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I am delighted to have the opportunity to take over our Year 7 cohort of students as we move into the final term. I aim to stay with them on their journey as they move on through the school and build excellent relationships with you and your children.  Through teaching them in lessons and observing them around the school, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of students approach school life with a real commitment to honouring our Respect and Pride ethos and building character at EPCS.

I will continue to set the high expectations established by Miss Preston so that each student continues to make progress in their learning and cultivate their ability to be compassionate and caring individuals. Our stay safe and be kind character aim is one that resonates very strongly with me and is one I want to develop across the year group.  I hope your child will take on the character challenges set for them as part of our character programme.  Details of these will be in the new handbooks for students, so do take a look.

The school would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support during the last term. Good attendance in school supports students’ progress and we expect all students to be attending regularly. We would like to remind parents/carers that we are unable to authorise any holidays during school time.

At the start of term 6 our intention is to return back to a more normal secondary school structure where children move to different locations of the school for their curricular lessons. To support this process we would like to remind students and parents/carers of some of our routine operational procedures.

Testing for symptoms of COVID-19

Before returning to school, make sure your child takes their lateral flow test (LFT) as cases are rising again in the community and we are keen to avoid having to send students home, so regular testing supports us in this endeavour.  All students were given enough LFT’s to cover the period up until 21 June.

Changes to Tutors

When we return in term 6, we are in a position in which we can return to a degree of normality within our school structure.  Students will return to accessing their lessons in different parts of the school.  Students will go back to being in mixed ability classes and tutor groups.  It is likely that there will be a change to your child’s classes and tutor groups. This will support their smooth transition into the next year group in September.

Students will be issued with a new timetable on their return to school.  Please note that Year 9 and Year 8 parents evening appointments, will be with term 5 teachers as they currently know the students best, as students will be in new classes and in some cases have new teachers.

Return to school 

Students return to school on Monday 7 June, Week B at normal times.  All students will enter through the main gate or side gate.  The previous Year 7 entrance will no longer be open.

Students will be expected to line up for Roll Call in the following areas:

Year 7 – Outside the Maths Classrooms in the KS4 playground 

Year 8 – Outside the Amphitheatre in KS3 playground

Year 9 – Basketball Court area, outside the English department, KS3 playground

Year 10 – Outside the Sports Hall

Year 7-9 students are expected to arrive in school at 8.40am lined up ready for Roll Call in the allocated area.  Students that arrive after 8.45am are considered late and are required to attend a late detention on that day.  Year 10 students are expected to start school at 9.10am.

During Roll Call students will be required to have uniform and equipment checked. Please take the time to empty your child’s pencil case and remove broken or used equipment so it is fully serviceable and ready to support them in lessons.

Mobile phones are to be handed into their tutors, if students are not happy handing their mobile phone in during Roll Call, they should not be brought into school.  If a student fails to hand in their mobile phone or refuses then there will be further consequences in line with our Mobile Phone Policy.  It is only in exceptional circumstances that mobile phones are not handed in following this operational procedure and this is only agreed by the Head of Year, where alternative arrangements for handing in the mobile phone are agreed.


While the majority of students are well equipped, bringing in the appropriate items for their wide range of lessons, there remains a significant minority who consistently do not bring the correct equipment.  This results in valuable learning time being lost while equipment is being sought or students are not able to complete tasks because they do not have the relevant equipment to support them.

Students are expected to have a pencil case filled with the following items:

  • Pens (black/blue and a green pen)
  • Pencils
  • Ruler
  • Rubber
  • Sharpener

In addition to this, students are required to have their student handbook and an independent reading book with them as part of their everyday equipment.

Water bottles are now also part of a student’s equipment.  Please ensure that your child has a water bottle with them every day.  There are areas around the school to fill them up during break and lunch.  Students are not allowed to leave lessons to fill water bottles and it is their responsibility to do this at break and lunchtime. In extreme warm weather we put additional water points out.  Please note students throwing or squirting water will be sanctioned.

I would ask you to take some time to ensure that your child has the correct equipment for lessons.  In particular, please ensure that they have several pens and pencils and a ruler.  In addition, perhaps a quick bag check at home on school days, to ensure that their bag is packed with all the equipment they need. Your vigilance makes our lives so much easier so we can focus on learning in the classroom.

Throughout term 6 we will be working with our students to develop our EP Characteristics of

  • We show respect and take pride
  • We show ambition by accepting challenge
  • We become leaders by being readers
  • We know to be kind and stay safe

Students will be recognised for their contributions through positive ClassCharts points which parents/carers can monitor daily through the app and through the EPCS Character Award.  ClassCharts buttons will be adapted to support our EPCS Characteristics.

