School policies

Designed to protect our most precious people, and implemented to raise standards.

From safeguarding to
the operations of the school

In this section you will find a range of relevant school policies, from the safeguarding of our students to the operations of the school. Each policy has been carefully developed to ensure our students´ wellbeing and safety as well as securing the highest possible academic standards.

Academic honesty means always giving full credit for any other people’s contributions to your own achievements; homework, coursework, projects and examinations (i.e. by full and correct referencing) and never falsifying the results of any research.

Academic honesty is fundamental to the values promoted by Virtus and no student is allowed to obtain an unfair advantage as a result of academic dishonesty, whether this is by plagiarism, collusion with another, cheating, malpractice, use of artificial intelligence or other means.

 

Definitions of Terms

Plagiarism is the use of ideas, research, sentences and work of other authors, consciously or unconsciously, presented as your own in your work, without adequate reference to the title of the work or the name of the author.

Collusion is the unauthorised collaboration on assessable work (written, oral or practical) with other people or letting other people submit your work as their own.

Duplication of work is submitting the same work for different subjects or examination components.

 

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is a behaviour that might result in gaining unfair advantage in the assessment, which includes, but is not limited to: possession of unauthorised items during assessment or examination, submitting plagiarised or duplicated work, collusion, fabrication of data, using artificial intelligence to inform coursework etc.

To maintain academic honesty, students must:

  • Ensure that they submit work of any kind that only their own work;
  • Avoid plagiarism in any work;
  • Do not post assessments, assignments, answers to assessments or assignments on any media that can be seen by other students or other third parties;
  • Ensure that they do not possess and/or use any unauthorised items during assessment or examination;
  • Not give or receive unauthorised assistance on assessments;
  • Not present the same work for different subjects or examination components;
  • Not present any forged documents to their teacher.

 

In order to help students maintain academic honesty, mentors, tutors, parents or other third parties must not give assistance on assessments or during an assessed coursework.

 

This policy links to:

Code of Conduct
Behaviour policy
Reviewed June 2023
Next review June 2024

Aim

The aim of this policy is to outline the criteria based on which students are accepted to Virtus and to provide a broad overview of the process. 


Equality and Diversity

Virtus British Sixth Form College does not discriminate on any grounds. We are committed to equality and consider diversity within the student and staff body a strength. Virtus actively promotes equality and seeks to prevent discrimination on any grounds; including but not limited to race, gender, culture, sexuality, religion, social class and learning needs.  


SEN

We welcome students with learning needs and would only deny entry to a student whom we could not reasonably meet the needs of. 


Admissions Criteria

Admissions to Virtus British Sixth Form College is based on entry criteria, school report and a successful interview and assessment. 


1.1 Entry Criteria 

The entry criteria for Virtus British Sixth Form College is six ICSE or equivalent grades Astar – C / 9-4.

In addition, there are subject specific criterias for some subjects such as Mathematics for which students need to achieve a grade 7 or A in GCSE Mathematics and a grade 8 or equivalent for Further Mathematics. 

Please note that students choosing physics need to also study Mathematics. 

 

1.2 School Reports

Virtus British Sixth Form College requires submission of two school reports from the applicant’s previous school; showing satisfactory academic progress, attainment, and behaviour. 


1.3 Interview and Assessment 

Applicants will undergo an interview and assessment upon application. Based on the outcome of this and the school being satisfied that we are the right place for the applicants, they may proceed to the next stage if the above criteria have been met. 


1.4 Outcomes 

Possible outcomes:

  1. Conditional offer. A conditional offer may be given subject to the above criteria being met, at the Headteacher’s discretion. The school retains the right to withdraw any offers of admission should an applicant be rejected from their current school based on their conduct. Failure to meet the conditions of the offer such as the entry criteria would mean it is no longer valid. 
  2. Waiting list. Virtus British Sixth Form College is a sought after school and places are limited. On occasions this may mean that applicants are offered a place on our waiting list. If another applicant does not meet the entry criteria, spaces are opened up to those on the waiting list.
  3. Unsuccessful outcome. No offer given. 

 

An offer of admission is only valid if signed by parents and upon the payment of enrolment fees. The enrolment fee is non – refundable.


The Process

  1. The family and applicant make contact with Virtus British Sixth Form College
  2. Registration of interest or Application form is completed by parents online
  3. Applicants and families are invited in to meet with the Headteacher and offered a tour of the premises.
  4. Interview and assessments are undertaken
  5. Reviews by SLT
  6. Decision made


Disclosure

Parents must disclose any information which can impact the student’s education such as special learning needs.

The Rationale of Assessment at Virtus 

At Virtus, our approach to assessment extends beyond the conventional measurement of student progress. Our fundamental objectives are pedagogical in nature, designed to enhance the educational experience for students, parents, and educators alike. They provide actionable insights into student performance, aiding teachers in adapting their teaching strategies to meet diverse learning needs. The assessment process is not static but dynamic, allowing for continuous improvement in both teaching and learning practices, ensuring that Virtus remains at the forefront of educational excellence.

Our assessments provide a comprehensive understanding of each student’s journey, going beyond mere grades. We believe that assessment should offer a holistic view, celebrating achievements and pinpointing areas for growth. This approach enables teachers to offer targeted support, parents to actively engage in their child’s development, and students to take ownership of their learning.


Types of Assessments 

As a school we believe that a combination of formative assessment (assessment for learning) and summative assessment (assessment of learning) will help improve teaching and learning and thus raise standards.


Assessment for Learning

Formative assessment is an essential component of the teaching process and is part of the ongoing dialogue between the teacher and the learner. The teacher plays a pivotal role by providing constructive feedback to the student. This feedback isn’t merely evaluative but also empowering, encouraging students to take meaningful actions to enhance their understanding and skills. Formative assessment, thus, serves as a compass for learners, guiding them towards a deeper comprehension of subject matter and promoting their active participation in the learning journey.


Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is also carried out regularly according to departmental schemes of work for example at the end of a unit of work, the end of term or the end of year.

Such assessment makes judgements about student performances in relation to national or school standards. Thus summative assessment is based on grade descriptions, and informs student, teacher and parent of the student’s progress. Such summative assessments form the basis of grade information for parent reports. 

 

Features of Assessment

Assessment for Learning

  • It is part of the teaching and learning process.
  • Learning objectives are shared with students.
  • It helps students to know and to recognise the standards to aim for.
  • It encourages students to think.
  • It involves students in self-assessment (self-marking; peer-marking and feedback)
  • It provides feedback which leads students to identify what they should do next to improve.
  • It is a process involving both teacher and students reviewing and reflecting on students’ performance and progress
  • It helps students become reflective learners.


Summative Assessment

  • Summative assessments should align with the curriculum and be designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills that have been covered in a specific unit, block, term, or academic year.
  • End of term MOCK exams and internal examinations should prepare students for external qualifications, such as GCE exams, by reflecting the content and format of these official exams.
  • Assessments should not solely focus on the same aspects or skills but should incorporate a balanced combination of knowledge, skills, and practical application to provide a comprehensive evaluation.
  • Mark schemes for all summative assessments should be developed in accordance with the guidelines of official examination boards to ensure consistent and transparent assessment. This also facilitates constructive feedback to students.
  • Summative assessments should be viewed as a positive aspect of the learning process, encouraging students to consolidate their learning and showcase their understanding and abilities.
  • Students should be encouraged to engage in reflection on their coursework and assessments. This reflection can help them plan and strategize effectively for future summative assessments, optimising their revision efforts.
  • The results of summative assessments should be used as an opportunity for feedback and improvement, both for individual students and for the school’s teaching methods and curriculum design.
  • Summative assessments should be scheduled in a way that allows students sufficient time to adequately prepare and revise, reducing unnecessary stress.
  • The purpose and expectations of summative assessments should be communicated clearly to students, parents, and teachers, ensuring everyone understands their role in the assessment process.

 

Marking/Feedback Policy 
  • Marking and feedback should be meaningful, manageable and motivating
  • All homework is completed and uploaded digitally using Google Classroom. Virtus is a paperless learning environment.
  • Teachers are required to review all submitted homework assignments and offer some kind of feedback. Feedback can take many forms; e.g.verbal and written format.
  • It is important that feedback is delivered within a timely period for it to be effective and relevant.
  • Teachers should offer constructive verbal feedback on students’ work within the classroom setting during a lesson.
  • As a minimum, teachers are required to formally deep mark at least one piece of homework per class per week. This piece needs to be a deep marking moment – Key Assessment – offering qualitative feedback on both the strength and weaknesses of the work submitted. This can take the form of ‘What Went Well’ for the strengths so students know what they should retain in terms of exam technique, and ‘Next Steps Advice’ which the student needs to act upon.
  • The Next Steps Advice should offer clear, smart targets for students with examples to illustrate what a better answer would look like.
  • Teachers should mark students’ work within 48 hours of submission.
  • Once students have received qualitative feedback from their teachers, they are required to complete a Purple Pen task; acting on the feedback. 
  • This is then required to be resubmitted on Google Classroom and teachers will review the work to ensure feedback has been acted upon and that expected standards are met.
  • Not all homework needs to receive a grade. Research shows that students may focus solely on the grade rather than the qualitative feedback. It is good practice to alternate and offer either quantitative and / or qualitative feedback on submitted homework, bearing in mind the above minimum requirement. 
  • Teachers need to keep a tracking document with their class grades on so that this can inform the more formal moments when we report home on Working Grades.

 

Literacy Issues 
  • Spellings and English usage should be corrected in a way which is appropriate to the needs of the student. Common spelling mistakes should be noted and students should write down the correct spelling.
  • Key subject terms should be corrected and learned.

 

Assessment Grades
  • The following grades are used in VIRTUS: A*, A, B, C, D, E, U
  • Grades can be used for both formative and summative assessment purposes.
  • In the case of formative assessment, the grades should relate to a description of the levels of achievement expected for the task(s) given (these do not have to be national curriculum levels, but something straightforward outlining the different features of work needed to achieve different grades).
  • In the case of summative assessment such as tests and exams, raw percentages or number marks may be given instead of grades, but when grades are also given, then boundaries should be set for the class or year group. Examinations are always given an attainment grade. For mock exams only those grades that can be achieved in the external exam should be awarded.


Links to other policies

  • Homework policy
  • Teaching and Learning Policy

 

Reviewed August 2023

Next review August 2024

Introduction

Bullying is action taken by one or more children with the deliberate intention of hurting or abusing another child. Bullying can take one of many forms: verbal, emotional, sexual, sexist, physical, cyber (including social websites, mobile phones, text messages, photographs and email), race and religion, cultural, homophobic, special educational needs and disability.

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our students so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying, which can lead to psychological damage, both short and long term, is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a telling school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell staff.

We believe that every student has a right to enjoy an education free from fear and distress and the purpose of this policy is to set out guidelines and procedures to achieve this important objective. At our schools we have zero tolerance of bullying and have measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying.

 

Aims & Objectives
  • At our schools we believe that by developing a school ethos in which bullying is regarded as unacceptable and promoting excellent values, positive behaviour and relationships between all members of the community, we can prevent bullying from arising in the first place.
  • All members of the school are expected to treat each other with consideration and respect and to support children who are being bullied, to make them feel safe again, and rebuild their confidence and self-esteem.
  • The school will react firmly and promptly to cases of bullying and educate children to understand that bullying is not acceptable and that serious bullying may cause psychological damage and even suicide.
  • If instances do occur it is essential that early intervention takes place by staff, students and parents/carers in order to prevent recurring or serious cases.
  • Interventions will be applied fairly, consistently and reasonably, taking into account all the facts and circumstances of each case.
  • If a serious or recurring case does arise it must be addressed by a member of staff immediately according to the guidelines identified in this policy.
  • This policy aims to produce a consistent school response to any bullying incidents that may occur. We aim to make all those connected with the school aware of our opposition to bullying, and we make clear each person’s responsibilities with regard to the eradication of bullying in our school.

 

Procedures
  • All staff will be expected to deal sympathetically with minimum delay once an incident is reported, with students who are the victims of (alleged) bullying. Witness statements may be taken and evidence gathered from a variety of sources in order to substantiate or disprove claims. The class/form teacher and senior staff will always be informed of reports of bullying.
  • Students who are alleged to be perpetrators of bullying will always be interviewed formally by a senior member of staff. The version of events will be listened to and noted in writing.
  • Cyberbullying: where incidents of cyberbullying are reported, even if it is outside of school hours, the school will intervene and investigate and deal with the alleged incident.
  • Disciplinary action, in line with the school’s established range of sanctions, will be taken where necessary. Such action may include letters or meetings with parents, internal suspension or exclusion from school.
    We will use the following levels as a guide when dealing with incidents involving bullying:

 

Low-Level

Teachers deal with the matter and note it in writing. The Academic Deputy Head is informed and interviews the victim, bully, and witnesses if necessary.


Medium-Level

Teacher informs the Deputy Head Pastoral who contacts parents of the victim/bully for an interview.


High-Level

The Teacher/Deputy Head informs the Pastoral Deputy Head/Headteacher. The Headteacher informs the parents/authorities for a conference.

 

Follow-up

It is important that the victim feels they are receiving support and feel safe and comfortable. It is also important that the suspected bullies have had a fair hearing. The Headteacher or Deputy Head will follow-up each case to ascertain if there have been any consequences or re-occurrences.

 

Prevention

The theme of bullying is an integral part of the PSHE programme. We use the following methods for helping children to prevent bullying, as considered appropriate and relevant by the class/form teacher. These activities may form part of the school’s PSHE programme and be dealt with in Assemblies, or may be handled on an individual basis:

  • Signing a Code of Conduct
  • Sharing stories about bullying.
  • Discussions in literature, historical events, current affairs.
  • Anti-bullying week.
  • Monthly meeting between Head of Student Affairs, Deputy Head Pastoral and Student Council representatives.


Although incidents of bullying in our school are historically rare, teachers should be aware of the following higher risk areas and times when bullying could occur:

  • At break and lunch times.
  • Before the start and end of the school day.
  • In the corridors and playgrounds.
  • On bus journeys and school trips/visits.
  • In class
  • Outside but near school premises

 

Raising Awareness

Awareness is raised through training and/or focused meetings, particularly during Induction week. Students are made aware through Assemblies, Special Focus Weeks, Curriculum content (particularly PSHE) and talks from outside agencies.

