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Poole High is an open and welcoming school. The hallmarks of our school are high expectations and supportive relationships in an ethos of opportunity and challenge. We appreciate that every child is an individual, and commit ourselves to helping all our students realise their potential. To that end, we work closely with parents to ensure that every student is supported and challenged. We pride ourselves on our dedicated team of teachers, our excellent range of extra-curricular opportunities and, most of all, on the success our students enjoy in their studies, and their extended and entrepreneurial activities.We expect our pupils to work hard, to take pride in themselves, their achievements and their school. I have enjoyed every year that I have spent at this school and am very proud to have been appointed Headteacher to this over-subscribed non-denominational comprehensive serving the historic town of Poole.

Welcome You receive this Prospectus at a time when you have to make important decisions about your child’s Secondary Education. This Prospectus can give you a flavour of our school but its vibrancy and ethos can be appreciated fully only by a personal visit. I hope you will take the opportunity to visit the school on our Open Evening in September or at some other time. (You can make an appointment to visit by phoning the School Office - 01202 666988). As Headteacher, I look forward very much to welcoming your family to the school. Children get one chance at Secondary Education. I am absolutely determined that any child who attends Poole High School will have an excellent secondary experience. I want our students to leave having enjoyed their time here, having made outstanding progress academically, having felt cared for, having had superb opportunities and ready to fulfil their aspirations as responsible, independent and confident young people. Our latest Ofsted report (December 2011) awarded the school the status of ‘Good with Outstanding Features’. This provides clear evidence that our vision is being met and we are in a position to go forward from strength to strength. Fan Heafield

Poole High School Our aims We aim to enable all our pupils to achieve their full potential in all areas of school life. We believe that in order to achieve this the school must be a secure, happy and well ordered environment where learning activities are purposeful and rewarding. We recognise that not all students have the same abilities in all areas but we aim to enable every pupil to achieve the very best he or she possibly can and we believe that an individual’s success should be measured against their potential and not against the success of others. We value equally the development of pupils academically, socially, culturally and in their sporting skills. We hope that when students leave us they have developed into well-rounded individuals who are fully equipped to contribute to society in a positive and thoughtful manner. We hope that they leave us with an appreciation of the value of ambition, honesty, co-operation and consideration for other people and their beliefs. In order to be able to achieve these aims, all staff at Poole High School work very hard to ensure that the school environment is friendly, positive and welcoming. We all know that we learn best when we are having fun, so lessons are planned so that they are interesting and engaging and, most importantly, enjoyable. We are proud to have exceptionally positive relationships between staff and pupils and between school and home. This enables us to respond extremely rapidly and highly effectively if any pupil has problems or worries, whether it is to do with an issue inside or outside school.



Poole High School Student Support and Guidance for Learning If students are happy and feel supported, they flourish in school and will be more able to achieve their personal best. Supporting students is our top priority, whether it is monitoring and keeping them on track with their learning or whether they need help to deal with personal, social or other issues. Every student at Poole High School is treated equally and fairly. We believe the needs of every student are important and we work hard to ensure that all students are listened to and cared for. Poole High School’s Support and Guidance for Learning team is a large group of committed staff led by an Assistant Headteacher.


The Poole High School House System At Poole High School we have seven Houses. Each of these is like a mini-school within the main school. Each house has its own Head of House, House Officer, tutor team and House Office with a direct line telephone number. The aim is to ensure that even though we are a very large school, every student feels known and valued and part of a smaller unit within the whole school community. Our House System is recognised as a great strength of the school and it is interesting to note that many schools elsewhere in the country are moving to similar systems in order to improve the quality of their support for students. On joining the school, each student is allocated to a House and they will stay with that House throughout years 8-11. Where possible, when students joining us have older brothers or sisters at the school, they are assigned to the same House so that parents can benefit from relationships already established with the Head of House and the House Office. Each student has a tutor who remains with him or her throughout years 8-11 at Poole High School. The role of the tutor is to

help, guide and support the students in the tutor group and to monitor their academic progress. Tutors build up very strong relationships with the students in their tutor group and are the first point of contact (in most cases) between school and home. Poole High School relies on its close partnership with parents and pupils in order to maintain its high standards and positive atmosphere. Parents who have any concerns or questions are encouraged to contact the school at the earliest opportunity to discuss the matter. The school holds regular Parent Consultation Evenings but staff are always happy to see a parent at other times by appointment. Poole High School is also very fortunate to benefit from the services of a Student Welfare Officer. Parents can be secure in the knowledge that their children will be professionally cared for should they fall ill or have an accident at school. The Student Welfare Officer also keeps a record of and helps to administer any on-going medication that individuals require. In addition, a number of staff have first-aid qualifications.


