Frequently Asked Questions
How many people are in a class?
The average class size if between 25-30 students. There will be no more than 30 people in each of your classes
Are we allowed to wear our hair down?
Yes, you can wear your hair down. You will however be asked to put your hair up for PE, Cookery and Science – this is because of health and safety. Please make sure, if you have long hair, you bring a hairband with you so you can put your hair up. This goes for girls and boys.
How do we find our way around school?
Initially school will seem extremely big, but as you become more familiar with its layout it won't feel quite so daunting. There will be many of you heading from one class to the next together, so try to move around with each other as one person may know where they are going. There will be plenty of students and staff around to help you for the first week or two. If you are unsure, ask a teacher, head to the library, Mrs Bush or Miss Nicholson’s office and someone will be able to set you on the right path or take you to your class. The main thing is not to worry, to begin with you will not be in trouble for getting to class a couple of minutes late and we can assure you we haven’t lost any students yet :)
Where do we enter the school?
When you arrive at school, you will need to take the path around the side of the house (by the main gate) which leads you to the main field. For those of you who attended our induction sessions, this is the way you entered on your induction day. If in doubt follow the older students or ask a member of staff. There is always a teacher on the main gate so if you are unsure please ask them. On your first day we will all be at the gate to welcome you and show you where to go.
What events will there be?
We have an action-packed calendar at Brentwood County High, there will be lots of events you can get involved in such as school trips, sports clubs, drama productions etc. We will update you when these opportunities arise so you do not miss out.
How hard and how much homework do we get?
Homework varies from subject to subject. For example, Math's homework is done online and you will probably be set a small piece of homework after each lesson and this will need to be done before your next Math's lesson. This helps the teacher know if you have understood the work covered in class. In History however you are more likely to be set a project or some research and you will be given this to complete over a couple of weeks or maybe longer. All homework should be challenging but not too hard. If you find your homework is difficult please don’t worry, speak with your teacher, Miss Nicholson or Mrs Bush and we will help you with this.
What do you get detentions for?
We are not expecting to see any Year 7’s in detentions, but you will be required to sit a detention for not following the values of the school or meeting expectations. For example, if you are late to school you will be required to sit a same day detention at lunchtime.
Where do you go for detention?
If you are given a detention the teacher who sets the detention will advise you on where and when you should attend, if you are unsure speak to your form tutor, Mrs Bush or Miss Nicholson
How many classes do we have a day and how long are they?
Normally classes will have 5 lessons a day that run for 60 minutes. Due to Covid-19 and the government guidance, in September you will have 3 lessons that run for 100 minutes in order to reduce the amount of movement around the school.
The timetable we have, will we be sticking to it every day?
You will each be given a two-week timetable which you will follow. Your timetable will show week 1 and week 2. When you get to the end of week 2 you will go back to week 1 and so on throughout the year. If we have to make any changes to your timetable, a new timetable will be given to you in your form time. It’s a good idea, when you are given your timetable, to take a photo of it on your phone in case you lose your paper copy.
Do you get given a timetable of when your classes start?
We will go through the timings of the day at the start of the year, this information is also on your induction evening presentation if you want to take a look now.
When will I get my timetable?
Your form tutor will give out all timetables on your first day of school. During the summer break, we will send home information outlining what you will need to do on your first day.
Will there be after school clubs?
There will be an after school programme that you can get involved in, information on these clubs and which day they will be on will be outlined in September. At the moment, due to Covid-19, we are unsure when the clubs will start running properly but we should have more details on this for when you start with us.
What do we do in PE?
You will do lots of different sports in PE such as Swimming, Athletics, Basketball, Netball, Football, Rounders and so much more. All of this will be on offer in your lessons but also there will be plenty of extra-curricular opportunities.
Will there be any new updates to the school in the future?
We are currently at the beginning of a £25 million building project that will see a new building at the rear of the school, housing new science labs, technology and art rooms as well as the original building restored to its original glory. We will also have new playgrounds, courts and football pitches.
How do I get involved in the WHU Foundation School Academy Programme?
You would need to complete our expression of interest form found on the WHU Foundation page of our website under Primary Transition. Once we receive your completed form we will contact you with details of our upcoming trials. If successful you will be invited to take part in a regular training programme which usually begins in November.
How do you try out for the school football team?
In September speak to your PE teacher and they will be able to support you in this. Attending Football club is a great place to start. We will also be running more trials for the West Ham Academy girls' and boys' second teams so please look out for more information on this during your first term.
What food do we make in food tech?
This changes every year. Last year our Year 7 students made pasta salads, stir fries, biscuits, brownies and loads of other delicious meals. Your cookery teacher will run through this with you in your first food tech class.
