Parents A to Z
Pupil achievement is at the heart of what we do. However, we see this as being more than just a narrow set of examination results. We take great pride in the wider achievement of our pupils - their success in sporting contests, creative and expressive endeavour, overcoming adversity, setting new personal bests.
We also give strong emphasis to making sure that pupils are well-prepared for their examinations, running an enviable programme of revision sessions, booster classes and after-school catch ups. Many pupils participate in a coaching programme in small groups. This year, almost 20% of our pupils will receive a free ten week programme of One-to-one tuition in English or Mathematics with a qualified teacher.
Pupil progress is monitored and parents informed of progress, and all pupils know their target grades. All pupils gain regular feedback on their progress.
This is often a big issue for pupils and parents. We do not claim that bullying never happens. It does. It is also not always easy to sort out. With the advent of digital and mobile technologies, much of the bullying we deal with begins with a text or a comment made on a on-line social network site. Moreover, as a learnt behaviour, it is important for us to not only to be intolerant of bullying, but to help modify and change behaviours.
However we could not take it more seriously. The new school buildings were decided with pupil safety in mind. For example, the toilet block is a fresh, open, bright, pleasant and safe environment. We run a comprehensive programme of Charming Chaps and Gorgeous Girls days so that the lessons of on-line safety and cyber bullying are fully understood by all children.
We respond to allegations of bullying swiftly. The school policy and procedures have just been re-written and re-launched. This body of work included a significant input from pupils; this included victims and perpetrators of bullying. If any pupil or parent has a concern about bullying they can text the school on the designated number. They can also report an incident via the school website or by sending an email to the school. Finally, there are a number of boxes around the school where a note or letter can be posted. Equally a referral directly to a member of staff is quite acceptable. Any allegation is investigated thoroughly. It is a genuinely robust approach.
For further details of the school's policy and procedures regarding anti- bullying or to locate the appropriate numbers / addresses to make an allegation, please refer to the designated drop down button on the school website
Good attendance is essential for good learning. We ask parents to notify us when a pupil must stay away from school. Please telephone the school and leave a message with our receptionist. Please then follow this up with a short note. As a safeguard against truancy we telephone parents when we do not have an explanation for an absence - if we cannot get in touch then we will send a letter home asking for a reason for absence. We ask for prior notice of special absences. We do not encourage any family holidays taken during term time. Family holiday requests made on behalf of pupils with poor attendance will routinely not be authorised.
Pupils with outstanding attendance are recognised and rewarded. We also will always intervene on behalf of pupils whose attendance is a cause for concern. As a 'rule of thumb' this equates to an attendance level of 85% or below.
Behaviour and Good Discipline
At Poltair School we believe in having a school that encourages and believes not only in high levels of achievement and hard work but also where the basics of being courteous and considerate to others are equally well regarded, recognised and rewarded. Therefore we try to keep our rules and expectations as simple and as straight forward as possible so that everyone is clear about what the keys to success really are. All Poltair School pupils know about the 'FIVE Ps'
Poltair Students must be...
- Punctual (arrive on time and meet deadlines)
- Prepared (bring the correct equipment, organise yourself, know what level you are working at and how to improve)
- Positive (try your hardest and contribute where you can)
- Poltie (have respect and consideration for others)
- proud (wear the correct uniform and look after your school)
At Poltair School:
- We believe that all pupils and staff are entitled to a pleasant, orderly, civilised environment which is free from verbal or physical abuse, damage to property, rudeness, defiance and disruption.
- We aim to reward good behaviour and punish bad behaviour.
- All pupils are regarded as being of equal value.
- All pupils are encouraged to work for the highest possible levels of personal, social and academic achievement.
- Pupils are treated fairly, courteously and with the respect and consideration that we expect from them.
- Pupils are given responsibility and encouraged to respond to it
- Pupils know what is expected of them.
At Poltair School behaviour is consistently good. When Ofsted last visited they agreed. In fact they commented that they did not observe a single instance of misbehaviour during the entire inspection. This sounds so impressive, it makes you wonder if they had been looking in all the wrong places; we do have naughty boys and girls to deal with from time to time. We always deal with poor behaviour. We marginalise it, we use sanctions and we work hard with pupils to later their behaviour. 'Certainty not severity' is our guideline. We also monitor every instance or misdemeanour to ensure that it has been dealt with properly.
We believe strongly in some highly traditional values. The good news is that Poltair pupils are for the most part pleasant, polite and biddable. They say 'hello' and open doors. Our school is an ordered, calm environment with a high level of civility. Nearly all visitors confirm this. If you would like to see for yourself, please do contact us and arrange for a visit.
Believe and Achieve
This is our school motto. Poltair School aims to enable all learners to feel a sense of belonging and then to be challenged and supported so that they may achieve their full potential whatever their individual talents and abilities.
As an inclusive school we believe strongly in 'Every Child Matters'
There are no invisible children
Many will shine
Some will reach the stars
As a Sports College, we believe in the idea of setting 'Personal Bests'
To go further than I thought
To run faster than I hoped
To reach higher than I dreamed
To become the person I need to be
Worship is interpreted very openly and widely as an act which brings the school group to appoint where pupils are able to make a shared, reflective response to a divine being, power, ideal, moral or value of some worth, wholly or mainly within the broad traditions of Christian belief. Collective worship aims to enhance the awareness of pupils to aspects of the world around them by offering opportunities to consider spiritual and moral issues and to explore their own beliefs. It seeks to promote a common ethos with shared values and a collective sense of right and wrong.
