FAQs for Parents/Carers
COVID-19 – For up-to-date information about the school’s response to Covid 19, please go to the school’s website: https://www.broughton.edin.sch.uk/
Starting a new school can be daunting for students and their parents and carers. There are so many questions and sometimes it’s difficult to find the answers.
The Parent Council has put together the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you can’t find your answer here then please email email@example.com and we’ll do our best to find the answer for you. We can’t answer questions relating to specific pupils but, hopefully, we can point you in the right direction.
1 What does the Group Tutor do?
Pupils are put into a Tutor group (also known as a Registration group), which is led by a Group tutor or ‘Regi’ tutor.
The group tutor is the student’s first point of contact each day. They take the register and share news and events about the school.
Students stay in the same registration class from S1 to S4 so the group tutor will also get to know each child well and help to form the class into group.
2 What does the Pupil Support Leader do?
Pupil Support Leaders (PSLs) were formerly known as Guidance Teachers.
Pupil Support Leaders get to know the students under their care and are there to provide support to students and their families on a range of issues. They are the first point of contact if you wish to speak to someone about your child – whether about their progress, any difficulties or concerns you or they might have or to discuss any matters outside school which may impact on your child.
Pupil Support Leaders deliver the PSE programme (Personal & Social Education).
Pupil Support Leaders also support the ‘child planning process’. The child planning process includes an assessment of need which supports the school to access additional resources from external agencies. Pupil Support Leaders work alongside other support agencies and with Support for Learning on a daily basis to ensure that young people receive the support required.
3 How do I know who my child’s Pupil Support Leader is?
Every student is the member of a House – Adam, Napier, Raeburn or Scott.
Your child’s house is indicated by the letter in their tutor group name:
So, for example:
1R2 = Year 1, Raeburn House, Tutor Group 2
1S4 = Year 1, Scott House, Tutor Group 4.
Each House has a Pupil Support Leader (Guidance teacher) attached to it.
One of the Depute Head Teachers is Head of each House.
If you know your child’s House then the name of the Pupil Support Leader and Head of House can be found on the school’s “Contact Us” page – https://www.broughton.edin.sch.uk/contact-us.html
If you don’t know your child’s House then you can work it out from the tutor group name on their school timetable, or call the school.
4 If I want to talk to the school about my child, who should I contact?
You can contact either the student’s Pupil Support Leader (Guidance Teacher) or Head of House (Depute Head Teacher) – see the previous question about how to find out who they are.
If you need to speak to the Pupil Support Leader urgently then you can telephone the school on 0131 332 7805.
If you wish to discuss your child’s progress or raise any questions or concerns then the best way to contact them is to email firstname.lastname@example.org and mark the email for the attention of the Pupil Support Leader or Head of House – by name if you know it but if you don’t just put FAO Pupil Support Leader / Head of House – and remember to give the student’s full name and registration class name.
You may need to call or email a few times. The reception staff, and teachers, can be very busy and hard to get hold of.
5 Can I contact individual teachers about course-work or homework?
Any enquiries should first go to the Pupil Support Leader who will pass them onto the Curriculum Leader (Head of Department) for that subject. You can make these enquiries by email or a phone call to the school, as above.
6 What do the three types of classes mean: Tutor Group, ‘Point’ and Sets?
- Tutor Group (usually referred to by pupils as ‘regi’ groups) – Students will normally be in the same tutor group from S1 to S4. Tutor groups are usually around 20 students and are put together for S1 based on a number of factors – including friend requests made by the students in P7 and whether students are in one of the Specialist Schools (Dance, Football or Music). Brothers and sisters will usually be kept in the same house (so that there is consistency with Pupil Support Leader.
During S1 and S2 students stay in their tutor group for practical subjects – Science, CDT (Craft, Design & Technology), HFT (Health & Food Technology), Drama, Art & Design and Music and in addition for PSE (Personal & Social Education) – all practical classes currently have a maximum class size of 20.
● Point Classes are mixed ability classes, usually 25 – 30 students. The purpose of Point Classes is to encourage students to mix and get to know others, outside their registration class. It also gets the students used to having different people in their classes, in preparation for S3, when course choices have been made and each class is different.
During S1 and S2 students are in their Point Class for Languages and Social Subjects (History, Geography and RMPS – Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies).
Students are placed in Sets for Maths, initially based on their test results from primary school and their primary school teacher’s assessment.