When will we meet our buddy?
We are hoping your buddies will be there to meet you on your first day. Again, due to Covid-19, we may have to keep you in your year group bubbles to begin with, in which case they will meet you once we can safely arrange it. All our buddies are very excited to get to know you all and we will do all we can to make sure this happens as soon as possible.
What basic equipment should my child’s bag contain?
All students will need to bring a pen (blue or black ink), pencils (including HB and 2B for Art), an eraser, a ruler, a pencil sharpener, Coloured pens or pencils, a scientific calculator (with your name on), a 360 degree protractor and a set square. We recommend all students have a sturdy bag in which to carry all your school equipment. It is advisable to include an English dictionary and thesaurus. Students will require a gum shield when taking part in Rugby and also a Butchers apron for Food Technology.
When do we find out which house my child will be in?
We will notify you of your child’s house in plenty of time to order uniform. All students find out which house they are in during the induction days in June but we will follow this up with an email to parents just in case the students forget.
How many pieces of homework will my child get in the first week of school?
We do not set any homework for Year 7 students during the first 2 weeks of the first term. This is in order to ensure the students have plenty of time to settle in and find their feet. It also enables us to ensure the new students are used to using their computer logins and able to access homework via the app.
Can my child take their mobile phone to school?
Yes. We want to ensure all students are safe when travelling to and from school so we are happy for them to bring their mobile phones with them to school but once they are in the school grounds the phone must be switched off and put in their bag. We have a very strict no mobile phone policy around the school and if a student is seen with their mobile phone out during the school day it will be confiscated and kept in the main office until the end of the day. If this happens again it will be kept at the school until a parent/carer can collect it.
Will my child need their PE kit on the first day of school?
No. The first day is about getting the students settled and familiarising them with the school surroundings. We also do school photos on the first day. Usually the first PE lesson is more of a theory based lesson, where students are told the dos and don’ts surrounding physical education and sports in general. All students will be told when they need to start bringing their PE kit with them.
What clubs & activities are on offer?
At BCHS we offer an enormous array of different clubs and activities. Many of these take place at lunchtime and after school, but a few happen before school, particularly sports clubs and training sessions. Additional late buses are provided on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday to allow all students to participate in the extra-curricular activities. The clubs we currently have on offer are:
- Football (Boys and Girls)
- Fitness Suite
- Music (Band/Choir)
- Book club
- Board games
- Chess club
- Computing and many more
Will I receive a copy of my child’s timetable?
All students are given a paper copy of their timetable on their first day of school. Parents are able to access our school app to see their child’s timetable.
What happens if my child is late to school?
All students need to be in school and in their form room by 8.30 am. If a student arrives after 8.30 am you will be classed as 'late on the gate' and must sign in at the Attendance Office so that we know you are in school and can register you. If this happens continually without a valid reason or prior warning a detention will be issued.
What if my child is absent?
If your child is going to be absent from school for any reason you need to call the attendance office on 01277 238919 on your first day of absence and explain the reason they will be off from school and the date you expect them to return. If we do not get a phone call from you to explain the absence a phone call home will be made and truancy message sent.
Where does my child go if they are not feeling well?
If a student feels unwell during a lesson they must inform their teacher. He or she will probably give them a pass or note to allow them to go to our Student Wellbeing Officer in the medical room. They are not allowed to leave a lesson without a pass or note. If our Wellbeing Officer feels that the student needs to go home, they will telephone the first priority contact.
What do I do if we have a medical appointment during school time?
Where possible all medical appointments should be made for before or after school. However, if this is not possible you need to notify us of the appointment. The student will need to sign out at the attendance office and show them the medical appointment card and a parent/carer will need to collect them from reception.
How does my child buy school dinner?
Everything is paid for using bio-metrics. We will send an information pack during the summer holidays which will contain a letter about Parent Pay. This will tell you how to set up an account and how to add money for school lunches. We no longer take any cash in school.
What is the parent Sims App?
We highly value the support of parents at home and have therefore set up an app so you can monitor your sons/daughters progress at school and also see what homework/Recap work has been set. This is an opportunity for parents to get involved in what their child’s learning, to encourage them to do their best and to help build on what the teacher is doing. We expect our parents to be involved in their child’s Recap work by using the SIMS Parent App to check what Recap work has been set and ensure that they are doing all the tasks.
Who is my first point of contact if I have an issue to do with my child’s education?
We hope this will never be a problem but if you do have any concerns around schooling, your first point of call should be with the Head of Year. They will try to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently and if they feel your concern needs to be raised further they will do so. They will keep you informed throughout the process and let you know what has been put in place to resolve the issue.