Poole High School Student Support and Guidance for Learning (continued) Starting at Poole High School The majority of our pupils join us at the start of year eight and

the following September. To support your child in making the

great care is taken to ensure that this transfer is as smooth as

transfer to upper school you will receive a courtesy call from

possible. Prior to joining Poole High School, there is a “Taster

their form tutor in the early weeks of the new term. During

Day” in July and this provides an opportunity to meet tutors,

November you will also have the opportunity to meet the form

to make new friends and participate in various “ice-breaking”

tutor at a Parent Consultation Evening.

activities. In addition a New Parents’ Evening is held in July


which offers further information and the opportunity to meet members of staff who will play a key role when pupils start

Student Voice There is a well established and highly effective School Council at Poole High School. The School Council meets regularly and consists of representatives from each year and each House. The School Council is an important line of communication between pupils and staff and in recent times it has been successful in developing consistent classroom expectations as well as helping to make decisions about the refurbishment of pupil toilets. The School Council also makes decisions about which charities the school will support through non-uniform days and other activities. Each House has House Leaders that assist in co-ordinating all this work.


Poole High School The Learning Environment Poole High School is very fortunate to have excellent facilities. We have benefitted from an extensive, multi-million pound new buildings programme in recent years as well as carrying out significant refurbishment of existing, older rooms. Although our buildings vary greatly in age and style they are in a very good state of repair. This is a reflection of the care and respect that the vast majority of our pupils show towards the school and also the excellent work of our dedicated maintenance and grounds team in ensuring that any repairs needed are quickly carried out. Poole High School has extensive grounds. Not only does this provide excellent opportunities for PE and other outdoor activities but it also creates a very pleasant and relaxing environment, particularly in the summer months when pupils can play on the grass and sit under the trees at break and lunchtimes. As well as a large sports hall and extensive playing fields, the school has its own indoor heated swimming pool and a multigym fitness room. The school library is very large, extending over two floors and is extremely well stocked, providing an excellent learning resource for students of all ages and for staff. The large new school canteen, operational from 2010, is purpose built and provides an outstanding facility for students and staff to enjoy healthy meals within an extremely comfortable and sociable environment. The school has a number of fully equipped computer suites with all machines fully networked and with connection to the internet. All classrooms have at least one computer and an increasing number are equipped with interactive, electronic whiteboards and data projectors. There are well equipped, specialist suites of classrooms for many subjects including Science, Technology, Art and Music. Our Senior School has its own social area, study, resource areas and canteen. Opened in January 2009, the Poole High School Theatre with seating for up to 500 people provides an outstanding venue for school productions, drama lessons and school assemblies.




Poole High School The Learning Experience From years 8-11 Poole High School follows the National Curriculum

Full details of the current National Curriculum and information for parents can be found at the following website: We are constantly striving to improve and develop our curriculum. Details of the curriculum content and structure for each subject is provided for parents and students each year and current details can be found on our website. Poole High School offers a very wide range of subjects from which students may choose when they begin year 10 and the flexibility of our options structure ensures that a great variety of subject combinations is possible. The separate sciences of Chemistry, Biology and Physics are available at GCSE level as well as the Combined Science GCSE. We have an increasing number of vocational and alternative qualifications on offer including the new diplomas. The large size of our Senior School (sixth form) enables us to offer a superb range of courses at all levels to post-16 students. For further details please see the Senior School prospectus or visit the school website. In all subjects and levels, all staff recognise that learning must be a positive, enjoyable and rewarding experience. We firmly believe that in the classroom nobody has the right to prevent another pupil learning and to this end we have high expectations of students’ behaviour in lessons. This helps us to foster a classroom atmosphere that is pleasant and relaxed but purposeful and productive. We recognise that different pupils learn best in different ways. In all subjects a wide range of learning styles and activities are adopted so that every pupil may excel. During a typical week a student’s lessons may include the use of ICT, pair and groupwork, research, discussions, drama, presentations, experiments, fieldwork in the school grounds as well as the more “traditional” whole class activities led by the teacher.

