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General Information

Approach to Reading

At The Oakwood Academy, we recognise the importance that reading has in ensuring that students achieve well academically as well as expand their knowledge and vocabulary. With this in mind, we invest curriculum time in Years 7, 8 and 9 to ensure that students read widely and make rapid improvements in their reading ages. As part of the Redhill Trust, our aim is for all students in Year 9 to have a reading age of 15.

Reading in Years 7, 8 and 9.

Students in Years 7 and 8, will have one lesson in the library a week. This is known as their Accelerated Reader lesson. Students will work with a programme called Accelerated Reader which helps students to understand the level of book they should be reading. Once a student has read their book they complete a short online quiz to check their comprehension of the book and then discuss with the librarian, based on these results, what to read next.

Students can log onto Accelerated Reader here :

You can read more about how AR works in this Parent Guide and Parent Guide - Helping your Child with Literacy too.

Students in Year 9 have a dedicated reading hour every week which is differentiated based on their ability and graduated response in reading.

Students in these years will all have 15 minutes a day Drop Everything and Read time. This allows them to read for 15 minutes every day. The time for this is rolled through the periods of the week (e.g. in the first week it will be 15 minutes every period 1. The week after it will be during period 2). During DEAR students are encouraged to discuss the big reading question which is sent to staff weekly. Beyond this, we encourage students to read for 30 minutes extra a week to improve their own reading ability and enthusiasm.

Reading in Years 10 and 11

Although they do not have a daily reading slot, students in Years 10 and 11 still need to bring a book to school as part of their ready to learn equipment as they will have one DEAR period during a tutor time slot. Further to this, Y10 and Y11 have a curriculum which is designed to give ample opportunity for reading and develop their skills in line with our whole school approach of disciplinary reading.


At the Oakwood Academy, we have a graduated response for intervention based on the stage in which a student is on their reading age journey. This may include

-       Phonics baseline for students who are under the Reading Age of 7 or present traits of requirement of phonics intervention

-       Group Reading in AR

-       Tracking based on key reading skills such as fluency, decoding and comprehension

-       Curriculum design based around reading skills such as  reciprocal reading

-       Trust wide events for students who want to challenge their reading beyond the classroom

Reading in the Curriculum

A big focus for our school and as a Trust is that we have put reading as a focus point to our curriculum deliverance. Without our curriculum, students are given different reading strategies based around the concept of Disciplinary Reading. Students are encouraged to read a range of subject specific books through our subject-specific reads. This allows our students to develop their own concept of non-fiction reading, while also pursuing their own subject specific interests.


Regular attendance at school is essential to ensure uninterrupted progress and to enable children to extend their potential. The attendance pattern for all children is monitored weekly with the school seeking to work actively with parents to ensure a regular pattern is maintained. We expect all children on roll to attend every day when the school is in session as long as they are fit and healthy enough to do so.

One of our basic principles is to celebrate success. Good attendance is fundamental to a successful and fulfilling school experience. We actively promote 100% attendance for all our students, and we use a variety of weekly, termly and annual awards to promote good attendance and punctuality.

We encourage children to attend and to put in place appropriate procedures to support this. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is the development of positive attitudes towards school and learning.

Poor attendance can seriously affect each child:

  • Attainment in school
  • Relationships with other children and their ability to form lasting friendships
  • Confidence to attempt new work and to learn alongside others

We want all children to achieve their full potential. This means that every lesson counts! Children who have time off school find it difficult to catch up, and in secondary schools, 17 school days missed can lead to one GCSE grade lost.

The Governors and Headteacher, in partnership with parents, have a duty to promote full attendance at school.

Congratulations to all staff and students who are working hard to make all lessons count with 100% attendance.

Reporting Absence

The Oakwood Academy is committed to providing all students with a full-time education experience that maximises each student’s opportunities and allows each to realise their true potential. We believe that if a student is to benefit from education, good attendance is crucial.

Attendance is a critical factor to a productive and successful Academy career; our Academy will actively promote and encourage 100% attendance for all our students.

The Oakwood Academy will give high priority to communicating with parents and students the importance of regular and punctual attendance. We recognise that parents have a vital role to play and that there is a need to establish strong home-school links and communications systems that can be utilised whenever there is concern about attendance.

If there are problems which affect a student’s attendance we will investigate, identify and strive, in partnership with parents and students, to resolve those problems as quickly as possible.

What do I do if my child has to be absent?

If your child is not able to come to school, you must contact us as soon as possible. You can call our Attendance Officer on 0115 953 9323 or email

Hardship Fund Application Form

The Oakwood Academy recognises that there are families that might need support during their child’s education from time to time. A Hardship Fund has been established to help support these families and is a discretionary source of financial help. It is in place to offer assistance to families who may be experiencing financial difficulties.

Click here to read the Hardship Fund letter in full and click here to access the Hardship Fund application form. 