What happens if they forget their homework?
Students should notify their teacher as soon as possible if they have forgotten their homework or if there is a reason they have been unable to complete it on time. Usually this will result in an extension being given. If there is an ongoing issue with completing homework on time detentions will be set.
Where do I order the school uniform?
Our uniform suppliers are called Uniform Direct. All school uniform is available to order via their website for all year groups. Please click on the following link for their website: https://www.schooluniformdirect.org.uk/
If you have any questions regarding uniform please contact our receptionist, Mrs Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms Leftly at email@example.com.
What items of school uniform are compulsory?
All students must have the following items as compulsory uniform:
- Fitted navy blue blazer with sewn school badge on the breast pocket. (This item must be purchased from the online school shop)
- School tie (This item must be purchased from the online school shop)
- Navy blue skirt – skirts must be worn to at least knee length. (This item must be purchased from the online school shop)
- Charcoal grey trousers
- Plain white blouse - long or short sleeved. No decorated collars, cuffs, fronts, pockets
- Socks – Plain black or navy without coloured bands. (White socks are not allowed and socks are not to come above knee height)
- Tights – Plain black, navy or natural
- Shoes - sensible, sturdy black shoes, below ankle height. Heels should be no higher than 6 cm, and boots or trainers are not allowed. Sanctions including detentions or isolation from lessons may be used if incorrect footwear is worn
- Outdoor coats - plain dark coloured coats without coloured flashes or slogans.
- Hats & Scarves - plain dark colours without coloured flashes or slogans
For PE they will need the following:
- Polo shirt with school logo (This item must be purchased from the online school shop)
- Shorts/Leggings (This item must be purchased from the online school shop)
- Sports socks. (This item must be purchased from the online school shop)
- Short plain white ankle socks.
- Navy blue swimming costume or navy blue swimming shorts.
- Navy Blue Swim hat
- Rugby shirt with school logo (This item must be purchased from the online school shop)
- Mainly white trainers with a non-marking sole (below ankle height)
Will my child be allowed to wear trainers?
Students are not allowed to wear trainers as school shoes. All students should wear sensible, sturdy black shoes, below ankle height. Heels should be no higher than 6 cm, and boots or trainers are not allowed. Sanctions including detentions or isolation from lessons may be used if incorrect footwear is worn
How do I apply for my child to have free school meals?
All free school meal applications need to go through the local council. Please use the link below:
Your application will be processed within 15 working days, but it can take longer if you apply in August or September. They will notify us and contact you if your child is entitled.
What happens if my child has no money for lunch?
We will never let a child go hungry at the school. If for any reason there is no money on their Parent Pay account the student should let a member of staff know who will ensure they are given a lunch and a parent/carer is notified and asked to top up the account.
How do I get a message to my child during school hours?
If you have an urgent message for your child during the school day, please contact reception and they will ensure the message is passed on either by note with our duty student or by a member of staff.
What do I do if my child suffers with anxiety?
We have 2 members of staff who are on hand in our Personalised Learning Zone to help pupils who are finding things a bit difficult or when there is something stopping them from being in lessons. The Personalised Learning Zone is located in the old caretakers’ house just inside the school gates. This is where we can provide 1 to 1 mentoring, counseling, small group work as well as break and lunchtime support.
Who do I contact to raise a safeguarding concern about a student?
At Brentwood County High we take our students safety inside and outside of school incredibly seriously. If you have anything that is worrying you about a student please notify their Head of Year or Mrs Neale, our Safeguarding Officer and will ensure your concerns are dealt with discreetly and efficiently.
How do I transfer my child to Brentwood County High School?
Parents of students aged 12 to 16 who would like to transfer to Brentwood County High School are requested to complete a Mid-Year admissions form which can be found in the key information section of our website. On receiving your application our admissions officer will aim to contact you within 7 days to arrange an admission’s meeting where you and your son or daughter are invited into the school to be introduced to their Head of Year and further discuss the application.
Is there any transport available to school from outside areas?
Brentwood County High School can be accessed easily from Thurrock, Basildon, Havering and Ongar. Our school buses are run by NIBs and details can be found on their website regarding routes and prices. All the school buses run directly into the school grounds each morning and afternoon. Our school is within walking distance of Brentwood high street so students from the Havering area can get the 498 or 608 bus. We are also walking distance from Brentwood train station.
What do you do as a school for students who are above the average ability?
We run a More Able Programme at BCHS for students who are achieving above and beyond our expectations. If you would like to find out more about the programme please contact Ms P Buckingham at firstname.lastname@example.org