Learning for all

We want all our students to be successful, confident learners who have every opportunity to perform to the best of their ability. The school offers a range of support to ensure that all students are able to take full advantage of the opportunities we offer.

The Pastoral System

The pastoral system is at the heart of our reputation as a caring school and we work hard to maintain it. Each student is placed in a mixed-ability tutor group, which will usually remain the same for the five years he or she is at Fairfield. Tutors are supported by the Learning Managers who will be responsible for the pastoral welfare of the students in his or her care.

Student academic progress is regularly monitored by members of the Senior Leadership Team who will put in place support or intervention where necessary.

The Learning Managers work closely with tutors to ensure firstly, that students are happy at school and secondly, to encourage the close partnership between home and school that is so important to student success.

Parental support

Parental support is critical to the success of our students. We want every child to be happy and to succeed at Fairfield and we try to work as closely as we can with parents and carers. There are regular  Parent and carers’ Evenings where parents and carers can make an appointment to see members of staff and may themselves be invited in if the school has a concern. Every parent and carer receives regular reports on their child’s progress three times throughout the year. There are various informal occasions during the year offering opportunities for parents and carers and staff to meet, including PTA events and the annual Christmas and Summer Concerts. These are all on the school calendar which is sent home and also regularly updated on our website. We are always happy to talk to parents and carers at any time during the school year with an appointment- please contact the office to arrange.

Learning support

The Special Needs Co-ordinator works closely with parents/carers and the primary schools to support students who come to us with an EHCP or who may need additional help to access the curriculum. Students are assessed on entry to the school and supported according to their individual needs in a variety of ways, sometimes in class, sometimes in small groups and sometimes on their own. Progress is monitored carefully and there is regular contact between home and school.

The Nigel Davies Wing

The Nigel Davies Wing provides a warm and welcoming facility for all students who need further pastoral support or to explore their interests beyond the curriculum. Celebrating diversity alongside exploring our rural heritage is an important part of learning and as a school we have always taken a holistic approach in ensuring that young people are provided opportunities for growth and development.

Learning Managers are available to work with students through one-to-one meetings or in small groups to provide bespoke, targeted intervention to support the needs of the students. The Learning Managers also work in partnership with external agencies, staff and families to put early help strategies in place ensuring that students achieve and develop life skills that will support them beyond Fairfield High School.

Student support services include regular days for our school counsellor; school nursing team and independent careers advisor as well as providing a safe space for students to meet with other agencies if requested.

Careers

We offer a structured programme of careers advice for all students from Years 7 – 11 together with the support of an impartial Careers Adviser, working towards the Gatsby benchmarks and guidance.  Students in KS3 and   KS4 have opportunities to engage in a variety of careers based activities including business networking, careers in the curriculum, interview skills and guest speakers.  Students in KS4 also have visits to post 16 education and training providers.

The library

The Library is open to students at break and lunchtimes and offers opportunities for reading, (including audio books) and quiet study, with some students involved in helping to run the library as student librarians. Years 7, 8, and 9 also use the library regularly in English lessons.

Study hour

Study hour runs for an hour after school Monday to Friday. It is a voluntary club for any student who would like to complete homework in school. A member of staff is available to offer help and advice if needed.

Student involvement

Student involvement in school life takes a variety of forms. For example, all students have the opportunity to be involved in the School Council, in staff appointments and developing the work of the school. Students are involved in competitions in many subject areas and represent the school on external bodies. Some students work as Ambassadors, assisting Year 6 pupils before they come to Fairfield and during their first term, to help with transition. Students are given opportunities to be involved with charity work and the local community and some students are chosen to have responsibility as prefects and house captains.

The school restaurant

The school restaurant is available to all students and encourages healthy eating with a wide range of freshly prepared, nutritious meals which are very reasonably priced. There are hot and cold meals, sandwiches and snacks and a vegetarian option available every day. Breakfast Club is open from 8.15am and there are also snacks on sale at break time. Free school meals are available to students whose parents are in receipt of Universal Credit. Please contact us for further details.

Payment is made via a cashless system, ParentPay, which is also used by the school to enable cashless payments for other things, such as for visits, equipment, residential trips, etc.

Transport to school

Fairfield draws students from a wide area and every year a significant number of children from beyond our catchment area are offered places.