 

Staff Training

All staff is trained on Child Protection and Anti- Bullying through online courses through TES online programmes and more information is available in the appendices of this policy.  Furthermore, SLT and WLT staff are trained to DSL Level 3, and all of the teachers and support staff receive DSL Level 2 training, which is above the minimum expected requirement of level 1. 

Children identified as having SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) are particularly susceptible to bullying and may be more sensitive to teasing and name calling. Teachers should be aware of this and actively promote inclusion and equal opportunities with classwork and particularly in the playground.

 

Monitoring, Evaluation & Review

This policy is monitored on a day-to-day basis by the Deputy Head and its effectiveness reviewed annually.

This policy takes account of guidance from the following:

  • Equality Act 2010
  • Department for Education “Preventing and tackling bullying: Advice for July 2017
  • Department for Education “Behaviour and discipline in schools” Advice for School Leaders, Staff and Governing Bodies and school staff (September 2022)

 

 Policy Development
  • This policy was formulated in consultation with students contributing to the development of the policy through the student councils.


Links with other policies

–     Behaviour Policy

–     Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy

–      E safety policy

–    Equality and Diversity  Policy 

–      Complaints Policy

 

Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance Policy 

The core principle that guides everything we do is Putting Students First.

1. Introduction

1.1 Rationale for Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

Young peoples’ careers are forged out of their experience, progress and achievements in learning and work. All students will benefit from a planned curriculum or programme of activities to help them make curriculum choices that are right for them and to develop the personal resources and readiness that will enable them to manage their careers throughout their lives. The careers provision is mapped against the Gatsby benchmarks.

1.2 Commitment

Virtus is committed to providing a planned programme of careers education and information, advice and guidance (CEIAG), framed by the Gatsby Career Benchmarks, for all pupils and students in Years 12-13. 

1.3 Development

This policy was developed by the Careers Lead after consultation and was discussed by the governors’ committee before being formally adopted.

1.4 Links with other Policies

The policy for CEIAG is related specifically to 

  • PSHE
  • Equality and diversity and 
  • Special Educational Needs (SEND)
 
2. Objectives

This policy Virtus aims to;

  • ensure the career development of all students through a stable careers programme.
  • provide CEIAG that is relevant, timely and sufficient to meet students’ needs and integrated into their overall curriculum.
  • enable all students to learn from information provided by the career and labour market
  • ensure all students have a series of encounters with higher education
  • ensure all students are exposed to meaningful encounters with employers
  • link the curriculum learning to careers learning and maximise opportunities through the curriculum to enhance students’ understanding of careers
  • provide each student with guidance by specialist and impartial careers advisors in Year 12 and Year 13
 
3. IMPLEMENTATION

3.1 Leadership and Management

Leadership and management are secured through the careers leads (DH Pastoral and DH Academic). Membership includes the Head Teacher who chairs the group, Careers Lead who coordinates the day-to-day delivery of the careers programme.  He reports to the Head Teacher.

This area is also supported by a governor who is also a member of the careers lead team.

3.2 Staffing

All staff are expected to contribute to CEIAG delivery through their roles as subject teachers and support staff. Specialist careers education sessions are delivered by PSHE staff.  

The CEIAG programme is planned, monitored and evaluated by the Careers Lead. 

3.3 Curriculum

The careers programme for each year group is constructed around taught careers education in PSHE for Year 12-13, assemblies for all year groups, events, work-related learning online and printed information, personal mentoring, group work and individual interviews. 

The careers curriculum is extended beyond the classroom. There are also events throughout the year including but not limited to;

  • Online and Presencial Uni fairs
  • Assemblies on different university systems – Uk, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, US
  • AULA (Spanish and European Universities)
  • Liaise with Schiller University in Madrid for a University taster on their premises
  • Guest speakers from different career paths – Finance, HR, Marketing, Law etc. 

Careers Programme Mapping 

3.4 Assessment and Accreditation

Career learning is assessed using assessment for learning techniques and through the completion of Careers Progress Profiles. All students complete an individual action plan after having been seen by a qualified careers advisor and these are reviewed and updated at key decision points. 

 
IMPACT

3.5 Monitoring, Review and Evaluation

The annual CEIAG improvement plan is connected to the school improvement plan. It is reviewed termly by the careers lead team and annually by the senior leadership team. Success of the careers programme is measured on the outcomes of initiatives, destination data and student feedback. 

Students are actively engaged in planning career events and are integral in effective evaluation of the programme. 

Review August 2023

Next Review August 2024

Section I: Rationale

As key stakeholders in the education of their children, parents have a right to voice any concerns they might have about their children’s education. It is the school’s duty and in its best interest to provide a channel for and be responsive to parents’ complaints.

Guiding Principles

Parents naturally consider the education of their children of the utmost importance and so it is to be expected that parents will from time to time voice concerns about some aspect of the education provided by the school.

If parents’ concerns can be addressed promptly and with care, it will minimise any sense of anger or frustration.

Some concerns may be valid and justified and others may be beyond the scope of what the school can offer. The process of dealing with complaints must distinguish whether something can be done and then prompt action should be taken where it can and parental expectations should be managed where it cannot.

Whilst complaints will most likely come from parents, it shouldn’t be ruled out that they might come from students.

Channels for Complaints:

  • The first port of call for any concern parents might have regarding their child’s education must be through the Deputy Head Academic or the Deputy Head Pastoral.
  • The first port of call for any concern regarding administrative matters must be through the Head’s PA.
  • Complaints about a teacher should be directed to the Deputy Head Academic or Deputy Head Pastoral or to the Headteacher. 
  • Complaints about the Headteacher should be directed to the Governing Body.

Every reasonable effort should be made to ensure that parents are aware that these channels exist for queries or concerns.

A log will be kept of complaints and will be confidential, except in cases where local legal requirements permit access or enable restriction by local authorities.

It is the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure that the procedures for dealing with complaints are understood by all staff and that any complaints do not remain unresolved.

Section II: Procedures

Procedures

Stage 1: Informal

Most complaints are easily resolved informally by discussion with staff at the school. More difficult or complex concerns may require further discussion or action.

Procedure for initial contact by office staff or a member of staff:

  1. Listen to, and record, in writing the basic details of the complaint. The complaint should be acknowledged within two working days and a target date for a response set: this should normally be within five working days of acknowledgement. This time period is not considering holiday periods when school staff may not reply in accordance with usual expectations. 
  2. Decide upon the appropriate person to deal with the complaint.
  3. Appropriate member of staff (SLT) interviews the complainant or makes telephone contact.
  4. Complaint listened to and details recorded.
  5. Collect sufficient evidence to make an objective decision about the complaint. (Speak to those involved, speak to witnesses and take written statements (if required).
  6. Members of staff (SLT) decide upon action to be taken.
  7. Communicate with the complainant and other affected parties normally in writing with a proposed solution.

If the matter remains unresolved then invite the complainant to make a formal complaint, in writing, to the Headteacher.

Should the complaint be about the Headteacher, the complainant should approach the Vice Chair of the Governing Body who is obliged to investigate it.

Stage 2: Formal

If the complaint is unresolved after an informal meeting and discussion, it may move on to the formal stage. The written complaint should outline the nature of the complaint, why the complainant remains dissatisfied and the resolution sought from their perspective.

The Headteacher or another member of SLT will carry out an investigation and respond to the complainant. The complaint will be acknowledged within two working days of receipt of formal notice, and a target date for providing a response will be given. This will normally be within 10 working days. The Headteacher may request to meet with the complainant to gain further information relevant to the complaint. Statements from witnesses will be collected where necessary. When all the relevant facts have been established, the Headteacher should produce a written response to the complainant.

If the complaint is not resolved, the complainant will be given the option to move to Stage 3. The Headteacher should refer the complaint to the Governing Body within five working days.

Stage 3: Governing Body

The Governing Body will meet to discuss the complaint and appoint a senior representative of the school who will contact the complainant directly within five working days of the receipt of the complaint. The senior representative will aim to resolve the issue with the complainant in writing, in conversations or face-to-face.

The Governing Body will endeavour to ensure that one of the persons appointed to the panel is independent of the running and management of the school.

The complainant is entitled to be accompanied to the hearing. The hearing will be scheduled at the earliest possible convenience for both parties.

A final decision will be made and communicated to the complainant in writing, within five working days of the hearing if practicable.

Recording Complaints 

An informal complaint is recorded by the senior member of staff who deals with the complaint and the Headteacher is informed.

A formal complaint is recorded by the Headteacher.

All complaints will be kept on file in the complaint log for reference purposes.

Where relevant, any judgement made will be sent to the complainant, the person the complaint was about and the Vice Chair of the Governing Body.

The decision of the Governing Body will be final. The School will not engage in further correspondence or re-consider aspects regarding the same complaint after it has been considered at all three stages of this policy.

Reviewed September 2023

Next review September 2024

The Rationale of CPD

At VIRTUS, the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program is grounded in the recognition of its pivotal role in enhancing the knowledge, skills, and effectiveness of our staff members. The CPD program is defined as a structured and facilitated activity for teachers, with the primary goal of increasing their teaching ability. Here are the key features  of the CPD program:


Skill Enhancement: The CPD program offers our teachers valuable opportunities to refine their teaching techniques, classroom management skills, and pedagogical approaches. Through participation in workshops, seminars, and training sessions, teachers can continuously improve their teaching methods. They can also learn about innovative methodologies, technology integration, and effective instructional strategies that ultimately enhance student learning outcomes. As education evolves, it is imperative that our educators stay current and adapt to new teaching approaches.


Knowledge Update: In the ever-evolving field of education, it is crucial that our teachers remain up-to-date with the latest educational research, subject content, and assessment methods. This ensures that they can deliver accurate and relevant information to our students, fostering a high-quality learning environment. A well-informed teaching staff contributes to the academic excellence of our institution.
Professional Growth: The CPD program encourages our teachers to take an active role in their own professional development. By engaging in learning opportunities outside of their routine responsibilities, educators not only broaden their expertise but also demonstrate their commitment to lifelong learning and continuous improvement. This dedication to professional growth sets a positive example for our students and the broader educational community.


Collaborative Learning: The CPD program provides a platform for our teachers to collaborate, share experiences, and learn from one another. This collaborative aspect fosters a sense of community among educators, allowing them to exchange ideas, troubleshoot challenges, and collectively contribute to the school’s growth. Collaboration is a powerful tool for enhancing teaching quality and fostering a supportive, innovative educational environment.


Alignment with Goals: The CPD program can be tailored to align with VIRTUS School’s strategic goals and priorities. By customising professional development opportunities to address specific needs, our school can ensure that CPD efforts directly contribute to the advancement of the institution’s mission and objectives. This alignment ensures that our staff’s development efforts are purposeful and result in meaningful contributions to the school’s success.

 

CPD CALENDAR

​​August 2023: CPD Theme is Pastoral and Safeguarding

  • TES webinars: Safeguarding update for current and new teachers.
  • DSL course: Safeguarding update for current and new teachers. 
  • Internal Inductions: Educational environment, metacognition and differentiation inductions for teachers to acquire the tools needed to start their planning.

 

​​September 2023: CPD theme is Teaching and Learning 

  • Curriculum Updates Webinar: Information about the latest updates in the A-level curriculum for the upcoming year. 
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Sharing Good practices: Share and celebrate activities and strategies that worked well with all the teachers.
  • Pearson’s CPD courses: Information about introduction to A-level, marking of papers, etc.

 

October & November 2023: CPD Theme is assessments

  • Effective Assessment Techniques Workshop: Enhance your assessment strategies to better evaluate A-level students’ understanding.
  • Peer Observation Day: Observe and provide feedback to a colleague’s class to exchange teaching strategies. 
  • Internal tests Analysis – Analyse the results and plan for improvement for each student.
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Sharing Good practices: Share and celebrate activities and strategies that worked well with all the teachers.

 

December 2023: CPD Theme is Analysis & Improvement

  • Digital Tools for Interactive Learning Webinar Series: Learn about and explore digital tools that can enhance A-level instruction and engagement. 
  • Mock Analysis – Analyse the results and plan for improvement for each student.
  • Preparation for January Exams: Focus on assisting students in their exam preparation for the January official exams.
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Sharing Good practices: Share and celebrate activities and strategies that worked well with all the teachers.

 

January 2024: CPD Theme is Differentiation

  • Personalized Learning Strategies Workshop: Discover methods to tailor A-level instruction to meet individual student needs.
  • SEND link – Analysis of strategies of differentiation for improvement.
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Exam Debrief: Discuss insights and lessons learned from the January exams.

 

February 2024: CPD  is Metacognition

  • Subject-Specific Teaching Conference: Attend a conference dedicated to subject-specific teaching methodologies and advancements. 
  • Utilising Real-World Examples Workshop: Learn to integrate real-world examples to make A-level subjects more relatable and engaging.
  • Rosenshine’s in action: How to effectively implement Rosenshine’s principles in class.
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Sharing Teaching Strategies: Share effective teaching strategies that were used successfully during the term.
  • Analysis of Tests.

 

March & April: CPD Theme is Student’s wellbeing

  • Supporting Student Well-being Webinar: Gain insights into addressing A-level students’ mental health and well-being.
  • Mock Exam Review and Analysis: Analyse the results of the mock exams to identify areas for improvement. 
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Student Progress Check: Collaboratively review student progress and discuss intervention strategies.
     

April 2024: CPD Theme is Technology

  • Incorporating Technology in A-level Teaching Seminar: Explore practical ways to integrate technology for better A-level instruction.
  • Online Course – Differentiation Strategies: Engage in an online course focused on effectively differentiating instruction for A-level students. 
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Reflect and Refine: Reflect on the year so far and refine teaching practices based on student performance. 
     

May/June 2024: CPD is Looking at the future

  • Educational Trends and Futures Conference: Attend a conference discussing the future of education and its impact on A-level teaching. 
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Term Wrap-up: Collaboratively discuss the successes and challenges of the term and plan for the upcoming term. 
  • Effective Classroom Presentations Workshop: Hone your presentation skills for engaging A-level students more effectively.
  • Teachers’ Meeting – Sharing Best Practices: Collaboratively discuss and share successful teaching practices with colleagues.
  • Self-Reflection and Goal Setting: Reflect on your A-level teaching journey and set professional development goals for the next year. 
     


Reviewed: September 2023

Next Review: September 2024

Virtus aims to ensure secure access to ICT for all students . It recognises that technology encourages a new collaborative way of thinking and opportunities for exploring information. It also recognises the challenges students face in accessing reliable, appropriate information and in avoiding content and behaviour that is biassed, bullying or exploitative. Virtus wishes to educate and safeguard students, parents and staff on the best use of ICT and alert them to the risks.

