Batchwood School: Make Everyday Count


If your child is absent or going to be late for any reason please inform the school before 9.00am, if at all possible, so form tutors know of the reason for absence before the registration period. The attendance line number is: 01727 868021 and can be found at the bottom of the school website.

By law, only the Headteacher can authorise your child’s absence. It is important to keep the school informed if your child is going to be absent as soon as possible at the start of the day.

If your child is frequently absent due to illness the school may request permission to contact your GP for confirmation that they are too ill to attend school.

If it becomes clear that your child will be away from school for longer than expected, phone the school to explain this as soon as possible.

If your child attends school and feels unwell during the school day the school will contact you to arrange collection.

Our First Day Response Procedures

Dear Parents/Carers,

Good attendance is vital to your child’s success at school. I would, therefore, like to remind you of your legal responsibilities as parents and the requirements involved to ensure success for your child. On-going poor attendance is a factor often linked to low levels of academic success and could also affect future applications for jobs or college places. Many pupils have difficulty maintaining friendships if they have long or numerous periods of absence.

The school’s minimum target for attendance is 93% and, to put this into perspective, 90% attendance in a school year is equivalent to missing 19 days of school or 114 lessons.

It is a parent’s legal responsibility to ensure their child is in school. Ongoing unauthorised absence of 15 sessions or more could lead to a Penalty Notice being issued, which is a fine of £60 if paid within the first 21 days and £120 if paid within 28 days. If the fine is not paid within 28 days parents could be prosecuted for their child’s poor attendance.

If your child is too ill to attend school, please contact us on the first day of absence (and on each subsequent day of absence) that your child is unwell.

You can call us on 01727 868021 or email us at

On return to school, your child should bring a letter explaining the illness.

If you would like to discuss your child’s attendance please contact Yasmin McLaggan on 01727 868021 and she will be happy to talk with you and if required arrange a meeting.

For your convenience we have enclosed a leaflet which covers all essential points. Please keep this in a safe place to refer to when needed.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Kemp
Executive Headteacher

pdfLeaflet: Attendance at Batchwood School

The Batchwood School First Day Call Procedure

Registers taken promptly

  • Attendance team listen to absence calls, read absence emails and check school comms messages
  • Registers collated, lates, absence calls - produce the list of children absent with no explanation (these will be N marks on SIMS)
  • Any discrepancies will be chased up in school
  • Send school comms (texts and emails), if no response start first day calling for children absent without explanation, call everyone on the contact list until you get an answer. Leave messages if there is a voicemail option
  • If an overseas ring tone a check is made with DoL’s and the Head teacher to see if there has been any contact for holiday authorisation
  • If no replies at all consider whether any children have additional agency support, such as a social worker, contact them.
  • Speak to any family members in school to ask about the child’s whereabouts
  • Call the contact list at least twice and send out another set of school comms at PM registration if we have not had any communication
  • Make a prompt home visit if we have concerns
  • If you cannot get an answer from the home visit refer to children's services / MASH / Police and request a welfare call

What is Acceptable Attendance?

The School expects all students to aim for 100% attendance.

95% attendance is regarded as very good and can be achieved with some illness.

Any attendance level that creates a cause for concern would initiate intervention by the school. This could be as simple as a ‘chat’ with the form teacher or may, in more severe circumstances, lead to the involvement of our attendance team or agencies outside of the school.

How does the school record absence?

The school uses an electronic system of attendance registration that is updated within each lesson by the form teacher or subject teacher.

The system records whether the child is present or absent.

Absence is categorised as being authorised (agreed and accepted by the school as being appropriate) or unauthorised.

Examples of authorised absence would be genuine illness, medical appointments etc.

Examples of unauthorised absence would be truancy, parentally condoned absence without appropriate reason, and unauthorised holidays in term time.

The codes used are standard codes as issued by the government.

What should I do if my child is ill?

If your child unwell and is too ill to attend, please ring the school on the first day (and on each subsequent day) on: 01727 868021 or email

On return to school, your child should bring a letter explaining the illness.

If my child is absent from school, what can I expect to happen?

On the first day of your child’s absence you will receive a phone call from the school to ask you to explain your child’s absence, if you have not already contacted the school.

If your child’s absences are more frequent, you should expect to receive a letter informing you of your child’s attendance level.

If your child’s absence is unacceptable or at a significantly low level you could be asked to attend a meeting in school to discuss support appropriate to your child.

Can a student take a holiday in term time?

Due to the legal change in the Department for Education (DfE) legislation, at Batchwood School we will only grant leave of absence in exceptional circumstances that are not related to holidays.

Term time holidays/extended leave are not allowed and parents/carers are discouraged from arranging them in term time.

If parents/carers choose to take their child out on holiday in term time the absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. This could lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice being issued.

Parents/carers must send in a letter addressed to the Headteacher requesting permission to take their child out of school during term time due to an exceptional circumstance.

If my child has an unacceptable level of unauthorised absence, what can I expect to happen?

You will be contacted by the school, either by telephone, letter and/or visit to your home in order that the level of, and reasons for, your child’s absence can be discussed with you.

A plan of action will be compiled that is aimed at helping you improve your child’s school attendance.

A failure to comply with any such plan without a valid reason will, if your child’s school attendance does not improve, result in a referral being made to the local authority who will aim to support you in ensuring your child attends school regularly.

Further poor school attendance by your child may result in legal action being taken against you by the local authority.

You may initially be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (fine) after first being given a written warning.

See the information provided below with regard to the Fixed Penalty Notice.

What is an education penalty notice

A Fixed Penalty Notice is a fine issued to parents or carers and can be either £60 per parent or carer (if the payment is made within 21 days of receipt) or £120 per parent or carer (if paid after this, but within 28 days). Fixed Penalty Notices are issued by post to your home and will explain how and where to send your payment. You must pay the whole of the amount owing in one payment. You cannot pay in instalments or part of the amount.

How will I know when I am going to receive a fixed penalty notice?

Before Fixed Penalty Notices are issued, you will receive a written warning which will explain the extent of your child’s non-attendance and the possibility of your receiving a Penalty Notice if their attendance does not improve in 15 sessions. During this period, your child must not have any further unauthorised absences from school. There is no limit to the number of times a formal warning of a possible Fixed Penalty Notice issue may be made in any particular case.

What kind of unauthorised absences result in the issuing of a fixed penalty notice?

Where students are openly truanting (this includes students found during truancy sweeps by the police.

Absences from school which parents or carers are aware of, but that are not authorised by the school.

Holidays that have been taken in term time which the Headteacher has not authorised.

An unacceptably delayed return from an extended holiday if the parents or carers have not received permission beforehand from the school.

Regular late arrival at school (after the register has closed).

How can I help my child?

  • Let your child know that you think school is important.
  • Make sure your child goes to school regularly and on time.
  • Take an interest in your child's school work.
  • Provide regular times and a quiet, clean area for doing home learning.
  • Set a regular bedtime schedule. Age should not be a factor.
  • Provide your child with plenty of time to get ready for school.
  • If your child starts to miss school, speak to the school and let your child know they must attend.
  • Have regular communication with the school.
  • If your child is ill, contact the school and explain the reason for the absence.
  • Don't expect your older children to stay home and act as babysitters for younger children.
  • Set good examples and enforce rules.
  • Include regular exercise and a balanced diet in your child's daily activities.
  • Post the school calendar and notes on the refrigerator, or another prominent location.
  • Balance time with extracurricular activities.
  • Keep open communication lines with your child.

being in school at least 95% of the time (180 to 190 days) gives the best chance of success

100% attendance = perfection, 85% (equal to 2 months off each year) = danger zone

Poor punctuality - less chance of success: If you're 15mins late each day you'll have missed 2 weeks of school


Occasionally students are too unwell to attend school. We will monitor and engage with parents as soon as a pattern of absence becomes apparent. When deciding whether or not your child is too ill to attend school. Ask yourself:

  • Is your child well enough to carry out the activities of the school day? If not, keep your child at home and consult your GP as appropriate
  • Does your child have a contagious condition that could be passed on to other children or staff? If so, keep your child at home
  • Would you take a day off work if you had this condition? If so, keep your child at home

Common conditions

Most illnesses can be classified as one of a few minor health conditions.

Whether or not you send your child to school will depend on how severe you judge the illness to be. This guidance can help you to make that judgement. If you’re concerned about your child’s health, consult a health professional.

Cough and cold

A child with a minor cough or cold may attend school. If the cold is accompanied by raised temperature, shivers or drowsiness, the child should stay off school, visit the GP and return to school 24 hours after they’re feeling better. If your child has a more severe and long-lasting cough, consult your GP, who can provide guidance on whether the child should stay off school.

Raised temperature

If your child has a raised temperature, they shouldn’t attend school. They can return 24 hours after they’re feeling better.


Rashes can be the first sign of many infectious illnesses such as chickenpox and measles. Children with these conditions shouldn’t attend school. If your child has a rash, check with your GP or practice nurse before sending them to school.


A child with a minor headache doesn’t usually need to be kept off school. If the headache is more severe or is accompanied by other symptoms such as raised temperature or drowsiness, then keep the child off school and consult your GP.

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Children with these conditions should be kept off school. They can return 48 hours after their symptoms disappear. Most cases of vomiting or diarrhoea get better without treatment, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP.

Sore throat

A sore throat alone doesn’t have to keep a child from school. If it’s accompanied by a raised temperature seek medical advice.


Term dates for the 2017-2018 academic year

Summer Term 2018

Date Event
Friday 20 July 2018 End of Summer Term – school closes at 12.30pm
Monday 23 July 2018 Inset Day – School closed to students
Tuesday 24 July 2018 Inset Day – School closed to students
Wednesday 25 July 2018 Inset Day – School closed to students
Thursday 26 July 2018 Inset Day – School closed to students
Friday 27 July 2018 Occasional Day

Term dates for the 2018-2019 academic year

Autumn Term 2018

Date Event
Tuesday 4 September 2018 Term starts for years 7 to 11
Friday 26 October 2018 End of Half Term – School closes at 1.55pm
HALF TERM - Monday 29 October 2018 to Friday 2 November 2018 (inclusive)
Monday 5 November 2018 Inset Day – School closed to students
Tuesday 6 November 2018 Occasional Day
Wednesday 7 November 2018 All students return to school
Friday 21 December 2018 End of Autumn Term – School closes at 1.00pm
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY – Monday 24 December 2018 to Friday 4 January 2019 (inclusive)

Spring Term 2019

Date Event
Monday 7 January 2019 All students return to school
Wednesday 9 January 2019 KS4 Parents Evening – Year 10/11 6pm-8pm
Friday 15 February 2019 End of half term – School closes at 1.55pm
HALF TERM - Monday 18 February 2019 to Friday 22 February 2019 (inclusive)
Monday 25 February 2019 All students return to school
Friday 5 April 2019 End of Spring Term – School closes at 12.30pm
EASTER HOLIDAY – Monday 8 April 2019 to Monday 22 April 2018 (inclusive)

Summer Term 2019

Date Event
Tuesday 23 April 2019 All students return to school
Wednesday 24 April 2019 KS3 Parents Evening - Year 8/9 6pm-8pm
Monday 6 May 2019 Bank Holiday (School closed)
Friday 24 May 2019 End of Half Term - School closes 1.55pm
HALF TERM - Monday 27 May 2019 to Friday 31 May 2019 (inclusive)
Monday 3 June 2019 All students return to school
Friday 19 July 2019 End of Summer Term – School closes at 12.30pm
Monday 22 July 2019 Inset Day – School closed to students
Tuesday 23 July 2019 Inset Day – School closed to students
Wednesday 24 July 2019 Inset Day – School closed to students


2017 Exams Analysis

New Performance Measures

In 2016 DFE Performance measures were changed. Two headline measures were introduced named Performance and Attainment 8 measures. Progress 8 aims to capture the progress a pupil makes from the end of primary school to the end of secondary school. It is a type of value added measure, which means that pupils’ results are compared to the actual achievements of other pupils with the same prior attainment. Data can no longer be compared year on year as you could with the A*-G measures as Progress 8 changes each year.

Results 2017

Batchwood School is exempt from the national floor standard for measuring Performance 8, however our Performance Score is still published and this data is statutory:

  • Our published Progress 8 for all students was -2.14. Last year our score was -2.25 so this is an improvement.
  • Our Attainment 8 Average is 4.86.
  • 0% of students achieved a good or strong grade in English and Maths (a good grade in 2017 is defined as a level 4 and a strong grade is a level 5).
  • 5% of students achieved a strong grade in Maths.
  • 0% of students achieved the English Baccalaureate (this means pupils who got a GCSE grade C or above in English, Maths, 2 sciences, a language and History or Geography).


At Batchwood School we think it is fairer for students if we tailor our curriculum to meet the needs of students rather than picking qualifications that attract “points” for DFE measures. We are very proud that all of our Year 11 students left us with at least one qualification.

We are also very pleased to report that one of our students obtained a Level 5 (a high C grade) in Maths.

It is also important to remember that our Students starting points at Key Stage 2 are well below the national average. This years cohort of Year 11 students have a Key Stage 2 APS of 21.00 (Roughly a national Curriculum level of a 3C) compared to a national average of 27.6 (national curriculum level of a 4B). This means that our students come to our school with a Key Stage 2 score which is 4 sub levels lower than the national average.

Website to view our exam results and compare school performance

Results for Vulnerable Groups – Closing the Gaps

At Batchwood School we are focused on closing gaps in Attainment/Achievement for our disadvantaged pupils.

  • Pupil Premium (disadvantaged) students had a P8 score of -2.19 and achieved an attainment 8 average score of 5.45 which is above the score of the average student(4.86).
  • Non pupil premium students have an average attainment 8 score of -1.67 which makes pupil premium Attainment 8 scores higher by 3.78 points. Nationally, Pupil Premium students have lower scores than non pupil premium students so this data is positive for our school.
  • Free School Meal students have a P8 Score of -2.25 but they have a good attaiment score of 6.57 which is higher than non FSM students who have a score of 3.85.
  • CLA students have a P8 score of -1.89 which is lower than the general cohort’s score of -2.14.


