Letters to Parents
20 December 2018
Dear Parents and Guardians
Change to mobile devices policy
As you know we have recently been consulting on a proposed change to our mobile devices policy. These changes will come into effect from 7 January 2019. I would like to thank the 47 parents who contributed to the consultation process alongside the 8 members of staff, 14 Governors and 4 students and 4 registration groups. Having read and discussed all the points made, I have outlined below the policy we will be moving to from 7 January 2019.
Mobile devices policy from 7 January 2019
Key Stage 3 & 4
- Phones and other devices including fitness trackers, smart watches and headphones are not to be seen, heard or used on site until after 3.30pm or when you leave the building at the end of school to go home.
- If headphones are seen then the device they are connected to will also be confiscated.
- The site refers to all buildings, grounds, pathways, car parks and playground areas that form Longdean School.
- Post 16 students can use their devices in the study areas, library and canteen in lesson time. They can use them in lessons under the supervision of a teacher.
- In break and lunch times Post 16 use of devices is limited to their study areas only.
- The ban does not extend to staff but our policy reminds them of their obligations around mobile devices.
Longdean Highlighted in Best Practices Review
Over the summer holidays we received the exciting news that Longdean had been approached to appear in the annual Parliamentary Review of Education. This publication identifies schools who have undergone a period of transformation, resulting in sustained improvement over a number of years or who are engaged in leading and interesting initiatives. Longdean was approached because of our new building, innovative curriculum and strong examination results.
It is a real honour to be part of this publication and for Longdean School to be recognised in this way. I am delighted to be able to share the full article with you alongside a photo of me with Eddie Jones (England rugby head coach) who spoke at the launch event last week. If you have friends who are currently considering sending their child to Longdean, please do feel free to forward this to them so that they can find out more about the school.
1 May 2018
Available to download here
Dear Parents and Guardians
I am writing to thank you for supporting the school during our recent focus on school uniform. As I have stated in previous letter home, school uniform promotes a strong attitude to learning, enhances a sense of identity and community ethos. Uniform also helps members of the wider community form a positive impression of Longdean School and the student who attend. Finally, it demonstrates that all of us are willing to adhere to the Home School Agreement signed by school, students and parents.
Over the last two weeks I have been very impressed with the vast majority of students who wear their uniform correctly, with pride and look very smart. I am also very grateful to parents who have worked with the school by ensuring that their children leave home correctly dressed or by providing us with a note if there are any problems with uniform.
We are however still experiencing a few problems with some students around the issue of jewellery, headphones and, for girls, the length of skirts. Regarding jewellery, please can I remind all parents that for boys and girls only one pair of studs are allowed and a watch. These are the only items that students are permitted to wear and retainers are not allowed. If students are seen with additional items they will be asked to remove them and they will be confiscated. Headphones are only allowed in classrooms, with teacher permission, and anywhere at break and lunchtimes. If they are seen at other times, other than in classrooms they will be confiscated.
Sixth Form are permitted to use headphones in the library, canteen and their own study areas during lessons.
The length and tightness of some girl’s skirts is still causing me concern. Some girls are still persisting in wearing tight fitting or short skirts. This can cause embarrassment and loss of dignity for female students whilst using the stairs, sitting on the field or when engaged in practical subjects such as Drama. Whilst I appreciate that all students wish to develop their own identity and character I am concerned that some girl’s modesty, self-esteem and pride is being undermined by choices they are making. We have held assemblies this week for female students to highlight these points and highlight examples of appropriate skirts that can be worn.
Please can I urge all parents to ensure that female students wear a pleated knee length skirt to school, preferably with tights underneath. I have attached some photos below of skirts that are acceptable. These can be found at many local outlets or on the Longdean section of the Marks and Spencer website. They are the same images that were shown to female students in assembly.
I thank you in advance for your on-going support with this issue.
Ramadan and Exam Arrangements
Download this letter here
25 April 2018
The summer examination season is fast approaching and a number of parents and students have contacted us regarding the subject of Ramadan. The approximate dates this year are between Tuesday 15 May 2018 and Thursday 14 June 2018, falling at the beginning of the examination season. We recognise that the combination of long summer days and written examinations could place additional pressure on students should they wish to observe Ramadan.
The Association of School Leaders have worked with Imams, Islamic scholars, experts and leaders and shared with schools a paper entitled ‘Ramadan: Exams and Tests, 2018 Information for schools and colleges.’ The document is on our website and provides information for parents and guardians on how to best prepare for exams around the Ramadan period. The guidance can be read by accessing the following link:
At Longdean School, we are committed to the welfare and safeguarding of our students at all times. The NHS says “Fasting during the month of Ramadan can be good for your health if it is done correctly… when the body is starved of food, it starts to burn fat so that it can make energy. This can lead to weight loss. However, if you fast for too long your body will eventually start breaking down muscle protein for energy, which is unhealthy.” Muslim scholars agree that if there is danger to an individual’s health, it is permitted for them to break their fast.
The School is committed to supporting our students in the best way we can and we do not endorse any particular interpretation of Islamic law or practice. Our advice as a School will be to read the document on our website, or via the link above. This will help to support you with any decisions you might make for your child during the key examination period this summer. If you require any further support, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Mr G Cunningham