Since August 2019, S1 classes in English are mixed ability. S3 and S4 English classes will be divided into broad ability bands (more mixed than sets and less mixed than S1 mixed ability).
There is plenty of opportunity for children to move between sets and bands depending on progress.
7 Do students stay in the same Tutor group and Point classes for their whole time at BHS?
Usually they will be in the same tutor group from S1 to S4. In S5 and S6 the classes change because there are fewer students after S4.
Point classes are only used in S1 and S2.
8 Do students keep the same subject teachers every year?
Subject teachers change each year, depending on how the timetable works out. Sometimes students will have the same subject teacher from one year to the next but this is coincidental.
9 If my child is unhappy in a class, can they change classes?
It is possible to change classes but, before doing so, the Pupil Support Leader would consult with the subject teacher and have a discussion with the student and their parent/ carer to talk through the issue and try to understand whether that would be the best solution.
10 How often will I get an update on my child’s progress?
Pupils’ progress is reported to pupils and parents/carers through: reports, parent consultation evenings and TAPS cards (see below).
Parents’ evenings are held at different points throughout the year depending on the year group. There is usually one per year.
Before the parents evening the students will be issued with an appointment sheet. It is the student’s responsibility to make appointments with each of their teachers and their Pupil Support Leader. In S1 and S2 there are a lot of teachers to see and they can get booked up very quickly.
(If your child doesn’t make an appointment with all the teachers you wish to speak with, it is usually possible to find time on the night, subject to the schedule of each teacher. )
Pupil Support Leaders are also present at Parents’ Evenings and your child can book a slot with them or you can request a meeting with them or ask where to find them on the night.
If you are concerned about comments on your child’s report and there is no Parents’ evening scheduled, you can follow up with through the Pupil Support Leader or Head of House by email or phone, as above.
You can also request an update on your child’s progress at any time during the year, by contacting your child’s Pupil Support Leader and asking them to canvas your child’s subject teachers for feedback. This could then form the basis of a conversation or meeting with the Pupil Support Leader, and if required, your child. You can make contact by email or phone, as above
11 My child has mentioned “learning conversations” – what are they?
These are conversations which each student has with their individual group tutor on a regular basis from S1 to S6, to review their progress so far and to set targets.
12 My child has brought home a TAPS card- what is this?
TAPS stands for Targets and Achievements Personal Support Card. Students are issued with TAPS cards from S4 – S6. These track the student’s targets and prelim (mock exam) results and set out areas for improvement to help the students reach their targets.
13 If my child is struggling with a particular subject or if I have any concerns, who do I speak to?
Contact the student’s Pupil Support Leader – see the previous question about how to find out who they are, they will pass on your concerns to the Curriculum Leader (Head of Department).
Alternatively, discuss your concerns with the subject teacher at a parents evening (if there is one coming up shortly).
14 When should I contact Learning Support?
If you have a child with an identified learning need.
If you are requesting a diagnosis for an additional support need.
If a young person requires additional support as a temporary measure (for example illness, post-surgery, post-accident).
If you have concerns about your young person accessing learning or regarding support for exam arrangements.
15 What is the best way to support my child with homework? How much homework should I expect them to have?
Each department (Faculty) sets homework assignments as appropriate. Teachers are happy to discuss homework and how best you can help at Parents evening consultations. If you have a concern between Parents evening consultations, you can email or call your child’s Pupil Support Leader, as above.
16 If I have emailed or phoned the school but haven’t got a reply, what do I do?
Email again to email@example.com.
Mark your email for the attention of the student’s Pupil Support Leader or Head of House (Depute Head Teacher) – see the earlier question about how to find out who they are.
If you still don’t get a response, mark your email for the attention of the Head Teacher.
The school has a 28 day response time policy, but most questions demand, and should get, an answer well within this time-frame.
17 What do I do if I receive an unsatisfactory response from the school?
The School’s complaints policy can be found at: www.broughton.edin.sch.uk/images/docs/Complaints%20Procedures%20for%20Parents%202012.pdf
The first step would be to contact the Depute Head Teacher or Head Teacher. If the issue is not resolved the next step would be to contact the City of Edinburgh Council Advice and Complaints Service firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Edinburgh Council complaints procedure can be found at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20014/schools_and_learning/193/ask_for_help_or_complain_about_education
18 What do students do at break / lunchtime? How do I pay for lunches?
Morning break is 10.20 – 10.35 and lunchtime is 13.05- 13.50.
Catering facilities are provided in the school at break and lunchtimes.