Who What Where
Student 1 Springboard Study Functional Skills (Level 1)
Student 2 Springboard Study Functional Skills (Level 1)
Student 3 Springboard Study Functional Skills (Level 1)
Student 4 Oaklands College Landmark (Level 1)
Student 5 Oaklands College Landmark (Level 1)
Student 6 Oaklands College Animal Care (Level 1)
Student 7 Oaklands College Plumbing (Level 1)
Student 8 Oaklands College Plumbing (Level 1)
Student 9 Oaklands College Mechanics (Level 1)
Student 10 Oaklands College Sports & Rugby Academy
Student 11 West Herts College Mechanics (Level 1)
Student 12 West Herts College Music performance (Level 2)
Student 13 Caple Manor Horticulture (Level 1)
Student 14 Traineeship through HCC Health and Social Care
Student 15 Traineeship through Health and Social Care
Student 16 Develop (training provider) Construction (Level 1)
Student 17 Remaining at C&G Plastering
Student 18 Supported employment team Employment

What you say about us

Every 6 months we conduct a survey with all stakeholders on how well Batchwood School meets the needs of all learners and the issues you want us to be aware of.

This is what parents said about Batchwood School in November 2017

 Table of 14 questions around progress, wellbeing and day to day issues and concerns, each question had 100% positive response


This is what students said about Batchwood School in November 2017

Table of 12 questions around pupils experience of the school, behaviour, support of teachers progress, wellbeing and day to day issues and concerns, questions had general agreement with a minority of pupils giving negative responses

This is what we are going to do in response to your views

  • We will remind all students who the Designated Safeguarding lead is and their role within the school
  • We will remind all the students about the Rewards and Consequences system and the high expectations we have for all of you.
  • We will make sure that any low level disruption is dealt with promptly and efficiently so learning is not interrupted.
  • We will use the School Council as the key forum to represent your views to the school and for these views to be acted upon.
  • We will continue to use assemblies more to explore the world we live in and other cultures, and what we can learn from others.

Admission Arrangements

Batchwood School is one of four secondary SEMH schools in Hertfordshire. All students at Batchwood School have a Statement of Educational Needs or an Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

When a young person is being considered for admission to an SEMH school their case is heard at a Provisions panel which decides the type of school that would best meet the needs of that individual student. Following this a Placement panel meets to allocate an actual provision. This is normally the closest provision available, but alternatives can be suggested if the closest provision is at or over its capacity, or a parent/carer agrees to provide transport to their preferred choice.

Once a place has been allocated at Batchwood School, we arrange a visit for the student with parents/carers and quickly follow that up with a home visit. As soon as transport is organised a start date will be agreed between Batchwood School and the parents/carers.

Batchwood School primarily educates students from the Dacorum and Central Hertfordshire areas, with a few pupils from slightly further away and a few from neighbouring local authorities. This is different for girls, as Batchwood is the only provision within Hertfordshire that caters for girls.

Senior Leadership Team

Jonathan Kemp Executive Headteacher

Responsible for:

  • School Performance
  • Leadership and Management
  • Strategic Direction
  • School Ethos
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Learning partnerships
  • Student Outcomes

Ross Whitaker Deputy Headteacher

Responsible for:

  • Student wellbeing
  • Student Behaviour
  • Pastoral care
  • Classroom support
  • DoP for year 7

Kelly Vincent Associate Assistant Headteacher

Responsible for:

  • Teaching & learning
  • Cover
  • English

Laura Graham Associate Assistant Headteacher

Responsible for:

  • Curriculum Development
  • Timetable
  • Cooking & Nutrition

Jo Murphy SENDCo

Responsible for:

  • EHC Plans
  • Pastoral support
  • DSP
  • Safeguarding
  • Child Protection
  • Transition
  • Inclusion
  • CLA students

Tom Tansey Student Wellbeing

Responsible for:

  • Student Behaviour
  • DoP for years 8 and 9
  • Pastoral support
  • Pastoral Support Plans

Teaching and Support Staff

Teaching Staff

  • Mrs K Vincent English
  • Ms J Murphy English/SENCo
  • Miss D Jackson Drama/English
  • Mrs S Slater Maths
  • Ms M Davis Maths
  • Mrs N Waters Maths/English
  • Ms C Adams Maths/English
  • Mr R Whitaker ICT
  • Mrs K Gopaul Science
  • Mr M Hurley Science
  • Mr P Billingham DT
  • Ms L Graham Food
  • Ms C Maxen Art
  • Mr M Pearson Music
  • Mrs E Hollyman Hair & Beauty
  • Ms J Matthews PE
  • Mr G Couling Forest School

Support Staff

Teaching Assistants

  • Mrs A Lowth English TA
  • Ms D Hawes Lead TA
  • Mrs D Parsonage Science TA
  • Miss K Clarke Science/Arts TA
  • Mrs M Robin English TA/Deputy DSP
  • Mr N Johnson Maths & Forest School TA
  • Ms C Adams Maths TA
  • Mrs S Smiles English TA
  • Miss S Leatham PE TA
  • Mr S Johnson DT technician
  • Mrs S Solo Foundation TA
  • Kim Morgan - Art Technician TA
  • Robin Hunter - Mentor/TA
  • Samantha Cragg - TA


  • Ms C Russell PA to Headteacher
  • Mrs A Clewlow Health & Safety
  • Lisa Harvey Finance Manager
  • Gracia Dunkley - Receptionist

Pastoral Support

  • Mr T Tansey Student behaviour
  • Miss A Hussain Student behaviour
  • Ms T Golden Student behaviour
  • Ms C Wilson Student behaviour
  • Mr C Lodder Psychiatric nurse/Adolescent services
  • Mr N Beesley School Counsellor
  • Ms M Richardson School Counsellor
  • Yasmin McLaggin - Designated Safe Guarding Lead

Site Staff

  • Mr D Vanderbank Site staff

Catering Staff

  • Mrs N Myring Head of Catering
  • Mrs K Blow Deputy Head of Catering

Head Student

The position of Head Student at Batchwood School is a very special and important one. The Head Student represents his/her peers across the entire school both as figureheads and in a practical way working to improve their school.

The posts are open to any Year 11s who wish to put themselves forward to be Head Student. Those applying have to write to the Headteacher setting out why they would make a strong Head Student, and what they will do to help improve their school during their year in post.

For 2017-2018 our post holder for Head Student is Nathan Cohen


Welcome to the Governors’ section of the Batchwood School website which I hope you will find interesting and informative.  This section gives a broad outline of the role of the Governors, how we go about fulfilling our responsibilities and who we are.

Kerry Pollard: Chair of Governors

Role of the Governing Body

The Department for Education states that Governing Bodies -

“….are the strategic leaders of our schools and have a vital role to play in making sure every child gets the best possible education. For maintained schools this is reflected in the law, which states that the purpose of maintained school governing bodies is to ‘conduct the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement at the school’.

In all types of schools, governing bodies should have a strong focus on three core strategic functions:

a. Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
b. Holding the Headteacher to account for the educational performance of the school and its students; and
c. Overseeing the financial performance of the school and making sure its money is well spent.

These functions are reflected in regulations for maintained schools that came into force in September 2013.”

We have a strategic role in the development of the school but are not involved in the day-to-day management - that is the role of the Headteacher.  We are accountable to the wider community for the conduct of the school and in turn hold the school leadership group to account for raising standards and ensuring every child fulfills their potential.  We are a diverse group of people with a wide variety of skills and experience which, coupled with our knowledge of the school, we use to challenge and support the leadership group in their work.

The Governing Body

The full Governing Body meets four times a year.  At each meeting we receive a report from the Headteacher and minutes from the various committees.  Other items are discussed or approved at specific times of the year for example exam results, plan for school improvement and budget.

The main Governing Body is supported by three main committees which meet once each half term.

The Resources and HR Committee is concerned with budget and finance, premises, health and safety together with considering staffing, appraisal and training

The Curriculum and Learning committee deals with standards, curriculum, pastoral care and student well-being, SEND and Pupil Premium

There is a Strategic Committee, comprising the chairs of these committees plus the chair of governors which plans the work of the committees. All governors are members of at least one of the committees.  We also attend public events such as; music concerts, the annual Celebration Day, prize-giving assemblies and PTCs.  Please come and talk with Governors while you are at these events.

In addition, each Governor is linked to a curriculum subject area and/or specific area of school such as Child Protection, SEND and the Able, Gifted and Talented programme.   In this role Governors regularly come into school to meet with staff and students.

The Governing Body and Committees

Chair of Governing Body: Mr K Pollard

Vice Chair of Governing Body: Mrs D Laverick-Brown

Strategic Committee

  • Mr K Pollard (Chair)
  • Mrs D Laverick-Brown
  • Mr R Hattrell
  • Mr J Kemp (Headteacher: Ex-Officio)

Curriculum and Learning Committee

  • Mrs L Restall (Chair)
  • Mrs D Laverick-Brown
  • Mr P Moore (Parent Governor)
  • Mr J Kemp (Headteacher: Ex-Officio)
  • Mrs Y Deal

Resources & HR Committee

  • Mr R Hattrell (Chair)
  • Mr K Pollard
  • Ms D Hawes (staff Governor)
  • Mr D Hutchison
  • Mr J Kemp (Headteacher: Ex-Officio)

Pay Committee

  • Mr K Pollard (Chair)
  • Mrs D Laverick-Brown
  • Mr R Hattrell

Clerk to the Governors: Mr R Blythe


The school has improved considerably recently. We have worked really hard on refining Teaching and Learning and making sure that all students graduate from Batchwood School having achieved everything and more, than they would have achieved elsewhere. We are determined in our drive to make a difference and ensuring all students have the best outcomes to thrive outside of Batchwood School.

Ofsted have told us that our School and subject plans are purposeful and precise and accurately define what needs to be achieved. Teachers are setting challenging long term targets for students, and the Senior Leadership Team keep a close check on students’ progress towards them. There are systems in place to reward good behaviour and students enjoy the increasing amounts of freedom they are being given. School leaders and governors consultation with parents/carers and students are starting to inform decision making, for example in the setting of school uniform, and now, homework.



Ethos & Attitudes

Leadership & Management

HCC Policies

School Procedures



Pupil Premium

Purpose: The government provides academies and schools with additional funding to help reduce the inequalities and gaps in attainment between those students who are on free school meals (or have been in in the last 6 years) and their peers. This funding is called the Pupil Premium.

Every Academy and School can select how they choose to use their Pupil Premium allocation, as they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for students. Pupil premium funding was first introduced in April 2011. It is allocated to pupils who are currently known to be eligible for free school meal or have received free school meals in the last six year and pupils who are looked after, from the first day of the care episode.

The School Day

Monday – Thursday

Activity Time
Registration/Literacy/Numeracy 09:00
Lesson 1 09:40
Lesson 2 10:20
Break 11:00
Lesson 3 11:15
Lesson 4 11:55
Lunch 12:35
PSHE 13:10
Lesson 5 13:30
Lesson 6 14:10
End of Day 14:50


Activity Time
Registration/Literacy/Numeracy 09:00
Lesson 1 09:40
Lesson 2 10:20
Break 11:00
Lesson 3 11:15
Lesson 4 11:55
Lunch 12:35
Enrichment Activities 13:10
End of Day 14:00

Newsletter Archive


pdf Newsletter Autumn 2016

pdf Newsletter Summer 2016

pdf E-Safety Newsletter Summer 2016

pdf Newsletter Spring 2016


pdf Newsletter Autumn 2015

pdf Newsletter Summer 2015

pdf Newsletter Spring 2015


pdf Newsletter Autumn 2014

pdf Newsletter Summer 2014

pdf Newsletter Spring 2014

We have an exciting curriculum

Our curriculum is a rich and exciting mixture of subjects designed to meet the needs of all our students and help them reach their full potential.

We take pride in tailoring what is offered to ensure that the interests and talents of students are met even before they start with us; liaising closely with Primary Schools to give every student the best possible start at Batchwood.

The year 7 induction programme begins in the summer of year 6 and students quickly become confident members of the Batchwood community.

We organise tutor groups mainly by ability in order to deliver appropriate challenge to students of all abilities. Our Able, Gifted and Talented programme provides a rich and challenging extension to the curriculum for students with particular strengths. Targeted intervention work is provided for those students who with learning difficulties are nurtured so they too can fulfill their potential.

We aim to provide a curriculum which:

  • is consistent with local and National requirements and is personalised to meet individual needs
  • is broad, balanced and develops knowledge and understanding regardless of ability, gender, ethnic origin or social background
  • is challenging and inspiring, enabling students to reach the highest possible level of academic success and personal growth
  • helps students to be happy and secure in their learning environment
  • strengthens students‘ capacity to learn by developing positive attitudes towards challenges, allowing students to think creatively, independently and rationally
  • promotes self-confidence, perseverance and self-discipline, and the skills of performance, critical thinking and collaboration
  • promotes our subject specialisms of sports and mathematics across all subjects
  • allows students to see their school as part of a community, sharing the values of good neighbourliness and understanding that difference is a source of enrichment
  • promotes strong moral values and preparation for adult life and the world of work
  • provides students with a sense of success through their achievements
  • encourages high aspirations and a sense of awe and wonder for the achievement of others
  • provides significant cross-curricular and extra-curricular activities, which are open to all students


In England, the law states that people who work with children have to keep them safe. This safeguarding legislation is set out in The Children Act, (1989) and (2004). It also features in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (to which the UK is a signatory) and sets out the rights of children to be free from abuse. The Government also provides guidance in its document Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013).

  • At Batchwood School, safeguarding means:
  • Protecting students from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of students’ health or development
  • Ensuring that students are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Taking action to enable all students to have the best outcome

At Batchwood, we take Safeguarding seriously because we know it can have a huge impact on learning. With this in mind, we have policies in place for safeguarding and child protection in order to:

  • Protect students from harm and abuse
  • Enable staff and volunteers to know what to do if they are worried

We believe everybody is responsible for safeguarding and we take great pride in this work.