The majority of our students achieve over 95% positive points compared to negative points which we take pride in and it is only the minority that require the more serious consequences of a school detention.  However, if your child is issued with a detention you will find the process outlined below:

Changes to Detentions 

We will revert back to holding centralised detentions for all year groups in the Dining hall.  The detentions will still be split into three levels, Level 1 (25 minutes), Level 2 (50 minutes) and Level 3 (75 minutes).  Detentions will now be held over the following days:


Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday 
L1- 25 L1- 25 L1- 25
L2- 50 L2- 50 L2- 50
L3 – 75 L3 – 75 L3 – 75


We ask that parents support the school and that your child attends the detention when set.  Staff do not set detentions lightly and it is part of your commitment to working cooperatively with the school that you support us in ensuring they attend.

If your child fails to attend their detention on the day allocated, then the detention will then be upscaled to the next day’s detention session but on the next level.  This means the sanctions are served quickly and issues resolved within a reasonable timeframe.

  • If a student has accrued a Level 1 and Level 2 on the same evening then they will be expected to serve the 75 minutes which is calculated by adding the times of the two detentions together.
  • If a student fails to attend a Level 3 detention (or multiple detentions accruing to a level 3) then they will be placed into Inclusion the following day.

Please be aware that we will not provide you with any alert regarding your child’s detention other than through ClassCharts.  Therefore, it is vital you monitor ClassCharts and speak to your child about their commitments in school.  Children cannot negotiate changes to detentions and if there are exceptional circumstances we expect parents to contact us and not leave it to your child to negotiate a change.

Late detentions will also resume on a daily basis from term 6.  If a student is late to school they will be expected to serve a 20 minute detention after school that day.  Year 7-9 students are classed as late if they arrive at school later than 8:45am and Year 10 after Roll Call.

Students who do not have the correct school uniform with no note from parents will be required to attend a detention at break and lunchtime.  If there is a genuine issue with the uniform we ask that you contact the school so we can work together to find a solution, we do allow a three day grace period and understand that there may be a rare occasion when for example shoes break and you are unable to replace them immediately.  If this is the case students will not have their break or lunch time removed if communication has taken place between home and school. We have recently seen a small increase in girls wearing excessive jewellery and presenting with false nails. Acrylic nails are not allowed and we have a clear jewellery policy please take the time to ensure your child is compliant.  Body sprays and aerosols are not allowed as they trigger asthmatics, so please use roll-ons only.

If a student has a medical condition where it is not appropriate for the full school uniform to be worn the Head of Year should be aware of this and an exemption card can be issued.

The safety of our students is of utmost importance to us and in support of this we can remind parents/carers and students of the following prohibited items:

Prohibited Items

We ask that you continue to support the school in ensuring that your child does not bring any items that could be confiscated and cause conflict between student and staff.

  • Hoodies continue to be prohibited in school.
  • Fidget Spinners (with the exception of fidget toys agreed and issued by the Assistant Headteacher Inclusion who is the designated SENCo)

We are also seeing an increase in students making unhealthy choices and bringing in banned items into school many choosing to eat/drink these before Roll Call:

  • Energy drinks, excess caffeine or full fat high sugar drinks such as Coca Cola, Red Bull, Monster or any other brand including supermarket own-brands.
  • Chocolate bars over 250gm in size
  • Family sharing tubes of Pringles or similar
  • Large bags of crisps 50gms
  • Packets of biscuits

These items will be confiscated if seen by a member of staff.

All students will have access to the full catering arrangements in term 6, this will include the Dining Hall at break and lunchtime.  The Dining Hall will be serving a full dinner menu at lunchtime, the Tuck Shop at both break and lunch and weather permitting a trolley service during break time.  Students will be able to access all these facilities with the exception of the Dining Hall between 1.20pm and 1.30pm where this slot is reserved for Year 7 to allow them to experience the Dining Hall.

Throughout break and lunch periods we expect all students to maintain our high standards of behaviour this includes only wearing trainers outside if participating in a game activity, no physical contact, taking pride in our environment ensuring the bins provided are used.  Students that engage in these activities will be removed from socially interacting with their peers.  Sixth Form students are offering activities for our younger students (our thanks go to our Sixth Form volunteers for organising) and our full timetable of after school activities will also restart in term 6.  This will be shared via the Respect and Pride bulletin, on Monday 7 June 2021.

Thank you for reading the full details of this letter. We hope it answers many of your questions.  Have a restful half term break and we look forward to welcoming students back on Monday 7 June, Week B.

Yours faithfully


Mr T Ayliffe                                                                Ms C O’Brien

Head of Year 7                                                           The Raising Standards Team