This policy applies to the use of technology on school premises and also any use, whether on or off school premises, during term time or in holidays, which affects the welfare of other students or where the culture or reputation of the school are put at risk.

This policy outlines the acceptable use of Internet and email facilities, file-servers, messaging services, and any networks or hardware, including but not limited to that provided by the school. It applies to any personal devices and other equipment that can be used to access, store or record data or media files.

 

Acceptable Use

Students are responsible for their actions, conduct and behaviour online, or when using school devices in the same way that they are responsible at all other times. They should also adhere to the following guidelines when using the school network.

The school networks and related devices such as the iPads are the property of Virtus. They have been made available to students to help enrich the learning process and to enable them to become skilled and responsible users of tools that have become part of our everyday lives. Students are expected to use the resources for the educational purposes for which they are provided.

 

Service Provision 

We have excellent network provision, including Wi-Fi in all areas of the school. Any issues regarding access should be addressed to the IT Manager.

 

Reporting

Technical issues should be reported to the IT Manager. Teachers can use Slack channel #it-help for maintenance and technical issues while other matters can be reported via email to the IT Manager. A breach of the E- safety policy should be reported to the appropriate member of staff, usually the Headteacher or Deputy Head. 


Monitoring

The school reserves the right to monitor communications and general network usage in order to:

  • Protect students.
  • Establish facts.
  • Prevent or detect crime or inappropriate behaviour.
  • Investigate or detect unauthorised, suspicious or inappropriate use of school
  • ICT systems.
  • Ensure the effective and secure operation of the school network and its systems.

 

The following checks are in place to assist students:

  • Teachers can use the Apple Classroom app to monitor student use of devices during lessons.
  • If there is a suspicion that devices may be used inappropriately, the school reserves the right to perform random checks on any device brought into school by students.
  • The software that allows Internet access through the network maintains a log of all sites visited by all users, including attempts to access sites prohibited by the firewall.
  • The PSHE programme is also used to help support the work of Internet awareness, use of social media and cyber-bullying;

 

Expectations for Acceptable Use of ICT

Mobile Phones 

Mobile phones are not allowed to be used in school. If they are brought to school, then they should be handed to form tutors  at the beginning of the day and picked up at the end before dismissal. This policy element is linked KCSIE 2023 and  its focus on cyber bullying. 

Students should not use their mobile phones while on the school premises (even before or after school hours). They must, therefore, not be used in the waiting area either.

If students wish to contact their parents, they must do so from the school office.

 

Smart Watches

Smart watches should not be worn to school and are banned during examinations.

 

iPADS

All students  from Year 12 – 13  are issued with an iPad. Use of a Mobile Device Management system will enable the IT and Educational Lead’s teams to remotely distribute updates, settings, and software to the devices. This has the benefit of students not having to source subject-specialist software for their own devices. It will also give parents and teaching staff the peace of mind that students are only able to access filtered content and applications and programs that have a clear academic focus.

Students sign to agree that they understand that the iPad is the property of Virtus and that it has been issued for school-related work for the duration of the academic year. Students understand that if any of the following conditions are broken, the iPad may be taken from you and returned only at the discretion of the Headteacher.

 

As a student of the Virtus, they will:

  • keep the iPad, cover and charger in good condition without marks or graffiti; report any loss or damage immediately.
  • ensure they leave enough memory/space on iPad to allow for the use of educational apps and school work.
  • not use the iPad to access inappropriate Internet sites, download, distribute, store or display material or messages that could upset others;
  • return the iPad at any time when requested by the school. If a student is unable to do this, their parents are liable for the cost to replace missing items.
  • not remove any identifying marks placed on the iPad by the school;
  • not loan the iPad to others or allow them to use it;
  • not change, or attempt to change, the Virtus profile on the iPad or the original operating system installed.
  • return the iPad to the school in good condition when required.

 

Damage/Loss 

  • In the event of the iPad and/or its accessories being irreparable,or if it is lost/stolen due to pupil negligence, then the replacement cost will be incurred by parents or carers.
  • If the iPad can be repaired without the need to purchase physical items, such as buttons not working, then no cost will be incurred.
  • If the iPad requires servicing outside the school and the damage is deemed non- warranty but can be repaired, the cost of the repairs will be incurred by the parents/carers.
     

Security

  • Students should use a ‘strong’ password for your accounts. Keep your password or security information a secret to others, except your parents/carers.
  • Make sure their device is locked whenever they leave it and log off their accounts.
  • Do not reveal any personal information (e.g. home address, telephone number) about themselves when using the Internet.
  • Do not share their login details (including passwords) for online accounts with anyone else. Do not use other people’s usernames and passwords.
  • Do not download and/or install any unapproved software, system utilities, VPNs or resources from the Internet.
  • If they discover a security problem, they should inform the IT Manager immediately via email. 


Communication: 

  • Students must use appropriate language in all communication.
  • Students must not use social media sites, messaging or chat rooms during school hours.   


Behaviour

Students are strictly forbidden to:

  • Create, send or post any material that is likely to cause offence or needless anxiety to other people or bring the school into disrepute.
  • Attempt to visit websites that might be considered inappropriate or illegal.
  • Access other users’ files or folders.
  • Students should never impersonate others or disrupt video lessons. They should only use the official school log-ons for these applications and they should identify themselves using their first and surnames rather than any nicknames.
  • Use the computers, iPads or any ICT devices to disrupt the work of others.
  • Attempt to harm or destroy any equipment, or work of another user on the school network system or from another location.
  • Receive, send or publish material that violates copyright law.

 

Students must:

  • Report any inappropriate use of the system and/or devices to the IT Manager


Sanctions

Where a student breaches any of the school’s rules relating to acceptable use of electronic equipment, an appropriate and proportionate sanction may be given. These may range from a warning,, to confiscation of any personal or shared devices, to more serious sanctions, including exclusion. If the breach is of a criminal nature, the parents, police and local authorities may be involved. If the school discovers that a child or young person is at risk as a consequence of online activity, it may seek assistance from the parents, agentes tutores, police force or social services. The DSL handles all Child Protection situations.

 

Education / PSHE / Parent Support

Students are educated about both the opportunities and risks associated with the use of technology and the internet. They have regular PSHE lessons that cover topics such as online safety, social media, gaming addiction, online gambling, pornography and other matters. Talks by external specialists are regularly organised for pupils and parents to provide further information and guidance.

 

Review August 2023

Next Review August 2024

Who We Are 

The overarching aim of the EAL programme at Virtus is to ensure that all pupils who are required to enter the EAL programme fulfil their potential and reach the expected level of competence in English that enables them to participate fully in the school curriculum. The policy highlights the school’s obligations in terms of planning, organisation, teaching, assessment and monitoring procedures, formalising the requirements necessary to meet the needs of all pupils who have English as an additional language and to raise general pupil achievement. 

As a Sixth Form school, most of our pupils have previously been enrolled in international schools where English is the medium of instruction. Pupils entering the A level programme must demonstrate that they have obtained a 5 or higher at (I)GCSE English as a First Language upon admission. 

 

Our Objectives 

Given that English is an additional language for most of our pupils, the overall aim of the EAL programme is to enable them to participate fully in school-wide English language initiatives such as Drama and excel in their chosen A-level subjects. The department aims will cover the four main areas of English Language acquisition : 

  • Listening: Demonstrating near native fluency in understanding and responding to spoken communication in classroom and school contexts with little or no hindrance.
  • Speaking: Developing competence in fluent, creative and academic use of English.
  • Reading: Heightening students’ engagement with curriculum-related reading activities independently and productively in subject areas. 
  • Writing: Demonstrating high competence in writing accurately and independently in a variety of genres, including academic writing. 

 

What We Do 

Many pupils entering Virtus will regularly speak a language other than English. Therefore, the purpose of the EAL classes is to ensure that these pupils are supported in their development towards becoming both competent and confident speakers and writers of English. All pupils who have English as an additional language are required to attend lessons throughout their time in Virtus. In the Sixth Form, the focus of EAL lessons is to further prepare students for life post Sixth Form through the study of relevant vocabulary, as well as continued development of the key language skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening. There is also the specific goal of achieving the IELTS level required to attend university, usually Level 7.

In addition to the small- group timetabled lessons aimed at reviewing and refining key aspects of the English Language, there will also be lunchtime EAL drop-in sessions where pupils can bring in work with which they need help and receive the support as necessary. 

Pupils are supported in their various subjects across the curriculum through best practices specialising in the mechanics of academic and subject-specific language. The level they are prepared for is dependent on their English level as assessed at the start of the academic year via diagnostic testing as well as progress made within the year. 

In Year 12, pupils follow an IELTS course in preparation for their IELTS examinations which supports their Post 18 preparation.

 

Monitoring and Evaluation 

All staff (both EAL and subject teachers) observe, assess and record information regarding the EAL pupil’s language development on a continuous basis. EAL pupils will sit for periodic internal exams to ensure good progress. 

 

Staff 

Ms. Zuraida Zakaria, EAL Coordinator 

zuraida.zakaria@virtuscollege.es 

 

Links to other policies: 

  • Equality and Diversity 
  • Literacy policy 
  • Careers Policy 

 

Reviewed September 2023. 

Next review September 2025.

Intent, Rationale and Principles

The school is committed to providing equal opportunities to all students, staff, applicants and other members of the community in a safe, happy environment where all can succeed and where cultural diversity is celebrated. 

We aim to ensure that there is no discrimination of any kind on grounds of gender, race, colour, creed, ethnic or national origin, disability, religion, cultural background, sexual orientation, marital status or age. 

Any behaviour, comments, attitudes or actions which undermine or threaten an individual’s self-esteem on these grounds will not be tolerated. 

In a world where political divisions and tensions are growing, the school is to remain politically dispassionate and neutral. All staff, students and other members of the community shall respect this policy and promote the values contained herein. 


Aims & Objectives

Our school shall: 

  • Ensure that all students and staff contribute to creating a happy, safe, caring environment by showing respect for and appreciation of all members of our community. 
  • Ensure that complaints or evidence of failure to comply with this policy will be dealt with promptly and fully investigated. All forms of discrimination (whether direct, indirect, victimisation or harassment) will be treated seriously. 
  • Enhance and develop the skills, knowledge, and abilities of existing staff and students to realise their full potential, regardless of background. 
  • Equip staff and students with the skills to provide personal solutions and practices and to promote anti-discriminatory behaviour generally. 
  • Ensure that our admission and recruitment procedures do not permit discriminatory grounds to be used as criteria for admission or hiring. 
  • Ensure that our curriculum is broad and balanced and avoids stereotypes. 
  • Monitor our admissions and employment practices regarding composition of staff, recruitment trends, promotion patterns, use of complaints procedures, matters of grievances, disciplinary procedures, use of sanctions. 
  • Ensure appraisals and exit interviews are used to provide further helpful information and feedback. 
  • Ensure that staff is trained to recognise activism tendencies by completing courses such as the PREVENT duty.

 

Implementation

The Curriculum 

Each curriculum subject or area will be kept under review in order to ensure that teaching and learning reflect the principles set out above. 


Roles and Responsibilities 

This policy and its related procedures are to be implemented and abided by staff. The Headteacher is responsible for implementing the policy; for ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support; and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination. 


The Deputy Head has day-to-day responsibility for coordinating implementation of the policy. 


All staff are expected to: 


promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their classroom,

deal with any prejudice-related incidents that may occur,

plan and deliver curricula and lessons that reflect the principles above,

support students in their class for whom English is an additional language,

keep up-to-date with equalities legislation relevant to their work,

prevent discrimination, harassment and victimisation to occur within the school,

discuss politics only when appropriate, avoiding passionate or personal political opinions and always from a balanced position, recognising and presenting alternative viewpoints. 


Religious Observance 


We respect the religious beliefs and practice of all staff, students and parents, and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice. 


Staff Development and Training


We ensure that all staff, including support and administrative staff, receive appropriate training and opportunities for professional development, both as individuals and as groups or teams. 


Breaches of the Policy 


Breaches of this policy will be dealt with in the same ways that breaches of other school policies are dealt with, as determined by the Headteacher. 


Monitoring and Evaluation 


We collect, study and use quantitative and qualitative data relating to the implementation of this policy, and make adjustments as appropriate. 


Links to other policies: 


PSHE

Anti-bullying

Safeguarding

Staff Code of Conduct 

Student Code of Conduct


Reviewed: June 2023

Next Review: June 2024

The Rationale of Homework at Virtus

At VIRTUS, our homework policy is thoughtfully designed to promote academic excellence, foster responsibility, and nurture lifelong learning skills. We firmly believe that homework is a valuable extension of classroom instruction, allowing students to practise and reinforce their learning while developing essential time management and organisational skills. By providing a structured framework for homework assignments, we aim to create an environment where students can thrive academically and develop the habits necessary for success in higher education and beyond. We also emphasise the importance of a balanced approach to homework, ensuring that assignments are reasonable in scope and promote a healthy work-life balance.

Moreover, our homework policy prioritises inclusivity and individualised learning. We recognize that every student is unique, and their learning needs may vary. As such, our policy encourages teachers to assign differentiated tasks that cater to individual abilities and provide additional support or enrichment as required. We also remain committed to equity and accessibility, ensuring that all students have equal access to homework resources and support. This approach ensures that homework at VIRTUS serves as a tool for academic growth and personal development, aligning with our mission to empower students to reach their full potential.

By integrating XXI century skills within the framework of our homework policy, we not only prepare our students for the demands of higher education and the workforce but also instil in them the capacity to adapt, innovate, work independently, and excel in a digital age. This forward-thinking approach aligns with our commitment to nurturing well-rounded citizens of the world.

 

Features of Homework
  • Students are expected to complete all assigned homework tasks accurately and to the best of their ability.
  • Students are expected to hand in their assignments on time demonstrating punctuality and responsibility.
  • Students are expected to undertake 4 – 6 hours of homework per subject per week.
  • Homework is expected to be handed in through Google classroom.
  • Teachers are expected to review all homework assignments submitted by students.
  • Teachers are expected to provide in depth qualitative feedback in deep marking instances offering Next-Steps-Advice (NSA) to facilitate students’ progress.
  • Students are expected to act upon the feedback provided by the teacher  and hand it in again for revision in a purple pen, closing the loop, demonstrating their commitment to improvement.
  • Students should ensure that their submitted work is written with clarity, grammatical accuracy, and correct spelling to effectively communicate their ideas and demonstrate a high level of literacy.
  • Students should approach the feedback process with a respectful attitude, recognizing that constructive criticism is an essential part of the learning journey.
  • Students who fail to submit homework assignments, or submit them late, will face sanctions such as lunch detention.


