Parent Bulletin 23/09/22

Parent Bulletin 23/09/22

Assemblies and expectations

Assemblies in the week before the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II focused on her long life dedicated to the service of others. Further reference to the life of Her Majesty was made in assemblies this week which had a theme of friendship and togetherness, where all in a community work towards the common good. This is what we aim for in successful schools – individuals supporting each other within a framework of rules and structures that are understood and followed so that individuals can all flourish and achieve success.

This has its foundations with the simpler aspects of school life such as having a uniform policy that is clear to all, a school day which is structured so that everyone knows where they need to be at any given time, and where the rules and expectations are obvious to all. At Darrick Wood we continually emphasise these alongside our values of respect, responsibility and honesty, underpinned by rules including Rule 1 which states that students must all behave sensibly and with due consideration for others at all times, including to and from school. The vast majority of our students fully subscribe to this. Others require more support and intervention. What helps the most is when parents and carers re-enforce our values and rules in the understanding that this enables the School to function smoothly and effectively allowing more time to be spent supporting high quality teaching and learning for all.

Additional support for students

When students are finding things difficult, in most circumstances they should speak to their Form Tutor. We have many other people that will also always be willing to help or who will signpost them to the right person. The important thing is that they talk to someone so that we can work out how best we can help. For example, we have a large safeguarding team led by our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Ms Wilson-Hooper, a large SEND team led by our SENCO Mrs Hodgson and Deputy SENCO, Mr Johnson. We also have staff who are ‘mental health first-aid trained’, a representative of Bromley Y on site weekly, School Counsellors, a safer schools police officer (PC Aryan) on site for at least one day a week, an attendance officer and an Educational Welfare Officer. The list goes on, but the main point here is to emphasise the importance of students seeking help at the earliest opportunity and for parents to get in touch should they need to.

Uniform matters

Some parents/carers may well have noticed as the new term progresses we have been re-enforcing our long standing rules in relation to uniform, dress code, jewellery, make-up etc. As mentioned above, this is an essential part of running a successful school where everyone knows what the rules and expectations are in our community. Our rules have long stated that the only items of jewellery allowed are wrist watches (not smart watches) and one set of small plain studs worn in the ear lobes only. Fashions come and go and sometimes certain items need to be clarified further. By small and plain we mean barely noticeable and without additional patterns, diamante etc. We mean round, not shaped into any pattern. Ear rings should never be worn. Studs should be round metal (e.g. gold or silver).

We have also noted a number of students wearing coats which have large (usually sport related) logos. Coats should be plain black or dark brown, they should not have large logos. They are not to be worn in class or in a manner around school which completely covers the uniform and/or lanyard.

In line with our policy, in situations that require further clarity, the Head Teacher’s decision will be final.

Requests for absence

Requests for absence from school for holidays in term time will not be granted. It is only in exceptional circumstances that any leave in term time will be approved. Approval will need to be requested by parents/carers using the form available from Reception. The request will then be reviewed by the relevant Achievement Coordinator and then passed to the Head Teacher for a decision.

School priorities

We are currently working on three key priorities. The first of these relates to the curriculum we teach. In particular we are reviewing how well it prepares all of our students not just to attain the relevant knowledge and understanding needed for success at GCSE and beyond, but also the knowledge and life skills required for success more generally.

Another priority focuses on developing the teaching of this curriculum, ensuring teachers are using the latest research to inform their practice and adjusting their teaching to the needs of their students. We are also beginning a renewed drive to encourage all students to read for pleasure and for academic progress.

Finally we are focusing on supporting our students to become more responsible – for themselves, for others and for the environment of the School and the wider world. Good progress was made on this last year, for example by Sixth Form students establishing and leading many clubs and societies for younger students, the work of the Eco Club and the clearing of land to develop a new garden on the School site. However, we have much to do still to reduce waste, increase recycling and to adapt the School for a more sustainable future. Assemblies next week will be led by students keen to make a difference in this area.


We have written here before about concerns nationally that children and young people are increasingly taking up vaping. Many state that they believe vaping to be safe. This is not the case and is one reason why it is illegal to sell vapes to under-18s. Bromley Secondary Head Teachers have been liaising with Public Health about how schools can support students and their parents/carers to reverse this worrying trend. They have informed us that Bromley Council’s Trading Standards colleagues are actively working on vape use amongst young people in Bromley. They are carrying out ‘Challenge 25’ attempts at premises over this month and are aware that vapes are being sold to young people. Trading Standards are speaking to the shops concerned. Trading Standards facilitated a project over the summer that led to several hundred non-compliant disposable vapes being voluntarily surrendered to them by a number of retailers. They will continue to act where they need to. As a school we will work closely with all concerned to provide information that will lead to any action that will reduce access to vapes by children and young people. Our school rules are clear – it is against the rules to have a vape on the premises. We treat those who vape the same as those caught smoking. The sanction used is usually at least internal exclusion. We also give a sanction to anyone who is knowingly accompanying someone else who is vaping. Aside from the health concerns of vaping, the vapes are not just illegal, but also completely in contrast to the aspiration that we look after the environment and reduce plastic waste.

Year 11 Information Evening

Thank you to parents/carers who attended on Thursday evening. We hope everyone found the evening helpful. Please look out for further information sent by email in the coming week, especially the curriculum booklet which will provide information on all subjects being studied and lots more.


There is a second hand uniform sale on Saturday, 24th September in the Dining Hall at school 10am until 11.30am. Access is via the rear service road and into the Sports Centre only.

The PSFA has organised a Quiz Night for Friday, 7th October. See below for details. We hope to see many of you there.

Open Evening 2022

In order to facilitate preparations for our Year 6 Open Evening on Wednesday, 5th October, students will finish early at 12.30pm. The following day, Thursday, 6th October, there will be a later start, with students expected ready to enter the buildings at 9.50am.

Dates for the diary

24th September – PSFA second hand uniform sale, 10-11.30am

27th September – PSFA AGM, 7pm

5th October – Open Evening (for admission to DWS in September 2023). See website for details. Early finish for students – see above.

13th October – Year 7 – Everybody Sings – starts at 7pm, Main Hall

17th – 28th October – Half-term break

3rd November – Sixth Form Open Evening (for admission to the Sixth Form September 2023)

Comments are closed.