Students and parents should note that the bus services which operate to and from the school are public routes and are not under contract to the school. We therefore have no control over their timings, punctuality or routes.
At present the 16 and 16a services operated by Hedingham Buses stop outside the school in the morning and afternoon. Timetables for these routes can be found on the Hedingham website, here.
Students may also walk into the town where a full range of bus services and routes are available. Discounts are available for students regularly using the Arriva services from town. Please see https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/ss-hertsessex for more information on this discount scheme.
Essex County Council may provide eligible students with a bus pass. An application form can be obtained by emailing [email protected] or alternatively you can ring 0845 603 2200 and ask to speak to the Education Transport and Awards Team for further information.
Students who choose to cycle to school should enter and exit via the pedestrian exit and leave their bike in the covered area. They should also bring a lock for their bike, wear an appropriate safety helmet and have lights for the dark evenings.
Sheepen Road gets very congested before and after school and parents are strongly advised not to pick-up or drop-off students directly outside the school. The school car park must also not be used a drop-off or pick-up point, other than for disabled users. Parking restrictions are in force on Sheepen Road and parents should take care to park away from the restricted areas and ensure that they are not impeding traffic.
The school supports the Clean Air for Colchester project and strongly encourages any parents who are waiting on Sheepen Road in their cars to ensure their engines are switched off.
The school gates are locked from 2.55pm until 3.15pm to protect pedestrians from crossing traffic.
Students who walk to school should enter the school via the West entrance. They may exit using the West entrance or the Play Football path.
We expect all students to arrive at school properly equipped to learn. The following are our minimum expectations of what each student should bring:
- A school bag, large enough to hold A4 folders and books without folding
- Black pen (more than one is advised)
- Green pen for responding to marking
- HB pencil (a range of other grades may be useful)
- Pencil Sharpener
- Soft Rubber
- 30 cm Ruler
- Basic Geometry Set
- Scientific calculator
- English dictionary (provided by the school on induction day)
- Reading book (from home or the school library)
We also recommend that students bring a set of coloured pencils and, for those studying French, an Oxford/Collins French dictionary.
We appreciate that mobile phones are useful for safety on the way to and from school, but they must be switched off and stored safely whilst students are on school premises.
Phones and other devices should not be used in school at any time.
If it is necessary to confiscate a mobile phone or device, parents may be telephoned and asked to collect it from the main school office.
The school accepts no responsibility for the safety and security of any mobile telephones, tablets, laptops or any other such devices that a student brings on to the school premises.
All our students can take advantage of freshly cooked, nutritional food which is prepared daily in school and served by a committed, enthusiastic and caring catering team. We have adopted the Government’s food based and nutrient based standards for the school meals. To ensure compliance we follow recipes prepared by Essex County Council and put on the dishes the students like best in a balanced menu.
The menu changes on a regular basis to give a good variety of meals suiting all tastes, but always including a traditional main meal with vegetables, a vegetarian choice, pasta with sauces and jacket potatoes. There are always sandwiches, rolls and wraps available and a selection of hot Grab and Go items, e.g. pizza slices, bacon rolls and hot wraps.
Menus & Prices
We have introduced a biometric catering system to enable the students to be served more efficiently and quickly. There will be no exchange of money and queues will be kept to a minimum. The biometric system ensures complete confidentiality for students entitled to free school meals.
Its verification is unique to the system at St Helena School, so the biometric data could not be taken and used in other systems.
The system ensures greater security as students no longer need to carry cash around school on a daily basis. It also ensures money provided by parents to pay for school meals is used only for that purpose. Payment is made via ParentPay (internet payment). Terminals are available in the school reception for parents who do not have access at home. Parents can track what their child has had to eat with a full report produced by the Catering Manager on request, and can also view students’ payments and purchases and daily balance via their ParentPay account. A daily spend limit can be added to students’ accounts enabling parents to control their child’s spending.
As part of a healthy school it is important to consider the food that our students eat at during the day.
Below are some images and links that can be used to help create a healthy approach.
Students have access to seated areas in our canteen and gym, where they can eat food they have brought to school. There are also a range of outside areas and covered seating where students can eat.
Click on the links below for more information about healthy foods for lunchboxes:
We arrange formal meetings between parents/carers and teachers as per the schedule below, but parents/carers are always welcome to contact teachers by phone, email, letter or by making an appointment to see them via the School Office.
Upcoming Parent Evening Dates:
Year 11 Parents Evening – 13th January 2022
Year 9 Parents Evening – 27th January 2022
Year 8 Parents Evening – 3rd March 2022
Year 10 Parents Evening – 12th May 2022
Year 7 Parents Evening – 19th May 2022
Attending school is important to ensure students are able to make the most of their education in order to reach their full potential. If you raise a child’s attendance you raise their academic chances. As a parent/carer you are legally responsible for ensuring that your child receives a suitable education. Failure to ensure that your child attends school punctually and regularly may lead to legal action being taken against you. This could result in each parent/carer receiving a fine of up to £2,500. In order to try and avoid this St Helena School works with students, parents, and other agencies to ensure you carry out your legal responsibility of making sure your child attends school. We do this in partnership with Essex County Council. The Government now considers attendance below 95% to be unacceptable. As a school, we are concerned when students’ attendance drops below 96% and we take steps to address issues of attendance with students and/or parents when attendance begins to fall. This can include the following steps:
Attendance call: If your child does not arrive at school on time and a parent/carer has not notified us via ClassCharts to report an absence we will send a GroupCall text message to you to check whether your child did/didn’t leave for school (to ensure they are safe and to prevent truancy) and/or the reason for their absence. Where relevant we may ask you to bring the child into school. If we are unable to confirm the child’s whereabouts (particularly during prolonged periods of absence) we may contact Social Care or the Police in order to ensure the child is not at risk of harm.
Request for medical evidence: Where students are off school frequently due to sickness or medical conditions you may be asked to provide medical evidence. This could be an appointment card, pharmacy label for prescribed medication (stating the child’s name and date of dispensing) or a letter from a doctor/consultant/paediatrician. Failure to provide medical evidence will result in the absence being recorded unauthorised.
School Attendance Plan (SAP): If a student is absent from school (either authorised or unauthorised) a student will meet informally with an appropriate adult to discuss their attendance, reasons for their absences, why attending school is important and to agree a support plan to improve their attendance where appropriate.
School Attendance Meeting (SAM): If no improvement is made following a SAP parent/carer(s) will be asked to attend a ‘SAM’ to discuss their child’s attendance (either authorised or unauthorised), discuss support available to the student or family to address the issues raised and to explain the legal implications if attendance does not improve.
Warning letter: If there is still no improvement following the SAM a warning letter is sent to parents reminding them of the legal implications if attendance does not improve.
Home visit: On occasions where we are concerned about a student’s attendance or welfare (or where we are unable to establish contact with parents) we may ask Attendance Solutions Ltd. or our Home School Liaison Officer to carry out a home visit to discuss issues relating to attendance.
Penalty Notice and legal action: This will initially be issuing a penalty notice but could potentially result in legal action where the courts may enforce an Education Supervision Order, Attendance Order or Parenting Order (which would include parents attending parenting skills sessions).
Full details of the legal actions and process (including penalty notices) can be found on the Essex County Council website.
Details of the official school uniform are set out below:
The Governors and Staff expect that all students wear full school uniform. It helps students identify with the school and reduces tension at home about what is appropriate school wear.