Preparation for Learning

Regular and consistent home learning fully supports Batchwood Schools ethos of “Make Everyday Count” because we believe it:

  • provides opportunities for all students to achieve their potential
  • promotes a positive ethos and culture in which learning and achievement can flourish, excel and be rewarded
  • prepares students for life so that they can confidently take their place in a rapidly changing society as motivated citizens with creative and enquiring minds

Purpose of home learning

Home learning will be regularly set and marked in order to:

  • provide an opportunity for students to deepen their learning and develop their interest and enthusiasm for the subject
  • consolidate and reinforce students‘ skills, knowledge and understanding
  • help students to develop the habits, motivation, confidence and skills required to become independent and lifelong learners
  • help students to meet particular demands, such as the completion of GCSE coursework
  • helps parents to become involved in their child‘s learning and work and help keep them informed about their child‘s progress

Expectations of home learning

We expect students to:

  • settle down quickly at tutor time at the end of every day
  • spend the appropriate time to complete their home learning to the best of their ability
  • be prepared to work collaboratively with others to embed the learning
  • hand in their home learning in class on the day it is due, or to the teacher as soon after as possible if they are absent on the day

We expect teaching staff to:

  • set home learning frequently and regularly, mark it promptly with comments and targets that will help students progress if acted upon.
  • Provide the home learning task to the relevant tutor with clear guidance
  • set meaningful home learning activities that will help students build connections between what they have learned in individual lessons.
  • set activities that are differentiated, inclusive, appropriate, challenging, and which vary in type and style.
  • sanction students who fail to complete home based learning adequately or who fail to hand it in on time

We expect tutors to:

  • check that students have appropriate home learning in the relevant subject for each night
  • check home learning is completed and provide guidance to students who need it  

We expect parents to:

  • talk through home learning completed each night and ask relevant questions
  • at KS4, provide their child with a suitable learning environment in which to complete their home based research activities, without distractions
  • demonstrate a real interest in the learning of the day

Careers Advice and Guidance

Students in Year 9 and 11 receive careers advice prior to making option choices for Key Stage 4 and Post-16. These students are provided with interviews to help them decide their future, and Youth Connexions regularly visit the school. Youth Connexions workers attend parents‘ evenings to advise on the choice of options and students are encouraged to use the extensive Connexions Library and to consult Staff. Parents are welcome by arrangement. Our careers officer is Mrs S Slater. 

Religious Studies, Assemblies and Collective Worship

Batchwood is a community with shared values and a clearly identified ethos. These values are essentially Christian in nature, but we welcome students from any religious background. Religious Studies is delivered within Humanities at Key Stages 3 and 4 and through Extended Learning Days.  

We have two assemblies a week which reflect the religious calendar, celebratory occasions and special events in the life of the school. During registration each morning there is a theme of the week and connected Thoughts for the Day. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the Religious Studies programme and collective worship provided. 

Health Education

A co-ordinated programme of sex education, both formal and informal, is delivered to all students as and when appropriate. It is related to the age and gender of students and to their identified needs. It is dealt with in a sympathetic and sensitive manner, with group discussions taking place in an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect and confidence. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviour and moral development.

School Council

The School Council comprises of six students, two from each house as well as the head student(s). The council is responsible for overseeing particular projects and providing extended leadership to the school.


Elections for the School Council team are held at the beginning of the Autumn term. The team meet on a monthly basis and works to an agenda drawn up by themselves and the member of staff responsible for facilitating the School Council. If you would like to become involved in having yours and your peers voice heard, please speak to your House representative, or members of Mr Hurley, Miss Matthews or Miss Jackson. We would love to hear from you! 

Achieving success

Recognising and rewarding achievement is central to our philosophy of success and supports our core value of consideration for learning.

We have a very strong reward system which celebrates all levels of success and encourages students to do their very best. A mentor is allocated to each student which further supports their learning and monitors their progress.

We provide a half termly report to parents/carers on student progress and exceptional effort is rewarded with a special letter of congratulations from the Headteacher.

Throughout the year, students receive credits and merits for excellent work and behaviour which contribute to reward trips and other prizes at the end of each term. We also monitor attendance closely and, each term, special prizes are given to students for exceptional attendance and for the best attending form. At the end of the year a special celebration day is held where we say farewell to year 11 as well as celebrating subject awards, and pastoral awards. This is where we publically recognise student achievement through a variety of awards and trophies.

To further promote and celebrate success, staff nominate students on a termly basis for a Roll of Honour board in each subject area of the school. Students also receive congratulatory letters for their achievement.

Our rewards take many forms; it is important that effort and achievement of all kinds are treated as noteworthy. Staff send postcards home when a student has achieved 10 merits and if a student exceeds their target grade, or make exceptional progress, a letter from the Headteacher is sent home. We encourage students to take real pride in their own achievements and to respect the achievement of others.

More Able Students

Able, Gifted and Talented Students

At Batchwood School we believe that all children should be challenged and inspired to achieve the best they can.

We understand the importance of creating a curriculum tailored to the individual needs of our pupils to motivate them to fulfil their potential. Gifted and Talented pupils are those who have been identified as showing an exceptional ability in one area or across different subjects. It might be that they are talented cartoonists, demon drummers or skilled chefs. Whatever their unique ability they have been identified by teachers who will stretch and stimulate them so they can gain the highest possible level.

This year we have seen the implementation of an Able, Gifted and Talented Programme, run by Mrs K Vincent offering a variety of activities designed to expand and inspire these students to be the very best. This programme includes visiting theatres, joining up with students from Falconer School to watch Macbeth at the Watford Vue cinema. .

There is not one single definition of what an Able, Gifted and Talented child is, however, at Batchwood we believe that we must strive to provide these pupils with the opportunities to develop and demonstrate their abilities both within and outside of the curriculum.

Our SEND offer at Batchwood School

Welcome to our SEND pages, providing information on the support we provide for students who have Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. We hope you will enjoy reading about the variety of ways in which Batchwood School is able to support students with additional needs to reach their full potential.

At Batchwood School we believe that every child matters and during their journey with us we will ensure that they are happy, safe and enjoy their learning. If at any time problems arise, they will be dealt with promptly and in partnership with students and their parents/carers.

We are committed to ensuring that all students make good progress. This may involve providing additional small group support before and after school plus additional help within the School day, individually or in a small group, focusing on individual needs.

We offer a warm, nurturing learning environment to all our students and our team of staff is dedicated to supporting vulnerable students. We actively encourage parents/carers to get involved in their child’s learning and in School life generally. In order to ensure effective person-centred support, all our SEND students have an identified key person who is the main link for their family at the School. We are proactive in ensuring that all students attend school and that any barriers to attendance are effectively overcome.

At Batchwood School we work with students with a range of SEND and endeavour to ensure that teaching and learning, the curriculum, and achievement meets the needs of all students and prepares them for life beyond Batchwood School.


What support does Batchwood School offer students with SEN and their parents?

At Batchwood School we recognise and value the importance of working in partnership with parents. We listen to parents/carers and work together with them to ensure their child gets the best out of their time here. All parents/carers are able to contact key staff at the School by email, phone or in person and are welcomed to attend a number of events, including target setting and review days, parents’ evenings and information evenings during the school year.

During the School day, parents/carers are encouraged to contact their child’s form tutor or mentor if they have an urgent query. Mentors will meet with students at least once every half term to review their progress and agree targets and strategies to ensure good progress is continued.

Parents/Carers are also invited to attend the Head teachers Coffee mornings/evenings throughout the year to give feedback and share ideas on the SEN support provided by the School. Refreshments will be provided.

Who are the SEN support team at Batchwood School?

All of our students have a Statement of Special Educational Need, which are now in the process of being transferred to the new Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP).

At Batchwood School, we understand the importance of providing a supportive learning environment.

Key Contacts:

  • SENCO – Ms Jo Murphy
  • DSP – Mr R Whitaker (Deputy Headteacher)

Dedicated Support Centre /Study Area: This is a provision where students are taught in small groups or one to one. Its use is prioritised for students in Key Stage 4 and focuses on providing support for students who are in receipt of alternative support to maintain their engagement and progress towards future pathways or for those students who are falling behind due to lack of appropriate engagement in the classroom setting. Students that are in receipt of alternative provision also work closely with the Vocational Learning Co-ordinator who provides individualised support to secure successful liaison between home/School /alternative provider.

Key Contact:

  • Deputy Head Teacher: Mr Ross Whitaker

How do I access SEN support for my child at Batchwood School?

Your child already has a statement/EHCP in place, and this outlines very clearly the appropriate strategies that the school has to have in place to ensure it meets the learning and emotional needs of your child. When your child starts Batchwood School, whether in year 7, or later, there will be a transition programme to ensure that their needs are met as soon as they start. Your child will be assessed during their first half term at Batchwood School via CATs tests, and together with their SATs results, and other relevant FFT data, we will put these assessments together with information from their previous school and any available teacher assessments and observations to ensure:

• The most appropriate support for your child • The most appropriate groupings for your child • Participation in appropriate small group support.

Batchwood School works closely in partnership with all its feeder schools. Information is shared between the School and the feeder school with regard to SEN where this is agreed with the parents and students involved. As part of the transition process, students and parents/carers will have the opportunity to meet with Ms Murphy (SENCO) and the SEN support team and to visit. There is usually opportunity for students to take part in induction activities as part of the whole School transition programme

Students with EHC plans will have undergone their review in sufficient time prior to their move to the School to enable appropriate and planned interventions and support to be put in place. The deadline for completion of this review is February 15th in the year of transfer.

How can I let the staff at Batchwood School know that I have a question or am concerned about my Child’s progress?

There is a strong focus on working in partnership with parents/carers at Batchwood School, which means that we do not wait for a concern to arise but are proactive in seeking input from parents/carers. If you have comments, questions or concerns as a parent, we will listen and respond to them.

Ways to contact us are:

• Email:

• By phone: 01727 868021 • In person: In order to ensure that you meet with the relevant person, it is best to call and make an appointment.

Information about the School will also be shared with you by:

• Text message – parent mail • The School website • Letters sent home with students.

Who can I contact at the School?

• Your child’s form tutor or mentor • Wellbeing – Mr Tom Tansey • SENCO – Ms Jo Murphy • SEN Governor Ms Dawn Leverick-Brown

In the very unlikely event that you feel a query/concern has not been addressed, there is a School complaints policy which is found in the policies section of the website.

How is extra support allocated to students?

Use of Data in Identification: Batchwood School recognises the benefit of early identification and making effective provision improves the long-term outcomes for the child or young person. Students will be assessed on entry for reading, spelling, writing and numeracy; account will be taken of any KS2 data available from Primary Feeder Schools. Students that are identified as being below age related national expectations will receive additional support to close the gap. Progress will be closely monitored. Where students are unable to close the gap within the natural cycle of the support programme, or are exceptionally low on entry to the School, they will be assessed by the SENCO and his team. In year 9, all students participate in the Access arrangements assessment process in order to provide them with appropriate support in their public exams in Key Stage 4.

Role of Subject Teachers in Identification: Subject teachers are expected to formally assess student progress at least once per half term. Subject teachers will work with their SENCO to identify students making less than expected progress given their age. Teachers will be expected to provide intervention in the first instance for any student that is falling behind. This is adapting their teaching to provide high quality teaching tailored to the gaps in the student’s learning with clearly differentiated work meeting the needs of the student(s) in question. This may involve use of additional time such as enrichment time. Where progress continues to be less than expected, the class teacher should discuss interventions with the SENCO. This usually involves compulsory, supported enrichment sessions outside the class teaching or short-term supported withdrawal within the School day focusing on a specific skill area. Throughout the intervention processes, the SENCO/subject teacher should communicate their plans for intervention.

Throughout this process, every effort should be made to communicate with the student and their family what support is available and why it is being provided. This should be over and above the progress reports sent to parents every half term.

Involving Parents/carers: If a concern persists regarding a student’s lack of progress, a meeting will be held with parents/carers to discuss the concerns and decide together what actions would be most appropriate to support the student. Actions might include personalisation within lessons, support from a Teaching Assistant in some lessons, or asking advice from specialists and acting on it. At Batchwood School, we appreciate that parents/carers are experts on their own children and so we always listen carefully to their views and plan together. Students themselves are also asked about any difficulties they are having and what sort of support they feel would benefit them, and their views are also listened to and taken into account.

How are the staff at Batchwood School helped to work with SEND students and what training do they have?

At Batchwood School, we have a set training programme for all staff which focuses on supporting outstanding teaching and learning. Included in this programme are a range of workshops on topics such as differentiation (personalising the curriculum to meet every student’s needs) and different special educational needs (Literacy, Numeracy, ASD, Speech and Language). Our teaching assistants attend training that is relevant and specific to the needs of the students who they support.

Our training focuses on: • High quality teaching and learning- leading to improved progress for all students (assessment and target setting). • Structured conversations with parents/carers – to improve parents’/carers’ engagement with school and their involvement in their child’s learning and achievement. • Wider outcomes – to support the participation, enjoyment and achievement of children in all elements of school life.

In addition to the above, all staff are encouraged to share good practice and attend external training which enables them to build on their strengths and develop skills in other areas that will help them to provide effective support to our SEN students.

How will teaching be adapted to meet my child’s learning needs?

We personalise our teaching as necessary to ensure that the learning needs of all students are met. This may take the form of: • Working in small groups or pairs • Using a variety of materials in the classroom • Using a range of strategies as advised by our SENCO • Support from a Teaching Assistant • Using technology such as a laptop, IWB

Curriculum: All Batchwood School students have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The curriculum offer is highly personalised to the individual student in order for them to be successful both in terms of their learning, progress, outcomes, character development and their progression to their future pathways.