Links to other policies

  • Assessment policy
  • Student Code of Conduct


Review: September 2023

Next Review: September 2024

The Rationale of Homework at Virtus

‘Numeracy is not limited to the ability to use numbers, to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Numeracy encompasses the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and meet the demands of day-to-day living in complex social settings. To have this ability, a young person needs to be able to think and communicate quantitatively, to make sense of data, to have a spatial awareness, to understand patterns and sequences, and to recognise situations where mathematical reasoning can be applied to solve problems.’

(Ruairí Quinn)

 

Our Aim 

Our aim is to raise the achievement of all students by seeking to develop their numeracy skills by consistent and accurate application across the curriculum. Numeracy is a key skill in students’ learning and all students are entitled to quality experiences in this area. The teaching of numeracy is the responsibility of all staff and the school’s approach should be consistent as possible across the curriculum.


Definition of Numeracy 

Numeracy is a proficiency which is developed mainly in mathematics but also in other subjects. It is more than an ability to do basic arithmetic. It involves developing confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires understanding of the number system, a repertoire of mathematical techniques, and an inclination and ability to solve quantitative or spatial problems in a range of contexts. Numeracy also demands understanding of the ways in which data is gathered by counting and measuring, and presented it in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.


Intent

The intent of our whole school Numeracy policy is to develop and improve numeracy standards across student body by:

  • Improving the numeracy skills of the students and develop their confidence in its application
  • Raise the profile of mathematics and identify its importance in all curriculum areas
  • Ensure consistency of practice across departments
  • Encourage collaboration between faculties
  • Provide all staff with the numeracy skills which will enable them to facilitate the improvement of numeracy
  • Provide opportunities for students to engage with numeracy outside their core curriculum e.g. Young Enterprise co-curricular club

 

The Numeracy Policy responsibility for all staff is to:

  • Implement the numeracy policy consistently
  • Demonstrate a level of competence with basic numeracy skills
  • Provide the opportunities to address any numeracy needs in their lessons

 

Implementation

Consistency of Practice

Teachers of mathematics should:

  • Be aware of the mathematical techniques used in other subjects and provide assistance and advice to other departments, so that a correct and consistent approach is used in all subjects
  • Provide information to other subject teachers on appropriate expectations of students and difficulties likely to be experienced in various age and ability groups
  • Through liaison with other teachers, attempt to ensure that students have appropriate numeracy skills by the time they are needed for work in other subject areas
  • Seek opportunities to use topics and examination questions from other subjects in mathematics lessons

 

Teachers of subjects other than mathematics should:

  • Ensure that they are familiar with correct mathematical language, notation, conventions and techniques, relating to their own subject, and encourage students to use these correctly
  • Be aware of appropriate expectations of students and difficulties that might be experienced with numeracy skills
  • Provide information for mathematics teachers on the stage at which specific numeracy skills will be required for particular groups
  • Provide resources for mathematics teachers to enable them to use examples of applications of numeracy relating to other subjects in mathematics lessons

 

Thinking Mathematically

These are some of the ways mathematical thinking might naturally occur across the curriculum:

  • Identifying structures & relevant data
  • Being systematic
  • Searching for patterns
  • Thinking logically
  • Predicting & checking
  • Breaking down problems into smaller parts
  • Interpreting solutions in context of problem
  • Estimating to check likelihood of answers

 

These transferable skills are not only essential for an understanding of mathematics but also enrich every area of life.


Transferable Skills 

The transfer of skills is something that many pupils find difficult. It is essential to start from the basis that pupils realise it is the same skill that is being used; sometimes approaches in subjects differ so much that those basic connections are not made, hence the need for the consistency of practice mentioned above.

Some mathematical opportunities across the curriculum are listed below (this is not an exhaustive list).


Business/Economics

  • Estimation from spreadsheets
  • Use of mathematical vocabulary e.g. sum, profit
  • Sketching graphs to show change over time
  • Accurate graph drawing including labelling axes
  • Sampling and surveying in market research
  • Designing data collection sheets
  • Producing and interpreting averages and charts
  • Costings
  • Ratio
  • Formulae
  • Awareness of sensible answers – approximate calculation including percentages, fractions, multiplication, division etc.

 

English

  • Comparison of 2 data sets on word and sentence length.
  • Graph sketching e,g, tension throughout an act of a play
  • Use of fractions and percentages in persuasive writing including misleading graphs
  • Reading and writing numbers, identifying centuries
  • Coding, secret codes
  • Grouping/categorising ideas/words

 

Geography

  • Use mathematical symbols and notation, construct and interpret graphs and charts.
  • Use grids to identify position (links to coordinates and grid references).
  • Use negative numbers to interpret below sea level.
  • Use standard measures (metric and imperial) to find length, mass, time, force, temperature area or capacity, especially distance and area.
  • Discussing evidence in history or geography may involve measurement, estimation and approximation skills, and making inferences.
  • Pupils will make statistical enquiries, for example, in analysing population data to explore and compare lifestyles; they will also use a wide range of measurements and rates of change.
  • The study of maps includes the use of coordinates and ideas of angle, direction, position, scale and ratio.

 

Biology /Chemistry / Physics

  • Use formulae to calculate work, power, mass, density and other variables
  • Rearrange formulae
  • Use graphs to represent data, interpretation of graphs
  • Estimating quantities or results of calculations
  • Use standard measures to find length, mass, time, force, temperature, area or capacity;
  • Hypothesise before an experiment, consider limitations to findings afterwards
  • Manipulate numerical data from their experiments and do calculations including averages;
  • Record results in tables – choose appropriate form and design data collection sheets
  • Use mathematical symbols and notation, construct and interpret graphs and charts.
  • Constructing graphs, extrapolating, recognising patterns
    Take readings from scales.


Psychology

  • Calculate statistical tests
  • Calculate median, mode and mean
  • Interpret data tables
  • Draw graphs and charts

 

Reviewed: June 2023

Next Review: June 2024

Designated Officer

Position

Contact Information 

Sandra Radford

Headteacher

head@virtuscollege.es

Juan Peñas

Deputy Head Pastoral and Co-Curricular (Designated Safeguarding Lead)

juan.penas@virtuscollege.es

722720141

Natasha Sharoff

Deputy Head Academics and Operations

natasha.sharoff@virtuscollege.es

Fátima Moreno 

Head of Student Affairs and Deputy Pastoral Head

fatima.moreno@virtuscollege.es

Toxicology Emergency Number 

 

915620420

National telephone numbers for information and advice on children’s ’ issues – advice service

 

900202010 or 116111 (for young people) 

Fundación Anar advice for adults concerned about young people

 

917260101 or 600505152

Guardia Civil Women and children’s support services team – Comandancia Tres Cantos for all of Madrid area

National Authority

91 5146979 Ext. 4809

Local or National Police Emergency

 

112

UK National Contacts 

NSPCC 24/7 Helpline 

Email: help@nspcc.org.uk 

Tel: 0808 800 5000 

NSPCC Text line 

88858 

NSPCC ChildLine 

Tel: 0800 1111 

NSPCC FGM helpline 

Email: fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk 

Tel: 0800 028 3550 

NSPCC Whistleblowing helpline 

Email: help@nspcc.org.uk 

Tel: 0800 028 0285 (8am – 8pm) 

DfE Prevent helpline 

for schools & parents 

Tel: 020 7340 7264 (non-emergency) 

Email: counter.extremism@education.gsi.gov.uk 

The Lucy Faithfull Foundation (LFF) 

Email: help@stopitnow.org.uk 

www.parentsprotect.co.uk 

Tel: 0800 1000 900

National Bullying Helpline 

Tel: 0845 22 55 787 

UK Safer Internet Centre helpline 

for School Staff 

Tel: 0844 381 4772 

Email: helpline@saferinternet.org.uk 

Internet Watch Foundation hotline 

for reporting criminal content 

www.iwf.org.uk 

Educate Against Hate 

http://educateagainsthate.com 

 
Introduction and Policy Statement 

‘Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business’

The school fully recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in our care. Our students’ welfare is at the forefront of what we do. Our school’s ethos and in everything we do is in accordance with relevant UK and local law and guidance. It is essential that everybody working in the school understands their responsibilities. This policy details our procedures for safeguarding and child protection.

This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Acts 1989 and 2004; the Education Act 2002 (as amended), the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015 and the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (as amended).

All action taken by Virtus Sixth Form College will be in accordance with statutory, national, and local guidance – this includes:

  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) which sets out the multi-agency working arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and protect them from harm; in addition, it sets out the statutory roles and responsibilities of settings. 
  • ‘What to do if you are Worried a Child is Being Abused’ 2015 – Advice for Practitioners
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE, 2023) is statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE) which all schools and colleges must have regard to when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

In child protection matters, the school will follow the inter-agency and child protection procedures laid down by the relevant Local Safeguarding Board in Spain.

 

Spanish Legislation and Links 

According to the Law,dated 20th April 1998, “Los Derechos y la Atención al Menor” (The Rights of a Minor), and within the context of general responsibilities.

Ley Orgánica 1/1996, de 15 de enero, de Protección Jurídica del Menor, de modificación parcial del Código Civil y de la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil (BOE no 15, de 17 de enero)

  • Artículo 13, Obligaciones de los ciudadanos y deber de reserva, establece la obligatoriedad de todos los ciudadanos de comunicar una situación posible malos tratos a una persona menor de edad: “Toda persona o autoridad, y especialmente aquellos que por su profesión o función, detecten una situación de riesgo o posibledesamparo de un menor, lo comunicarán a la autoridad o sus agentes más próximos, sin perjuicio de prestarle el auxilio inmediato que precise.
  • Artículo 262 de la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal (LECrim) establece: “Los que por razón de sus cargos, profesiones u oficios tuvieren noticia de algún delito público, estarán obligados a denunciarlo inmediatamente al Ministerio Fiscal, al Tribunal Competente, al Juez de instrucción y, en su defecto, al municipal o al funcionario de policía más próximo al sitio, si se tratare de un delito flagrante”.

In addition this policy and the accompanying procedure have been developed in accordance with the following statutory guidance and local safeguarding procedures  Working Together to Safeguard Children: A Guide to Inter-Agency Working to Safeguard and Promote the Welfare of Children, July 2018: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children–2

Keeping Children Safe in Education: Statutory Guidance for Schools and Colleges (2023) 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1181955/Keeping_children_safe_in_education_2023.pdf The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Article 19 (protection from all forms of violence) of which host country Spain is a signatory. Article 19 stipulates that governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from violence, abuse, neglect and mistreatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.

 

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies:

  • Recruitment
  • Whistleblowing & Managing Allegations
  • Staff Code of Conduct 
  • Behaviour policy
  • E-safety
  • Health & Safety

 

Ethos and Commitment

We believe that the school should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulating environment that promotes social, physical, spiritual and moral development enabling all children to thrive.

We recognise the importance of providing an environment within our school that will help children feel safe and respected. We recognise the importance of enabling students openly and to feel confident that they will be listened to. We recognise that both mental and physical health are relevant to safeguarding and the welfare of children.

We recognise that all adults within the school, including permanent, supply staff, temporary staff, volunteers, parents and governors, have a full and active part to protect students from harm.

We operate safer recruitment procedures in line with statutory checks on the suitability of staff to work with children. 

All staff receive information about the setting safeguarding arrangements, the setting’s safeguarding statement, staff behaviour policy (code of conduct), Safeguarding and Child Protection policy, the role and names of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and their 

deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DDSL), and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 part 1 .

All teaching staff receive safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety) DSL Level 2, with SLT receiving DSL Level 3 . Training is regularly updated as required, and at least annually to continue to provide staff with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

All members of our teaching staff are trained in and receive regular updates in online safety and reporting concerns.

All members of staff maintain a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence and sexual harassment. 

 

Aims 

  • To provide staff with the framework to promote and safeguard the wellbeing of children and in doing so ensure they meet their statutory responsibilities. 
  • To ensure consistent good practice across the setting and ensure that safeguarding follows a whole setting approach.

We will work proactively with parents to build a solid understanding of the school’s responsibilities to ensure the welfare of all children.

 

Principles

All students have the right to protection, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs. This responsibility is underpinned by the following aims:

  • To protect children from harm and maltreatment
  • To prevent impairment of children’s health and development
  • To ensure children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • To take action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
  • Keep children safe by employing rigorous recruitment procedures for all paid and unpaid staff to check their suitability to work with children.
  • Raise awareness of child protection issues and equip children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
  • Train all staff in basic Child Protection awareness.
  • Ensure that all staff have read and understand the Child Protection Policy and are aware of the indicators of child abuse and how to respond to concerns.
  • Establish a safe environment in which children can learn and develop whilst valuing them, listening to and respecting them.
  • Adopt positive child protection practices by developing clear procedures and a code of conduct for staff, volunteers and visitors.
  • Develop and implement an effective social media / e-safety policy and related procedures.
  • Provide effective management for all staff and contractors through supervision, support and training.
  • Share information about child protection and good practice with students, parents, and staff outside providers, interns, volunteers and visitors.
  • Share concerns with agencies who need to know and involve parents and students appropriately

 

Furthermore, we recognise that:

  • Some students are at increased risk of abuse.
  • Some students face additional barriers with respect to recognising or disclosing abuse.
  • The school is committed to recognising diversity and ensures anti-discriminatory practices. We ensure that all students have the same protection while recognising that some students are more vulnerable, for example those who are;
  • Have special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities (further information is in Section 20).
  • Are young carers.
  • Show signs of mental health problems.
  • Are missing education.
  • May experience discrimination due to their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identification, or sexuality.
  • Are at risk of FGM, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, or radicalisation.

 

Procedure

The school should follow established procedures as stated in this policy.The school must make the Safeguarding procedures easily accessible to staff and highlighted in the school management system. Printouts of The Safeguarding Protection of children must also be posted in key areas of the campus, including but not limited to staff rooms, resource rooms, notice boards and admin areas.

 

Legal Framework

This policy complies with: 

  • ‘The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations’ (ISSR) – 2014 
  • ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE) – 2023 
  • ‘Working Together to Safeguarding Children’ (WTSC) – 2018 

It is also informed by DfE advice, ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused – advice for practitioners’ (2015).

