business Manager, for more information.

Special Educational Needs

At CNS we believe all students have a right to receive very high quality teaching experiences, and access a broad and balanced curriculum. Mrs Smart, our SENCo,  along with Mrs Saxby, Assistant SENCo, lead a team of Learning Assistants who work alongside teaching staff to ensure lessons are adapted to meet the needs of all learners. They also provide a comprehensive package of small group interventions that provide our SEN students with the skills to access mainstream education including literacy, numeracy, and communication interventions.

Click here to see our policy for families.

Email or speak to Mrs Smart, SENCo.

Teaching & Learning

All teaching staff are united in their delivery of what we call ‘High-T.E.M.P.’ quality-first teaching.  This establishes what does and does not work best for all students, and sharpens our collective skills in task design, crisp explanations, comparative modelling of success, and extended practice. We think very carefully and precisely about the best ways for students to acquire, retain and then apply new knowledge, ideas and concepts. Nothing is left to chance.

Click here to read our curriculum policy.

Email or speak to Mr Gent, Assistant Headteacher.

Transport / Buses

A reliable range of exclusive bus services collects and returns students to and from CNS every day by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). Buses arrive at a range of times, but all buses leave the front of schools between 3:25pm and 3:30pm each day. The school transport is booked directly through OCC. We have routes that cover all the surrounding villages as well as some taxis available for smaller villages. Students receive their OCC bus pass in mid-August and should carry this with them at all times, as per the county policy.

Click here to go to Oxfordshire County Council’s webpage on bus passes.

Email or speak to Mrs Faulkner, Head of Transition.


Trips and Visits

Prior to COVID we had an incredibly vibrant local, national, European and international trips and visits programme. This is being revived every week and we look forward to international visits in the years ahead.

Click here for more information.

Our Educational Visits Coordinator is Mrs Thomas.

Uniform & Equipment

Our school uniform celebrates our belonging to a like-minded community that is bonded by common values, aspirations, and goals – to be the best we can be. We seek the highest possible standards in all aspects of our life at this school and seek to work closely with parents, carers, and students to make this a reality.

There are no planned changes to our school uniform for September 2022 or 2023.

Click here to see our comprehensive uniform page or here to see our uniform and appearance guide for 2021/22.

Email or speak to Mrs Faulkner, Head of Transition.