Ask Away - Transition FAQs

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If you or your child have any questions regarding the transition to secondary school please email and we will add them to the FAQs below - click on the question to see the answer


Q - May I ask why a new Head is joined the school mid-term in January?
A - Unfortunately the person who had originally been appointed to replace the previous Executive Head in September had to withdraw for personal reasons in the Summer. 
We were pleased to welcome Mrs Alex O'Donnell as our new Executive Head in January 2021.

See her introduction message here
Q - What is an Executive Head, as opposed to Head Teacher and Head of School? What do the positions mean please?

A - An Executive Headteacher will frequently be an experienced Head teacher who will have responsibility for more than one school. Cleeve Meadow School was built as a co-located SEN school on the Cleeve Park site and the Executive Head is responsible for both schools and ensures they work to maximise the advantages of being co-located.

A Head of School or Senior Deputy will work with and support the Executive Headteacher. 

Q: How does the school communicate with parents, and vice versa?

A: Most of our communications are via the MyEd app, available free from your app store. Student planners are used to record homework tasks and teachers may also use these to send messages home. To contact individual members of staff parents may email direct, or ring the office and ask for that teacher to call them back.

Q: Can students use the library for homework?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot currently use the library outside timetabled lessons as there would not be sufficient time for it to be cleaned, but once restrictions are lifted we expect to resume lunchtime and after school sessions

Q: When can I come and see the school?

A: Unfortunately, following a robust risk assessment, we have taken the sad decision that we cannot safely invite you to visit our school at present due to the difficulties of maintaining social distance and keeping our students and staff, as well as yourselves, safe. Please look at our virtual tour, and do call our friendly office team if you have any questions.

Q: What are your transition arrangements for year 6 into year 7?

A: In normal times we would have a parents’ welcome meeting, two student induction days and offer an optional summer school to allow our new intake to acclimatise to their new surroundings. We hope restrictions will be lifted to allow this by next summer, otherwise we will offer virtual induction via zoom meetings for each form group as we did this year, with a virtual zoom meeting for parents. On the first day of term year 7 start with year 12, the rest of the school start the next day.

Q: What is your policy on mobile phones?

A: Phones must not be seen or heard during the school day, or they will be confiscated by a member of staff.

Q: What does a “cashless school” mean?

A: All payments in the canteen are made using our biometric system: student funds are added to their account via the parental Wisepay account. This account is also used to pay for school trips. Students may also top up their account using the onsite revaluator. If your child has been receiving free school meals, please note we do not use Bexley’s system so you would need to apply via the online application on our website. Please call the school office for further information.


Q: My child wants to ride their bike to school, do you have safe storage?

A: We have open bike racks in the front of the school which are covered by security cameras. Students are not allowed to ride their bikes beyond that point.

Q: What is your uniform policy?

A: All students must wear the correct uniform, available from our supplier Casey’s in Blackfen. Trainers, jewellery and make-up are not permitted.

Q: What clubs do you run?

A: At present we are limited due to the COVID 19 restrictions, but normally we would run football (boys and girls) netball, table tennis, trampolining, dance, STEM (science technology engineering & maths), art, knitting, drama – anything a member of staff wishes to provide!

Q: How do the Covid restrictions impact on the children?

A: Students start the day at designated entry points, provided with hand sanitiser and move around in their “bubble”, in other words with their year group. 

To enable practical lessons to be taught in specialist classrooms the school currently has a strict one-way system in place for students moving between lessons.

Break and lunches are staggered and each year group has a separate place to buy lunch and socialise.

Students are asked to sanitise their hands when entering a classroom and wipe down any equipment, such as keyboards and mice, after using them.

Q: Do you have a sixth form?

A: We have a popular sixth form offering a range of academic and vocational qualifications. Many of our 6th form go on to study at university, with last year’s cohort choosing a wide range of subjects including medicine, neurosciences, interior architecture & design, law and engineering. Our sixth form and careers team support all students in choosing their next steps, whether college/further education, apprenticeships or work.

Q: Are students streamed?

A: Students are streamed for English, maths and French in all years.

Q: What subjects do students take at GCSE?

A: All students take English language, English literature, maths, combined science (a double qualification) and Religious Studies. They also choose three further subjects from a range of academic and vocational qualifications, including history, geography, French, computer science, drama, art, photography, music, dance, triple science, business studies, childcare, Product design, catering, PE and sports science. The precise offering varies from year to year depending on numbers and staff availability.

Q: - Someone told me you are a “special school”, I am confused as I thought you were a regular school?

A: We are a mainstream all ability mixed school, but we are co-located with Cleeve Meadow, a new free school for students with moderate educational needs. Our students are educated separately but we do share some facilities, such as our state-of-the-art performing arts suite in the Cleeve Meadow building, and our all-weather 3G pitch.

Q: What is your catchment area?

A: The precise catchment area varies. Last year it was 3.5 miles (measured in a straight line) but the previous year it was 2.1 miles. All places are allocated by Bexley Council, we do not do our own admissions.

Q - Do you play hockey as a sport either during PE/Games or an after school club please?

A - We do not currently run hockey on our PE curriculum. Extra-curricular clubs to some extent reflect the particular interests and skills of our staff and at this time we don't have a hockey specialist within the staffing team.

Q: Do you have banding tests?

A: No, we do not run banding tests. We usually run CATS tests as part of the induction days and use these results to set the children for English and maths along with the KS2 data from primary schools.

Q: Which buses serve Cleeve Park?

A: The 669 runs in the morning from Erith and terminates at our school gate, while the afternoon bus leaves from our playground. Please note this bus serves ALL schools along the route, it is not exclusively for our students. The B14 bus also stops outside the school, the 269 stop at the end of Faraday Avenue is a short walk away.

Q: How many students in a class?

A: In KS3 there are generally 30 students in a class, with around 20 in Technology lessons. In KS4 and 5 class sizes can vary depending on the numbers taking a subject, but should not exceed 30.

Q - How is the school day structured?

A - The school day is as follows:

8.35 - 9.00     - Form time
9.00 - 10.00   - Lesson 1
10.00 - 11.00 - Lesson 2
11.00 - 11.20 - Break
11.20 - 12.20 - Lesson 3
12.20 - 1.00   - Lunch
1.00 - 2.00     - Period 4
2.00 - 3.00     - Period 5 
We have made some temporary adjustments to timings while the students are in COVID bubbles but the plan is the same order, give or take 10 minutes here and there.
Q - Do you cater for food allergies?

A- Our catering provider, Chartwells, adhere to all allergen requirements. You would need to complete a form setting out your child's allergy requirements and they would then agree and provide appropriate food options with you on the basis that they plan to eat regularly in the school canteen.  No foods provided by the school contain nut.