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Start of year letter

16 September 2016

Dear Parent/Carer,

Welcome to a new school year and a new school building! The pupils have been back at school for almost two weeks and all have settled in well. Studies are going well in all subject areas and I feel very positive about the focused learning and progress that will take place this year.

Key Worker

All pupils at the Courtyard have a key worker. Your child’s key worker fulfils a pastoral role for your child. They will support your child to best access the curriculum and make progress.

If your child is experiencing any anxiety which is creating a barrier to them making progress with academically or socially, it is the responsibility of the key worker to investigate this and best aid your child to reduce this anxiety. Your child’s key worker is your first contact if you have any concerns regarding your child’s health and well-being. If you are unaware of who your child’s key worker is, please refer to their planner where it is documented.


All pupils will be receiving homework for all subject areas they are studying. The pupils will be required to write their homework in their planners, including the date the homework is due in.

We recognise that completing homework at home can sometimes be a challenge for our pupils so study sessions have been incorporated into their timetables. It is during these supervised study sessions that homework can be completed and the pupils can ask the staff for support. It is important that you refer to your child’s planner to keep abreast of the homework set and discuss it with your child.

Whilst we will do our best to help your child complete their homework in the study sessions, it may be necessary for them to continue at home as well.

Homework schedule

Courtyard lessons:
Maths, English, ICT – 1 hour a week
PSD, Citizenship, Home Cooking, Self-Discovery, Science, SRE – 1 hour per fortnight
Mainstream SMMA lessons:
Maths, English, Science – 2 hours per week
Art, Geography, Spanish, Food Tech – 1 hour per week


All pupils have been issued with their timetables. The pupils must have a copy of their timetable in their planner and also a laminated copy which they can carry in the pocket of their blazer. If we have your email address, we will also email you a copy of your child’s timetable for your reference.

Uniform and equipment expectations

All pupils in KS4 are expected to wear the SMMA uniform and we would require that parents/carers support the uniform expectations.

The school uniform, including the PE kit, can be purchased from:

Rough Cut Casuals at 16 Chapel Market, Islington, London, N1 9EZ (phone: 020 7837 7924). Opening times are: Mon-Weds, Fri-Sat: 10am-6pm; Thurs: 10am-2pm; Sun: 10am-3pm.

The school uniform can also be purchased online.

Please see the SMMA Secondary School Uniform Policy for full details.

KS5 students can choose to wear their own clothing, which is expected to be smart/casual. Pupils are not allowed to wear ripped clothing or slogans. Hats are also forbidden on the school premises.

Pupils are expected to come to school equipped to carry out the work set in the different subject areas they are studying. This includes a blue/black pen, a pencil, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, a ruler and a calculator. An equipment check will be carried out by the pupil’s key worker each week and a note will be written in the planner if equipment is missing.

Pupil Premium and Free School Meals

Pupil premium is a designated amount of money that the government allocates to each school, based upon a number of factors which are linked to the perceived deprivation of certain pupils in school. This money is meant to be spent directly or indirectly on those pupils who are considered vulnerable because they are not meeting National Expectations in terms of attainment. Within our school, the money is spent on children entitled to free school meals.

Parents can apply for free school meals by completing the free school meals form. By supplying the information required on this form, we are able to check your income status to check eligibility. The eligibility criteria are stated on the form.

I strongly urge you to consider whether your child is eligible for Free School Meals and as a result, the Pupil Premium funding. Not only will your child be able to access a free hot meal each day but the school receives £935 which will be used to directly support your child’s learning.

If you require any further assistance, please contact Louise Norman, the Courtyard Deputy for Behaviour and Safety.


All of the Courtyard School policies and reports can be accessed here. Please refer to these documents if you have any queries regarding your education at The Courtyard School.

Welcome mornings – Tuesday 4 October and Wednesday 5 October 2016

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Courtyard staff and pupils would like to invite families in to view our new building and grounds. The welcome mornings will start at 9:00am each day and will last approximately 30 minutes. During this time you will hear from myself, Mrs Healy and Ms Norman and then have an opportunity to wander around and speak to staff and pupils. We really hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and make yourself familiar with our wonderful new premises.

Dates for your dairy

4.10.16 & 5.10.16 – Welcome mornings – 9:00am – 9:30am
7.10.16 – INSET Day – the school will be closed on this day for staff training
17.11.16 – Parents evening
20.12.16 – RA1 reports
5.4.17 – RA2 reports
8.6.17 – Parents evening
17.7.17 – 21.7.16 – Activities Week
19.7.17 – End of year reports

If you have any questions or concerns about your child and their learning please do not hesitate to contact your child’s key worker or email me directly.

Yours Sincerely

Deborah Shepherd
Headteacher, The Courtyard




Photo of pupils and staff at The Courtyard on a snowy World Book Day

World Book Day The Courtyard turns into a colourful literary festival as students and teachers dress up as their favourite fictional characters in honour of World Book Day