`You learn more if you come on time,' says Theo, 10
Thursday 29 July 1999
THIS PART of Clapham is not an easy area in which to teach. More than a quarter of the children live in over-crowded houses and flats; a third of the children in the school have special educational needs; and well over a third qualify for free school meals.
Challenging children go to this school, and the school offers a much needed structure to their lives, and sets firm parameters of acceptable behaviour. It has high expectations of the children. As a direct result, it has an excellent reputation in the local community. The school is over- subscribed and parents believe in the school and the agreement - all of them have signed.
Nuala Sullivan's four children have all been to St Bernadette - eight- year-old Christopher and 10-year-old Mark are still there. She says: "As a parent, it gives you guidelines, it sets the boundaries. You know what your children are allowed and not allowed to do." Theo Gonzales, 10, says: "You learn more if you come on time. It helps you do well, ready for the SATs."
The behaviour policy is the existing agreement's backbone, and of the new one which will be in place from the autumn term. It is the most important factor in making the school calm - teachers and children speak to each other with respect.
Sections of the Ofsted report that praise the school for this are blown up to A3 and displayed in corridors.
Parents are expected to toe the line. Keith D'Cruz, the headteacher, believes that parents who refuse to sign, should be asked to go to another school. He is determined to make the agreement work.
He says: "I would be very willing to sign an agreement if my child was going to school because it would show my commitment to the school. I can also then challenge the school and say, `Look, I've met my part of the bargain. You've promised me my child was going to achieve this. Where's your part of the bargain?'"
Mr D'Cruz expects the parents to discuss the contracts with their children, and explain what is expected of them.
In the autumn term all the children will be expected to sign a more child- friendly agreement. There are six short sentences for them to agree to. They must get to school on time; bring all their equipment every day; wear school uniform; do all their work as well as they can; be polite and helpful; and keep the school clean.
The underlying factor is to stay focused without allowing any of the distractions that would be irritating to teachers in the classroom.
In return the school promises to foster the religious development of all the children in the Catholic faith; encourage the children to do their best at all times; encourage children to take care of their surroundings and other people around them; inform parents of the children's progress at regular meetings; inform parents about what the teachers aim to teach the children each term; tackle any special needs; and let parents know about any concerns or problems that affect their children's work or behaviour.
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
Australian model Robyn Lawley stages naked protest against huge coal mine seven times the size of Sydney Harbour
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers neede...
£111 - £163 per day + £111 - £163 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: The posi...
£64 - £69 per day + Competitive London rates of pay : Randstad Education Group...