 

Policy Scope

This policy is applicable to the whole school community including:

  • The Headteacher, teachers and non-teaching staff
  • Governing body
  • Volunteers and Visitors
  • Parents
  • Students
  • External agencies
  • Contractors

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility, whether they work or volunteer in the school.The school adopts a whole-school approach to safeguarding children where all staff and volunteers put the best interests of the child first.

 
Roles and Responsibilities DSL 

The Designated Safeguarding Lead is on our school’s leadership team and their role of Designated Safeguarding Lead will be explicit in their job will have the appropriate authority and be given the time, funding, training, resources and support to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and to take part in strategy discussions and inter-agency meetings – and/or to support other staff to do so – and to contribute to the assessment of children. The designated lead (and any deputies) are most likely to have a complete safeguarding picture and be the most appropriate person to advise on the response to safeguarding concerns. 

An annual child protection report to the Governing Body is delivered by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and this is supplemented by updates as necessary. Child protection and safeguarding will be touched upon in all main Governing Body meeting agendas.

 

Headteacher

The Headteacher will ensure that the policies and procedures adopted by the Governing Body are fully implemented and sufficient resources and time are allocated to members to discharge their safeguarding responsibilities. All staff and other adults are clear about procedures where they are concerned about the safety of a child.

 

Governing Body

Our students’ welfare is our paramount concern. The Governing Body will ensure that our school will safeguard and promote the welfare of students and work together with agencies to ensure that our school has adequate arrangements to identify, assess and support those children. 

 

Staff

Staff know how to recognise signs and symptoms of abuse, how to respond to students who disclose abuse and what to do if they are concerned about a child. All teaching staff are trained to a minimum of DSL Level 2. All staff should know what to do if a child tells them he/she is being abused or neglected and how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality. This means only involving those who need to be involved, such as the Designated Lead or the Deputy Head or Headteacher) and children’s social care. 

Staff should never promise a child that they will  keep anything confidential about a report of abuse, as this may ultimately not be in the child’s best interest. Safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via child-on-child abuse. This may include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based harassment, sexual violence and assaults, harmful sexual behaviour and sexting. Staff should recognise that children can abuse other children. Any staff member who is concerned about a child’s welfare should follow the school’s procedures (see below). 

 

Safeguarding Procedures

Handling a disclosure made by a child

It is extremely rare for a child to make up an allegation of abuse. If a child makes such a disclosure staff must:

  • Be accessible and receptive
  • Listen carefully and uncritically and at the child’s pace
  • Reassure the child that they are right to tell them
  • Tell the child that you must pass this information on.
  • Avoid leading questions
  • Only use open questions such as, “Can you show me?” or “Explain to me what happened”
  • Write down, word for word, the account of the child if possible
  • Complete a safeguarding digital record (see section on Record Keeping and
  • Storage of Information)
  • Immediately notify the DSL officer

 

For children with communication difficulties or who use alternative/augmented communication systems, you may need to take extra care to ensure that signs of abuse and neglect are identified and interpreted correctly, but concerns should be reported in the same manner as for other children.

 

Handling concerns as a result of behaviour or signs of abuse or neglect;

  • Speak to the DSL office without delay. Do not speak with anybody else about the concerns.
  • Complete a safeguarding digital record (see section on Safeguarding Record Keeping).

 

In either a disclosure or a cause for concern, staff should NEVER:

  • Take photographs or examine an injury
  • Investigate or probe aiming to prove or disprove possible abuse, never ask leading questions.
  • Make promises to children about confidentiality or keeping secrets.
  • Assume that someone else will take the necessary action.
  • Confront another person (adult or child) allegedly involved.
  • Offer opinions about what is being said or about the persons allegedly involved
  • Jump to conclusions or react with shock, anger or horror.
  • Speculate or accuse anybody.
  • Ask a child to sign a written copy of the disclosure
  • Use email or email attachments as a form of a written record

 

Key points for staff to remember for taking action are:

  • In an emergency take the action necessary to help the child, for example, call the Police.
  • Complete the safeguarding digital form as best you can and immediately notify the DSL officer.
  • Do not start your own investigation
  • Share information on a need-to-know basis only – do not discuss the issue with colleagues, friends or family
  • Where a child is in immediate danger or at risk of significant harm, and the DSL or senior leader is not available, a referral should be made to children’s social care and/or the police immediately.
  • Where staff have a concern about a student that does not raise an issue of either immediate harm or a risk of significant harm, the staff member should not delay but, in the first instance, speak to DSL or Deputy DSL.
  • After notifying a safeguarding concern you should expect feedback and follow up. If this follow up does not happen it is your duty to request information or escalate the matter.

 

Safeguarding Procedure – DSL Action and Follow Up 

Upon notification of a safeguarding concern, the DSL will:

  • Ensure the allegation is acted on immediately, no later than within the same school day.
  • Should a cause for concern exist, a process of investigation and consultation should be initiated, and only where appropriate, discussing with the
  • Headteacher, lead classroom teacher, school psychologist, SEN officer and other staff members who can help determine an initial assessment.

 

Determining the most appropriate course of action:

  • All intervention must be articulated in agreement with the parents, legal representatives or guardian of the student and managed in a way as to always preserve the student’s and the family’s right to privacy. Parental agreement should try to be obtained but it is not mandatory before referring to the Child
  • Protection Services or the Police. If the matter is urgent, the School may bypass parental agreement altogether although it should always try to obtain their cooperation, even if only after the referral is submitted.
  • Where the allegation reveals a risk of significant harm or evidence of a crime or the student is in immediate danger, the DSL will refer the matter to the police and/or child protection services.
    If in doubt of whether to refer the matter to the authorities, the DSL should seek advice from the authorities or school lawyer on an anonymous basis, respecting the privacy of the child and family.

 

Where the matter is considered to be less serious and lower risk, the DSL may opt to seek a resolution through an internal action plan in consultation with the parents, or alternatively continue to monitor the situation to ascertain if further actions are warranted. Finally, if it is determined that there is no further cause for concern, the DSL will mark the Safeguarding incident as Review Complete, documenting the conclusions of the investigation.

 

Safeguarding Procedure – Allegation again a staff member 

Allegations of abuse made against staff, whether historical or contemporary, should be handled by the Headteacher (if the allegation is against the Headteacher then the person receiving the allegation should immediately inform the Board, without notifying the Headteacher first).

 

If an allegation is received by the Headteacher he/ she needs to consider whether the professional has:

  • behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
  • possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
  • behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates unsuitability to work with children.

 

When an allegation of abuse is made against staff, it is referred directly to the Board by the Head for consultation and advice. This initial conversation will establish the validity of any allegation and if:

  • A formal referral to the authorities is required, in which case it should be made within 24 hours. In case of doubt of whether formal referral is required, the school should consult with a lawyer or contact the authorities on an anonymous basis.
  • The matter is to be handled internally by the school, which should only be in cases where the allegation is ascertained to be of Low- Level concern.

 

A low level of concern would be where, for example, a member of staff behaved in a way that is inconsistent with the staff code of conduct, but it isn’t considered serious enough to refer to the authorities, such as a staff member being over-friendly with children, using inappropriate language, favouring a child or picking on a child, making inappropriate social media posts, making fun of a child’s work, making fun of a child in front of other children, or accompanying a child home from an event alone (albeit with the parent’s consent).

In all cases when the allegation against the staff is made by a child at the school, the parents or guardians of that child should be immediately informed.

A school employee who is the subject of an allegation of abuse may be asked to take leave of absence or may be suspended without prejudice pending the outcome of the investigation. This is decided by the Headteacher. If the allegation involves the Headteacher then the Designated Governing Body member makes this decision in consultation with the Child Protection Services. Suspension is determined under the applicable legislation and would not be a disciplinary sanction and would be on full pay. Suspension will not be an automatic response to an allegation.

If a member of staff offers to resign, this does not stop investigations taking place. It is the responsibility of the Child Protection Officer/Head to ensure that, if deemed serious enough, a report is made with local authorities and in cases of UK nationals, to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) within one month of leaving the school. This applies to any person, whether employed, contracted, a volunteer or student, whose services are no longer used because he or she is considered unsuitable to work with children.

 

Training

Newly appointed staff will have initial training in child protection as part of their induction programme, this will be carried out by a reputable training provider and/ or Deputy DSL in the school. Training sessions are to be registered in the school management system for record keeping.

 

Schools to include:

  • Staff induction and training schedules
  • Provider
  • Where attendance and completion are recorded

 

Recordkeeping and Storage of Information

Whenever there is a safeguarding concern relating to a child, a digital form must be completed in Bromcom, the school management system. This record is always private and will only be accessible to the staff member that wrote the report and approved DSL Officers. 

 

All reports should:

  • name of child/staff, date of birth of the child, class/ year group
  • State who was present, time, date and place; if a child is involved, use his/her words wherever possible
  • Be factual/state exactly what was said
  • Differentiate clearly between fact, opinion, interpretation, observation and/or allegation
  • Do not state own opinion
  • Body maps should be used to document and illustrate visible signs of harm and physical injuries

 

Well-kept records are essential when handling any safeguarding concerns.

 

Information Sharing and Data Protection

We recognise that all matters relating to Safeguarding are confidential.

The Headteacher or the DSL will disclose any information about a pupil to other members of staff on a need-to-know basis only.

All staff members must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep key information a secret or to themselves which might compromise the child’s safety or All staff members have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children when asked by the Headmaster, DSL

All staff members who come into contact with children will be given appropriate training to understand the purpose of information sharing in order to safeguard welfare.

We will ensure that staff members are confident about what they can and should do under the law, including how to obtain consent to share information and when shared without consent.

Staff should not assume a colleague or another professional will take action and share information that might be critical in keeping children safe. They should be aware that information sharing is vital for effective identification, assessment and allocation of appropriate service provision. 

 

Information Sharing: 

At school we offer advice to staff which includes the seven gold information and considerations with regard to the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If in any doubt about sharing information, speak to the designated safeguarding lead or a deputy. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare of children. (KCSIE 2023).

 

Policy Review Date

This policy and the procedures will be reviewed every academic year. All other linked policies will be reviewed in line with the policy review cycle. The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) needs to ensure that staff members, including volunteers and sessional workers are made aware of any amendments to policies and procedures. Additional updates to the appendix will take place when needed.

 

Related Policies

This Safeguarding and Child Protection policy link to related policies, including:

  • Anti-bullying policy
  • Safer Recruitment Policy
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Data Protection policy
  • E-Safety policy
  • Whistleblowing and Complaints Policy
  • Trips and Visits policy
  • Equality, Diversity, Politics and Activism Policy

 

These policies are available to parents on request.

Responsible: Juan Penas, Deputy Head Pastoral and DSL

 

Reviewed: September 2023

Next Review: September 2024

Rational

Virtus is committed to providing an inclusive and nurturing learning environment. It is our mission to support the diverse needs of all students, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), in accordance with the Equality Act (2010) and the SEND Code of Practice (2015).

This policy outlines our approach to identifying, assessing, and meeting the needs of

students with SEND, and ensuring they receive the necessary support to thrive

academically, socially, and emotionally.

At Virtus, a student is considered to have special educational needs if they have:

  •  Been previously diagnosed as having a learning difficulty which is interfering with their academic progress.
  • A significantly greater difficulty in learning (and communicating) than the majority of children of the same age.
  • A disability which prevents/hinders them from making use of regular educational facilities provided for children of the same age
  • Exceptional ability in one or more areas (Gifted and Talented)
  • An emotional difficulty that affects, for example, motivation or self-esteem
  • Shown limited proficiency in home language(s) and/or language(s) of instruction
  • Displayed serious attention seeking and disruptive behaviour
Aims and Objectives

The Virtus SEND School Policy aims to:

  • Ensure that all students, regardless of their individual needs, have equal access to a high-quality education and achieve their full potential.
  • Provide a structured and transparent process for identifying and assessing students with SEND.
  • Deliver appropriate and personalised support strategies to meet the individual needs of students with SEND.
  • Foster a collaborative approach involving parents/guardians, teachers, support staff, and external agencies to create a holistic support system for students with SEND.
  • Create an inclusive and respectful school culture that promotes empathy, understanding, and celebrates the diversity of all students.
  • Regularly review and evaluate our SEND provision to ensure its effectiveness and make necessary improvements.
Identification and Assessment

Should a student be identified as potentially having SEND, they can be referred to the SENCo for internal assessment using the referral form. This will outline the concerns and provide specific guidance for assessment. The SENCo can then perform an initial assessment, using a range of assessment methods and evidence. Some of these may include the following:

  • Teacher observations and comments
  • In-house assessment (using standardised tests)
  • Assessments and sampling of work
  • Baseline or assessment data
  • Observation of the student in lessons
  • Input from parents/guardians.

Depending on the level of need identified, the SENCo may decide to liaise with the mentor of the student in creating an action plan, or meet with class teachers to deploy in-class strategies should they believe this to be sufficient in aiding and supporting the student.

Should this be the case, timely reviews of progress will be made and implementation of additional strategies will be carried out if necessary.

The SENCo may alternatively wish to meet with the parents or guardians of the student to recommend a professional assessment. External professionals, such as educational psychologists or healthcare specialists, may be consulted to provide further insights into a student’s needs. This may ultimately result in an external confirmation of SEND status.

The school will maintain open communication with parents/guardians to understand their concerns and insights regarding their child’s needs.

Provision of Support

Each student with confirmed SEND needs will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) tailored to their specific needs, outlining clear and achievable objectives. The aim of the IEP is to outline the appropriate accommodations to ensure their academic and personal development needs are met to the best of the school’s ability.

Assessment and Evaluation

Upon admission to the school (in the case of existing awareness of SEND needs), or upon discovery of a special educational need or disability, there will be a comprehensive assessment of the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. This will involve gathering information from teachers, parents, and any relevant professionals involved in the student’s education. This will allow the school to identify the specific learning disabilities or challenges the student faces.

Goal Setting

Following a meeting with the SENCo, the student, and the parents/guardians of the student, targets can be produced for an Individualised Education Plan (IEP). The IEP will help to ensure that students with SEND needs receive appropriate and tailored educational services and support that allow them to access the curriculum and make meaningful progress in their learning. A template for the IEP is included at the end of this document.

The IEP will allow the relevant parties to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for the student’s academic and personal development. It will also determine the necessary accommodations and modifications to support the student’s learning needs.