S1 – S4 students remain on the school premises.
S5 – S6 students are permitted to leave the school premises.
Lunchtime – All students are permitted to leave the school premises (S1s are encouraged to stay on the premises for the first few weeks of term).
School lunches can be paid for online through Parent Pay: http://www.parentpay.com . The school will provide you with login details. The website also lets you see what your child has ordered and you can set up a low-balance alert.
Pupils are given a PIN code to use at the tills- one till also accepts cash payment. Pupils can also top up their lunch account at machines in the hub, using coins only.
Information about claiming free school meals can be found on the school’s website: http://www.broughton.edin.sch.uk/free-school-meals.html . The school will be very happy to help any families who need support or advice to apply.
19 What does my child need to bring to school?
Ideally every pupil will arrive at school with pen,pencil,rubber, sharpener etc. Jotters are provided in class. The school can provide scientific calculators at a reasonable cost.
The school encourage every young person to wear school uniform: http://www.broughton.edin.sch.uk/about/school-uniform.html . Spare clothing is always available if needed. If there is a specific issue with an aspect of school uniform for your child, you can contact their guidance teacher to discuss it further. Exemptions would apply for medical reasons. In these instances, the school may be able to grant permission for a small change.
Spare lockers are made available in September each year, in exchange for a paid deposit. There are not enough lockers for every pupil so they are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
21 Other ways to access and receive information about what is happening in the school.
School website: www.broughton.edin.sch.uk
The pupil bulletins listed in the Pupil Zone tab give a useful weekly update on what is happening.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BroughtonHighSchool
Twitter account: https://twitter.com/BroHighOfficial
School App: Secondary School App. You can download the app by searching for ‘SSA’ in the Apple or Google Play app stores.
The Parent Council social media platforms also hold useful information, including dates of Parent Council meetings where you get the chance to meet other parents and to hear directly about the school’s progress from the Head Teacher and Deputes.
22 What technology does my child require at high school?
Many pupils will have their own smartphone and access to a computer or tablet at home, but these are not required by the school. There are often choices available for homework, e.g. write a report or produce a presentation, so pupils can work in the way that suits them based on what they have available. Most work is still done with good old fashioned pencils and jotters!
23 Do I need to provide school books for my child?
All learning materials and jotters are provided by the school. This does mean that pupils are not always given textbooks to bring home.
Parents may choose to buy a text book or study guide to support their child at home but this is not an expectation from the school.
24 What PE kit does my child need?
A red t-shirt and black shorts – nice and simple!
25 What extra-curricular activities are available?
Under normal (non-Covid) circumstances, the school has a huge range of extra activities which pupils can join in with. These range from lunchtime clubs (chess; book club; Amnesty group etc) to an after-school Active Schools programme with a huge range of sporting activities which can be tried on a drop-in basis.
Usually the Active Schools programme starts after the September holiday weekend. The school will send information out to parents.
There is also a range of subject-based school trips each year, e.g. Rome, Barcelona, ski trip.
The regular Pupil Bulletin (available on the school’s website) is a great place to find out about activities.
26 How can I get involved with the Parent Council or the Broughton High School Association?
Coming along to PC meetings or helping at BHSA events is a great way to meet other parents and find out what’s happening at the school. New people are always very welcome! Not everyone is able to attend formal meetings, but our Volunteer Opportunities page on the website gives a flavour of the different ways you can get involved.
Dates for the PC meetings are available on the diary page of the website. The AGM in September covers some core PC business, but more time is given to presentations from the Senior Leadership Team, and a chance to chat to other parents over a glass of wine!
The BHSA are the fundraising arm of the PC. They meet on the first Thursday of every month during term time – either at the school or in the community room at Waitrose. See their page on the website to find out about all the wonderful things they do.
For more information about the PC, e-mail: email@example.com
For more information about the BHSA, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What do all those abbreviations mean?
HT – Head Teacher
DHT – Depute Head Teacher
SfL – Support for Learning
ASL – Additional support for learning
GIRFEC – Getting it right for every child
PSL – Pupil support leader
CL – Curriculum leader
MFL – Modern Foreign Languages
SS – Social Subjects
H&WB – Health and Wellbeing
PSE – Personal and Social Education
RMPS – Religious, Moral and Philosophical studies
CEC – City of Edinburgh Council
TAPS card – Targets and Achievements Personal Support card
PC – Parent Council
BHSA – Broughton Association – fundraising team of the PC