Differentiation enabling Curriculum Access: Our teachers will set high expectations for every student, whatever their prior attainment. Assessment targets (based on prior attainment) will be set centrally by the School according to the School’s Assessment Policy. Teachers will set individual student next steps towards their targets based on their assessment of student’s individual work and their developmental needs which are deliberately ambitious for the individual and are in line with this policy. In addition, teachers will provide specific, subject based, written, formative feedback in the form of marking to enable students to work towards their next milestone in the subject. Lessons will be planned to address any potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to student achievement. In the majority of cases, this will mean that students with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full curriculum.

Nurture Group: Some students in Key Stage 3 may be part of a nurture group. This comprises of a small group of students that have been identified by the SENCO and colleagues in our Primary Feeders. They receive their subject specific teaching as a group of students, supported by a Learning Support Assistant, rather than in sets by ability. Their curriculum diet is focused particularly on literacy, numeracy and social skills development, although they have access to a broad range of subjects, including arts, PE and science through which these skills are supported. Their curriculum is overseen and monitored by the SENCO. The nurture group has a curriculum base for the majority of their teaching although they do move around the School to access some specialist teaching areas. Teaching staff for the nurture group meet regularly with the SENCO to discuss students’ progress and the strategies that maximise progress of students within this group. The nurture group programme runs over the course of one year and students may remain in the group for all the year or be moved out to the mainstream curriculum. Students are supported to make the transition from the nurture group to the mainstream curriculum and this may take the form of a staggered approach. Nurture group students are fully integrated into the Learning Village pastoral system and attend tutor time with other students.

Alternative Provision: Batchwood School may commission alternative provision for students who face barriers to participation in mainstream education. Alternative Provision will be used only when other mainstream options have been exhausted. Parents and students need to be in agreement and parents will need to sign paperwork. Providers are quality assured by the Vocational Learning Co-ordinator who works closely with all chosen providers. Batchwood School only works with providers who meet our high expectations of our students in terms of education, support, safeguarding and aspirations. Parents are kept closely informed of their child’s progress by the Vocational Learning Co-ordinator. With parental/carers agreement, information is shared with the provider regarding the child’s SEND. Batchwood School will, in the main through the Vocational Learning Co-ordinator, ensure that there is a clear progression plan and keep the arrangements under review, adapting to the needs of the student. Should an alternative provider have concerns about a child who may have SEN that are not being met, they should raise their concerns with the Vocational Learning Co-ordinator who will liaise with the Director of Access (SENCO).

Online Learning: Online learning is a form of alternative provision. It can provide real-time teaching support and may provide a broader curriculum and offer opportunities for students to interact with each other. Batchwood School can make decisions to make use of online learning for students with SEN, although it will take into account the views of parents, students or professionals when making this decision. Where feasible, online learning will be accompanied by opportunities for face-to-face contact with peers. Any decision to use online learning from a student’s home will include an assessment of their suitability for independent learning and their home circumstances.

Character: At Batchwood School we believe that developing a student’s character is an essential part of their preparation for successful adult life. We have identified the characteristics of zest, grit, self-control, optimism, gratitude, social intelligence and curiosity as highly predictive strengths in successful adults based on the research of the University of Pennsylvania and Michigan. We recognise that all our students, including our SEN students will have different starting points in all of these characteristics. We are weaving character development through our teaching and wider learning experiences and believe that by developing a common language for these characteristics of success, we are helping to prepare our students for their future in the widest possible sense. Character development forms an important part of delivery for all years but year 7 in particular. It is a central component to the planning of the curriculum for our nurture groups.

Enrichment: All students, including SEN are encouraged to attend at least one enrichment session per week. Students have many wider enrichment opportunities within their curriculum, including trips and visits. Individual student’s needs will be taken into account when planning for these. A student with SEND should not be prevented from participating fully in enrichment because of their SEND needs.

How will Batchwood School measure the progress of my child? How will I know about this?

At Batchwood School your child’s progress is continually monitored by subject teachers and the Senior Leadership Team. In addition:

• Progress is reviewed formally at the end of every half term. • Students’ profiles are posted to parents each half term, showing their child’s targets, current working grades and attitude to learning grades for each subject studied. • There are also opportunities to gain information about progress expectations and to discuss your child’s progress at meetings for all parents, which include Key Information Meetings in September, Target Setting and Review Day and Parents’ Evenings later in the year. • If your child has complex SEN needs, you will be invited in once every term to attend a review meeting, where we can discuss your child’s progress with you and your child and together develop a plan for the next term. • In addition, the progress of students with a Statement of SEN or EHC Plan is formally reviewed once a year at an Annual Review with you, your child and all adults involved with her education. • Our SENCO will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work, and in any group, that they take part in.

How does Batchwood School support students when they are moving between key stages or teaching groups or moving to a new school/college?

Transition from Primary: Batchwood School works closely in partnership with all its feeder schools. Information is shared between the School and the feeder school with regard to SEN where this is agreed with the parents and students involved. As part of the transition process, students and parents will have the opportunity to meet with the SENCO and pastoral staff /DSP and the SEN support team and to visit Access where SEN and well-being support takes place. There is usually opportunity for students to take part in induction activities as part of the whole School transition programme for example ‘New Beginnings’, induction days and/or Summer School.

Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 Transition: Students in year 9 are fully supported to make their curriculum choices for Key Stage 4. Within the ECHP, students will discuss appropriate subject choices that meet their needs and aspirations for the future, including post-16 education.

Careers Education: Batchwood School will ensure that all students between years 8 to 11 are provided with independent careers guidance (see Careers Policy). Batchwood School will ensure that it works to raise the career aspirations of all our students and broaden their employment horizons via opportunities such as taster days; work experience; mentoring; enterprise experiences; role models and inspiring speakers.

Support to Prepare for Adulthood: Batchwood School will work to understand the interests, strengths and motivations of our students and use this as a basis to plan support around them. We will provide support to ensure that students are included in social groups and encouraged to make friendships. This may be through full participation in the tutor programme; social skills workshops; pastoral work; nurture group membership or one to one support in the form of counselling or other well-being support. In addition, all students are be encouraged to take part in enrichment activities both within and beyond the School day, this includes the extended day; trips and visits

Preparation for Adulthood: For students in year 9 onwards, Batchwood School will seek to work in partnership with other agencies such as employment services; West Herts College; post-16 providers and 6th forms; alternative education partners; housing agencies; disability organisations and other relevant agencies as required to ensure that students understand what support and opportunity is available for them as they get older. Where possible, Batchwood School will seek opportunities for students to meet disabled adults who are successful in their work or who have made a significant contribution to their community. For teenage students, the focus on achievement and post-16 options is essential; this will include preparation for higher education and/or employment. Training options such as supported internships, apprenticeships and traineeships or support for setting up your own business will be discussed as required. For all our students transition planning will result in clear outcomes being agreed that are ambitious and stretching in preparing the student for adulthood.

Young People making their Own Decisions: As our students develop, Batchwood School will ensure they are more and more closely involved in the decisions about their own future. We recognise that after compulsory school age the right to make requests and decisions under the Children and Families Act 2014 applies to them directly, rather than to their parents. In the vast majority of cases, parents will be involved in supporting our students to make decisions. Batchwood School will continue to involve parents/carers wherever possible and appropriate, but the final decision rests with the young person. Batchwood School will continue to involve parents where there are concerns around attendance, behaviour or welfare. In addition, Batchwood School will continue to be involved in discussions around the young person’s studies and progress whatever post-16 destination, to ensure they remain and complete their studies. This is our commitment to our students.

Planning Transition into Post-16 Education and Training: In year 9, Batchwood School will enable students to explore the various post-16 options and the help that can be provided to get the student to this point. In year 10, more specific courses and providers will be explored, to include taster days or visits as relevant. In year 11, students and families will be supported to decide on a firm destination post-16 and to familiarise them with the expected new setting. This will include contingency planning. Information about previous SEN provision will be shared with any post-16 provider before the young person takes their place, preferably in the Spring Term prior to their start to enable the provider to develop a suitable support plan. Batchwood School will share this information sensitively and with the best interests of the student at the centre. Students must agree the information to be shared.

What support is currently on offer to disabled students at Batchwood School?

We consider all users, including staff, governors, visitors and others who use the School, and remove barriers that might deny anyone access to our School/services. The layout of our school building is simple, spacious, attractive, accessible and clearly signposted. Students with a physical disability have the option of a personalised rooming timetable that ensures no stairs are used or needed. Our programme of extra-curricular activities is accessible for all students. Most equipment used in classrooms is accessible to all students regardless of their needs, and we provide adaptive technology or other equipment for those who need it to access the curriculum. If a disabled student wishes to attend Batchwood School we will always do our utmost to make the adjustments to the building, curriculum and resources needed

If my child has medical needs, how will they be supported?

All students with a medical condition will be properly supported to ensure that they have full access to the School curriculum, including enrichments, School trips and physical education. We treat each student with a medical need, as an individual and in some cases we may offer a personalised timetable or slow reintegration back into school after longer periods of absence. Some students may need a Health Care Plan, which will be drawn up in partnership with parents/carers, healthcare professionals and our SENCO. Information such as triggers, signs, symptoms and treatments and strategies for managing an emergency will be shared with staff.

What training do staff have to support students with medical needs?

Depending on the medical needs of a student, staff may be required to have additional training about a specific medical condition or specific training in administering a particular type of medicine or dealing with emergencies.

Who has responsibility for students with medical needs?

Our trained member of staff Ms D Hawkes is responsible for students with medical needs.

Who are the other people providing services to students with SEN at Batchwood School?

Involving Specialists: Where a student continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidenced based support and interventions that are matched to the student’s area of need, the School will consider involving specialists or outside agencies for example: educational psychologists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMH), specialist teachers such as those for Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired or Multi-Sensory Impaired, therapists such as speech and language therapists. This may involve working with the local authority on joint commissioning. The involvement of specialists and what was discussed or agreed should always be recorded and shared with parents/carers and teaching staff involved in supporting the student. The SENCO and tutor along with the Specialist, involving the parents, should consider a range of evidence-based supports for the student. They should agree outcomes to be achieved through the support, including a review date. Batchwood School works closely with the School Nurse who sees students through appointments or drop-ins.

Where can I find information about wider SEN provision in Batchwood?

Further information about SEN provision at Batchwood can be found:

  • in our SEND policy (About Us) on our website
  • direct contact with Ms Jo Murphy (SENCO)
  • direct contact with the school office

Parental contact

We have a comprehensive academic support system involving parent teacher consultation evenings, learning review days, an integrated reporting cycle and many other information evenings concerning support for examinations and how to learn most effectively.

Progress reports

At Batchwood we report to parents four times a year on their child’s progress. The purpose of this assessment, recording and reporting system is to provide regular information throughout the year to both students and parents on how students are progressing in relation to their academic ability and potential, based on prior data. More importantly, in line with our teaching and learning policy, it will offer advice on how students can improve. 

Each progress report contains the following information:

Target Grades for each individual subject (based on 'prior data', especially performance in their most recent NCT tests);

Current level of attainment in each individual subject; 

Current progress (indicated by the difference between the student‘s current level of attainment and their Target Grade); 

Attitude to learning (A2L), acknowledged by a number of indicators including: 

  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Effort
  • Number of reward marks gained

In addition to this, each individual subject teacher and the Headteacher provide comments and advice to help guide each student‘s progress.

Learning Review day

Learning review day provides an opportunity for parents to discuss with their sons progress across all subjects during a 15 minute session with their mentor. Students should also attend these interviews. Parents are provided, in advance, with current information on their child‘s academic progress. At the interview targets for improvement are negotiated which are then monitored by the child and the mentor.

Parent teacher consultations

Parent teacher consultation evenings are held once a year for each key stage and provide an opportunity for parents and students to meet with their subject teachers to discuss progress in individual subjects.

Curriculum evenings

In addition parents are invited to special Curriculum Evenings: TCI, working with ASD, Year 9 into 10 and ‘Beyond year 11’. Parents are welcome to contact the school at any time to discuss their child‘s welfare and progress. Such enquiries should be directed in the first instance to the child‘s Director of Learning. Appointments can also be made with other members of the Leadership Group, including the Headteacher. Parents receive comprehensive termly reports highlighting academic progress and identifying areas for future development.

Ad hoc consultation

Parents are welcome to contact the school at any time to discuss their son‘s welfare and progress. Such enquiries should be directed, in the first instance, to the Home Liaison Team. Appointments can also be made with other members of the Leadership Group, including the Headteacher.

The House System

Batchwood operates a house system, with students organised into three houses. Student in Years 7 – 11 wears a pin badge denoting the colour of their house on their blazer.  This helps to generate a sense of house identity within the school community.

During the year, the houses compete in a series of events to win points for their house. These include

  • House Spelling
  • House numeracy
  • House ‘Performing Arts’ competition
  • Top of the Form
  • House Day
  • Sports Day
  • Fun Run
  • Football tournament

Students can also add to their house totals through earning house points for excellent work and effort and a range of other smaller activities organised throughout the year. 

Earning house points

There are many activities running through the school year for students to contribute to their House. Each house point awarded to students automatically adds to the house total and these are recorded by the students and given to Heads of House to be entered in the system. For the large events, such as Sports Day, House Arts and the Fun Run points are awarded based on finishing positions. Students can also gain House Points for taking part in extra-curricular activities, for representing the school and for participating in many enrichment activities.

The house competition is about participation and working together with students from all year groups. It provides students with opportunities to be a leader either by being House Captain or being elected as House Leader or even taking responsibility to help lead a specific activity or event. The houses also work hard to raise funds for charities that are selected by each house on an annual basis.

The House Captains from each House form the student Council. This is a vital voice of the school community.

Extended Day

This had begun to develop over the years and provides a rich and diverse sporting offer to all of Batchwood students.

We have built up an extended day program, on a Monday and Tuesday after school.

  • Art Club
  • Sports club
  • Warhammer Club

Warhammer club is an activity that mixes creative and practical skills through building, painting and using models within the game setting. Students learn patience through careful application of the paint on the models and can take home the finished models.