Curriculum and Instruction

Following target setting, the SENCo will consider how teachers can do the following:

  • Adapt the curriculum to suit the student’s learning pace and style.
  • Use multi-sensory teaching approaches to enhance learning experiences.
  • Implement evidence-based teaching strategies for students with SEN.
  • Offer individual or small-group tutoring to address specific learning difficulties.
  • Develop a behaviour management plan that considers the student’s emotional and behavioural needs.
  • Implement positive reinforcement and other behaviour modification techniques.

Virtus will strive to make adaptations to the curriculum, as necessary, to ensure it is accessible to all students. The SENCo will share a folder of resources and strategies that meet the needs of the student and are in accordance with their IEP.

Individual Welfare Plans

It may be the case that certain students require temporary provision for circumstances that have triggered social, emotional and mental health needs. In such cases, via referral from any staff member or the student themselves, the SENCo may issue an Individual Welfare

Plan (IWP). The purpose of the IWP is to identify and implement appropriate support strategies for the student. Regular review of the IWP and feedback from staff will be necessary to ensure effective use of the plan. The SENCo and student will also meet regularly to discuss and evaluate progress.

Progress Monitoring and Data Collection

The effectiveness of the SEND provision will be continuously monitored and evaluated through regular reviews and assessments, as it is important to remember that an IEP should be flexible and responsive to the student’s changing needs. Regular updates and evaluations are necessary to ensure the plan remains effective in supporting the student’s growth and success. As such, at Virtus, we will follow an Assess, Plan, Do, Review approach to SEND provision.

Throughout each term, the SENCo will regularly monitor the student’s progress toward their goals. They will also use data collection to assess the effectiveness of interventions and make adjustments as needed. If applicable, they will develop a transition plan for the student’s progression to the next year of study or transition to post-secondary education or employment. Feedback from parents/guardians, students, and staff will always be considered in order to make necessary improvements.

Collaboration and Communication

As previously mentioned, parents/guardians will be actively involved in their child’s educational journey, with regular communication channels established to discuss progress, concerns, and strategies. Parents will be actively involved in the IEP development and implementation process, and will also be provided resources and training to support their child’s learning at home, where possible.

If required, Virtus will collaborate with external agencies and professionals to provide specialised support when needed. Internally, there will be frequent and effective collaboration between the SENCo, teachers, and mentors involved in the student’s education.Most often this will occur in the form of regular meetings to discuss progress, challenges, and updates on the IEP.

Staff Training and Development

Virtus staff members will receive ongoing training and development to enhance their understanding of different SEND conditions and effective support strategies. Teaching staff will also receive regular training and professional development on inclusive teaching practices to effectively support students with SEND. Staff are encouraged to seek support and advice from the SENCo where needed.

Accessibility and Facilities

Virtus will strive to provide a physically accessible environment for all students, including those with physical disabilities. Facilities and resources, such as ramps, elevators, and adapted learning materials will be available to ensure equal access.

Confidentiality

Virtus will handle all information related to students with SEND sensitively and in accordance with data protection regulations. Sensitive information should only be shared on a need to know basis, and will never be shared externally without explicit permission from the parents of the student.

Conclusion

This SEND School Policy reflects our commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive educational environment for all students. By working collaboratively with students, parents/guardians, staff, and external professionals, we aim to create a positive and enriching learning experience that allows every student to thrive and reach their full potential.

Timeline

August Staff meeting to share SEND procedures and discuss strategies.
September Initial meeting with students on SEN register, plus parents and follow procedures. Generation of IEPs.
October – April Ongoing interventions for applicable students, review progress with students, teachers and mentors to ensure effectiveness
May  Evaluations of interventions and provisions to identify those that worked well, needs improvement etc.
June  Feedback to staff to discuss changes or plans for next term.

**New referrals throughout the year.

IEP Template

Introduction

At Virtus College, teachers are expected to behave in a consistently professional way when they are doing their job. As such the school expects staff to adhere to the standards of behaviour as outlined in the Department for Education’s Teachers’ Standards document in addition to the principles set out in this document and in the Operations Document.  


General Characteristics 
  1. The 2023/24 Virtus school year begins on September 6th and ends on the 26th June 2024. 
  2. The compulsory study/class hours are between 08:30am and 4:20pm from Monday to Friday. 
  3. Staff are expected to attend Virtus school during these hours unless otherwise agreed.
  4. All classes that are included in the schedule will be face-to-face and compulsory.(include how many hours of each class) 
  5. Independent study periods and co-curricular activities are included in the schedule.
  6. A maximum of 9 students will be admitted in class. 
  7. We establish a Mentoring Plan and an individualised follow-up for each student. 

 

Our Values 
  • Discipline: We believe in the importance of discipline as a fundamental element of personal growth and success. We encourage our students to cultivate self-discipline in their studies, time management, and behaviour, instilling habits that promote responsibility and accountability.
  • Resilience: We recognize that challenges and setbacks are a natural part of the learning journey. We empower our students to develop resilience, teaching them how to bounce back from adversity, persevere through difficulties, and embrace failure as an opportunity for growth. By cultivating resilience, our students are equipped with the strength and determination to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential. 
  • Integrity: We uphold the highest standards of integrity, promoting honesty, fairness, and ethical behaviour among our students. We emphasise the importance of acting with integrity in their academic pursuits, interactions with peers and teachers, and in their broader lives. Integrity forms the foundation for building trust, fostering a culture of respect and honour within our school community.
  • Vision: We inspire our students to think beyond the present and embrace a visionary mindset. We encourage them to dream big, set ambitious goals, and think creatively and innovatively. By nurturing a visionary mindset, we empower our students to become forward-thinkers, problem solvers, and leaders who can make a positive impact on the world.
  • Enthusiasm: We believe that enthusiasm is a catalyst for engagement and meaningful learning. We strive to create a vibrant and joyful atmosphere where students are excited about their education, curious to explore new ideas, and eager to participate in various activities. We encourage a genuine passion for learning and celebrate the enthusiasm that drives our students to excel.

 

Core Principles
  • The welfare of students is paramount.
    Staff are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivations and intentions.
  • Staff should work, and be seen to work in an open and transparent way. 
  • Staff should discuss and/or take advice promptly from their line manager or another senior staff member over any incident, which may give rise to concern. 
  • Records should be made of any such incident and of decisions made/further actions agreed. 
  • All staff should know the name of the designated person for child protection (DSL?, Headteacher, Deputy Head), be familiar with child protection arrangements and understand their responsibilities to safeguard and protect students. Staff should be aware that breaches of the law and other professional guidelines could lead to criminal or disciplinary actions being taken against them. 
  • Staff is expected to behave in a manner which is aligned with our DRIVE Values, recognising that they are role models and embody our values at all times. 

 

Duty of Care 

All staff, including teachers, are accountable for the way in which they exercise authority, manage risk, use resources, and protect students from discrimination and avoidable harm. 

All staff, whether paid or voluntary, have a duty to keep young people safe and to protect them from physical or emotional harm. This duty is partly applied through the development of respectful, caring and professional relationships between staff and students and behaviour by staff that demonstrates integrity, maturity and good judgement. 

There are serious high expectations about the nature of the professional involvement of staff in the lives of students. When individuals accept a role that involves working with children and young people, they need to understand and acknowledge the responsibilities and trust implicit in that role. 

The school has a duty of care towards their employees which requires them to provide a safe working environment for staff and guidance about safe working practices. 

 

Professional Expectations 

All staff are expected to and have the responsibility to ensure that they are punctual and attend all lessons and duties. Staff are role models to our students at all times and must conduct themselves in a manner that reflects our values at all times.This applies to punctuality, dress code, attendance and behaviour. 

The performance of staff is assessed several times throughout the year on their behaviour, performance against objectives which are set in the Autumn Term, as well as our professional expectations. Repeated failure to meet these standards will result in disciplinary action. 

This code of conduct cannot provide a complete checklist of what is, or is not, appropriate behaviour for staff. However it does highlight behaviour that is illegal, inappropriate or inadvisable. There will be occasions and circumstances where staff have to make decisions or take action in the best interests of the students which infringe this guidance or where no guidance exists. 


Therefore, where no specific guidance exists staff should: 

  • Discuss the circumstances that informed their action, or their proposed action, with the Deputy Head or Headteacher. This will help to ensure that the safest practices are employed and that the risk of misinterpretation is minimised. 
  • Always discuss any misunderstanding, accidents or threats with a member of the senior leadership team.
  • Always make a record of discussions and actions taken with their justifications on Bromcom. 

 

Dress Code

Staff are expected to dress in business casual in accordance with their professional status.

For male staff members this includes : shirt, tie, smart trousers, leather shoes, jacket/suit or smart jumper.

For female members of staff this includes: blouse (covering shoulders and upper arms), jumper, dress, knee-length skirt, trousers, leather closed toe shoes and jacket. 


PE Wear

Teaching staff may wear PE clothing on days when they are teaching PE or Sports club. 

This should consist of: 

  • Polo shirt or long sleeved collared sports shirt
  • Sports shorts (not beach/surf) or tracksuit bottoms 
  • Training shoes
  • Sweatshirts may be worn in winter 

 

Staff should refrain from wearing clothing that is not suitable such as beach wear, light denim, sandals, raised hemlines, low cut tops, and shirts with slogans.

Staff should dress appropriately for excursions and educational visits alongside the children who will be expected to wear school uniform. 


Power and Positions of Trust

All adults working with students in educational settings are in positions of power and trust in relation to the young people in their care. A relationship between a member of staff and a student cannot be a relationship between equals, as there is potential for exploitation and harm of vulnerable young people. Staff have a responsibility to ensure that an unequal balance of power is not used for personal advantage or gratification.


This means that staff should not:

  • Use their position to gain access to information for their own advantage and/or a student or their family’s detriment. Use their power to intimidate, threaten, coerce or undermine students. 
  • Use their status and standing to form or promote a relationship with a student, which is of a sexual nature. 
  • Attempt to initiate a relationship with a recent ex-pupil, which is of a sexual nature. 

 

Confidentiality 

Staff need to avoid giving students the assurance of confidentiality. Instead, they should be reassured that information will only be disclosed to those professionals on a need to know basis. 

Staff are expected to treat information they receive about students in a discreet and professional manner. If staff are unsure or have any doubts on who to share the information they hold or has been requested of them, they should seek advice from the Designated Safeguard Lead, Deputy Head Pastoral Mr. J. Peñas. 

Any concerns and allegations about adults should be passed to a senior leader without delay.  


Curriculum 

Many areas of the curriculum may/can include or raise subject matter which is of a sensitive nature. Care should be taken to ensure that resource materials cannot be misinterpreted and clearly relate to the learning outcomes identified by the lesson plan. This plan should highlight particular areas of risk and sensitivity. 


Communication

All classes are taught primarily in English, unless the subject is Spanish and French. 

Staff should never use offensive language in their communication with any stakeholders. They should not use language which is discriminatory and demeaning in relation to gender,  religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or age either inside or outside of the classroom. 


Communication with Parents

All written communication with parents should be in English, via school email accounts. The senior leadership team should be copied in all the emails to parents. 


Communication with Students 

Teachers are expected to maintain fluid communication with students via email or google classroom. 

  • Teachers are expected to check their emails regularly. 
    If students email during the week, Monday to Friday, please try to reply within 24 hours, with a maximum of 48 hours. 
  • Should students email with questions or doubts be received on weekends, make sure to reply on the first weekday back. 
  • Teachers are under no obligation to respond to students during Christmas or Easter break. 
  • If staff use social networking sites they should ensure personal information is only shared with “friends” and is not available publicly. You should deny access to current or recent students.
  • Staff are recommended to have their age settings on dating apps to an age where students would not find them. 

 

Under no circumstances should staff:

  • share their personal information with students. This includes but is not limited to phone numbers, personal emails and social media accounts.  This is a direct violation of the Student Safeguarding Policies. 
  • make inappropriate or unprofessional remarks to a student, including in emails, text messages, phone calls or letters etc. 

Communication with ex-students who are over 18 is left to staff discretion. Please be conscious of the fact that ex-students may be in contact with current students. 


Communication with Staff 

The following tools are available to ensure that there is fluid and regular contact with teachers and management. 

  • Slack 
  • E-mail
  • Face-to-Face meetings
  • General Teacher meetings – Thursdays after school 

 

Classroom Management

Guidelines for Classroom Management aligned with our values and expectations. 

The manner in which we manage our classrooms should embody our values as a school. 


Morning Welcome (Form Time and Assembly):

Principles:

  • We are welcoming students into the school community.
  • A calm and orderly line-up reinforces expectations on personal development, school culture, uniform and behaviour. 
  • We model respect and high expectations.
  • Peers see each other and establish high expectations as the norm.
  • Key messages can be communicated clearly and consistently.

 

Practice:

  • Teachers meet and greet, then model silence for students to follow.
  • Tutors check uniform, behaviour, jewellery, shirts tucked in, chewing gum, hoodies and jackets removed. 

 

At The Start of Each Class:

Principles:

  • Consistency provides clarity and minimises stress for the students 
  • Excellent behaviour management starts at the door.
  • Welcoming students sets the tone for the rest of the class and builds positive relationships
  • Demonstrating enthusiasm to teach students develops positive relationships 
  • We have high expectations of every student. 

 

Practice:

  • Staff should start each class in a calm, controlled and orderly manner. 
  • Students are to wait outside the classroom in a single line until the teacher enters the classroom. 
  • Staff are to greet students at the door.
  • Once the students are in the classroom, they are to stay standing until the teacher states that they can sit. 
  • Students are to complete the ‘Do Now’ activity whilst the teacher takes the register. 

 

At The End of Each Class:

Principles:

  • A positive exit sets the tone for the student’s next class.
  • Ensuring the room is left tidy fosters respect for each other and the learning environment.
  • Students learn to function and thrive with higher expectations. 

 

Practice:

  • Staff should review what was learnt in the classroom and what the objectives were. 
  • Students pack books away 1 minute before the end of class. 
  • Students should stand behind desks in silence. 
  • Students should be dismissed in rows. 
  • If a student has been disruptive during the class, they should be dismissed last. 

Virtus Issued Technology  

Technology, such as Ipads and Macbooks should be used in a professional and appropriate manner at all times and they should be maintained in a good condition. 

Ipads and laptops do have insurance which cover damage and one repair, however, the insurance does not cover loss.

Under no circumstances should staff use Virtus Issued Technology for their own personal use, accessing inappropriate images or media. 


Data Protection 

Teachers are only permitted to access Bromcom, and other data sensitive information from their school devices, not their own personal devices. 

