FAQ for Parents/Carers
What are the times of the school day?
There are six, 50-minute periods during the day. This is designed to maximise the learning experience of all students across a broad curriculum. The day begins at 8.30am and finishes for all students at 3.00pm. Throughout the school year, there will be a range of after-school clubs and lessons available for students, especially those sitting public examinations. The school library is also available for students after school on most days of the week.
What are the term dates for the academic year?
The school coordinates its term dates, in conjunction with Cardiff Local Authority. Full details of the dates for the academic year can be accessed via the link.
Is there a Parent/Teacher/Friends Association (PTFA)?
Yes, we do have a thriving PTFA. However, we are always looking for new members. The PTFA help strengthen the link between home and school through a variety of worthwhile initiatives, which raises valuable monies to help invest in the education of the children of the school. For further information about The PTFA please get in touch with Mrs Smith, Assistant Head by email.
How can I get involved with the school?
There are a variety of ways to get involved including: attending various sporting, musical and liturgical performances; regularly visiting the school website and following us on Twitter. We welcome feedback via email, letter or in person too.
Can I make an appointment to see the Headteacher?
Of course! If you need to make an appointment to see Mr Belli then please contact Miss Pucknell, PA to Headteacher. You may contact Miss Pucknell via email. However, with around 1300 students on site, Mr Belli may not always be the best placed person to respond to any queries you may have, in the first instance.
Should you have a concern or query, we ask that you seek to first try the member of staff directly responsible for the issue/enquiry you have. Each first Monday of the calendar month, there is also our Headteacher 'open door' evening, where families can attend (between 4.30pm and 6.30pm) to discuss any matters directly with Mr Belli.
How do I raise a complaint about an aspect of school?
The school takes all concerns seriously. We will aim to clarify any issues and put right any mistakes. We have a clear complaints procedure, which has a number of stages. You can find this on the policy section of our website. There is a form to complete, which should be sent to Mr Brown, Business Manager, who has responsibility for managing complaints. Mr Brown will escalate any concerns to the relevant person
Who is the best person to contact with general questions about my child? Your child's form tutor and head of year are the primary points of contact. If your concern is about school or more than one subject, we would recommend you speak to the tutor and then head of year. If you are still concerned, or you have not been able to resolve the concern, then we would recommend you speak to one of the leadership team assigned to specific phases: Mr Gardiner (Years 7 - 9); Miss Parry (Years 10 - 11); and Mrs Smith (Years 12 - 13).
If your concern relates to a subject, then we would recommend the first point of contact being the class teacher, then head of department. In some smaller departments we also have heads of faculty who are here to help.
I’m concerned that my child is unhappy – who is the best person to talk to?
In the first instance, the person to contact would be Mr Davies, chaplain. He will be able to discuss any concerns. Form tutors, heads of year/school are also available but as a non-teaching member of staff, Mr Davies is available throughout the day to support students and ensure they are happy during their time at school.
I have emailed my child's Head of School but they haven't replied. What should I do?
All of our staff have a significant teaching commitment. Therefore, it is likely that there is a genuine reason you have not yet received a reply. We recommend that families contact staff by email or leave a message with Mrs Di-Girolamo, Pastoral Assistant. We aim to get a response to families within 24-48 hours.
What if I have a query about uniform?
Please call the main office or the pastoral team and they will assist you with any queries. If you are unsure about purchasing the correct uniform, then please see our Uniform Expectations Guide which is designed to provide clarity on our expectations. We work hard to ensure the cost of uniform is kept to a minimum. Welsh Government provides grants for eligible families to receive up to £200 towards this. Information about the grant is available here.
What if my child’s shoes break?
Please send your child into school and the pastoral team will provide a spare pair for their use until you are able to purchase a new pair. If you are experiencing difficulty in replacing the shoes, then again, please do let us know.
What if I do not agree with the school's policy on uniform?
When applying for a place at The Bishop of Llandaff, the school is very clear about its expectations of parents/carers and students. This includes issues relating to attendance, engagement with school, and its uniform expectations. By sending your child to the school, it is on the understanding of these expectations. Only those students with medical conditions are permitted reasonable adjustments to the school's uniform. For more information speak to your child's relevant Head of School.
What if my child has lost or forgotten their tie?
Your child can go to the pastoral office and borrow a tie for the day if they have forgotten or lost their existing one. New ties can be purchased at the main school office for £5.00.
