Parental FAQs

What is the School's remote learning provision?

Please find details in the document below

Remote-Education-Provision - January 2021

How do I inform the School if my child is going to be absent from School?

ATTENDANCE

Parents are under a duty to ensure that their children attend full-time education. At Rickmansworth we aim for students to achieve a minimum of 96% attendance.    In cases where there are health issues and/or attendance is lower than expected we will work with parents to maximise school attendance.  We may routinely ask for supporting evidence in order to authorise absence from school.

Notification of absence/reason for lateness:

Students should be in school on time every day that the school is open unless the reason for absence is unavoidable.   Notification of absence/reason for lateness should be emailed to the School by 08.00 on the first day of absence and all subsequent days. The email address to use is:

For Sixth Form absence, the email address to use is:

The parents of students marked absent in the morning who have not contacted the School will receive an email/text message asking them to explain the reason for their child’s absence. Please respond to this message promptly. 

Medical Appointments:

Parents and carers are asked to avoid arranging medical appointments during school time unless it is an emergency.  Absence from school affects a child’s academic progress and personal development.

Permission to leave the School during school hours for a medical appointment will be subject to a written request to the Attendance Officer from parents, and students must sign out and in at the Student Reception.

If a student is given permission to leave school for an appointment during the school day they must be collected by a parent/carer.  Students in year 10 and above only may leave school for appointments without being collected provided that parent / carer has given permission in writing or by telephone.

Illness during the school day:

If a student feels unwell during the day they should tell their teacher who will send them to the medical room with a note should they think it essential.   Students should not attend the Medical Room during movement time between lessons.

The Welfare Assistant in Student Reception will deal with any illness or accidents in school and, if necessary, contact parents.  Students should not phone home themselves.  For this reason, it is absolutely essential for the School to have up-to-date telephone numbers for at least two contacts.  If your child is too ill to remain at school you will be required to collect them. 

Leave of Absence during term time:

Requests for leave of absence during term time will only be considered where there are exceptional circumstances.  A leave of absence is granted entirely at the Headteacher’s discretion.   Permission for absence other than that due to illness must be sought in writing, in advance, from the Headteacher via the Student Leave of Absence Form (non-medical) which can be accessed via the Attendance page of our website. It is for the Headteacher to determine what constitutes exceptional circumstances and to determine the number of school days a child can be away from school if the leave is granted.  All applications for leave of absence must be made in advance to the Headteacher and any leave of absence taken without permission in advance will be unauthorised.

Penalty Notice:

The vast majority of our students have excellent attendance. When a student's absence is unauthorised we will write to parents in accordance with Local Authority guidance. A warning letter will be sent to parents when a student has been absent without authorisation on 6 occasions. 

Should a student’s number of unauthorised absence sessions (a session is one half day, AM or PM) reach 15 or more in the current and/or previous term we may liaise with Hertfordshire County Council may issue a Penalty Notice. 

Parents and carers are individually responsible for ensuring their child’s regular attendance at school and if a child lives with both parents separate Penalty Notices will be issued to each parent and each parent is liable to pay the penalty. 

Penalty Notices are issued for each child to whom the absence relates.  The amount payable is £60 per parent if paid within 21 days or £120 per parent if paid after 21 days but within 28 days of receipt of Notice. 

Hertfordshire County Council will issue all Penalty Notices which meet the HCC Code of Conduct regardless of the overall level of the student's attendance and whether the unauthorised absence relates solely to an unauthorised holiday or other unauthorised absence.  

The issuing of Penalty Notices will comply with the Code of Conduct and practice as determined by the Local Authority. We would recommend that all parents/carers familiarise themselves with the School Attendance Policy.

How can I ensure I can have contact with the school?

Communication - Parental Responsibility

The School can only communicate with those who have "parental responsibility". This is recorded in our Managament Information System. To find out more information about parental responsibility, please see the Gov.UK information below. 

If you have parental responsibility but believe our records are incorrect, please contact your child's Director of Learning. 

Gov.UK - Parental rights and responsibilities 

 

How do I update my child's details including my contact details?