There is a 'Thought For The Day' for each and every school day in the year. This can be found on the school website. All pupils will attend one weekly assembly. Typically these are taken by a Head of Year or a member of the School Leadership Team. However, assemblies are also delivered by pupil groups and outside visitors, including representative of local churches. The assembly will be based on a key theme designed to provoke deep thought and reflection, or alternatively as a positive re-inforcement (including rewards) of the school's shared values and distinct ethos.
Come to the edge
This poem is a feature of many of our School Assemblies. You will not find a Poltair pupil who does not know this poem. It perfectly epitomises what our work at school is all about. We want to prepare young adults who can literally navigate and fly through a successful and happy life.
Come to the edge
We might fall
Come to the edge
It's too high
COME TO THE EDGE
And they came
And he pushed
And they flew!
We recognise that there will be times when we get things wrong, or when pupils and parents feel that we have been unclear or unhelpful. We always aim to respond rapidly and openly where there are complaints. The procedure is as follows:
If you have a concern about your child's progress in a specific subject, contact the class teacher or Head of Faculty.
If you have a concern about your child's welfare or overall progress, contact the form tutor, Head of Year or Pastoral Support Manager.
If you feel that we have not dealt with an issue well, please contact the Headteacher, Stephen Tong, preferably in writing (by email or letter). You will receive an acknowledgement within 24 hours (usually a telephone call or email much sooner) whilst the matter is investigated. The Headteacher or another member of the School Leadership Team will then either write, telephone or invite you to school to explain how the matter has been followed up. The aim at this stage is to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of everyone.
If you continue to have concerns, or you disagree with the school's approach to an issue, you may complain to the Chair of Governors, Diana Pride. You can do this in writing (c/o Poltair School, Trevarthian Road, St. Austell. Cornwall. PL25 4BZ). You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your letter and be assured of a full response once the matter has been investigated.
If at this level you still do not feel that the matter has been resolved, you can contact Cornwall Council (Children, Young People & Families) at County Hall, Treyew Road, Truro.
We believe that pupils gain most from their time at school when they get fully involved. We are proud to offer an unrivalled range of before-school, lunchtime and after-school activities - including sports, drama, music, science, art, and many more. A regular list is kept updated on our website. We also run an enviable Outdoor Pursuits programme, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. The school's tradition of participation and success in completing Ten Tors is highly impressive. In addition, our fitness suite is open to pupils outside of class time.
School facilities used to be the no. 1 gripe for our pupils. The facilities have been significantly improved. Over the last three years, we have, through a variety of projects and through very carefully and prudent asset management, made many improvements to the school site. Firstly there is the new build, opened officially in October 2009. This included a new school reception area, a cyber cafe, a new school hall, a stage and drama studio. There are modern open plan toilets, a large dining area and a new kitchen. Five classrooms in the old West block were completely rebuilt.
However, the improvements go beyond just the new build. All the classrooms in the Smith block (English and Mathematics) have been redecorated and spruced up. In addition, we have a state-of-the-art suite of Science laboratories, a new multi-gymnasium, a re-laid astro-turf and a new floor in the Sports Hall. We have re-landscaped most of the outdoor social areas, created a bus park, reclaimed an under-used building for pastoral support and worked with Extended Services to create a family and community base on site. The quality of display in the school is exceptional. One year 6 visitor recently commented, unprompted, "Your school is so colourful."
At Poltair we believe in having a school that encourages and believes not only in high levels of achievement and hard work but also where the basics of being courteous and considerate to others are equally well regarded, recognised and rewarded. Therefore we try to keep our rules and expectations as simple and as straight forward as possible so that everyone is clear about what the keys to success really are.
At Poltair School all pupils know about the 'FIVE Ps'
Poltair pupils must be:
Punctual (arrive on time and meet deadlines)
Prepared (bring the correct equipment and organise yourself and know what level you are working at and how to improve)
Positive (try your hardest and contribute where you can)
Polite (have respect and consideration for others)
Proud (wear the correct school uniform and look after your school)
Gifted & Talented
We recognise that many of our pupils have exceptional talents in areas such as sport, music, and are. Others are more generally gifted, taking a range of academic subjects in their stride. We work to stretch and challenge all such pupils through our extensive Gifted & Talented programme. Each pupil is set an individual learning plan in order to set appropriate yet challenging targets. Wherever possible we try to organise conferences, competitions and master-classes to enhance learning, engagement and provide stretch. Pupil progress is carefully monitored. A variety of staff contribute to our programme in order to ensure that the level of challenge in the classroom is fully differentiated.
Governors are very supportive of the school - they assist with our day-to-day work, but also hold us to account for our decisions and the outcomes we secure for pupils. The Chair of Governors is Diana Pride, who may be contacted c/o the school. Our Governing Body is listed on the school website.
Please see current homework schedules here
Illness and Accident
If any pupil is undergoing a course of medicine, the school is prepared to keep such medicines in a secure place and administer them as appropriate. Our School Nurse, Sally Barker is contactable on firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important, however, that a sick child is not sent to school. Where a doubt exists, it is better to keep the child at home.
In all cases of emergency we will try to get in touch with the parents concerned, but if this is not possible we will act on medical advice. Emergency contact arrangements are very important and should be supplied during the admissions process, with any later changes sent to the school in writing.
Tong's Top Ten Top Tips
Actually this is not my Top Ten. Rather it is a list of the Top Ten factors, identified by parents of secondary school pupils nationwide. These are the issues that dictate how they feel about their son / daughter's school. This is a list adapted from the one put together by the market research company, Kirkland Rowell. Each of the factors feature elsewhere in the Parents A to Z. But if you like lists and a good old fashioned Top Ten, then this is for you.
- Exam results
- School facilities
- School communication
- Caring staff
- Developing potential
- Quality of teaching
- School discipline
- Happiness of the children