General Enquiries

We have designed this page as a quick reference to help answer some of your questions. It is reviewed annually. If you have any additional questions and answers that you would like to see listed here, or have any other questions about our school, please contact our School Office on admin@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk. Many thanks.

Questions about contacting the school or illness at school

Who do I contact if I have a query about my child?
How do I contact my child’s Form Tutor?
How do I report my child’s absence?
How do I notify the school if my child has to leave during the school day?
How do I request absence from school for an important occasion/exceptional circumstance?
Who do I notify to update my email address?
What if my child is ill at school?
What if I have a complaint?
How does the School contact me?
What happens in the event of a school closure?

Questions about Lost Property, Transport, Catering, School Uniform, Wheelchair Access

How should my child search for Lost Property?
How do I find out information about bus and train travel to the School?
How do I find out about the catering system?
Where do I find details about the school uniform?
Is there a Second Hand Uniform Shop?
What access is there for wheelchairs when visiting the school

Questions about Term Dates, Reports, InTouch, Sixth Form, Exam Results

What time does school finish at the end of half terms and full terms?
What are CATs? 
When can I expect to receive reports for my child? 
What do students wear in the Sixth Form?
If my child is unable to collect exam results from school, can they be posted?

Questions about Music Lessons

How do I communicate with my child’s peripatetic music teacher?
What do I do if I can’t contact my child’s peripatetic music teacher?
What if my child has to cancel a lesson?
How do I know how my child is progressing?
How does my child know when the lessons are scheduled?
How does my child know when concert rehearsals are scheduled?


Who do I contact if I have a query about my child?

Form tutors are normally your first point of reference if there is a query about your child.

Concerns of a pastoral nature, or learning generally, can go to the Form Tutor or to the pastoral team who are there to support your child throughout their time at Dame Alice Owen’s and may be more readily available to deal with an urgent concern.

If the query is about academic learning in one subject it should initially be directed to the subject teacher.

To contact the Form Tutor or subject teacher

  • EITHER email the school office, (admin@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk) asking for a message to be forwarded – state your child’s name and Form Tutor/subject teacher
  • OR ring the school office (01707 643441 – option 0 , general enquiries) and they will put you through to the relevant department, where you may be able to speak to the Form Tutor/subject teacher  directly or you can leave a message if they are teaching
  • OR ask your child to deliver a letter to the Form Tutor/subject teacher at registration time

To contact the Pastoral Team – call 01707 622849 or email the Pastoral Team for you child’s key stage:

KS3 Pastoral Manager: Natasha Klimt  (klimt@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk)
KS3 Pastoral Director: Jeni McClean (mccleanj@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk)

KS4 Pastoral Manager: Charlotte Surry (surryc@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk)
KS4 Pastoral Director: Matt Grimstead (grimsteadm@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk)


How do I contact my child’s Form Tutor?

Form tutors are your first point of reference if there is a query about your child.  You can:

  • Email the school office, (admin@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk) asking for a message to be forwarded – state your child’s name and Form Tutor
  • Ring the school office (01707 643441) and they will put you through to the relevant department, where you can speak to the Form Tutor directly or you can leave a message if they are teaching
  • Ask your child to deliver a letter to the Form Tutor at registration time

Form Tutors aim to respond to you within a day or so – if the query is of an urgent nature, please speak to the school office.


How do I report my child’s absence?

Every day that your child is ill you should:-

  • EITHER email attendance@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk by 9am stating your child’s name and form.
  • OR ring the school office (01707 643441 – option 1) by 9am stating your child’s name and form.  If phone lines are busy, please leave a message.

When your child returns to school, they should bring in a letter, confirming reasons for their absence, to their Form Tutor.

If your child is absent for 3 consecutive days with no explanation, the pastoral team will contact you. Where the school is unsuccessful in contacting you, the Attendance Officer may be informed.


How do I notify the school if my child has to leave during the school day?

If your child has to attend an unavoidable dental or doctor’s appointment or needs to leave the school during the day for another reason, please provide written notice in advance in the following ways:-

  1. By email to the School Office Attendance team –  attendance@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk
  2. By writing a letter to give to the School Office

How do I request absence from school for an important occasion/exceptional circumstance?

You need to write to the Head, via the School Office Attendance Team (attendance@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk), explaining the details, at least 2 weeks in advance of the absence. Please note that the Governors do not approve of any requests for absence in term time for the purpose of taking holidays.

You may read further information in the Attendance Policy, which is part of our Pastoral Care Policy. This can be found in the Policies section of the school website.


Who do I notify to update my email address?

You need to notify the school office (admin@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk) so they can amend the school’s records for emergency contact details and to enable you to receive communications from the school via our email service.


What if my child is ill at school?

One of our Clerical Assistants is also our First Aid Officer. It must be emphasised that the medical facilities at the school are for use as emergency measures only, and that our First Aid Officer is not responsible for treating on-going medical conditions. If you are in doubt about your child’s fitness to attend school in the morning, please ensure that he/she remains at home.