Teachers need to ensure they protect students’ personal details at all times, this means no group emails sent with personal information such as email addresses. If this is the case, staff must use bcc. 


Internet Use 

Virtus has a clear policy regarding access to and the appropriate use of the Internet. Please refer to the acceptable use of the Internet Policy for further guidance. 

Under no circumstances should adults in the school access inappropriate images or media.


Images

Using images of children for the school purposes has already had the consent of parents, but images should not be displayed on other websites, in publications or in a public place without additional consent. Staff should not store images of students stored on personal cameras, devices or home computers. They should not make images of students available on the internet or instant messaging services. 


Relationships 

Staff should not by their manner or speech be discriminatory with regards to a person’s age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Virtus believes in equality and will not tolerate any harassment, intimidation, unfair discrimination or victimisation, by school staff against students, colleagues, parents, governors and other visitors.

  • Staff should maintain a caring but professional relationship with students and should not encourage them to become over-reliant on a relationship with one particular member of staff.
  • Staff should not use their position to form or promote contact or a relationship with a student, which is of a sexual nature. They should also not attempt to initiate contact or a relationship with a recent ex-pupil, which is of a sexual nature.
  • Students should not be invited into the home of staff members. The only exception is for members of staff who are parents of students; they should use their professional judgement to respect the spirit of this code if they come into contact with students in their homes or outside school.
  • Members of staff present, past or prospective must not be discussed with students. Nor must staff allow comments to be made by students in public regarding any of the above. If a pupil wants to discuss a member of staff they must be directed either to the Head teacher or a member of Management.

If staff feel that students may be acting inappropriately towards them , through gestures, words or other manners, they should flag this behaviour with Mr J. Peñas. 


Co-Curricular Activity Supervision 
  • Where out of school activities include overnight stays careful consideration needs to be given to sleeping arrangements. Students, staff and parents should be informed of these prior to the start of the trip.
  • Health and Safety arrangements require members of staff to keep the school and parents aware of their whereabouts.
    Staff should be familiar with the trips and visits policy and should carry out a risk assessment before taking students out on trips.

 

Private Classes

Virtus College does not recommend paid private tuition. If students require occasional extra

help, providing this is seen as being part of a teacher’s obligations. If even more additional help is required, other than the aforementioned help, then it will be provided by Think Ahead Education.

Staff should not give paid private classes to their own students.


Reporting

If staff see signs which cause them concern, or a student expresses something that may be a concern, they should seek clarification from the student with discretion and understanding. 

 

This means that staff should:

  • Not ask the student leading questions, as this can later be interpreted as putting ideas into the pupil’s mind. 
  • Where possible, staff should use open questions instead of questions that encourage students to change their version of events in any way. For example, an appropriate open question is ‘ tell me what happened” rather than ‘did they do X to you?’
  • Make a note of the discussion and pass it on to the DSL as soon as possible. The note should include the time, date, place and people who were present, as well as what was said. Any signs of physical injury should be noted in detail, but under no circumstance should an article of the pupil’s clothing be removed. 

 

Whistleblowing 

Whistleblowing is where staff can voice their concerns without the fear of repercussions. Staff should acknowledge their individual responsibilities to bring matters of concern to the attention of the senior leadership team. For more information, staff should refer to the whistleblowing policy. 


Grievance and Disciplinary Policy


Staff performance is managed regularly through appraisal meetings and observations throughout the academic year by the senior leadership team. Feedback will highlight their strengths and any areas that may need attention. 


If there are any concerns, staff will be:

  • Given clear feedback about the nature and seriousness of the concern.
  • Given the opportunity to comment and discuss the concerns.
  • Given the time period of when the progress will be reviewed.
  • Explained the implications should they not make any progress.

 

Staff is offered support and guidance from the appraisal staff member to encourage improvement if the concerns are related to Teaching & Learning.

If there is no progress seen after the period of support and guidance, the capability procedure would then commence. 


Complaints Procedure

There are two types of complaints procedures at Virtus College; informal and formal. If you wish more information please refer to the school’s complaints policy. 


Informal

Most complaints are easily resolved informally by discussion with staff at the school. More difficult or complex concerns may require further discussion or action.

  • If you would like to make an informal complaint, an office staff member will make a written report regarding the details of the informal complaint and pass it onto the appropriate member of staff. 
  • The complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days and a target date for a response is within 5 working days of acknowledgement. 
  • If necessary, there will be evidence collected regarding the complaint.
  • You will get a written report of the results of the complaint and what actions will be taken if any. 
  • If the complaint is about the Headteacher, the Vice Chair of the Governing Body will investigate the complaint.

 

Formal Complaint 

For complaints that are of a more serious nature, a formal complaint may be made. 

  • An investigation will be carried out by the Headteacher and will be acknowledged within 2 working days. A response will normally be within 10 working days. 
  • A meeting with the Headteacher may be organised if deemed necessary and evidence may be collected if necessary. 
  • A written report will be created when the complaint is resolved stating all the facts and details, the complaint and the resolution. 

If the complaint is not resolved, the complaint will be referred to the Governing Body.

  • The Governing Body will discuss the matter and appoint a senior representative of the school who will contact the complainant within 5 working days. 
  • The representative will aim to resolve the issue either in writing, conversations or face-to-face.
  • If deemed necessary, there may be a hearing with a panel in which the complainant is allowed to bring a representative with them. 
  • A decision will be made within 5 working days.

 

Disciplinary Procedure

This procedure will apply to any disciplinary situation which include misconduct, cases of poor performance that are a result of misconduct, and gross misconduct. Performance issues that are not related to misconduct will be dealt with in the capability procedure. 

The disciplinary procedure is designed to ensure that these standards are upheld and it provides a fair method of dealing with situations in which there has been a failure to uphold standards.  Even though this procedure refers mostly to formal disciplinary incidents, Virtus College will still deal with minor disciplinary situations in an informal manner. 

The school reserves the right to commence the disciplinary process at any stage should the circumstances warrant this action. 

Disciplinary action will only be taken after the case has been investigated and the employee has had the opportunity to respond to the allegations in agreement with the procedure below. 

 

Confidentiality

All disciplinary matters will be dealt with sensitively and confidentially. Employees will be told the names of any witnesses unless the witness has asked to stay anonymous.


Criminal Allegations

Where an employee or an employee’s conduct is the subject of a criminal investigation, charge or conviction, the school will investigate the facts of the case before deciding on a formal disciplinary action.  Depending on external advice, the school may not wait for the outcome of any criminal prosecution, before deciding if there is any action to take. 

Criminal investigation, charge or conviction relating to conduct outside work may be treated as a disciplinary matter if the school considers it relevant to your employment. 


Suspension

Where an employee is accused of serious or gross misconduct, or where the circumstance warrants it, they may be suspended from work on full pay pending the result of the disciplinary procedure. A suspension is not a form of disciplinary action and does not imply that a decision has already been made. 

Where it is appropriate, during a disciplinary procedure or suspension, the Headteacher will appoint an impartial member of staff to provide support and guidance to the member of staff under investigation or suspension. 

 


Formal Disciplinary Procedure

Investigation 

When a disciplinary situation arises, a member of the senior leadership team will carry out an investigation as soon as reasonably possible. The aim of this investigation will be to establish facts and to gather any relevant documentation. If necessary, the investigating officer will obtain statements from any relevant individuals. The member of the leadership carrying out the investigation may consider a meeting with the employee appropriate. 


Notification 

If, as a result of the investigation, it is decided that there is a disciplinary case at hand, the employee will be invited to attend a disciplinary meeting where the case is discussed. The employee will be notified in writing about the nature of the complaint and they will be provided with any of the evidence gathered regarding the case. If the employee wishes to invite an individual as a witness to the disciplinary meeting, they must give an advance notice of this. 

 

Disciplinary Meeting 

The disciplinary meeting will be held by the Headteacher  or an appropriate senior leadership team member. The employee will have the right to bring a representative from their trade union. The employee and their representative should make the effort to attend any and all disciplinary meetings, however if they are unable to attend there will be an attempt to reschedule the meeting. If this can not be done or the employee does not attend the rescheduled meeting, a decision may be reached regardless of their presence. The representative may be allowed to attend the meeting on the employee’s behalf however they are not allowed to answer on behalf of the employee. 

The employee will be given the full opportunity to explain the situation and respond to the allegations during the disciplinary meeting. There will usually be a notetaker present during the meeting however they will not be involved in the decision making process. 

If , after the disciplinary meeting, there has been a decision that a disciplinary action is necessary, the employee will receive in writing the outcome of the decision.

 

This will specify the details of : 

  • The failure to meet the required standard.
  • Any action required by the employee to repair the situation.
  • Any relevant review period of warning and the consequence of consequent failure to reach and maintain the required standard of performance or conduct. 
  • The right to appeal 

 

Written Warning

In the event of the first act of misconduct, or a repetition of earlier minor offences, the employee will be given a written warning, setting out the precise nature of the offence, the likely consequences of further offences and specifying the improvement required and over what period of time. 


Final Written Warning 

In the event of a sufficiently serious offence, or a repetition of earlier offences, the employee will be given a final written warning, which sets out the precise nature of the offence, the likely consequences of further offences and specifying, if appropriate, the improvement required and over what period of time.


Dismissal

This stage will normally result from continued failure to improve performance or continued acts of misconduct. The employee will be informed of the reason for dismissal, on which date their contract ends, the appropriate period of notice and their right to appeal. 


Alternatives to Dismissal

In exceptional circumstances, the following actions short of dismissal may be considered as an alternative to dismissal:

  • Suspension without pay

 

Gross Misconduct

If an employee commits an act of gross misconduct, they may be dismissed without notice. 


Examples of actions which constitute gross misconduct include (but are not limited to):

  • gross insubordination
  • serious breach of health and safety rules
  • serious breach of the School email and internet use policy
  • theft or fraud from either the School or co-workers or deliberate damage to School property or that of co-workers
  • being under the influence of drink or illegal drugs at work
  • disorderly or threatening conduct on school premises
  • contravention of the equal opportunities and discrimination policy
  • negligence resulting in serious loss, damage, or injury
  • assault or attempted assault
  • falsification of records
  • conviction on a criminal charge
  • acceptance of a police caution
  • breach of School policies or procedures
  • bullying or harassment of colleagues, students or parents
  • abuse or suspected abuse of your position of trust in relation to students at the School
  • bringing the School into disrepute

 

Record Keeping 

All records of disciplinary processes, complaints, and decisions will be kept on file for 12 months.

General Characteristics 
  1. The 2023/24 Virtus school year begins on September 6th and ends on the 26th June 2024. 
  2. The compulsory study/class hours are between 08:30am and 4:20pm from Monday to Friday. 
  3. All classes that are included in the schedule will be face-to-face and compulsory.
  4. Independent study periods and co-curricular activities are included in the schedule.

 

What is expected from a Virtus student?

The Virtus ethos is underpinned by our core set of values. It is expected that students behave in a manner befitting these values.

 

Our Values 
  • Discipline: We believe in the importance of discipline as a fundamental element of personal growth and success. We encourage our students to cultivate self-discipline in their studies, time management, and behaviour, instilling habits that promote responsibility and accountability.
  • Resilience: We recognize that challenges and setbacks are a natural part of the learning journey. We empower our students to develop resilience, teaching them how to bounce back from adversity, persevere through difficulties, and embrace failure as an opportunity for growth. By cultivating resilience, our students are equipped with the strength and determination to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential. 
  • Integrity: We uphold the highest standards of integrity, promoting honesty, fairness, and ethical behaviour among our students. We emphasise the importance of acting with integrity in their academic pursuits, interactions with peers and teachers, and in their broader lives. Integrity forms the foundation for building trust, fostering a culture of respect and honour within our school community.
  • Vision: We inspire our students to think beyond the present and embrace a visionary mindset. We encourage them to dream big, set ambitious goals, and think creatively and innovatively. By nurturing a visionary mindset, we empower our students to become forward-thinkers, problem solvers, and leaders who can make a positive impact on the world.
  • Enthusiasm: We believe that enthusiasm is a catalyst for engagement and meaningful learning. We strive to create a vibrant and joyful atmosphere where students are excited about their education, curious to explore new ideas, and eager to participate in various activities. We encourage a genuine passion for learning and celebrate the enthusiasm that drives our students to excel.



Academic 

Virtus College is an educational community whose prime aim is to help each pupil fulfil their academic potential and successfully prepare for their next steps.

 In order to do this, pupils will make sure that they:

  • Are disciplined enough to arrive at each class on time, ready and prepared to learn.
  • Enthusiastically choosing to participate actively and positively in their education.
  • Are disciplined enough to aim to be hardworking, with consistent effort, and dedicated to their educational journey and success.
  • Are disciplined enough to meet deadlines involved with tasks, meetings and assignments.
  • Have the vision to strive to become independent and 
  • Act with integrity and responsibility e.g do their own work and not cheat, plagiarise, copy or pass off work of others as their own
  • Endeavour to be resourceful, curious and creative in their approach. 
  • Aim to develop their resilience by being reflective and learn from their mistakes, open to feedback and completing tasks relating to acting on feedback. 
  • Have the vision to seek to develop their team working skills, recognising the power of productive relationships. 
  • Are disciplined enough to speak in English or in the appropriate language of instruction at all times.



Expectations 

Follow teacher instructions during each lesson.

Prepare for lessons; keeping well organised reading materials and equipment and using non-contact periods to support my progress.

Communicate in English throughout lessons. Minor exceptions of use of Spanish allowed.

Make the academic progress required to achieve the required learning goals. This will take into account consistency of effort, strength of commitment and attitude to learning and the standard of assessed pieces of work.

 

Behaviour

High standards of conduct and discipline are expected of all pupils. The behavioural standards are aligned with our values although not limited to them. 

  • Respect must be shown at all times: self-respect, respect for others and respect for the school and school property. This is reflected in demeanour and behaviour in interactions with others. 
  • Prejudice, discrimination and bullying of any kind are not tolerated and will be met with serious consequences.

 

Offensive language is not allowed. Use of such language will be met with sanctions. 

 

An overview of expectations, a non – exhaustive list.

Avoid distraction, interruption and/or not following teacher/staff  instructions.

No eating during class time.

No chewing gums allowed.

Clean up classes and study rooms after you leave.

Treat all peers with respect and behave as a role model in our school and wider community.

Behave properly in the common areas and treat the building environment with respect: toilets, corridors and building entrance.

Treat school property with respect.

Avoid smoking while anywhere on the school site or its surrounding and at any time (including before and after opening and closing hours).