Art club is an activity that is open to key stage 4 students who want to develop their skills in GCSE Art and to achieve even better outcomes. Students enjoy the less formal approach to learning and set their own targets and goals and develop the skills necessary for independent learning in readiness for life after Batchwood School.

Sports club is an activity where students across all year groups can enjoy playing sports together learning how to work in a team, resolve conflicts and simpl;y enjoy getting on with each other. It does develop particular skills, depending on the sport focus, but equally as important. It develops the soft skills that prepare students for life after Batchwood School.

Revision clubs are available to year 11 students on a needs basis to prepare them for their public exams in the summer term.

Rewards Trips

Trips at Batchwood school are a celebration that acknowledge the achievements of each individual student. They run at the end of each term and are accessed by all students who have earned the appropriate amount of A2L points

The Student Council has a big voice in deciding the type of Rewards trips made available to the school and they decide on the appropriate Gold, Silver and Bronze trips.

Individually, students are able to choose the appropriate trip for themselves depending on whether they achieved Gold, Silver or Bronze status.

The trip choices are displayed in the weekly House assemblies so that each student is fully aware of the expectations from them concerning behaviour and attitude to learning (A2L).

Trips so far have included; Paintballing, Ice skating, Megajump, Cinema, Thorpe Park and Hemel Ski Slopes.


SMSC and Embedding British Values at Batchwood School

Batchwood School promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Actively promoting these values means challenging opinions or behaviours at Batchwood School that are contrary to fundamental British values.

The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.

Through their provision of SMSC at Batchwood Schools we:

  • enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  • encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
  • enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
  • promote tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
  • encourage respect for other people; and
  • encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
  • The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of Batchwood School promoting fundamental British values.
  • an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
  • an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
  • an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
  • an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
  • an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
  • an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.

How will we achieve this?


Democracy is richly embedded within the school. Students  have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Student Council, student  questionnaires, meeting with the Headteacher and through being a Head Boy, or Peer Mentor. Our school behaviour and values policies involve rewards and sanctions; this is shared through all aspects of school life and also shared with parents, carers and students.

The Rule of Law:

The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies and OAA activities. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service are welcomed to help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty:

Within school, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for all students to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and an empowering approach through the education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our Forest School lessons. Students are further empowered through being part of the Student Council and being able to take part in student forums which link directly to the senior leadership team or governors. Students are given the freedom to make a wide range of choices from attending extra-curricular clubs to supporting fund raising events.

Mutual Respect:

As a school which holds values at the core of its ethos, our school values and behaviour policies have evolved around core values such as ‘respect’. Every student has the right to ‘Make Every day Count’, and students have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Respect is one of our values taught explicitly within lessons, assemblies and the school council. It is shared with home through newsletters and website information. Adults throughout the school model, demonstrate and promote respect for others.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

At Batchwood School we are a culturally rich and diverse school where students have unique opportunities to learn from each other by sharing and celebrating their different faiths and cultures. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed up and supported by learning in across the school. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.

Radicalisation & Extremism

How we prevent radicalisation & extremism – extracts from our school policies:

Batchwood School is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our students. We recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All staff at Batchwood upholds and promotes fundamental British Values and must report any concerns.

Our SMSC provision is embedded across the curriculum (see school website) and directs our assemblies and underpins our school ethos. It is recognised that children with low aspirations are more vulnerable to radicalisation and therefore we strive to equip our students with confidence, self-belief, respect and tolerance, as well as setting high standards and expectations for themselves

Students are regularly taught how to stay safe when using the internet and are encouraged to recognise people who aren’t always who they say they are online. They are always taught to seek adult help if they are upset or concerned about anything they read or see on the internet

Within our Behaviour policy, staff have a learning focus, build relationships and encourage students to take responsibility. Restorative approaches are encouraged and supported by teachers calmly when explaining where student’s behaviour has failed to meet community expectations as well as considering the appropriate community response.

Further reading:

Links can be found in Batchwood School’s Safeguarding policy.


Did you know …Over two thirds of children in the UK, aged between the ages of 8 to 15 years access the internet via smartphone, computer or tablet?  And with a host of chat enabled websites and apps available, it is a daunting prospect of how vulnerable children and teens can be   

Read our pdfeSafety Newsletter Spring 2016

Safe guarding our students is paramount to all Staff and Governors of Batchwood School.  This extends to our policy on e-safety, where we educate and inform our students of the safe use of the internet, whilst in and outside of the school environment.

At Batchwood School we actively use the internet to research curriculum based activities and it is vital our students are aware of how to stay safe on-line.

Our acceptable use e-safety policy is shared annually with all Staffs, Governors and students and they are asked to sign a declaration to adhere to safe use guidelines.

All parents and carers are invited to read the full e-Safety policy which is located under our Policies on this website.

For further information on how you can support your child, ‘Herts for Learning’ produce a termly e-Safety newsletter.  It is an excellent publication to share with your child and provides helpful information on items such as ‘how make social networking sites safer’ and setting privacy settings.


Music is an important and valued subject within our school. The department engages students in music education in a way that suits their needs and interests through the use of modern technology and musical instruments. The department has a contemporary approach to musical studies and remains a place where students are encouraged to find their own musical expression.

Key Stage 3


The aim for key stage 3 is to introduce students to a range of musical experiences and equip them with practical skills and knowledge of the contemporary and traditional styles and their composers. Our music department has cultivated an environment in which students are excited to engage in music education. Alongside the national curriculum, we aim to provide students with a strong foundation of musical knowledge and experience so that they are prepared for music at KS4.

KS3 schemes of work

The elements of music, rhythm and notation, music and media, the blues, songwriting, podcasting, reggae, African drumming, composition, piano, soundscapes, musical history.

Key Stage 4


Our aim at KS4 is that students gain a wealth of knowledge and experience, in both music production and in performance.

The two streams of study mean that our students can choose to focus on either of the following qualifications:

Music Performance – NCFE Level 1 Performance Skills Using Music

This qualification is based on developing musical ability and will lead students to reflect on their own progress and set themselves targets. They keep video logs to document their own progress as well as a practice diary. They will work closely with a one to one instrumental tutor to ensure they are being challenged on their own instrumental ability.

Music Technology – NCFE Level 1&2 Music Technology

Music technology students will complete units that focus on the use of digital audio workstation and software such as Logic Pro. They will learn how to record live sound, mix and master tracks, multi-track record, work with sound synthesis, sampling, drum machines and sequencers. They will learn about professional roles and career opportunities within the music industry as well as cover units on music in media.

Musical tuition

Working alongside Herts Music Service, one to one instrumental tuition is offered to all year groups and we are currently providing lessons in guitar, piano, singing, bass, and drums. We also offer grading exams through Rock School.


We offer students the opportunity to attend after school clubs and the department is open to years 9 - 11 in break times and lunch times so that they can practice and make use of our facilities. 

Students are encouraged to take part in musical performance such as the Christmas concert, talent show, and school festival. 


Geography Key Stage 3

Aims of the Course

Geography at Batchwood aims to develop our student’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Students will investigate in practical ways and interactively.

The national curriculum for Geography aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time

Are competent in the geographical skills needed to:

  • Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
  • Interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Course Content

Students will study a range of topics covering:

Locational Knowledge focussing on Africa, Russia, Asia (inc. China & India) and the Middle East.

Place Knowledge looking at geographical similarities, differences and links between places through the study of human and physical geography.

Human and Physical Geography covering geological timescales, plate tectonics, weather & climate, rocks weathering & soils, glaciation, hydrology and coasts.

Population and urbanisation: international development, economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors, and the use of natural resources.

Geographical skills and fieldwork

Build on their knowledge of globes, maps and atlases and apply and develop this knowledge. Interpret Ordnance Survey maps in the classroom and the field, including using grid references and scale, topographical and other thematic mapping, and aerial and satellite photographs. Use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to view, analyse and interpret places and data. Use fieldwork in contrasting locations to collect, analyse and draw conclusions from geographical data, using multiple sources of increasingly complex information.


All students will be assessed on their written prose and their knowledge and understanding shown through each topic covered. This will allow staff to monitor progress and establish levels in alignment with the National Curriculum.

Outdoor Learning: Mountaineering

After 3 years of taking students on an annual mountain trip we now have Mountaineering on the school timetable. This feels like a big step forward for us. The vision is to support our particular client group in their learning and personal development. We are seeking to integrate and align this initiative with current research and development in the area of resilience and how we might help our learners aim higher in their achievements in school and beyond.

For our students this type of trip is all the more challenging due to the specific difficulties they have within themselves and in dealing with difficult situations that they would usually feel fearful of. Confidence, motivation, a positive outlook on life, the trust of adults and a respect for peers are too often absent.

We believe that in taking them into awesome environments such as the mountains, we maximise opportunities to teach missing skills. From basics such as being more organised and taking some responsibility for kit to things like finding a new perspective and setting new goals, our hope is that over time these mountain trips might help our kids make progress in their lives.

One outdoor experience is not going to change our students into reformed characters overnight or solve all of their complex needs. We take the long view. Our expectation is that these new experiences will give our students a point of axis (a waypoint in their lives) that they can look back on as something positive and aspirational. It helps our students to feel part of something where they would otherwise remain outsiders. These are not trips and weekly activities to reward good behaviour, but to provide opportunities to broaden our student’s world view and build attachments on a social and emotional level. This is what we hope will then lead to an improved engagement with their learning in school.

6 Week Mountaineering Programme

We run a 6 week mountaineering programme prior to each two day residential trip to Snowdonia. The group is picked based on our knowledge of each student and how we feel they will knit together as a group. Group dynamics are a vital to ensure individuals are given the best chance to grow and flourish. At the same time we also seek to pair students whose relationship is difficult in the normal school environment. Over the course of the programme we see each group build as a team as they each work together towards a shared goal.

Each session has an assessment focus where key skills are developed:

Group Ethos

  1. Stay together as a core group
  2. Encourage others
  3. Staying on the paths unless otherwise directed
  4. Following team leader instructions
  5. Being safe (Personal)
  6. Being safe (Group)
  7. Respect for the public and the environment


  1. Packing own kit correctly
  2. Taking responsibility for own kit
  3. Organising dirty and clean kit
  4. Carry own kit at all times
  5. Knowing where individual items of kit are at all times

Navigation Skills

  1. Taking a bearing
  2. Waking on a bearing
  3. Matching map contours to the landscape

Leadership Skills

  1. Took turn in leading the group
  2. Listening to others in the group
  3. Followed instructions from others

Difficult Terrain

  1. Finding hand/footholds
  2. Good route choice
  3. Spotting each other/support
  4. Safe positioning on rocks
  5. Climbing confidence

Outdoor Learning: Bushcraft & Nature Studies

Our programme of Bushcraft & Nature Studies through years 7 8 and 9 provides the essential long term integral element of outdoor adventure learning that evidence shows is essential in order to maximise the benefits in terms of students personal social and emotional development.

Long term programmes such as ours have been shown to impact positively on young people's: attitudes, beliefs and self-perceptions increasing independence, confidence, self-esteem, locus of control, self-efficacy, personal effectiveness and coping strategies. The programme also enhances students awareness and understanding of the natural environment, and their connection with nature.

What is Bushcraft?

Bushcraft is in essence, how to live in the world without being reliant on modern technology. It incorporates the study and practise of how to provide for essential human needs such as fire water and shelter as the first steps, but also encompasses much more. Learning is focused on using natural materials gathered in a responsible and sustainable way with minimal reliance on modern technology and equipment and an emphasis on working in harmony with, and with an understanding of nature. This may be as simple as how to light a fire or bake camp fire bread, but also includes other activities such as coppicing Hazel and making traditional woven hurdle walls for our roundhouse, making natural cordage, flint knapping, learning about plants and trees, and how they can be used, wildlife and how it effects the wider ecosystem, animal track interpretation, green woodworking, natural history and conservation.

Why do we teach Bushcraft?

Conventional Forest School programmes are a great first step on a child’s outdoor learning pathway, but are intended for early development, as children grow so the challenges provided by their outdoor learning also need to grow. This is necessary to maintain interest, introduce new skills, develop more complex ideas about the natural world and build confidence, self-reliance and self-belief, which is the essence of Bushcraft.

Studies in recent years in both Europe and the USA show a range of benefits to kids of outdoor learning and time in wild environments, both for child development generally, and particularly in managing stress and behaviour, and the Governments own White Paper from November 2015 identified a minimum of an hour a day of time spent engaged outdoors as essential to as child’s healthy development.

An increased understanding of the natural world and belief in their own ability to survive within it, increases children’s connection to, and appreciation of nature, builds confidence and enables them to conquer ever more new challenges and take pride in doing so.

How do we teach Bushcraft?

We have our own covered outdoor classroom complete with fire pit, and an Iron Age Roundhouse built with students where lessons are held covering a range of Bushcraft topics.

We teach the children a range of activities depending on age and ability, including: Fire lighting, camp cooking, shelter building, water sourcing and purification, green woodworking, plant and tree Id and use, animal tracking, stone age technology and much more. These lessons are delivered in the outdoors in our own woodland, and in a local 45 acre ancient forest, and are supported by field trips to learn about specific natural environments and wildlife.

We have been running an ever evolving Bushcraft & Nature Studies programme for 3 years now. We have developed a thin strip of woodland on the edge of our site which we use every week as an outdoor learning area with KS3 groups. Last year we finished building an Iron Age roundhouse on the site with help from the students. It is being used as an outdoor/indoor learning space for Bushcraft and Nature Studies and we are developing curriculum links for specific activities such as storytelling. We are partnered with a local woodland conservation group called FAB (Friends at Batchwood). We have participated in workshops and sourced coppiced hazel, oak shingles and clay as materials to build our roundhouse and students were involved from digging the footings to the final finishing of the building. This provided both historical learning and a fantastic all weather facility for outdoor learning lessons

John Muir Award.

In year 7 our students begin their outdoor learning with off site visits to a local Ancient Woodland which is particularly rich in wildlife and flora, where they take part in the John Muir Award.

