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General information



To enhance learning, teachers may organise special activities, possibly away from the school site. When this incurs additional expense, parental contributions may be sought in accordance with the school charging policy. Students will be expected to return completed consent or medical forms as appropriate in order to take part.

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Matthew Arnold School is a non-selective comprehensive school. School admissions are managed by Oxfordshire County Council's schools admissions team. For more information contact:

School Admissions Team
County Hall
New Road

Tel: 01865 815175

Fax: 01865 783198

Web: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/admissions

Email: admissions.schools@oxfordshire.gov.uk

Google Docs documentAdmissions Policy 2017-2018

Google Docs documentAdmissions Policy 2018-2019

PDF document Health Information and Consent Form

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Assemblies Policy

We are required by educational law to hold a daily act of collective worship.  Assembly time is valued as a time for bringing whole year groups together to share a common theme, to air school issues, to celebrate students' successes and achievements and to generate agreed common values.  Parents who wish, for religious reasons, to withdraw their children from assembly should contact the Deputy Head. 


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Assembly Rota

There are three main purposes for the assembly rota:

1. To link up with the topic themes in lessons and provide collective reflection on these themes.

2. To highlight the school values:

3. To ensure key issues of school life are addressed.

In addition, assemblies will be used to cover special events, develop house identity and convey information, particularly from the School Council.

Assemblies will follow a 6-day rotation system to include all houses and the sixth form.

6th Form Assemblies will not take place on a Wednesday due to CCP and paired reading.

Whole school assemblies and achievement assemblies

On the first day of term in September, after Christmas and after Easter a whole school assembly takes place in the sports hall for all students and teaching staff.  A member of the leadership team will take the assembly.

A procedure schedule will be issued prior to this event.

On the last school day before Christmas, before Easter and before the summer recess, achievement assemblies will take place for all Houses. On the last day of the academic year a full achievement assembly will announce the Champion House.

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British Values and the Prevent Strategy

PDFBritish Values and the Prevent Strategy

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Attendance is vital for your child’s education.  If your child is too ill to attend school, please telephone the school to let us know.  Our absence line is 862 232 and select Option 1.  If the absence is likely to be longer than three days, please inform us so that work can be sent home.  When your child returns to school, please write a note explaining the duration and reason for the absence (for example: illness, hospital visits, dental visits, etc.)  If no note is received, the absence may be classified as unauthorised and be included as such in your child’s school report and in any references.

If your child’s attendance is a cause for concern, the House Leader will contact you to discuss ways in which your child can be supported to improve their attendance.  If there is any change in circumstances that may affect your child, please contact the House Leader.

Please try to arrange appointments (medical etc.) out of school hours.  However, if this is unavoidable, it would be appreciated if appointments were made for the last lesson of the morning or afternoon, so that your child’s absence is minimised.

It is important that your child’s attendance at school is uninterrupted and therefore we request that you do not arrange family holidays during term time.  Requests for leave of absence should be made in writing to the Headteacher, well in advance of the date.  Request forms can be obtained from the Attendance Officer or Reception. Any unauthorised absences are reported as part of the school’s statistical returns.

See here for further details and here for a flowchart.

Leave of Absence Request Form

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Matthew Arnold School is very pleased to be the first School in Oxfordshire to be awarded with Allergen Accreditation. This was achieved after weeks of hard work by the Catering Team in identifying where allergen ingredients are present in their menus and other food products that are on sale, so that their customers are kept informed. More information is available on the Allergen Accreditation website.

Allergy Accreditation Certificate

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Changes of Address

It is important that we are able to contact you quickly in the event of any problem, such as illness during the school day.  In September, students will bring home a data sheet for you to check and amend.  We would be grateful if you notify the Registrar of any changes during the year.

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Child Employment

Please see the Oxfordshire County Council website: 


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MAX (Matthew Arnold eXtra-curricular) offers students a wide variety of activities to suit all talents. Students can find details of activities on offer from the MAX school noticeboard or the Extra Curricular Activities list on the website. We encourage every student to take part in at least one activity.

There are many sporting and artistic events to work towards. In order that your child can take part in certain sporting activities, we may require your permission and your child may need to go off site, accompanied by a member of staff, to take part in matches and other activities. Parents are asked for consent for this when their child joins our school (Parental consent form).