If you would like to make changes to your’s or your child’s personal details this can be done via the SIMS Parent App.

 

If you require help with this please email datateam@rickmansworth.herts.sch.uk

How do I make payments for trips, food and other resources?


The School has recently changed its payment system.   All meals and new items from April 2023 onwards should be paid via ParentPay.  Please note that there are a small number of items which were set up before April 2023 which must be paid via the old system Pay360.

  • Residential & Day Trips. Once consent has been given please allow 24-48 hours for the system to update
  • School Lunches
  • Other resources such as revision books and calculators 

Please note that the School no longer accepts payments by cash or cheque and we no longer have a cash "top up" machine in school.  The Sixth Form are able to pay by card in the Sixth Form Coffee Shop.

Click on the link below to access ParentPay.  If you have not yet set up your account please contact bursar@rickmansworth.herts.sch.uk

ParentPay - for meals and new items from April 2023

Pay360 - For Prom, Battlefields, New York, Work Experience, some DoE payments

What food is on offer during the school day?

Information about food provided by the school kitchen

All chicken, turkey, beef and lamb products are made with halal meat.  The decision was made following a consultation with parents and students in 2018.

It is not possible to offer both halal and non halal variations of each dish due to the size of our kitchen.  Culinera displays signage within the school restaurant asking customers with special dietary or cultural requirements to speak to the Executive Chef or Allergen Champions before buying produce. 

The school restaurant serves a wide range of food options including a range of vegetarian options and pork options (not halal). 

Please click on the Culinera website for an up-to-date food menu and tariff

Culinera website

Students eligible for free school meals are able to obtain one item at break (any value) and are able to select either a main meal and dessert or a main meal and drink at lunchtime as set out on the attachment below.

Free School Meal lunch

How will you keep me informed of my child's academic progress?

Your child's teachers will report on their academic progress, attitude to learning and home learning 3 times a year. One of these reports will include a written report from each class teacher and a form tutor summary. All reports are published on SIMS Parent App.

If you would like support using the SIMS system please email datateam@rickmansworth.herts.sch.uk or call School Reception and ask to be put through to the Data Team.

You will also be invited to attend one parent consultation each year, which will give you the chance to discuss your child’s progress in each subject with their teachers.  Attendance at parent consultations is essential and we would ask that at least one parent attends.

How can I monitor my child's Home Learning?

You can receive email updates showing Google Classroom work using the Google Guardian feature.

The school will send invites out to parent email addresses that are on record.

If you have a Google account you can configure email updates to be daily, otherwise by default it is once per week.

If you have any queries, please contact:

How can I help my child to complete their Home Learning?

Evidence shows that regular completion of high-quality home learning can add on an average of five months of additional progress to your child’s learning. Completion of home learning tasks can be useful for the following reasons:

  • Consolidation of knowledge and opportunities to practise skills learnt in lessons
  • Preparing students for later school and university life when more revision is needed
  • Applying learning to new tasks
  • Bridging the divide between home and school
  • Encouraging independent learning
  • Exploiting resources not available in school

Please use the guidance attached to effectively support your child with revision and home learning.

Parents are also advised to attend the Home Learning Workshop which is hosted annually and promoted on the parent support page.

How does the Home School Agreement help to ensure my child achieves their potential?

Our Home School Agreement clarifies what we expect from students, staff and parents at Rickmansworth School. Parents and carers are required to sign the agreement once their child joins Rickmansworth School. 

Our vision is to develop well-rounded successful individuals, all of whom make a positive contribution to Rickmansworth school life and beyond. We aim to provide an inclusive, safe, happy and stimulating environment; one which is based on mutual respect and collaborative relationships between students, staff and the wider community.   

At Rickmansworth School, our aims are to help all students:

  • Develop lively, enquiring minds. 

  • Have the ability to question, argue rationally and think creatively.

  • Be equipped with the knowledge and cultural-capital necessary to succeed in life.

  • Value participation, performance and the creativity of others.

  • Demonstrate understanding and respect for the uniqueness and beliefs of the individual.