Medication in School

We are aware that there are times when students need to take medication to manage either a short term or longer term condition. We would ask that you check the information below very carefully please to ensure that we work together to support all young people at all times. In 2015, the DfE issued updated statutory guidance on the managing of medications in school and supporting students with medical conditions. Following the guidance and some recent work in school, the following important information needs to be shared:


  1. All students with long term medical conditions, known to the school, will be asked, with support from parents and medical professionals, to complete an Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP). This is an ongoing area of work at this time. Should your child have any long term medical conditions, which require support in school, it is important that you let House Support Team know.

  2. Once implemented, the IHCP will be reviewed annually or as and when required to do so if a change in any medical condition occurs

  3. All long term medication, prescribed by a medical professional and which is necessary to be taken in school hours, will be stored securely at student reception and only administered by a qualified member of staff

  4. The school can only accept prescribed medications that are in date, labelled and provided in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist. This must include instructions for administration, dosage and storage. Parents have a responsibility to bring medication into school as it cannot and will not be accepted from students.

  5. When a student has an ailment that is not a long term condition, the school cannot and will not give the student prescription or non-prescription medicines without their parent’s written permission.

  6. We ask that you do not send your child to school with prescription or non-prescription drugs without informing the House Support Team first.

  7. It is a concern when students carry medication, prescribed or non-prescribed and self-administer in school and this should not happen.

Parent Meetings

We provide formal opportunities for you to meet with teachers and discuss the progress that your child is making in school. Should you feel the need to contact a member of teaching staff outside these times, you are asked to contact main reception in the first instance.

The dates and times for our formal parent / teacher consultation evenings are as follows:

Parents' Evenings

  • Thursday 29th February 2024 — Year 11 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm
  • Wednesday 13th March 2024 — Year 9 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm
  • Thursday 28th March 2024 — Year 10 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm
  • Thursday 18th April 2024 — Year 7 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm
  • Tuesday 14th May 2024 — Year 8 Parents’ Evening 4-7pm

Tutor Review Meetings

  • Monday 2nd October 2023 — Year 9
  • Tuesday 14th November 2023 — Year 8
  • Wednesday 29th November 2023 — Year 11
  • Thursday 18th January 2024 — Year 7
  • Friday 26th January 2024 — Year 10

The Student Privacy Notice

The Student Privacy Notice explains:-

  • How we record information about students
  • What information we record
  • Why we record that information
  • Who we share that information with

The purpose of the privacy notice is to explain how we comply with current Data Privacy law and to provide students and parents/guardians with guidance regarding the schools use of personal information.

For more information please see our Data Protection Policy found here:-

Timing of the School Day

Our school day is common to all schools within The Redhill Academy Trust. This enables us to work closer with our partner schools on areas such as teacher professional development and opportunities for shared trips and visits.

Arriving to school on time is vital, both for staff and students. Please remember that an outstanding range of extracurricular activities are on offer both at lunchtime and at the end of the school day.

This totals 31.25 hours of compulsory school time per week. This includes breaks but does not include curriculum plus activities. 

The times of the school day are as follows:

  • 8:40 - Warning bell signalling move to first lesson
  • 8:45 - Period 1 starts
  • 9:45 - Period 2
  • 10:45 - Tutor Time
  • 11:05 - Break
  • 11:20 - Period 3
  • 12:20 - Lunch
  • 1:00 - Period 4
  • 2:00 - Period 5
  • 3:00 - End of lessons for Years 7-11 - after school activities start
  • 4:00 - Reception closes (3.30 on Fridays)
  • 5:00 - Site closes

Trips Information

To complement the delivery of the National Curriculum at The Oakwood Academy, students are often invited to take part in school trips in order to further develop their understanding of a particular subject area. As stated in our school ethos, we are committed to the pursuit of excellence and preparing each of us to meet with confidence the challenges of a changing world. Educational trips and visits broaden the scope of curriculum delivery beyond the classroom, allowing students exposure to new challenges and worthwhile experiences.

In the event of a trip being oversubscribed at The Oakwood Academy, we offer a ballot system as we believe this is the fairest method for all students. The ballot system ensures that all families that wish for their child to attend a trip get a fair and equitable opportunity to apply for a place.

Our experience suggests that the ballot system betters the alternative 'first come, first served' method which presents a bias to those families who can afford to produce a deposit immediately. We are also aware of those parents who can perhaps offer the time to complete relevant paperwork at immediate effect and return it to school first the next day, whilst for some parents, this may be more demanding.

Winter Weather Procedure

As we enter the winter period when difficult travel conditions can apply, I would like to remind you of our arrangements should we suffer disruption from extremes of weather.

Early Morning

If the school is to be closed on any school day because of adverse weather conditions or a particular problem on the school site, we will update the school website (, with the relevant information and also contact local radio stations, Radio Nottingham and NG Alerts who have agreed to make regular announcements. We will also endeavour to text information.

During the Day

If the weather conditions deteriorate during a school day to the point where making the journey home could be dangerous, we will make arrangements to release the students early as long as we have been able to notify you.

If you have any individual concerns about these severe weather arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.

Mr A Gilbert

Head Teacher