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! It gives 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.
We know that in order for a child to achieve, they must feel that they belong. A sense of belonging at school depends on close relationships with staff, friends and the hustle and bustle of school life and all of its opportunities. When a child is in and out of school, their sense of belonging erodes and their life chances are placed at risk.
Click here to read our fuller message on attendance.
Click here to view our attendance policy for families.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
E-Safety – Our Online Safety Policy
We have robust processes in place to ensure the online safety of pupils. Through the curriculum, we deliver an effective approach to online safety, which empowers us to protect and educate the whole school community in its use of technology, including the use of phones. We ask that all students and parents sign and return the Acceptable Use Agreement to establish a relationship of trust and to enable us to support your child/ren and keep them safe.
You will need: pens (blue or black + a green pen), pencil, ruler, rubber, colouring pencils, calculator, note book / pad, glue stick, dictionaries (English, French and German, a plastic bottle which can be used for water, and a reading book.
In addition to the above equipment, you may wish to have with you: scissors and sticky tape.
Correction fluid is not permitted.
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.
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.
The Home-School Agreement represents the trust and bond between students, their family, and the school, to ensure every child is successful. The content sets out what we commit to as a school and then the student’s commitments; centering around being ready, safe and respectful. Parent and carer commitments relate to attendance, home life, sanctions, uniform , healthy living and communication.
Email or speak to Ms Hancock, Deputy Headteacher, for more information on behaviour expectations at CNS.
Students in Key Stage 3 (years 7, 8 and 9) can expect to complete approximately 60 minutes of homework for five nights per week during term time.
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.
Our beautiful 93-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!
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.
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.
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.
Pastoral care is a pivotal feature of CNS, providing a network of support for our students and families. In terms of pastoral care, every student has three important people in their life: their tutor, their pastoral leader and their head of key stage.
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 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.
Chipping Norton School now uses a cashless payment system for trips, catering and lockers. When your child arrives at the school, they will be given payment card and parental log-in details. Parents will then be able to access payment information regarding forthcoming trips, provision of lockers and catering.
Lost and stolen cards can be cancelled with immediate effect making card unusable. A new card will be issued with last card balance recorded on the system. (User required to pay cost for card replacement of £2.00 per card)
Spend limits can be set for both funds loaded at payment machine or at the Finance Office. Parent notifies the Finance Office and a daily spend is set for the individual card, e.g., limit of £2.50 per day
Students who are entitled to have free school meals use the same card as other paying customers. Thus, eliminating the need for canteen staff to log each free school meal transaction, thereby reducing queuing time and removing any stigma for free school meal users. Daily spend limits on the card are pre-set by the Finance Office according to user entitlement.
Personal development and character education centres around our four core school values: creativity, curiosity, compassion and courage (see below).
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.
At Chipping Norton School, we sometimes take photographs of students. We use these photographs in the school’s prospectus, school’s website, display boards around school and on other social media platforms.
We always seek your consent to take photographs of your child, and use them in the ways described above. If you are not happy for us to do this, that is not a problem – we will accommodate your preferences. In the separate ‘Agreement Form’ you will be able to selected when you are or not happy for images to be taken.
If you have any other questions, please get in touch.
If you change your mind at any time, you can let us know by emailing us or calling the school on 01608 649500, or visit the main school reception.
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.
Every lesson begins with silent reading for ten minutes.
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.
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.
Students must be recognised, rewarded and valued for the progress and achievements they accomplish. Success builds confidence, and confidence strengthens 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 and House Assemblies at the end of the autumn, spring, and summer terms. Students are rewarded for their efforts in a variety of ways; both in and out of the classroom. Rewards range from the awarding of house points, praise postcards, Kind Heart and Rising Star nominations in House Assemblies, to the Headteacher Awards.
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).
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
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.
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 Support Assistants who work alongside teaching staff to ensure lessons are adapted to meet the needs of all learners.
They also provide a specific range of small group interventions that provide targeted SEN students with the skills to access mainstream education including literacy, numeracy, and communication interventions.
The PE department at CNS has successfully run sports fixtures over many years and have had a great deal of success. We actively participate in sports such as rugby, football, netball, hockey, badminton, athletics and cricket. On top of friendly matches, we enter district, county and national competitions.
Most competitions, whether at home or away, take place after school and may require special travel arrangements. Transport is usually to and from the school site and we ask you to be prepared, if necessary, to collect students from school following matches. Transport to “away” matches is usually by minibus, hired coach or staff car in compliance with Oxfordshire County Council Safety Policy. You will be notified of any changes to this arrangement.
Students who express an interest in representing the school will be issued with a fixture list which you should retain at home for reference. Team lists are published at school in advance of matches and competitions and students selected for teams are asked to note this in their diary, together with pick up and return times, and present this information to you before the day of the fixture.
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.
Transport and 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.
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.
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.
Values and Goals
A great school curriculum does not happen by chance. Of all the things in the universe we could explore, we have only 1300 school days, 6500 lessons, and 2000 hours of homework in which to dive deeply into the undiscovered depths of human knowledge and understanding.
This is why we think very carefully about what we teach, in the order that it is taught, and the manner in which that material is introduced and memorised.
Naturally, we want your children to enjoy and be challenged by our curriculum and then leave with superb examination results. However, we are equally concerned with how the curriculum shapes the way your child thinks about themselves, other people, and the future.
The simple intention of our curriculum is to educate children with a truly hopeful outlook. Our curriculum intent appears below:
“All students will experience a broad and balanced curriculum that nurtures a compassionate, inclusive and hopeful vision of humanity and the future.
Our curriculum is ambitious for all children. It follows a carefully laid pathway that sequences and accumulates the knowledge and skills that fuel curious minds. We want all students to be lifelong explorers and creators of undiscovered knowledge. We believe this will happen if they possess the confidence to remember and the determination to make connections of their own.
The creative expression of our students’ uniqueness will be seen in the things they say, write, compose, design, create or perform. This will secure the education and qualifications of courageous young people who have the freedom to choose their own future.”
Have we thought of everything?
Don’t forget, the FAQ part of our website also provides answers to these questions:
- Will my child be able to be in the same class as their friends?
- What is the average class size?
- Do you set or stream your Year 7 children into ability groups?
- Do you have specialist rooms and equipment?
- Are you an academy?
- My child loves music. Can they study music and learn to play an instrument as well?
- Can my child take a phone to school?
- How do you protect students from cyberbullying?
- We live out of catchment. Should we apply?
- How do children outside Chipping Norton get to school?
- What do Ofsted say?
- What are results like?
- What do the symbols on the school badge mean?
- What do the symbols on the house badges mean?
- Who can help if my child is struggling?
- How often will I receive updates on my child’s progress?