  • Maximise opportunities for artistic, expressive, creative and technological experiences.

  • Achieve qualifications which maximise opportunities in employment and higher education.

  • Develop into confident, responsible and articulate citizens who take responsibility for their own health, safety and well-being, in addition to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

  • Develop and explore their inner strengths to thrive in school and beyond.

To achieve these aims Staff will:

  • Create opportunities to help students achieve their potential.

  • Strive to continually improve the standard of their teaching.

  • Be fully prepared for every lesson, having the necessary resources, writing materials and equipment.

  • Assess and mark students’ work regularly, in-line with School Feedback policy.

  • Set appropriate and relevant home learning in accordance with School policy.

  • Model expectations of punctuality and attendance.

  • Be courteous and show respect to students, visitors, and other staff.

  • Offer guidance and care for their students.

  • Present a professional appearance at all times.

  • Inform parents of their child’s progress, and of School activities.

  • Adhere to guidance within all School policies.


The Parents will:

  • Work in partnership with the staff to ensure that their child achieves their potential.

  • Encourage their child to work hard and to strive to achieve their best in all their activities.

  • Ensure that their child has the necessary books, writing materials, access to a Chromebook and equipment.

  • Ensure that their child is in full school uniform and is dressed according to the School’s expectations.

  • Encourage their child to complete home learning to the best of their ability and meet all deadlines set.    

  • Ensure their child’s attendance is above 96% and they are punctual.

  • Permit no absence by their child, except when it is absolutely unavoidable.

  • Ensure that School activities for their child take priority during term time, over activities out of School.

  • Support their child and the staff in their efforts by attending Parent Consultation events and Parent Information Evenings.

  • Inform the School of any circumstance which may affect their child’s progress.

  • Avoid talking negatively about the School or members of the school community via social media and contact the appropriate member of staff to discuss any concerns, in a professional and constructive manner.

  • Recognise that staff will respond to queries as soon as possible but within 48 hours (working days when School is open to students).

  • Utilise their child’s  Form Tutor as the first point of contact.

  • Fully support the School’s rewards and consequence policy, including attendance at detentions.

  • Communicate with members of staff in a respectful manner.

The Student will:

  • Be committed to working hard and taking responsibility for their own learning and behaviour.

  • Strive to achieve their personal best in all they do.

  • Be fully prepared for every lesson, having the necessary books, writing materials, access to technology and equipment.

  • Conform to the School’s requirements for uniform, dress and appearance.

  • Complete home learning to the best of their ability and meet all deadlines.

  • Be punctual in attendance at school and to every lesson.

  • Be caring towards others and never bully or intimidate.

  • Uphold the principles outlined in the Student Equality Policy.

  • Ensure that their actions never disrupt the course of a lesson.

  • Be courteous and show respect to staff, visitors, and other students.

  • Treat school equipment, furniture, buildings, and grounds with care and respect.

  • Strive to uphold the good name of the School by their conduct in and out of School.

  • Demonstrate and uphold the values of the Ricky R’s.

What uniform does my child need and how can I make a purchase?

Parents and carers can purchase an item of uniform from the PTA Uniform Shop which is hosted on the school site at regular intervals throughout the school year (please see the school calendar for dates and times). The PTA uniform shop is run by parent volunteers, in doing so raising significant funds for the school whilst selling high-quality items at very competitive prices.


In response to feedback from recent shops and in order to reduce waiting times, please print this order form, complete it as much as possible, and bring it (and a pen) along with you.  The shop will be in the main hall. The entrance to the shop is currently via the external fire exit doors, which can be accessed from the courtyard to the side of the hall.

A Friday lunchtime Uniform Shop for students only is also available. We accept cash, card or cheque. 

Uniform Price List (June 2023)

Uniform And Sports Equipment Years 7-11  (2022-23)

Parents and carers can also purchase second-hand uniform which is available from the Watford Peace Hospice shop. 

What are the school's uniform rules and expectations for Year 7-11 students?

Students are expected to wear full school uniform at all times unless instructed otherwise. Furthermore, students are required to adhere to the following.