Information from Herefordshire Council

All applications must now be done online.  When applications are done online they electronically “drop” into the system with all the information required from parents / carers – along with a photo of the student, so the photos can be uploaded onto all bus passes and prevent students using transport incorrectly.

Here is the link to make online applications:

https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/xfp/form/164

Herefordshire Council are also not permitted to sell seats on board school transport.  They are only able to help students who are entitled to free school transport because they are attending the nearest school to their home address, and over 3 miles away from school.  This is due to new PSVAR legislation that came into play during January 2020, and also Covid-19 social distancing guidelines.

Students admitted to Fairfield but where Fairfield is not their nearest school must be prepared to make their own travel arrangements and meet the cost; the school cannot accept responsibility for travel to and from school.

Students may cycle to school; please ensure that a cycling helmet is worn.

For further information please contact:

Herefordshire School Admissions  01432 260925 / 260926

Herefordshire School Transport  01432 260931 / 260937

Attendance

Attendance is monitored by our Learning Managers and School Office, who will contact home if students are absent from school without explanation. The Learning Managers work closely with the local authority to ensure that students are in school, ready to learn. Parents/carers are reminded that schools have been advised by the Department of Education that absences for reasons other than sickness (including holidays) during term time should not be authorised unless there are exceptional circumstances. All absences should be requested in advance on the appropriate form; we will not usually authorise any absence during Years 10 and 11. Sickness absences may be reported on the absence line – 01981 551006. Please use this number rather than the main switchboard.

If students are unwell during the school day they are assessed by trained first aid staff and parents/carers are then contacted if necessary.  Please ensure that we always have up to date contact details so that we can speak to you quickly in an emergency.  Students are not allowed to phone home independently from mobile phones, as this can create upset and confusion.  If a child needs to phone home, they must do so from the school office.

Behaviour

Behaviour is reinforced positively in school. Our expectation is that everyone in our school community will behave with courtesy and co-operation at all times. In order for school to be a safe and positive learning environment for everyone, we have rules which we expect everyone to follow. If this doesn’t happen, there are a number of sanctions which we may apply, such as break/lunchtime detention and, more seriously, after-school detention. Parents and carers are always informed if serious incidents occur. If students have to remain after school at any time, parents/carers will be contacted in advance. In the most serious cases, we may have to exclude students; fortunately at Fairfield we rarely need to do this.

Fairfield has a number of detailed policies which cover our statutory duties as a school and also offer further clarification of areas of our work which can be found on our our website.


The Ethics and RSE curriculum

As an open and welcoming community which encourages understanding and tolerance, RSE is an essential and integrated component of our Ethics Curriculum, alongside Religious Studies, Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE), Careers education and Mental Health. It offers an important opportunity for all students to explore their own and other people’s beliefs and feelings in a safe environment, whilst considering a wide range of issues that will affect and shape their lives, such as identity, equality and healthy relationships in person and online. The course is built around the following key areas: Families, Respectful Relationships, including Friendships, Online and Media, Being Safe and Intimate and Sexual Relationships, including Sexual Health.  It is essential that all students have access to impartial, up to date and age-appropriate information, which will not only prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life but will help them to stay safe and be aware of their individual rights.

Our role as a school is not to promote any one view or belief but to encourage all our students to broaden their understanding of the world and the part they can play in wider society. We feel strongly that the subjects covered in Ethics for each year group are critical to the development of each child and we ensure that the subject matter is taught in a way that is accessible and appropriate to the individual. Staff are aware of sensitive areas and use the ‘early warning system’ to flag up any potential concerns in upcoming lessons, so that there is an opportunity for students or their parents to discuss the lesson with the teacher before it takes place.  The RSE curriculum content is statutory, but we have chosen to integrate it with the other elements of the Ethics curriculum to put it into a ‘real life’ context with an age-appropriate perspective.  There is limited scope for any student to be withdrawn from any element; if you feel there are any areas which you would like to discuss in detail then please let us know.  You will find the RSE policy on our Policies page.

We have already had valuable feedback on the draft curriculum (RSE/Ethics overview below) from a focus group of parents; please do not hesitate to give us your thoughts on any aspect! As always we will continue to refine and improve the Ethics curriculum and what and how we are teaching to ensure that it remains current and meets the needs of all our children.

RSE & Ethics Curriculum Overview