The John Muir Award scheme is a conservation award run through the John Muir trust, an organization inspired by the Scottish conservationist whos travels and writing in America led to the inception of the world`s first National Parks. The scheme is inclusive for people of all backgrounds and abilities and requires participants to discover wild places, learn about them, take steps to conserve them and share their experiences with others.

John Muir Award Slide Show Part 1

John Muir Award Slide Show Part 2

John Muir Award Slide Show Part 3

Outdoor Learning: Horticulture

With some investment last year we have set up a large 11mtr polly tunnel on our grounds. It is kitted out with potting tables and a seating area and it is used as an outdoor classroom for Horticulture. The vision going forward is to encourage enterprise through selling produce locally. The output from this area will also support the development of landscaping our grounds as a therapeutic space/play space/ learning space. We are partnered with the Walled Garden Project at Luton Hoo and the head gardener there. We send students to work at Luton Hoo once a week and the head gardener is working with the school to help develop horticulture at Batchwood.

KS3 Curriculum – Yr 7

Horticulture is currently offered to Yr 7. They are following an introductory curriculum that gives them the opportunity to sow seeds, pot seedings on, dig and weed and take part in the on-going maintainance of the Batchwood Outdoor Project.

Seasonal Programme of Study

(Term Time Productivity) Link to planning docs

Assessment and Progression

Assessment and progression is measured through Skills Tasks that cover the following areas:

  • Garden Maintenance
  • Sowing/ Propagation
  • Planting
  • Watering
  • Clearing up

Each skill is assessed under the following generic criteria:

Level 1
With help from staff member, attempted to demonstrate skill but to an unsatisfactory standard

Level 2b
Independently attempted to demonstrate skill but to an unsatisfactory standard

Level 2a
With help from staff member, demonstrated skill to a satisfactory standard

Level 3
Independently demonstrated skill to a satisfactory standard

Level 4
Independently demonstrated skill to a satisfactory standard three times

Tuesday Afternoon Mixed Groups

We take a mixed group for a double session on a Tuesday afternoon. This is an option group where students are offered the opportunity to experience Horticulture. They follow the same planting programme as the KS3 group.

Girls’ Football Tournament – Friday 10th June, 2016

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On Friday 10th June, 2016, Batchwood Girls’ football team, went along to Heathlands School, to take part in the annual girls’ tournament.

It was a great experience - some of the girls had taken part in previous tournaments but it was the first time for Sasha from year 7 and Mekyla in year 10. We played against three other schools and although we don’t play regularly as a team, the girls all demonstrated great team work, positive attitudes and a real desire to win. The team were very well organised and good at giving each other instructions on where they should be on the pitch. Maxine, Courtney and Shannah took it in turns to be in goal and all did a fantastic job. Monique, Sasha and Becky worked equally as hard, marking their opponents and passing the ball. Becky and Maxine were our joint players of the match, due to their high work rate and excellent attitude.

Batchwood were quite evenly matched against Pinewoods School but Heathlands proved to be very good opponents and the tournament was won overall by Heathlands.

Athletics Meeting – Thursday 30th June, 2016

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On Thursday 30th June, Batchwood School took part in the annual athletics meeting at Wodson Park. Seven schools competed in the activities, which included: high jump, discus, shot put, javelin, long jump, 100m, 300m, 400m, 800m and relay. Sixteen students from Batchwood went along to represent the school. Students participated in the activity/activities of their choice and we had a representative from Batchwood in most events. It was a very enjoyable day and it was noticeable how much the students encouraged each other, with lots of positive comments and encouragement. The day also meant that Batchwood students got the chance to meet pupils from other schools and discuss what was going on and how they were all doing during the day. We stopped for packed lunch, which Nev kindly provided for us and after completing the last few activities we finally went into the sports hall, as it started to rain very heavily, to hear the results.

We felt extremely proud as a school when we heard that two of our pupils had broken two current records. Ez broke the current discus record, he threw 27.26m – a new record and Josh jumped 1m40cm in the high jump – another new record! These records will stand until someone can better them. Everyone who participated has received a certificate.

Everyone enjoyed the day and tried their very best. We took along three girls – Maxine, Becky Jordan and Willow. The girls worked so hard on the day and Becky even volunteered to run an extra leg in the relay, which enabled us to compete.

All the students were very tired on the mini bus during the return journey to school but all said how much they had enjoyed the experience.

Nev Myring Wins Catering Manager of the Year 2016!

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You may think of school meals as a captive audience but with pride we can state that this is not how Nev Myring, our catering manager at Batchwood School, perceives it, in fact far from it.  She has won Catering Manager of the Year 2016 (category - Special Education School)!

Working within an SEMH school, the students have many diverse and complex social and emotional needs. Many have little or no understanding of the need for nutritional food and, in some cases, can have a poor relationship with eating.  At Batchwood a significantly high proportion of students qualify for free school meals, and sadly, for several this is the only meal they will eat that day.  Nev has great empathy with the students and by building rapport she has gained much trust, which has enabled her to cater for the many individual needs of the students. In doing so Nev has ensured that those who would normally choose not to eat are now having a daily balanced meal.

Nev’s passion to deliver amazing food stems from her early childhood where she would delight in watching her father cook. He was an inspiration to her, as an accomplished chef at the Dorchester, before going on to run the family restaurant.  Seeing the pleasure and the social occasion side of the dining experience has remained with Nev and underpins her approach to the provision of school meals.

Nev knows her customers. She listens to students preferences and provides delicious creative twists to HCL menus, incorporating a diverse range of food from across the globe; embracing and celebrating the cuisine of many cultures.  Her signature dish is her roast dinners which are legendary, worthy of this claim, as those on packed lunches can’t resist joining the weekly roast dinner sitting; some students have even been known to pay with their own pocket money! 

As her father did with her, Nev provides a much needed role model encouraging students to try new flavours and foods to broaden their horizons; an opportunity many of them would not have at home. She is a creative cook and over and above of daily duties, has demonstrated to students how to turn natural food sources; using school grown vegetables, into delicious soups and salads in the hope they can replicate this at home.

Nev is an integral member of Batchwood School, she takes personal accountability for providing a balanced meal in turn contributing to the overall well-being of our students and their ability to concentrate and learn.  Nev’s personality is as colourful as her food. She has a flexible approach and nothing is too much trouble.  She is a much loved and respected member of the Batchwood team by staff and students alike and she deserves to be recognised for the role she plays in creating the right foundations as we prepare our children for their next steps on their journey in life.


‘Nev is an inspiration, kind, warm hearted and empathetic.  She is the hub and rock of the school as ensures everyone is cared for. Without Nev the school would not function nearly as well  We al love her and she truly deserves this award.
Anne Spencer, Headteacher

‘’Nev is an amazingly inventive cook. I am amazed at how she adds a twist to all her meals to make them interesting and tasty, and have picked up some great tips.
When the new year 7’s started some parents were saying their children didn’t like school dinners, however, once they saw the standard of meals and how everyone enjoyed them, they all changed to school meals!
Nothing fazes her. She is always cheerful and has a special rapport with all the students. She knows their individual likes and dislikes, including those of the staff, and strives to accommodate where she can their preferences, especially as many of hem have issues with food and eating with others.
Visitors are always commenting on how nice lunch was and comment that they love coming to visit us.
Nev is very flexible and accommodating. The nature of our school means that students often come in late but she always manages to cater for the unpredictability of their attendance and cater for them without any fuss.’’
Sharon Vella , Receptionist

‘Nev always brings a smile to everyone’s face and she is my mum away from home!’
Tom Tansey, Behavioural co-ordinator

‘With reference to school dinners could I express how friendly and supportive that Nev is, I would like to  commend her on how tasty and delicious the food that she prepares for school dinners.’
Steve Johnson, TA Design & Technology

‘Always willing to go the extra mile – I have never had such good lunches in all the other schools I have visited.’   
Debbie Hawkes, Lead TA

‘Nev is always willing to accommodate last minute requests and change of dinner numbers, She takes everything in her stride with a smile.’
Amanda Clewlow, Health & Safety Manager


Key stage 3

Aims of the Course

History at Batchwood aims to develop our student’s knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Students will investigate the past in an interactive way and understand the different ways it has been interpreted.  They will also develop the ability to carry out historical enquiries in order to formulate their own judgements.

The national curriculum for History aims to ensure that all pupils:

Know and understand the history of the British Isles.
Develop an understanding of how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world and the nature of ancient civilisations.
Gain and deploy historical understanding.
Understand historical concepts and analyse trends.
Ask historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts.
Understand the methods of historical enquiry.
Have the ability to successfully analyse sources and interpretations of key events.


The teaching resources used as part of our history course are designed to make history interactive. This interactivity engages students and allows for differentiation to make History accessible to all students. Activities and projects that our students will encounter during KS3 are designed to challenge and develop our student’s historical knowledge.

Course Content

Students will study a range of British history starting with the Norman Conquest and moving through to the Black Death, these will incorporate source analysis and historical enquiry.

In the latter part of the Autumn Term, students will embark on a project analysing Castles. This will see students investigating the past and carrying out an in-depth historical enquiry. The summer term will see students study the first British colonies and this will allow them to make connections between local, regional, national and international history.


All students will be assessed at the beginning of the academic year to establish their previous subject knowledge and their skill set.

Throughout the year students will be assessed on their written prose and source analysis through various tasks. This will allow staff to monitor progress and establish student’s levels in alignment with the National Curriculum. Levelling will allow staff to work with students in order to set targets and provide further support.

Key Stage Four

Aims of the course

Our students will be entered for the GCSE History qualification which will allow them to build on their skills and knowledge that they gained throughout Key Stage 3. Students will explore periods in history that they have not previously encountered. They will analyse and study the key features of these events in relation to the present day.

Students will look at the rise of Hitler in their first year of the course, before completing a controlled assessment in the spring and summer term. Year 11 will see students develop an understanding of Medicine through time, before sitting two exams in the summer term. These exams assess their knowledge of the two units studied over the two year course. 

Course Content

Batchwood School students will study for the AQA GCSE History and the exam board expects candidates to:

Actively engage in the process of historical enquiry.
Develop their knowledge of selected periods, societies and aspects of history.
Develop an awareness of how the past is represented and interpreted.
Develop the ability to ask relevant historical questions.
Organise and communicate their historical knowledge and understanding.
Recognise their historical knowledge understanding, skills help them understand the present.


Students at Batchwood School will have the opportunity to achieve:

GCSE History (AQA)

Quiz Night


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” - Dr Suess

In our English Department, we believe that developing a student’s love of the subject should be at the heart of their learning experience.  We pride ourselves on delivering engaging lessons that are tailored to the individual needs of our students.

We understand that many students may not have had a positive experience of studying English in the past and we make it our mission to provide an engaging and focused learning environment that enables students to rediscover their love of English language and literature to achieve their potential.  Students who are successful learners in English can enjoy increased achievement across other areas of the curriculum.

At Key Stage 3 we focus on developing Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening skills, exploring both fiction and non-fiction texts, including both pre-1914 ad contemporary literature, poetry and drama.  Throughout each module, teachers focus on the development of a particular skill set and, using a range of teaching resources, allow for differentiation across a spectrum of abilities.  Working in small groups enables us to adapt to the students’ needs whilst ensuring they are appropriately challenged to reach their potential. 

Students will also study spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) to reinforce and build on their learning.  Students may also study Phonics where it is appropriate to their needs.

Students are assessed when they first join the school to determine their reading age and spelling ability in order to ensure they are working in the appropriate learning group.  Further assessments will be made at the end of each module and on an annual basis to monitor their academic progress.

At Key Stage 4, students will work towards a recognised qualification that will prepare them for life beyond Batchwood School.  These qualifications include AQA GCSEs in English Language and Literature, AQA Entry Level Certificate in English and AQA English Functional Skills.  These qualifications can allow students the opportunity to continue their education at college, apply for apprenticeship or successfully enter the workplace.

Entry Level Certificate

Step up to English helps students to build basic and relevant literacy skills vital for life after school.

Batchwood offers both Silver Step (Entry Level 1 and 2) and Gold Step (Entry Level 3). This qualification is achieved purely in-class through a choice of themed papers assessing skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening.

Functional Skills

Functional Skills is offered to many of our students and can be entered at both Levels 1 and 2. It gives students practical skills for life, learning and work and is equivalent to GCSE grades D - G at Level 1 and GCSE grades A – C at level 2.

It aims to ensure students have good communication skills in reading, writing as well as speaking and listening. Level 2 allows students the opportunity to create a presentation on their chosen topic, building confidence in public speaking – a great asset in today’s climate.

AQA GCSE English Language

Students studying this course will develop skills to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts and to develop their own writing clearly.

Assessment consists of two equally weighted exams, assessing reading and writing skills as well as a separate spoken language assessment, which does not form part of their GCSE.

AQA GCSE English Literature

Our English Literature course aims to inspire, challenge and motivate students in their love of literature.  Students will study a range of texts including a Shakespeare play, a 19th Century novel, a modern text as well as a range of poetry.

Assessment is made through two closed-book exams where students can show their knowledge, skills and understanding through extended responses.


The Maths department aims to equip all students with transferable numeracy skills; skills that will be used both within and beyond school. The department believes strongly in fostering an ethos and appreciation for a lifelong use of Maths as well as for meeting the demands of the curriculum.

As a National Curriculum core subject, Maths is given a large share of the school's timetable. It is a subject which students see a great deal of from the day they enter until the day they leave. This presents challenges for department staff to teach topics which sustain the interest and promote the enthusiasm of all pupils, whatever their strengths.

Maths at Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 the Mathematics Department follows differentiated schemes of learning aimed to meet the needs of all students. To help teach the curriculum we use a variety of tools including Mathslinks, Ten ticks and Mymaths in addition to resources aimed at various levels of ability. Students are formally assessed on a termly basis. This enables staff, students and parents to gauge progression and help ensure that students are provided with the maximum opportunity to make achievement in line with prior attainment data.