Blazers

  • Worn at all times unless students are given permission to remove them

  • Sleeves are not to be rolled up

  • Only school pin badges are permitted

Hair

  • Natural colours only

  • Conventional styles only (no part shorter than grade 2)

  • Years 7-11 are clean shaven. Any student may approach their Director of Learning to grant permission if there are religious or other reasons to grow a beard.

Jewellery

  • One small stud earring in each earlobe only. Cartilage piercings are not permitted. Clear plastic studs are not permitted under any circumstance

  • No facial piercings

  • One discreet bracelet (includes charity band)

  • One discreet necklace worn underneath school shirt or blouse

  • No rings

Other

  • Headphones/earbuds are not permitted in any area of the school at any time; this is a breach of the school’s mobile phone policy

  • No coloured nail varnish or false nails

  • Natural, discreet make-up is allowed. For example, foundation and concealer are allowed but eye shadow, eyeliner and lipstick are not

  • Hoodies (jackets made of jersey material with hoods) are not permitted either under or over blazers and jackets

  • Black, flat formal/school shoes (not sport shoes, canvas shoes, boots, ankle boots or trainers)

  • Any student choosing to wear a shirt that can button to the top must wear a tie

  • Ties must be worn with the knot over the top button and the crest showing below the knot. Students must not pull the threads of ties

  • Blouses and shirts must be tucked in with the top button of shirts fastened

  • White, not coloured T-shirts, may be worn under school shirts or blouses

  • Religious head coverings should not be patterned and be one of the main school colours (green, maroon or black)

  • Kilts should not be rolled up and the waistband should be at the waist

  • Trousers should be tailored and not of a ‘skinny’ style or chinos. They should not have rivets

  • Outdoor coats must not be patterned

  • Socks must be plain black

  • Tights must be non-patterned, black or ‘flesh-coloured’ without socks

What equipment does my child need to bring to school each day?

In order for your child to engage fully in every lesson it is essential they arrive to each lesson fully prepared.  Form Tutors will complete regular equipment checks to ensure students are organised. 

Essential Equipment

  • Fully charged Chromebook

  • Subject exercise and text books 

  • 2x blue or black pens

  • Green pen

  • Purple pen

  • 2 pencils 

  • Eraser

  • Ruler

  • Glue stick

  • Scientific calculator

  • Protractor

  • Compass

  • Pencil sharpener

  • Subject specific equipment

  • Headphones - non USB, standard jack

All essential equipment can be purchased from the school library. 

 

Desirable Equipment 

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Colouring pencils

  • Highlighters

  • Safety/round ended scissors

  • Hair band to tie back long hair during some classes

Maths Equipment (Dependant on current topic)

  • Compasses

  • Protractor

 All maths equipment can be purchased from the maths department. 

 

Can my child use their phone in school?

Students are not permitted to use their mobile phone anywhere on the school site from 08.30-15.30, unless they are Sixth Formers who can use their phones in the sixth form block.  Students who breach this rule will have their phone confiscated until the end of the school day and issued with a C3. Parents of repeat offenders will be required to collect their child's mobile phone in person.  These rules also apply to school trips during organised events.

Students in Year 7-11 are not permitted to wear Smart Watches.  

Should students need to contact their parents or carers they should report to student reception.  We ask parents to avoid texting and calling their children during the school day, instead contacting the school office if required.

Further details regarding the use of mobile phones are outlined in the Mobile Phone Policy. 

How does my child find an item of Lost Property?

If students are not able to find an item of lost property by retracing their steps they should report the item lost to student recpetion.  We strongly recommend that all items of clothing and equipment are labelled.

What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

Occasionally the additional learning needs of a student may arise during their adolescent years. The school does not diagnose specific special educational needs and parents will be notified before referrals are made to other professionals. It is important that parents notify us of any diagnosis obtained privately or of any additional changes to their child’s learning needs.

Please email senco@rickmansworth.herts.sch.uk if you wish to discuss your child's educational needs. 

What is the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Scheme?