11 3

Poole High School The Learning Experience (continued) Parent-student-school dialogue


At Poole High School we know that education works at its best if there is a strong learning triangle. This triangle represents the link between Poole High School, our students and their parents. We provide regular progress checks (5 times a year) so that parents know whether or not their sons or daughters are reaching their potential grades and levels. This information is also available to parents through our Learning Gateway via the internet, enabling them to get an instant and up-to-date review of progress at any time. We hold at least one Parent Consultation Evening per year group annually and in some cases two. In addition, we encourage dialogue between parents, students and the school through email and telephone contact as necessary. This is usually through the House Office or the Head of Department of individual subjects. We also encourage our students to engage in dialogue with their teachers, tutors and parents to discuss their progress and areas of success and those for development. Our school website is constantly being developed to provide up-todate information for parents and students and we produce a termly newsletter for parents to keep them informed of activities in school.


Poole High School A Business and Enterprise College Poole High School was awarded Specialist School status as a Business and Enterprise college in September 2009. In order to achieve this prestigious status the school had to secure ÂŁ50,000 sponsorship from local businesses and submit a detailed action plan to the Department for Children, Schools and Families. As well as enabling the school to embark upon an ambitious four-year programme of school development it has brought significant extra funding to the school direct from the government. As a Business and Enterprise College we use our specialist status to raise standards of achievement and the quality of learning for all our students, in all subjects. We aim to enrich and extend learning by encouraging economic and business understanding, enterprise activities and opportunities for pupils to follow a wide range of learning pathways. Poole High School is an active partner in a learning society with our local family of schools and our community, sharing resources and developing and sharing good practice. We work in partnership with the wider community, including business and industry, to enhance opportunities for lifelong learning in the context of business and enterprise. For further information on Specialist Schools and Business and Enterprise Colleges please visit the Specialist Schools Trust website at


Some examples of our Business and Enterprise plans Within the school: • Active and high profile celebration of National Enterprise Week. • Enterprise days for year 8, 9 and 10 students. • Young Chamber, run in conjunction with Dorset Chamber of Commerce. • Young Enterprise for Key Stage 4 and post 16 students. • Our own market garden, run as a going business concern.

Within the community: • Collaboration with local schools across Bournemouth and Poole on new 14 to 19 Diplomas. • Specialist ICT facilitates open for community use. • Supporting local middle schools in the teaching of Enterprise, ICT and Mathematics. • Adult and family learning. • A developing range of Extended Services.


Poole High School Learning Beyond the Classroom There is a wide range of additional activities in which pupils are encouraged to take part. There are clubs and activities after school on most days as well as trips and visits locally and further afield. Some of these are directly linked to their subjects and others are completely separate. These vary from year to year but the list below gives a flavour of some of those that have been offered recently

Animal Club


Annual Year 10 art trip to Tate Modern


Art workshops


Russell-Cotes Museum


Biology fieldwork trips to Kimmeridge


Ecology work on school grounds

Wave Boarding

Trips to local businesses


Business Event Days


Business Conferences


Lectures in London


Chess Club

Weight Training

History trips to WW1 Battlefields Trip


Berlin Robotics competition at Poole and Bournemouth College Clothes Show Live Victoria and Albert Museum - fashion through the ages Fashion Show at Bournemouth University Drama and Dance School Productions, theatre trips Language Trips Cultural visit to Catalonia, Spain Visit to Loire Valley, France Cultural visit to Paris Theatre visit for French play Maths Club Choir Jazz Band Trips to the BSO (symphony Orchestra) Football Rugby Cricket Basketball



Poole High School Some frequently asked questions


Q&A What is Poole High School’s admissions policy? Students will be admitted at the age of 12+ without reference to ability or aptitude within Poole’s agreed secondary scheme for co-ordinated admissions arrangements. Our admissions policy

Is there a school uniform? Yes. As you can see from the photographs in this prospectus the uniform is very simple but smart and we believe that this is very

(as is required for every school) is reviewed annually. A copy of the most recent policy may be found on our website. If you would like a paper copy, please contact the school.

in the correct manner. Whilst at school and on their way to and

Is Poole High School formally affiliated with any particular religion or religious denomination?

from school.

No. Assemblies are held each week for individual Houses and

important as it promotes mutual pride and a sense of community. We expect all pupils to wear full school uniform at all times and

How much homework is set?

year groups which provide opportunities for collective worship and reflection. Religious Education is studied by all students,

We believe that homework is an essential extension to school

following the Poole Agreed Syllabus. Any parent wishing to

study and helps to develop independent learning skills. The

exercise their right to withdraw their child from collective worship

amount of homework set will increase as students go up through

and/or religious education should notify the student’s Head of

the school. In year eight, students should expect to complete

House in writing. Students who are withdrawn may undertake

between 60 and 90 minutes of homework per day. Each pupil

alternative study in their House Office or the school library.

has a homework timetable and a planner in which to record the homework set and its completion date. We ask parents to check this with their children on a weekly basis.