Key Stage 4 Qualifications


Mathematics in Years 10 & 11 follows the OCR GCSE 9-1 Mathematics (for the more able students this course starts in Year 9). This is offered at two tiers of entry; Higher Tier covers grades 4 to 9 and Foundation Tier is grades 1 to 5. A final decision on which tier of entry each student will be entered for will not be taken until after the end of the autumn term of Year 11.

The assessment at GCSE consists of three papers.  One paper does not allow the use of a calculator; the others allow a calculator to be used.  There is no coursework element to this examination.


The assessment for the Edexcel Award consists of a single paper.  Students have the opportunity to cover two Award qualifications, one in Number and Measures and a second in Statistical processes. The papers allow a calculator to be used. There is no coursework element to this examination.

Entry Level Certificate

Mathematics in Years 10 & 1, for some students, follows the AQA Entry Level Certificate in Mathematics. This is coursework based and consists of eight modules. There is no exam for this course.

Functional Skills

In Year 11, all students attain a Functional Skills qualification in Maths.  Each student will be entered at an appropriate level for them. We cover Levels 1 and 2 as well as Entry Level 1, 2 and 3 Functional Skills.

A Functional Skills qualification in Maths is often a requirement for an Apprenticeship.


“Think like a proton and stay positive.”

Key Stage 3

Aim of the course

We offer a range of opportunities here at Batchwood at KS3 . Our aim is to equip students with the skills to apply their knowledge to situations and also prepare them for success at GCSE.

Course Description

Students will carry out various scientific practicals, as a result of which they will soon realise how much of a science-dependent society we live in.

KS3 Science is taught over 2 years. The study of science fires students’ curiosity about phenomena in the world around them and offers opportunities to find explanations. It engages learners at different levels, linking direct practical experience with scientific ideas. Experimentation and modeling are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thought.

Curriculum information

Year 7

  • Structure and function of living organisms. Cells and their organisation
  • Experimental skills & investigations. Measurement
  • Forces
  • Reproduction
  • The Particulate nature of matter
  • Energy
  • Relationships in an ecosystem
  • Chemical reactions
  • Electricity
  • Inheritance
  • The environment, Earth and Universe

Year 8

  • Nutrition and digestion
  • Chemical reactions
  • Metals
  • Gravity and space
  • Atoms, elements & compounds
  • Materials
  • Light
  • Motion and forces
  • Waves
  • Variation
  • The skeletal and muscular systems
  • Microbes
  • Rocks


Mini-assessments will be embedded into lessons throughout the academic year to monitor progress. In addition, students will regularly complete ‘Assessment for Learning’ tasks that will enable them to ascertain where they currently are and what they need to do to achieve at least the secure threshold.

Science Club

We also offer our ‘Science Club’ to KS3 students. This runs weekly and provides fun hands-on opportunities for students to get enthused and excited about Science.

Homework/Revision Club

The homework/revision club helps Key Stage 4 students to consolidate their learning and to prepare for exams.

Key Stage 4


This course encourages students to:

  • develop their interest and enthusiasm in Science
  • develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods
  • acquire and apply skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works
  • acquire scientific skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for progression for further learning

Most students in Year 9 and Year 10 are taught the new AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy. This qualification is similar to the current core and Additional Science GCSE’s and is equivalent to two GCSEs.

The Science department also offers vocational qualifications such as ASDAN

Year 11 is taught in two groups

Students follow the AQA Additional Science route after completing the GCSE Science A in year 10.

Qualifications available in Science

  • Additional Science
  • GCSE Science A
  • New GSCE Combined Science:Trilogy
  • ELC

Educational trips are organised throughout the year. Students are rewarded for good and consistent work. Educational Science activities/trips planned

  • Science Museum
  • A Forensic Day at Batchwood
  • Paradise Wildlife Park
  • National Space Centre

Art and Design

"Art in schools is aimed at enriching, advancing and fostering the growth of children’s personalities through developing their creative powers and enabling them to express themselves creatively in whatever medium they use”

  • Head Of Department - Art & Design/Photography Teacher - Charlotte Maxen
  • Teaching Assistant – Tessa Fahrenheim

Art & Design Aims at Batchwood School

  • The Art Department seeks to provide a wide variety of experiences in Art and Design, using different media to enable students to explore imaginatively and to respond to the world around them
  • The department helps them to develop and communicate their ideas and appreciate different kinds of art across cultures, times and styles
  • Throughout the school you can see examples of students’ creative and imaginative response to art
  • To foster the individual child's creative ability and to develop the technical skills necessary to achieve their full potential
  • To develop confidence, value and pleasure in Art
  • To enable the students to express their own ideas, feelings, thoughts and experiences
  • To foster students confidence, self-esteem and independent learning
  • To cultivate high expectations for themselves, their work and their behaviour

In the department we have two art studios equipped for a variety of equipment and processes. We have facilities for painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, batik, photography and digital manipulation. We are well stocked with a variety of materials as well as a diverse variety of art books and magazines. We offer opportunities throughout the year for students to enter work into competitions and exhibit work in school. The department runs a number of trips to a variety of galleries and museums such as the Tate Modern, Kew Gardens, Ashridge forest, and Butterfly World.

KS3 Course Outline

At Key Stage 3 students use a variety of key concepts to enhance creativity, competence and cultural and critical understanding. The students also study a range of art, craft and design that investigates key processes such as exploring and creating ideas and understanding and evaluating the purpose of their own and others work. Furthermore, they are asked to explore ideas and meanings of the work of artists, craftspeople and designers, developing opinions of their own. In addition to this they are asked to explore the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design in contemporary life and different cultures. Curriculum opportunities allow the students to work collaboratively and within a multidisciplinary practice.

KS4 Course Outline

  • At KS4 the students develop ideas through investigations informed by contextual and other sources, demonstrating analytical and cultural understanding.
  • Refine ideas through experimenting and selecting appropriate media, materials and techniques
  • Record ideas and observations relevant to intentions and present a personal response, making connections with write, oral or other source.
  • For those wishing to take their art studies further we offer a GCSE course in Art and Design, Ceramics and Photography.

We offer opportunities for students to extend their skills and learning further through a number of extra curricular activities, including an art club.

City and Guilds

The students in years 9, 10 and 11 are studying the qualification, Employability and Personal Development.  This qualification helps develop key personal skills, qualities and attitudes required by employers and helps the students make progress in their learning.
The Employability and Personal Development suite consists of nearly 70 accredited qualifications with over 300 units. There's a wide choice of options to suit all learners and educational settings.

These qualifications are aimed at anyone wanting to improve their employment prospects, progress in education or live a more independent life.

Year 9

These students will undertake units in the following areas:

  • Managing your time – Looking at punctuality, reliability and the need for preparation
  • Introduction to sustainable development and global citizenship – Looking at environmental issues
  • Developing self for learning and work - Plan for progression by being able to recognise and build on personal strengths

Year 10

These students will undertake units in the following areas:

  • Introduction to health and safety awareness in the work place –
  • Environmental Awareness - Take responsibility for their environment by identifying environmental issues and how they could help
  • Positive attitudes and behaviours at work - Show that they can understand and can demonstrate appropriate behaviours

Year 11

These students will undertake units in the following areas:

  • Making the most of Leisure Time - Introduce learners to a range of leisure activities and encourage them to express a preference for what they do in their leisure time
  • Managing own Money - Introduce basic elements of managing personal finance, prepare a personal budget and to carry out transactions
  • Understanding young people, law and order - Why young people become involved in crime and its consequences.  Intro. Into Criminal/ Youth Justice system

Design and Technology

Key Stage 3

We follow a broad based curriculum where students are given the opportunity to explore many aspects of designing and making. 

The fundamentals are:

  • Responding to design tasks through analysis, research and initial design ideas.
  • Development of ideas through drawing, CAD and model making.
  • Learning skills, processes and techniques, (using tools and machinery, technical building processes like joints, structures and adhesives) across the areas of wood work, plastics, CAD/ CAM, textiles, product Design and electronics.
  • Exploring the potential of materials and processes.

Throughout the curriculum, creavitivity is nutured and encouraged.  Students have the opportunities to experience new things and this is very important.  As student's progress through Yr.7 to Yr.8 and Yr.9, learning is personalised as much as possible.  The most able students in Yr. 9 are following a Level 2 Btec 3D Design curriculum.

Key Stage 4

Students choose D&T as an option at the end of Yr. 9.  They begin Yr. 10 by working towards a Btec Level 2 certificate in 3D Design.  Students, also, have the option of pursuing the Btec to Diploma level or entering for GCSE Resistant or Textiles.  Students work on personal projects within the structure and disciplines set out in the assessment criteria for each unit covered.  These include:

  • Working to 3D design briefs: Exploring plastics processes and techniques, wood lamination and the use of moulds, marquetry.  Final projects include designing and making a piece of furniture (table or stool), a media storage unit or a table lamp
  • Surface decoration for 2D design:  primary and secondaryresearch on a theme, developing an imageas a designfor application on various surfaces, batik, screen printing, felt making, enamellingand iron on vinyl.

Cooking and Nutrition

The focus of the department is on learning practical skills to cook independently and developing an understanding of healthy eating and nutrition. The practical tasks are based on preparing and cooking predominantly savoury dishes, with an emphasis on nutrition at all times. 

The school provides ingredients for all students.

Key Stage 3

The learning areas are:

  • Practical cooking skills
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Designing and making dishes and products
  • Hygiene and safety
  • How food is sourced

Key Stage 4

Our students in Year 11 are studying for the OCR Home economics: Food and Nutrition GCSE and our students in Year 10 are completing the Jamie Oliver Home cooking skills BTEC level 2.

Outdoor Learning

Batchwood school is developing its curriculum to include different uses of Outdoor learning as an integral part of what we offer in school. There is a lot of evidence to show that our environment has an impact on how we learn.

In the natural environment our senses are aroused in a multitude of different ways beyond that which the boundaries of an indoor classroom could ever provide. A heightened sense of touch, taste, smell, our vision and the sounds we hear in the natural environment stimulate our brains in such a way that we are more receptive to learn. Our students are damaged, quite often as a result of attachment difficulties usually rooted in early life trauma. As significant and trusted adults in these children’s lives, we are well placed to provide support to them.

What is innovative about the Outdoor Project at Batchwood is that we are developing our own bespoke “in-house” programme for our students. This allows us to deliver outdoor experiences on a daily basis with Batchwood staff and not just a one off, expensive outdoor visit. This “service” is fully integrated into the school curriculum.

The Outdoor Learning project has been running for about 3 years now and it is beginning to mature in terms of the outdoor spaces and the curriculum development. The project comprises of three distinct areas:   

Hair and Beauty

VTCT Level 1 Award in an introduction to the Hair and Beauty Sector (QCF)

We are now offering a VTCT Level 1 Award in an Introduction to the Hair and Beauty Sector (QCF).

This qualification has been specifically designed to develop practical skills and will provide a foundation for further learning. It will enable the student to perform their own services and assist others in a salon.

The course will cover theoretical units such as, an introduction to the hair and beauty industry, and how to present a professional image in a salon. Practical units will be embedded throughout the one year course, covering subjects such as, shampooing and conditioning hair, styling women’s hair, and styling men’s hair.

Further Level 1 Beauty Therapy courses are available covering practical elements such as manicure, make-up and skin care.

VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

The VTCT Level 2 Certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy has been accredited by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is part of the National Qualification Framework. The qualification counts towards the education League Tables and is the equivalent of a GCSE.
This qualification has been designed for students to develop a broad and comprehensive understanding of the hair and beauty sector, a significant core knowledge which expands the entire vocational sector and related industries. It encourages students to develop academic and study skills that will support progression within the hair and beauty sector and more broadly.
Alongside the theoretical aspects of  hair and beauty students will have the opportunity to complete a full practical enrichment program to include shampooing hair, hair styling, the application of make-up and facial skin care.


Physical Education

PE helps students develop personally and socially: by working as individuals, in groups or in teams, they learn the principles of fairness and social responsibility toward others. The range of opportunities in PE allows them also to take on different roles and responsibilities, such as leading, officiating or coaching. Through this range of challenging activities they understand how to become effective participants and how to get involved and remain involved in sport.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum

Through Years 7, 8 and 9 students experience a range of activities covering all aspects of the National Curriculum, developing the key concepts of Competence, Performance, Creativity and leading a Healthy Active Lifestyle. This includes a number of team and individual games, as well as swimming, gymnastics, athletics and health and fitness.

PE at Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 (and for some students in year 9) students are given the opportunity to select a pathway in their PE lessons that suits their skills knowledge and ability. This includes the opportunity to take one of a number of accredited courses to give them a qualification in PE

BTEC First Award in Sport

This is a vocational qualification specifically designed for those who have a strong interest in sport and are interested in a career in the rapidly expanding Sport and Leisure industry.

Extra curricular activities

The broad PE Curriculum is supplemented by the school’s extensive range of afterschool extra curricular activities. Inter House sport competitions and fixtures against other schools are also provided to give students an opportunity to experience competitive situations.


Batchwood provides a massive range of additional opportunities for all students to get involved in sport. Sports activities take place every Friday afternoon offering even more opportunities to learn new skills, ranging from team sports such as Uni-hock to dodge ball, horse riding, cheerleading and street dance.

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship (PHSCE)

All students are taught during Form time by their form tutors.  They are taught using the Secondary Integrated PHSCE Toolkit.

The syllabus over key stages 3 & 4 includes units that will look at Personal Wellbeing, Economic Wellbeing and Citizenship.

Personal Wellbeing

  • Personal Identities
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Risk
  • Relationships
  • Diversity

Economic Wellbeing

  • Career
  • Capability
  • Risk
  • Economic understanding


  • Democracy and justice
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Identities and diversity living together in the UK

The curriculum is intended to help students with critical reflection, decision-making and managing risk, developing relationships and working with others, self-development, exploration, enterprise, financial capability, critical thinking and enquiry, advocacy and representation and taking informed and responsible action.