All students are required to bring a Chromebook to school every day to support their learning. Students are able to purchase a Chromebook through the school's easy4u scheme or source their own Chromebook. Sixth Form students may also purchase a Chromebook or can source a device of their choosing.

Further information on the BYOD scheme can be found on the BYOD page of the website. 

Can my child take part in private music lessons?

All students in the school have the opportunity to receive one to one (or group) instrumental lessons with our team of Peripatetic Staff. These lessons take place across a school day meaning students will miss part of their curriculum lessons to attend their instrumental lessons. Lessons are 30 minutes in length and operate on a weekly rotated time table as to avoid students missing the same lessons each week. A notice board of timetables and rooms used is displayed in the foyer of the Music block for students to check where and when their lessons are. In the instance of a Key Stage 4 or 5 student taking lessons, lunchtimes and/or study study periods can be used. We currently offer lessons in:

  • Woodwind (Flute and Clarinet)
  • Saxophone
  • Strings (Violin and Viola)
  • Piano
  • Voice
  • Guitar/Bass Guitar
  • Drums/Percussion
  • Brass

Please see attached the Music Instrumental Application Form for further details including cost and terms & conditions. Pupil Premium funding will cover the cost of ONE lesson per term and the hire of an instrument where applicable.

Music Instrumental Application Form

How does the school prevent incidents of bullying?

Bullying is not tolerated at Rickmansworth School and any alleged incidents are dealt with quickly.  If a student believes they are being bullied they should speak to any member of staff who will follow the Anti-Bullying policy.

Alternatively, students can report anonymously via the email address stopbullying@rickmansworth.herts.sch.uk  or via the report bullying function on the student page of the website. 

We actively encourage students to be part of a positive school community through the Ricky R’s and we celebrate generosity, kindness and diversity. 

How do I contact a member of staff?

 

Please see the the communication guidance link:

Contacts and Guidance

How does the school reward good behaviour and student achievements?

How does the School encourage and reward positive behaviour?

Wherever possible and appropriate, staff seek to reward students through our rewards system which ranges from R1 (merit) to R8 (annual subject award). Reward points are collected to allow students to achieve a range of certificates, they also contribute points towards the House competition. 

Conversely, we also have a range of consequences issued to students should they fail to meet our expected standards, although the majority of students are unlikely to receive consequences.

All behaviour entries are entered into SIMS and can be accessed by parents. This includes notifications of detentions, which are then served by the student the following day after school. 

For further information, please read our Behaviour for Learning Policy

How can my child travel to school ?

Walking

Wherever possible students are encouraged to walk to School, not only does this reduce traffic congestion it also provides the opportunity for some light exercise.  Due to the high levels of fast-moving traffic, students are asked to only cross Watford Road and Scots Hill using a pedestrian crossing or traffic island.  Under no circumstance should students be crossing the Watford Road between All Saints Church and Yorke Road.

The School would be grateful if parents discuss their child’s walking route with them and consider safe crossing points.  We would also ask parents to encourage their child to not listen to music whilst walking to School in order to prevent the possibility of an incident highlighted in the video below which was produced by a group of our Film Studies students. 

 

 

Cycling

Students who cycle to School are able to store their bicycles in a secure shed that is locked during the school day.  Due to the high levels of fast moving traffic students are asked to cycle with care and follow the Highway Code. All students who cycle to school are required to obtain a Rickmansworth Cycle pass from Student Reception and adhere to the rules:

• Check their bike on a weekly basis

• Wear a helmet 

• Have working lights when cycling in the dark or dusk 

• Never cycle in groups larger than 3, and no more than 2 people abreast

• Never cycle on pavements 

• Never perform tricks on public roads and pavements 

• Bring a padlock to School and secure their bike 

• Never ride their bike on the School grounds at any time 

• Carry their Cycle Pass at all times 

• Report any dangerous cycling behaviour 

Cycle Pass Form

The School would be grateful if parents discuss their child’s route and the importance of safe cycling with them.  Further advice is available from the Sustrans website.