Treat all staff with respect and behave as a role model in our school and wider community.

Do not bully or harass peers within and outside of school. This includes cyber bullying through social media. 

Do not bring the school into disrepute.  This includes negative behaviour in public, outside of school hours,  whilst wearing the Virtus uniform.

Do not film or audio record any fellow students, members of the educational and administrative staff or school workers, or publish those pictures or recordings by any means, without explicit prior written consent.

Do not publish or possess pornography of any kind or form, displaying, promoting or distributing it.

Do not use any form of recreational drugs or be under the influence of alcohol on the school premises.

Do not sexually harass, assault, or incite peers or staff  to sexual intercourse.

 

Appearance 

Students are required to wear the uniform EVERYDAY. The Virtus Uniform consists of a Virtus Polo, smart trousers such as chinos/dark jeans (without tears) and leather shoes footwear every day. Female students may wear trousers (dark smart trousers or jeans) or a knee length skirt (dark, professional), a Virtus polo and dark leather shoes, should they choose to. 

 

Expectations 

Adhere to the Virtus dress code. 

Earings and rings are prohibited for male students. Female students may wear small, tasteful earrings such as studs.  Visible tattoos are prohibited for all students. 

Facial and body piercings are prohibited for all students.

Bracelets are prohibited for all students.. 

Make-up to be kept natural and to a minimum. 

Hairstyles must not be extreme or radical. This applies to haircut and colour. 

 

Punctuality & Attendance

Students are required to be on time for classes. We expect all students to arrive at the academy at least at 8:30 for registration. 

Failure to attend commitments or classes on time will result in sanctions such as detentions. 

Coming to class is MANDATORY. Students are expected to attend unless they have a justified reason not to. We recommend that students and parents not schedule any appointments whenever possible during school hours. 

Failure to attend lessons without prior authorisation is labelled truancy and wil face sanctions such as detentions. 

 

Absences  

In case of illness or absence, students’ parents must do the following:  

  1. Inform the Head’s PA right away, via e-mail or voicemail by 8am. 
  2. Parents must send in a doctor’s note or email justification of absence
  3. Students must catch up on all the work they’ve missed.  

 

Expectations 

Inform of any planned or unplanned absences. Parental verification will be required either by phone or email. NO term time holidays will be authorised.

Attend all and be on time for timetabled lessons, registrations, assemblies, seminars and study periods.

Attend all and be on time for afternoon sessions as planned and/or instructed, including Clubs and Societies, Extra-Mentoring and any sessions requested).

Remain on site during the school day unless directed otherwise.

Attend all internal examinations required as part of the learning programme.

Attend all official examinations sessions required as part of the learning programme.

 

Breaks

Students will have breaks from 10:35-10:50 and from 12:50-14:20 every day. During breaks, students are allowed to go outside and have a snack. During lunch break some students may have a lesson or a class during part of their break. 

Students ARE NOT ALLOWED to smoke during breaks, nor at any other time near or around the schools’ premises.

Expectations 

Behave sensibly at break time, adhering to the rules and the principle of respect. 

Adhere to the building rules and any teacher’s guidance.

Make sure you are on time to your lessons after a break..

 

Homework

Students are expected to ALWAYS do homework. We believe that every student should do between 4h and 6h of homework per subject per week. A level studies are a full time job and the final outcome of strong grades depend on the effort the student puts in, which includes the homework.

Homework will be assigned, collected, and marked using Google Classroom. Students are, therefore, required to upload the homework using Google Classroom ALWAYS. Failure to complete homework by set deadlines will result in sanctions. 

 

Expectations 

Meet deadlines for all work, including; coursework, controlled assessment, written homework, presentations etc.

Complete homework to a high standard, ensuring attention to detail. 

Demonstrate time investment and care when completing all work to meet the school standards.

Complete homework missed through absences.

Avoid plagiarism.

Complete homework sent over the holiday periods: October, Christmas, February and Easter holidays.

 

Classroom Management

Students will be expected to adhere to the classroom management rules and regulations. They will be expected to line up prior to entering the classroom, and stand behind their chairs before leaving the room. There are clear guidelines to how to behave before, during and after class. 

Clear guidance is fundamental to maintaining discipline and order in the classroom. 

 

Expectations 

Students pack books away 1 minute before the end of the lesson

Students should stand behind desks in silence

Teacher dismisses them from the door, only when in silence, a row at a time

Students line up in single file in silence

Teacher stands at the door and greets the students

Students enter in calm and orderly manner

Teacher takes register once all students on task

Teachers meet and greet, then model silence for students to follow

Tutors check uniform, behaviour, jewellery, shirts tucked in, chewing gum, hoodies and coats removed

 

Homework

Students are expected to ALWAYS do homework. We believe that every student should do between 4h and 6h of homework per subject per week. 

Homework will be assigned, collected, and marked using Google Classroom. Students are, therefore, required to upload the homework using Google Classroom ALWAYS. 

Expectations 

Meet deadlines for all work, including; coursework, controlled assessment, written homework, presentations etc.

Complete homework fully

Demonstrate time investment and care when completing all work to meet the school standards.

Complete homework missed through absence 

Avoid plagiarism

Complete homework sent over the holiday periods: Christmas and Easter holidays.

 

Schedule  

All students will be assigned schedules for their classes. Following this schedule is  MANDATORY. 

 

Expectations 

Stick to the class you have been assigned throughout the year.

 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students are expected to provide original work, not copied from each other or from any other source. All sources to be cited appropriately. All handed in work will go through a scan for plagiarism detection.

 

Official Examinations

 

Expectations 

Arrive 30 min before the start of any official examinations.

Hand in the mobile phone device before the start of any official examinations.

Follow examination instructions.

Do not make any form of communication/engagement with peers during official examinations.



Independent Study Periods

All students will have an average of 16 hours of class per week (in the case of taking 3 A-Levels + Spanish), combined with Independent Study Periods during the hours when there is no class.

 

The Library

At the beginning of an Independent Study Period, the student must move to the library, a space set up and specially conditioned for students to study. In this room they will have the presence of the coordinator or another teacher who will carry out the monitor work.

 

Expectations 

Remain silent and do not cause disruption to peers.

Bring all materials and resources required for having a successful revision system: Ipads, books/revision guides, printed past papers/QBTs etc.

Correctly apply the revision loop: class notes + summary + past papers/QBT practice

Follow invigilator instructions at all times.

Leave the library clean before you leave.

 

Behaviour Outside the School

Students who breach the School’s Expectations whilst off school site but in school uniform and / or on school business such as trips and journeys, etc, will be dealt with in the same manner as if the incident had taken place at the school. For incidents that take place outside of the school and not on school business / in School uniform, this policy will still have effect if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the student body as a whole. This includes behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the school or on a journey to or from the school.

Other relevant factors include whether the student is wearing the school uniform or is in some other way identifiable as a student at the school and whether the behaviours could adversely affect the reputation of the school, bringing the school into disrepute. For acts of aggression or which threaten the health and safety of others, the school reserves the right to involve the police. Equally, if the school considers that the behaviour might be linked to a young person suffering, or likely to suffer significant harm, safeguarding procedures will be applied.

 

Consequences of unmet expectations or violation of rules

Teachers, Staff and Management reserve the right to apply the following sanctions in case of unmet expectations. 

Detentions – Detention can take place at breaktime, or afterschool depending on the severity of the breach. In certain circumstances, students may be asked to stay on both days. 

Email to parents – Parents will be informed of the infringement via email. 

Phone call to parents – Parents will be asked to attend a pastoral meeting.

 

Letter home – A letter issued by the Head’s office will ask parents and students to attend an official meeting to discuss the infringement and the future consequences. 

Suspension – Internal: Student attends school during the established school hours but is not permitted to attend lessons, clubs or break time. A student is isolated from his/her peers all day. 

Suspension – External: Student remains out of school for a predetermined period, up to 10 days, The duration of the suspension is decided by the Head, and a pupil is allowed to return to school after a meeting between the Headmaster and his/her parents in which clear expectations of future conduct are stipulated.

Expulsion – Students being invited to leave the school and not be allowed back. Depending on the severity of the issue, this expulsion may or may not be communicated to the school the student transfers to.





I hereby confirm that I have read and agree to adhere to the Virtus Student Code of Conduct. I understand that failure to comply will result in sanctions being imposed.





Student Name:

 

Date:

 

Signature:



Aims 

The aim of this policy is to help ensure students, staff and visitors are safe when they are present onsite at Virtus British Sixth Form. The School requires that ALL VISITORS comply with the following policy and procedures.

 

Definitions

Anyone who has not completed the minimum safeguarding training, or been subject to a DBS check or undergone the school’s safer recruitment checks may be defined as a visitor. 

Procedures are put in place to ensure that the school has other safety measures in place in order to safeguard staff and students’ wellbeing. 

 

Visitor Procedure
  • Visitors to the school may be asked to bring formal identification with them at the time of their visit.
  • Visitors should ring the bell by the gate in order to gain entry to the school site.
  • Visitors must sign in at the reception on arrival and sign out when they leave. 
  • All visitors will be required to wear an identification badge and a different colour lanyard to Virtus staff which must remain visible throughout their visit. 
  • Visitors may be asked to wait in the reception for their contact to come to reception to receive the visitor, unless they are accompanied to their contact at Virtus.
  • Visitors must be supervised at all times and not left alone with any students. 
  • All visitors should return their identification badge and then sign out at the reception when leaving.
  • Visitors without a badge should be politely challenged by staff and students. 

 

Related Policies

This policy and procedures should be read in conjunction with other related school policies, including:

  • Safeguarding & Child Protection Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Fire Policy

 

Reviewed: September 2023

Next review: September  2024

 

 
Introduction  

The Virtus British Sixth Form College (the School) is committed to the highest standards  of quality, honesty, openness and accountability.  

As part of that commitment, the School encourages employees or others with genuine concerns  about any aspect of work to come forward and express those concerns. We recognise that  employees will need to come forward on a confidential basis.  

 

Purpose of the Policy 

Employees are often the first to realise that there may be something seriously wrong. However,  employees may not express their concerns because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to  their colleagues or the School. They may also fear harassment or victimisation. Each person  working for the School needs to realise that they not only have the right, but also a duty to report  any improper actions or omissions. 

 

Scope of the Policy 

There are existing procedures in place to enable employees to raise grievances about their own  employment. The Whistleblowing Policy is intended to cover serious concerns that fall outside the  scope of other procedures, in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. A protected  disclosure means a disclosure which is made in the public interest by a worker who has a  reasonable belief that: 

  • a criminal offence; 
  • a miscarriage of justice; 
  • an act creating risk to health and safety; 
  • an act causing damage to the environment; 
  • a breach of any other legal obligation; or 
  • concealment of any of the above; 

 

is being, has been, or is likely to be, committed. 

‘Whistleblowing’ means the confidential raising of problems or concerns within the School in  accordance with the provisions of this policy. This will include any illegal, immoral, irregular,  dangerous or unethical activity under their employer’s control. This can cover a wide range of  matters, including mismanagement, bribery, fraud and health and safety failures.  

 

Safeguarding against Harassment or Victimisation 

No member of staff will suffer a detriment or be disciplined for raising a genuine and legitimate concern. 

The School will take a zero tolerance approach to any act of harassment or victimisation (including informal pressures) and will take appropriate action to protect staff when they raise a genuine and  legitimate concern.

 

Unsubstantiated Allegations 

Any employee who makes an allegation that turns out to be unfounded will not be penalised for being genuinely mistaken. If, however, an allegation is made frivolously, maliciously or for personal  gain, disciplinary action may be taken. 

 

Confidentiality 

All concerns will be treated in confidence but, at the appropriate time, the whistleblower may  be asked to come forward as a witness, and this will be discussed with them. 

 

Anonymous Allegations 

This policy encourages staff to put their name to their allegation whenever possible. 

The School will take all concerns raised seriously. However, concerns expressed anonymously are  much less powerful but will be considered at the discretion of the School. In exercising this  discretion the factors to be taken into account would include; 

  • the seriousness of the issues raised; 
  • the credibility of the concern; and 
  • the likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources. 

 

How to Raise Concerns 

In most cases you should be able to raise your concerns with your immediate manager or another  manager. If, for some reason, this is not possible you should speak to the Head Teacher or one of the Deputy Heads. Concerns may be raised verbally or in writing. 

The earlier the concern is expressed the easier it is to take action. In order to assist with the  investigation employees should provide as much detail and supporting evidence as possible  regarding their concern. Although staff are not expected to prove beyond doubt the truth of the  allegation, it will need to be demonstrated to the person contacted that there are sufficient grounds  for concern for the person who raises them to have a reasonable belief that they exist. 

 

How the School will Respond 

If a concern is raised the School will look into it carefully and thoroughly. The person  receiving the concern will ensure that a written account of it is made. This will help with the  subsequent investigation by making sure that everyone involved is clear about what is being  raised. 

When a concern is raised, managers should undertake the following actions: 

  • Take the concern seriously 
  • Consider the concerns fully and objectively 
  • Recognise that raising a concern can be a difficult experience for employees
  • Ensure confidentiality

 

 Initial Enquiry 

In order to protect the individuals, and those accused of misdeeds or possible malpractice, initial  enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it  should take. If urgent action is required, this will be taken before any investigation is conducted. 

The purpose of the initial enquiry is to ascertain if the conduct or behaviour involves a senior  manager or a member of staff, so that further enquiries and investigation can be progressed  accordingly. 

Concerns or allegations raised which fall within the scope of established procedures will be  referred for consideration under those procedures.  

 

Investigation 

A referral of a concern will be acknowledged within ten working days, with an indication of how the  School proposes to deal with the matter and the likely timescale. If it is not possible to complete the  initial enquiries within the ten working days, the letter of acknowledgement will explain. If a decision  is made not to investigate, the reasons will be given.  

The employee raising the concern with a manager, will, subject to legal constraints, be advised in  writing of the outcome of the investigation and, where appropriate, what action is being taken. This  may include changes to working practices to ensure that a similar situation does not occur again.  

Written records of all interviews will be kept throughout the investigation together with written details  of any action taken. The investigation will result in a written report and recommendations for  corrective action, which will be passed to the manager responsible for deciding whether formal  action shall be taken.  

 

Monitoring Arrangements 

Confidential records will be kept of all matters raised through the Whistleblowing Policy and the  Governing Body will receive reports with an assessment of the effectiveness of the policy and any  emerging patterns. 

 

Reviewed: August 2023

Review Date: August 2024



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