The curriculum is also designed help students develop their personal, learning and thinking skills and the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning for Secondary Schools.  It harnesses cross curriculum dimensions such as identity and cultural diversity, healthy lifestyles, community participation, enterprise, sustainable futures and the global dimension, technology and the media and creative and critical thinking.

Oaklands College

Students are given the opportunity to take part in the 'Practical Learning Opportunities' project where they attend Oaklands College, for one afternoon a week.  The students are given the choice of participating in many different practical activities, including Animal Care, Beauty, Childcare & Early Years, Construction, Engineering, Equine Studies, Health & Social care, Horiculture, Hospitality & Catering and Motor Vehicle Maintainance.


For more details, please click on the link below.  This will take you to the relevant pages on the Oaklands website.

Luton Hoo


One morning each week at Luton Hoo Walled Garden, a group of Year 9 and 10 students are studying towards a Btec in Horticulture.  The spectacular setting of the Walled Garden provides a wide range of outdoor classrooms including glass houses and conservatories, vegetable and herb gardens, herbaceous borders and wildflower meadows.
From preparing the soil to sowing seeds,pruning, potting up, plant propagation andharvesting fruits and seeds, the students learn the techniques and acquire the skills central to the production fruit, vegetable and flowersand  in different conditions throughout the seasons.
Batchwood School’s own garden which is being developed is benefitting too from the enthusiasm and skills that the students are learning during these outdoor sessions.  They are already beginning to design and plant out their own Butterfly Garden as part of their related studies in the Improvement and Conservation of Wildlife.

Gallery: Students at Luton Hoo

Religious Education

Students are taught RE in their tutor groups in Key Stage 3 one lesson a week.  The scheme of work is based on the Hertfordshire Agreed syllabus for Religious Studies, but modified to suit the learning requirements of our pupils.

The objectives of the RE syllabus are:

  • To gain knowledge and understanding of religious traditions, concepts and experiences through the teaching of Christianity and other faiths.
  • To understand how faith and belief relate to the moral, cultural and behavioural aspects of life.
  • To develop an awareness of the beliefs of others and to look at our own beliefs.

The scheme of work is based on the Hertfordshire Agreed syllabus for Religious Studies.

Year 7: During this year we look at Christianity, Judaism and Sikhism

  • Unit 7a Who Am I?
  • Unit 7b Religious Festivals: Christianity - Patron Saint
  • Unit 7c Religious rituals within acts of worship
  • Unit 7d The importance of food to religious practices and lifestyles
  • Unit 7e Sacred places: christainity and Judaism
  • Unit 7f  Authority figures and people of religious significance.

Year 8:  During this year we look at Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism

  • Unit 8a Who am I?
  • Unit 8b Beginning of Judaism
  • Unit 8c Religious rituals within acts of worship: Christianity and Hinduism
  • Unit 8d The importance of food to religious practices and lifestyles: Christianity and Hinduism
  • Unit 8e Authority figures and people of religious significance
  • Unit 8f  Sacred Places: Christianity

Year 9:  During this year we look at Christianity and Buddhism

  • Unit 9a A life for a life? Introduction to Capital Punishment
  • Unit 9b Capital Punishment: Sin or Crime
  • Unit 9c Is it ever right to fight?
  • Unit 9d What’s the secret of a happy life?
  • Unit 9e Where does the universe come from?
  • Unit 9f  Do animals have rights?

RE at Key Stage 4

We introduce RE at Key Stage 4 with the question - “What do they think about the big issues”. From this we identify the ‘big’ issues and discuss with the students the agenda for the next two years.  Using current topics as our starting ground, we have a variety of discussions, quizzes, talks, interviews, visits and practical work based on the issues that we have identified.

Here are some of the issues that we are going to look at

  • Is Christianity Relevant? Gavin McKenna interview on Sky News
  • Rules Part 1- Why do they exist?
  • Rules Part 2- 10 Commandments- Why does God give us rules?
  • UN Human Rights- What rights should everyone have?
  • Why Christians think all people have rights
  • Wealth and Poverty - Operation Christmas Child
  • Wealth and Poverty- Homelessness in the UK and local agencies
  • Christmas – What does it mean?
  • Prejudice and Discrimination
  • Sanctity of Life- Abortion
  • Sanctity of Life- Euthanasia
  • Christianity - Church visit
  • Easter – Why do we celebrate?
  • Relationships/sex and marriage
  • Afterlife
  • Nature of God
  • Our identity- Bourne Identity Lesson
  • Genetic Engineering?
  • Environment

Alternative Provision

Batchwood School works closely with external educational providers to ensure that all students can achieve their full potential. In Years 7 to  11 the students are given the option to study a more vocational route

External Providers
 Tec @ Tabard – BTEC Vocational Courses (Year 10 and 11 only)

 Oaklands College – Courses including Animal Care, Childcare, Construction, Motor Vehicle

 Sanctuary – Level 2 Music Engineering     

 Right Trax - Motorbike Mechanics and Safe Handling

ChallengerTroop - military-style outward bound engagement & leadership programmes.

Building1zone - training in all aspects of building.

C&G Plastering - Plastering Courses designed to teach the skills needed for a future in the plastering profession.

Each year we are looking to expand this initiative to further enhance the educational experience for all learners.

For more information about these providers please click on the green underlined text to link to their websites.

Extra Curricular Activities

Admissions and Informal Visits


The local authority is the admissions officer for Batchwood School and all referrals are managed by the Special Educational Needs Department. Detailed information can be found by accessing the following website shown below:

From the website click on school admissions for more information.

The following screen will open – please click on secondary and upper schools to obtain more detailed information as detailed on the next screen:

The next screen provide detailed and up to date information about applying for secondary school. Because at Batchwood we cater for pupils who have special educational needs, our places are allocated through a different process. Please click on the Children with Special Educational Needs box to obtain more details as shown below:

Transport to School

The website, also contains very useful information about Home to School Transport.  Please click on the Transport for Pupils with Special Educational Needs, Learning Difficulties and Disabilities to access the details below. The School Transport Team can be contacted by calling 0300 123 4043 or emailing


How it works

All students admitted to the school are the subject of an Educational Health Care Plan of their Special Educational Needs. Students can be admitted to Batchwood School at any stage of their secondary school career.

Students are only recommended for special schooling after a full formal assessment of their educational needs has been made by members of the educational and psychological services in close co-operation with you, as the student’s parents. No student is admitted to this school without a signed acceptance, by the parents, of the offer of a place.

If a place is offered, then parents are asked to complete a few forms for administrative purposes as this greatly helps the process of changing schools.

Please ensure these are completed as promptly as possible and returned to the school.

If you have any queries, or require additional information or assistance please contact the school by calling 01727 868021, or emailing, and we will do our best to help.

Informal Visits

We are always delighted to show parents/carers around the school and invite them and their child to see the school as soon as possible after receiving a request to consider them for admission

This is a good opportunity to view our buildings and facilities, talk about the school and special education in general and answer any questions or queries.  In many cases parents are invited to make an informal visit to the school during the initial assessment period.

Please note that an invitation to visit does not constitute an offer of a place, nor does it indicate that the final outcome of an assessment will be a recommendation that the child comes to a school like Batchwood.

All such decisions remain in the hands of the County Council's Special Educational Needs Department.

Local Partnership - Parental Information

Local Partnership

The St Albans West Local Partnership is a group of 27 local schools who have joined together to work collaboratively on projects which improve the lives of the families living in St Albans.
The available resources on offer are open to all our community and range from parenting classes to holiday activity sessions and family support covering a wide range of issues.
From transition concerns to drug and alcohol problems, we can listen and support you and find the best place for you to get the help you need. There is no problem too big or too small.
Services provided include parenting support, integrated practice for children and young people ensuring early intervention, adult and family learning platforms. We also offer enrichment programmes for children and young people to develop key skills linked to attainment, achievement and personal development and we can support local community groups to meet their specific needs and requirements. 
For more information or for a more informal discussion, please call Nikki Howes, Partnership Development Officer on 07912 792215

Website usage terms and conditions

Welcome to our website. If you continue to browse and use this website, you are agreeing to comply with and be bound by the following terms and conditions of use, which together with our privacy policy govern Batchwood School’s relationship with you in relation to this website. If you disagree with any part of these terms and conditions, please do not use our website.

The term ‘Batchwood School’ or ‘us’ or ‘we’ refers to the owner of the website whose address is Townsend Drive, St Albans, Herts AL3 5RP. The term ‘you’ refers to the user or viewer of our website.  The use of this website is subject to the following terms of use:

  • The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It is subject to change without notice.
  • Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements.
  • This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to us. This material includes, but is not limited to, the design, layout, look, appearance and graphics. Reproduction is prohibited other than in accordance with the copyright notice, which forms part of these terms and conditions.
  • All trademarks reproduced in this website, which are not the property of, or licensed to the operator, are acknowledged on the website.
  • Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offence.
  • From time to time, this website may also include links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience to provide further information. They do not signify that we endorse the website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s).
  • Your use of this website and any dispute arising out of such use of the website is subject to the laws of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Oaklands College Events

Oaklands College Events

  • Oaklands Give It A Go Day - Saturday 21st June 11am to 4pm in White Lion Square, Hatfield Town Centre.

                    Oaklands Give It A Go Day


Address:  Townsend Drive, St Albans, Herts AL3 5RP

Tel: 01727 868021


View Larger Map

If your son/daughter has a statement or EHC Plan, please contact Rina Dhadra our SEN ’gatekeeper’. She will be able to advise you on the processes available for considering Batchwood School as an appropriate provision for your child. Her contact details are below:

Rina Dhadra

SEND officer for St. Albans & Dacorum area SEN team

Hertfordshire County Council
Aspley 2
Brindley way
Hemel Hempstead HP3 9BF

Tel: 01442 453449


pdf Batchwood Ofsted Report 2018

pdf PDF 1: Batchwood school – use & impact

pdf PDF 2: Batchwood school – catch up

See more about all subject areas in our Curriculum pages

Useful Contacts

Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator is Jo Murphy:

Our Governor with responsibility for SEND is Dawn Leverick-Brown.

To discuss individual issues further, or you would like to know more about what we offer at Batchwood School, please contact us on 01727 868021 or e-mail us

The Houses

Elm – Ms Waters & Ms Matthews

Oak – Miss Jackson & Mr Pearson

Beech – Mr Hurley Ms Hollyman & Mr Johnson

Students taking part in Monday football

View the music gallery for more photos

Student Testimonials/Feedback

‘I think that Nev is the most amazing person ever, she has helped everyone including me and I am very grateful. She cooks the most amazing food I have ever tasted and she treats all the staff and the students with respect and is always delighted to see us at school. She is kind and friendly and cool headed in a crisis. She tries to do what she can to help people and we can always depend on her. She has a good sense of humour and has a fun personality.
I have known Nev for 4 years and during that time she has helped me through difficult situations in my life.
She has recently supported me with losing weight and she always encourages me to make healthy choices, I have lost 4 stone in weight also my health is so much better because of what Nev and everyone else did for me. ‘
Shanah Year 11 Student

‘My favourite cook is Nev because she is the nicest person ever. Nev makes the best tasting and good looking food she can. My favourite food she makes is a wrap – it’s amazing and healthy. Nev always helps everyone out. She makes sure that everyone is happy with her and her food.
I could never ask for a better cook that Nev’.
Ez, Year 10 (Diabetic diet)

‘My favourite thing Nev cooks has to be the curry because it is so good. But it’s not just the food that’s good she has a great personality and she always tells a good joke.
Nev is never rude, she is very polite. She likes to know you are well fed. She likes to know you’re ok like whenever I see her she asks if I’m ok and if I’m upset she always cheers me up by giving me a hug or an ice cream bar.
She is just a good soul and I hope she wins because she really deserves it.’
Jamie Year 11 Student

‘Nev is really friendly and she accommodates everyone always making sure there is an extra option for everyone, always going that extra mile. The food’s always nice and healthy and she always asks if you’re okay if you look sad.’
Lewis Year 10 Student

‘I am a student who has a packed lunch, but I love Nev’s roast dinners so always have that once a week’ 
Lilly Year 8 Student

We are not makers of history, we are made by history - Martin Luther King

Their Last Breath
by Millie

Walking through the tunnel of death,
Choking up their last breath.
Hell is the game,
Who is to blame?

Mars is our god, our ruler,
He led us here, there’s nothing crueller.
Heavy weight upon our backs,
From the condiments in our sacks.

Approaching the hand of hell,
Holding our noses from the smell.
A man is hurt; he’s crying.
Looks as if he’s dying.

He grabs me, drowning in blood,
He falls back to the mud.
We watch his face go pale,
His family awaits the mail.

Waiting here in shock,
God looks down to mock.
We suffered and died in pain,
Who is to blame?


Year 11 - Work based on theme of 'Structures'

Year 9 - Ceramics Vessels

Year 9 - South American Pueblo Pottery

Year 7 - Native American Masks

See more photos in our Gallery

Gallery Cooking, Art & Design & Horticulture
A Gallery showing a cross curricula project between Cooking & Nutrition, Art & Design and Horticulture where we made a Thai salad using the edible flowers and chillies that were grown.

Gallery Cooking & Nutrition Gallery


See more of our photos

Athletics Meeting - Thursday 30th June 2016
Batchwood School took part in the annual athletics meeting at Wodson Park.
Girls Football Tournament - Friday 10th June 2016
Batchwood Girls football team went along to Heathlands School, to take part in the annual girls’ tournament.


Extra curricular activities that further enhance our own curriculum.

Important notice

Please note the information displayed here is obtained from the Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) web-site and may therefore be liable to change.

Whilst the school will endeavor to ensure these pages are regularly updated, we cannot be held responsible for any omissions and parents/carers are strongly recommended to check with HCC for current details.

The Council can be contacted by calling their general number, 0300 123 4040, and asking to be put through to the schools admissions department.

The School Transport Team can be contacted directly by calling 0300 123 4043.