What is a 'Pink Slip' Day/Detention?
We have high expectations of uniform as we believe it sets the tone for learning. Periodically, we use 'Pink Slip' Days to reinforce these expectations. Where students do not meet these then they will receive a sanction of an after-school detention the following day. We ask for your support with this.
Absence and Lateness
Will the school contact me if my child doesn’t arrive at school?
Yes. Mrs Angel, our Attendance Officer, closely monitors attendance, and will contact you by phone or text if your child is absent and you have not called in. Please make sure that your contact details are up-to-date. You can contact the school office with any change of contact details on 029 20562485.
Who do I tell if my child needs to be absent from school for a medical appointment?
Please contact Mrs Angel, Attendance Officer on 029 20562485 or email if your child is going to be absent from school. Please be aware that medical evidence may be requested for prolonged absence.
My child has an injury – what should I do?
Once your child is ready to come back to school after an injury, we will make necessary arrangements to ensure that he/she can continue to learn at school in a safe environment. We will undertake a risk-assessment with you to ensure you are content with the arrangements in place. Please feel free to call the main office to discuss further.
What if I want to take my child on holiday during term time?
Students are expected to attend school for 190 days of the year. We expect students to have strong attendance and not below 95%. Attendance below this seriously jeopardises a child's educational attainment. To request an absence for your child, please contact the school via Miss Pucknell, PA to Headteacher, FAO Mr Belli. You can contact Miss Pucknell via email. However, please be aware the school does not authorise family holidays during term time.
When should my child arrive to school?
Your child must be in school by no later than 8.30am. If your child is persistently late, then this may result in a sanction.
Will I receive a home visit from the school if my child is persistently absent from school?
Yes, perhaps even if you have phoned in. This is intended to be a supportive measure and forms part of the local authority approach to reducing persistent absence in school.
How can I find out what level/class my child is streamed into?
All classes in Years 7, 8 and 9 are predominantly taught in mixed-ability classes. These are group on a range of factors. The exception to this is mathematics, which is set by purely on mathematical ability. Students are set by ability in many classes in Year 10 and 11, with the exception of option subjects, which are based on student demand.
To find out how well your child is progressing, please attend parent' evenings and information evenings. These provide important information for families. If you have concerns, you may contact individual teachers. Dates for parents’ evenings can be found on the school calendar. Please make a note of these.
Is it okay to email teachers directly?
Yes. There is a link to the staff lists on our website. We aim to respond to emails within 24-48 hours. If you have not heard from a member of staff in this time, then please do contact the main office.
What if I am concerned about my child’s academic progress?
Please contact your child’s teacher, subject leader or relevant Head of School to arrange a meeting to discuss any concerns.
How will I know if my child receives a detention?
The school will contact you by text, phone and/or email if your child receives a detention for more than 15-minutes (or after-school detention). Please ensure your contact details are up-to-date to avoid any issues with communication. You can contact the school office with any change of contact details on 029 20562485.
I’d like to discuss my child’s behaviour outside of school – who is the best person to speak to?
The pastoral team are available to discuss any queries you may have and can direct you to the person most suited to support. In the first instance, we recommend you speak to your child's relevant Head of School. Please be aware that we sanction students for misbehaviour outside of school and outside school hours.
After School Clubs – does my child have to attend every week or can they drop in?
Your child is welcome at after-school clubs whenever they want to attend. However, some extra-curricular activities such as school performances may require committed attendance to avoid letting others down. A copy of the numerous lunchtime and after-school clubs are available on our website.
How much homework should my child receive?
We aim to set students in key stage 3 (Year 7, 8 and 9) at least one piece of meaningful homework each night. In key stage 4 (Year 10 and 11) there is usually one/two pieces per night. However, this will vary at more demanding times in the school year. In addition to this, all students have a reading book, and we encourage them to spend around 15-20 minutes reading each day. Sixth Form students are expected to use their independent study sessions as well as wider reading to support their learning, as well as completing formal homework set.
Who do I contact about homework?
Please contact your child’s teacher to discuss any homework queries. If you have broader questions about homework then please raise these with Mrs Barrett, Deputy Head.
Additional Learning Needs
Who should I contact about my child’s additional learning needs?
Please contact your child’s teacher to discuss queries around your son/daughter’s additional learning needs. Alternatively, please contact our Head of Inclusion, Mr Thompson via email, for queries regarding provision available or your child's specific needs.