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Contacting Us

A cornerstone of each child achieving their full potential is a strong relationship between home and school.  If children are to be happy and successful then they need to be secure in the support from their parents and teachers.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your child’s education please contact the group tutor or House Leader in the first instance.  If the problem relates to a specific subject, please contact the Curriculum Leader.  Our aim is to respond within 2 working days.  If you are unhappy with the way in which a problem has been dealt with, please contact a member of the Leadership team.  Our aim is to resolve any problems within 5 working days.

We are happy to discuss any aspect of your child’s progress and welfare.

The school's address, telephone number and email addresses are available on our Contacts web page.

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Emergency Evacuation

Students are told: upon discovering a fire, break the glass at the nearest fire alarm call point.  These are located around buildings and near exits.  The alarm is a siren/claxon.  On hearing the alarm, leave the building by the nearest exit and proceed quietly to the assembly area on the school field.  Line up in silence, in tutor groups, alphabetically (register order).  Under no circumstances must the fire alarm be activated when there is no fire.  False alarms are a criminal offence.  The school will ensure the arrest and prosecution of offenders as they place everyone at the risk of harm.  The school will also exclude offenders and levy an administration charge of £50 towards the costs incurred when a false alarm is made.

In an emergency

Occasionally, circumstances can result in a school being closed for a period of time due, for example, to severe weather conditions.  Local radio plays a key role in any emergency, as it is the only way in which information can be transmitted rapidly.  In these rare circumstances, information would be broadcast on BBC Radio Oxford and Heart FM.  There are procedures in place to avoid hoaxes and so any announcement by these radio stations will be genuine.  The school website will contain information on the Emergency Info page.  There will also be a sign outside the school giving the same information.  If the school is closed, any students who arrive and cannot return home will be supervised at  school until the end of the normal school day. 

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Environmental Information

The school has installed solar panels on its south-facing roofs. Click here for information on an Energy Action Workshop held at the school.

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Governors List 2016-2017

PDF DocumentList of School Governors 2016-2017

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Health and Safety

Around the school students are asked to walk sensibly keeping to the left; be particularly careful on staircases and places where vehicles may be moving around. Students should not play or loiter on staircases, landings, driveways or enter car parks; not to leave the site or enter any areas that are out of bounds to students; not climb trees or on to fences or low roofs for any reason; be careful to carry out your teacher’s instructions, especially for fire alarms.

The skate bowl and Oxford Brookes University sports field and the woods behind school on Cumnor Hill are out of bounds.

This is a no smoking school for pupils and staff.  Cigarettes, lighters and matches, and any other smoking-related materials, if found in the possession of pupils, will be confiscated and destroyed.

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Holiday Request Form

Google Doc Holiday/Leave of Absence Request Form

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Lost Property

Anything that is found around the school site is now handed in to Student Services Reception. If an item is named we will return it to its owner. If items are unnamed we will keep them in our lost property cupboard and, subject to establishing ownership, students will be able to collect items during lunch break.

It would really help us if all items of school uniform and PE kit could be clearly labelled or marked with the student’s name.

Owing to space limitation at the end of each term we will be recycling, donating or destroying any items which have not been collected.

Please remember that electronic devices such as mobile phones, personal stereos, iPods and MP3 players should not be brought into school. The school can accept no liability for any loss.

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Lunchtime Arrangements

All Year 7 to 11 students are expected to stay on site during the lunch break.  It is important, in the interests of student safety and welfare that we know where they are at all times of the day.  Only students who live close by may apply for permission to go home for lunch.  At the start of the year a letter should be sent to the House Leader requesting permission.  The House Leader will write to parents confirming the arrangements.  A copy of the letter needs to be carried by the student at all times.  If students need to go off site for any reason, permission must be obtained on each occasion, in advance, from the House Leader, and the student must sign out.

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A First Aider deals with medical matters in the First Aid Room. If a student is feeling ill during lesson time, they should inform their teacher.  The teacher has a pass for a student to leave the lesson. The First Aider will then deal with the problem and if necessary ring parents.

If students need to take medicine at school parents should complete the parental consent form for school to administer medicine. The medicine must be left with the First Aider. The only exception is an inhaler for asthma.

Students should not ask for paracetamol or other tablets at school; we are not allowed to dispense medicines.

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Mobile Phones and e-Safety

We have put together an introductory leaflet and a more detailed document containing mobile phone and internet advice for parents. This information is from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). Their website is http://ceop.police.uk/ and they also have a useful website for students and parents at https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

We also have a Mobile Phone Policy for students at the school.