What happens if a student misbehaves?

What support is there at Poole High School for students with special educational needs? There is an appointed team of specialist teachers and assistants

There is a structured and stepped system of sanctions which

to teach and support students with special educational needs.

includes referrals, after school detentions, report cards and

Further details of provision and contact details are available from

community service which are employed when students do not

the school.

meet the standards of behaviour expected at Poole High School. However, we recognise that everybody makes mistakes and the

How can I contact the school?

aim of our sanctions is to encourage pupils to learn from these

Our telephone, email and website details are on the back cover of

mistakes and not repeat them. A full copy of the school’s inclusion

this prospectus. If you would like to visit us or discuss any aspect

policy is available on request.

of the school, we would be delighted to hear from you.


Poole High School Proud to be Successful At Poole High School we recognise that it is essential that success is celebrated so that pupils continue to be motivated and therefore go on to even greater success in the future. A merit system operates within the school and this leads to certificates and awards.


It is part of the school’s philosophy that praise and reward should have great emphasis and they play a key part in the aim of the school to value the achievements of all students. All students respond better to praise rather than reprimand hence rewards are a very important part of classroom management.

Letters of Outstanding Achievement: Each Head of Department has a standard letter that can be sent home to parents praising pupils for excellent work, effort or improvement in their curriculum area. Copies are sent to and retained by the House Office. In addition departments may reward students for their sustained effort via certificates, prizes or the award of Student of the Term.

The school places great emphasis on monitoring and informing students about how they are performing against his/her target grade. Discretionary MERIT’s are given if they have met or exceeded their ‘TARGET GRADE’ in any piece of work. Each student is then entitled to claim a MERIT for meeting each of these criteria. These signatures build up into a system of rewards outlined below:

Sporting Awards: The PE Department works to encourage all of our students to take an active interest in extra- curricular sporting activities. It offers a wide range of clubs and activities after-school and rewards students by use of certificates and personal prizes.

Class teachers – Instant MERIT for each to be recorded in the

Community Award: Pupils are awarded Community Awards

students’ planner using the stamps provided for any good work.

Departments – through the on going tracking procedures that all teachers will contribute to, and any additional Departmental processes. Class and tutor groups – merits can be given to a class or tutor group as a whole to encourage group working / community spirit. Community contribution – at the discretion of any

for outstanding service to the school or local community. These are intended to reward pupils for their efforts outside the school curriculum (e.g. fundraising, environmental projects, House monitors, prefects, House council representatives etc).

Excellent Attendance: Students who have 100% attendance in any one term will be rewarded with a certificate. Where a student achieves a minimum of 92% attendance in any one term with no detentions, he/she will be given an award in the end of term Celebration Assembly.

member of staff, teaching or non-teaching.

Recording Achievement: We believe that it is important

Pastoral system will total Merit Awards - 25 MERITS = pen, 50 MERITS = Bronze Certificate, 100 MERITS = Silver Certificate, 200 MERITS = platinum award 250 MERITS = Headteachers award.

for students to keep a record of their achievement. All students are therefore encouraged to keep all of their certificates safely within their Progress file. A list of certificates/ letters/ commendations will be kept and regularly up-dated within tutor time by the student which will build into the reward structure.

Governors’ Commendation – students are nominated

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

on an annual basis for Governors’ recognition (certificate and engraved pen) during a celebration with the Governors.

Student of the term award - for the best student in each class is based on the highest number of merits. Discretionary rewards: Apart from the formal systems, all staff are consistently asked to recognise and reward all forms of achievement. Recognition of success is shared in form periods, in House assemblies and via the Pupil/Staff bulletin. Each House conducts a termly ‘Celebration of Success’ assembly awarding prizes/certificates. Pupil’s work is displayed in classrooms/corridors/foyer as much as possible.


Students selected to participate in this scheme undertake 4 challenges as follows: Service to the Community, Physical Recreation, Skill Development and Expedition Training in outdoor environments. They may achieve Bronze or Silver Awards. Equally importantly we believe that the day-to-day recognition of good work and behaviour should be praised verbally whenever it is witnessed. We believe that it is important to reprimand pupils who are doing something wrong but just as important, that we praise them when we find them doing something right!

Poole High School Prospectus  
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