 

Parent Drop Off

In order to reduce traffic in the immediate vicinity of the School, parents are asked to drop their children off in a safe location away from the School gates and continue their journey by foot.  ‘Park and Stride’ reduces traffic, lowers the risk of accidents and provides the opportunity for some light exercise.  Parents travelling from Rickmansworth are asked to drop off at the Scotsbridge Public Car Park, whilst parents travelling along The Green or Watford Road are asked to park on an appropriate side road, whilst considering our neighbours.   

We would kindly ask that parents do not park outside the School on Watford Road or by All Saints Church to drop their child off as this causes a very high risk to students.

 

Public Transport and School Coaches

The School is within walking distance of Rickmansworth and Croxley Green train stations and is also accessible via Arriva bus service routes:

http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/

Other operators also facilitate an independent timetabled service for the following routes:

Route Number

Route

Operator

DAV4

Bushey, Carpenders Park, South Oxhey, Prestwick Road, Carpenders Park Station, Hayling Road, Rickmansworth School

Harlequin Travel

849

Ashfields, Courtlands Drive Shops, Courtlands Drive/The Ridgeway, Nascot Wood Road, Tunnel Wood Road, Hempstead Road, Langley Road, Rickmansworth Road Met Station Approach, Croxley/Watford Road, Croxley/Metropolitan Station, Scots Hill/Rickmansworth School

Lanes Coaches

 

Hertfordshire Savercard

To ensure students receive half price bus travel on Hertfordshire buses for 11-19 year olds, you will need to apply for a Hertfordshire Savercard.  Please follow the link below to apply:

https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/Schools-and-education/Travel-to-school/Savercard/savercard.aspx

Arriva Student and Child Direct Debit Tickets

Arriva offer Arriva Student and Child Direct Debit Tickets. Child Saver tickets are available for anyone up to and including school Year 11, and Student Saver tickets are available for anyone aged 16+ in full time education. For those who are currently purchasing daily, weekly and 4 weekly tickets, the direct debit scheme not only offers a cost saving, but also the flexibility to stop and start payments when you wish. The additional benefits of these tickets are that the Students can use them in the evenings, weekends and during term holidays.

Further information can be found by following this link and selecting Herts and Essex.

https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/business-travel/student-and-child-direct-debit-tickets

Lanes Coaches

Please follow the link below to view the timetable.  To obtain tickets / check availability, please contact Lanes Coaches direct on 01582 604331  

Please note that this service is not contracted by the school and parents should liaise with Lanes Coaches directly regarding any queries. 

Lanes Coach Website

 

Harlequin Travel

The contact telephone number for Harlequin Travel is 01494 444551.

Parents and carers will need to register that their child will be using the service in advance by emailing hometoschool@harlequintravel.co.uk.

Please note that this service is not contracted by the school and parents should liaise with Harlequin Travel directly regarding any queries.

What extra-curricular clubs are available and how can my child take part?

Details of our extra curricular provision are listed on the Curriculum page of the website and your child should speak to their teacher in the appropriate subject if they wish to attend.  Extra curricular clubs will also be promoted extensively in lessons and through form time.

Do you have lockers for my child to keep belongings in?

ILS provides lockers for Rickmansworth School students. The lockers are owned by ILS and are available for students to rent on an annual basis. There is a rental cost per year which allows use from September through to July. Please note all bookings terminate at the end of the school year in July. We apologise but there is no discount for lockers booked late in the year.
 

The locker size is as follows:

Height: 595mm
Width: 300mm
Depth: 450mm

To guarantee a locker please book online at www.ilsschools.co.uk. Lockers for the next academic year will be available online from June 1st of each year. Lockers are subject to availability, so please book early to avoid disappointment. All available lockers are shown online.

All rentals are subject to terms and conditions which are available during the booking process. Please note ILS is a separate entity from the school and all dealings will be direct with ILS. Lockers cannot be reserved or booked via telephone.

What are your office opening times?

If you need to call the school, the telephone line is open from 08:15 - 16:15 Monday - Thursday and 08:15 - 15:45 on Fridays.

If you need to visit the school, Reception is open between 08:00 - 16:30 Monday - Thursday and 08:00 - 16:00 on Fridays.