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Parents Consultation Evenings

Consultation evenings are an opportunity for parents to discuss a student's progress with a child's teachers or tutor.  We hope you will be able to see all of your child’s teachers each year.  If there is a difficulty in attending Parents’ Evening, please let the House Leader know so that other arrangements can be made.

A member of the leadership team is always available, without appointment, to discuss any matter at these evenings.  There is one Parents’ Evening per year for every year group, and a second one for parents to meet form tutors in years 7, 11 and 12.  Students are given an appointment sheet to make appointments for their parents with their subject teachers.  The appointments are normally set at 5-minute intervals.  Students are welcome to accompany their parents to these meetings.

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Parent View

In addition to our in-school parent surveys which inform us about what we are doing well and what we need to improve, as a parents or carer you can give Ofsted your views of the school at any time of the year using an online questionnaire called Parent View.

Your views are very important in informing Ofsted about our school. We are not expecting an inspection soon but with the changes to the Inspection Framework, Ofsted will use the information they hold about schools to track how well schools are doing between inspections. Please take a few minutes to answer the 12 questions, which you will recognise because they are the ones that we use in our in-house parental surveys.

You can register at https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk, or click on the link on the left of the school website's Home Page

If you do not have a computer or an email address, or if you would like help to use Parent View, please contact us.

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Pupil Premium

PPG Report to Governors 2015/16

Google Doc Year 7 Catch-up Funding Report 2015/16

The reports above relate to pupil premium for previous academic years. For details on pupil premium expenditure for the current year, please contact the school.

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Stationery/Text Books

Exercise books are provided for students.  Students should write in blue or black pen.  If exercise books are lost the replacement cost will be charged.  In some subjects work is kept in files.  Most text books are supplied by school, although on occasion parents may wish to buy a specific book to help their children with their studies.  All students should have a dictionary for English and a language dictionary.  If text books are lost the full replacement cost will be charged.

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Student Planner

At the beginning of the school year students will be given a homework planner.  This planner has information, followed by a week-to-week section for recording homework and making notes or writing reminders.  There is a section for target setting, where students will record previous achievements and future aims.  This will help them to plot and plan their own progress and successes.  The tutor will show them how to best make use of the planner and will also require seeing it each week to track the homework completion.  Parents too should see the planner and sign it to acknowledge that all is in order.  Mostly this is a reference guide and personal organiser, though teachers and parents may wish at times to write comments or make observations.

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Trainee Teacher Research Work

Matthew Arnold School works in partnership with the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, and Oxford Teaching Schools Alliance (OTSA) to train new teachers.  Part of their training involves conducting a school based investigation: for example they might look at what students think help them learn most effectively, or how Year 9 students select their options and what advice they take.  This kind of research helps trainee teachers understand more about how schools work and what their job as a teacher will involve. We will let you know if your child is involved in such research.

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Travel to and from School

Students who are entitled to travel on the school buses must ensure that they travel on the correct bus and they carry their bus pass at all times.  Students without a pass may not be allowed to travel.  If a student loses a pass a temporary replacement may be obtained from the Registrar.  You must obtain a permanent replacement from County Transport.  We cannot authorise the use of school transport for friends who are not entitled to use it.  Students are reminded that we expect very good behaviour on the school buses at all times.

If there is a difficulty with transport the school is unable to intervene and parents are responsible for ensuring that their children attend school.  The contact number for the transport department is 01865 871674.

Cars and Motorbikes

Students may only bring a car or motorbike to school, and park it on site, if they have been issued with permit to do so by the Business Manager.  This permit must be displayed in the vehicle concerned.  To obtain a permit they must provide evidence of the following:

Permits will be revoked in the event of dangerous driving or concern about the vehicle’s condition. The school accepts no responsibility for student vehicles parked on site.

OCC Approved Taxi Companies

PDFA list of OCC approved Taxi Companies and their contact details may be found here.

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Use of Photography & Video

The school may publish images of students participating in activities, for example on the school website or newsletter. The full name of your child may be used, but other personal details such as email address, home address and telephone numbers will not be revealed. If you do not wish your child’s image to be included in any school publications, please inform the School Registrar in writing. A list of children whose images should not be used is distributed to relevant staff but otherwise is kept confidential.

Sometimes external groups running activities at school ask to take photographs and make videos. Parents will be informed separately in such cases and have the opportunity to refuse permission for images of their child to be used.

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