If your child is taken ill at school they MUST FIRST go to the School Medical Room to consult the First Aid Officer. If she thinks it advisable for them to return home, you will be contacted and asked to collect your child from the school. The school is reluctant to send children home unaccompanied or to an empty house. On no account should your child telephone you to arrange to go home because of illness without contacting the First Aid Officer first.

Minor Accidents: Where an X-Ray, stitching or other comparatively minor treatment at hospital is thought necessary, you will be asked to take your child to Accident and Emergency, using your own transport (parents’ consent is necessary for anaesthetics or other treatment). If transport is not available, you will have to make alternative arrangements.

Serious Accidents: Your child will be taken to hospital by ambulance and you will be contacted, either to accompany the child or to meet him/her at the Accident and Emergency Department.


What if I have a complaint?

We have a Complaints Procedures and Policy which is reviewed biennially – please refer to the document on Your Feedback page, thank you.


How does the School contact me?

InTouch is a communications product that uses contact details and data already held in the School database (SIMS) to send email and text messages to parents (text messages not currently used). Parents who have supplied the School with an email address will be kept informed with everything relating to their child’s school life via InTouch.

A key benefit of InTouch is the ability to keep parents in the loop in an instant by sending email messages relating to a pupil’s behaviour, achievement, special education needs, unexpected school closures, parents’ evening reminders, unexplained absences – the list is endless.

For enquiries, please contact Mrs S Street direct:

By email: streets@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk

By telephone: 01707 643441 Ext 233

It is important to keep the School informed of any changes to your email address please advise via admin@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk. It is also advisable to add the SIMS InTouch email address (9195407@Capita-InTouch.co.uk) to your Safe Senders list on your email provider. Note! You cannot reply direct to this email.

InTouch letters to individual groups, forms or trip groups are available on the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) once you have logged in (see link above) under the relevant department – for example, all letters relating to a History Trip to the Somme will be found under the Educational Visits area of the History Department. Please Note: Parents need to ask their children for their individual VLE Login Username and Password details to access (this is shared between parent and child).


What happens in the event of a school closure?

In the event of a possible school closure due to an emergency or snow we will notify you as soon as possible. This will be done via:

1. A message via the Herts County System – you would need to register to receive these messages. Please do so by clicking on the link/copying it into your browser and following the instructions: member.everbridge.net/index/892807736725489

Click on the “Sign Up” button and you will be led through the process. If you have a child at more than one school you can register for those schools as well as Dame Alice Owen’s.

You can have more than one sign up per family – your child minder/grandparents etc could choose to be alerted as well.

Once signed up you will be able to receive messages relating to the status of the school. You do not need to sign up to this system, but if you do you will automatically receive a message about the status of the school immediately.

In the event of bad weather these notifications will also appear on a noticeboard on www.hertfordshire.gov.uk. You do not need to sign up to access this and you can just visit the website in the usual way.

We will also seek to notify you by:

2. Notices on the school website

3. A message via InTouch

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Ms S Winborn, Premises Manager on 01707 622 861 or at winborns@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk

If the school needs to be closed during the day due to bad weather, arrangements will be made for the buses to come early to enable students to get home.


How should my child search for Lost Property?

For general items, your child first needs to go to the School Office. Students know to hand items in here if anything is left lying around. Items collected here accumulate during the term. At the end of term, the school displays un-named lost property items in the main foyer for students to claim. An InTouch communication will be sent to parents when this is due to take place. For any named items, the Office team contact parents directly, or return to students via their form tutor.

For P.E. items, your child first needs to go to the P.E. Department. Students know to hand items in here if found in any of the P.E. areas. These items are amalgamated with the other un-named lost property at the end of term.

Uncollected items of school uniform are given to the Second Hand Uniform volunteers, who subsequently sell items when the main Uniform suppliers are in school – these dates can be found on the school calendar. Other uncollected items, such as non-uniform clothing, watches, mobile phones and glasses are recycled.

If you are particularly concerned about any item your child has mislaid, you are invited to search the Lost Property in the School Office or walk around the school with your child to search for the item after school. If items are named, they are more likely to find their way back to their owner!


How do I find out information about bus and train travel to the School?

The Owen’s School Association has information about school travel including bus and train timetables on their website at: http://web.theosa.org.uk – click on the School Travel tab.


How do I find out about the catering system?

There are a separate list of Parents’ FAQs on our Catering section of the website to cover any questions you may have, including making payment and who to contact in case of queries.


Where do I find details about the school uniform?

You can go to our School Uniform page on this site, under the About Us button.


Is there a Second Hand Uniform Shop?

The OSA provide an excellent recycling service to the school, by selling GOOD QUALITY second hand uniform from the school foyer, at the same time as the main suppliers visit the school. You are very welcome to donate items by handing them into the school office, in a a suitable bag, labelled for the attention of Mrs Julia Clews, “OSA Nearly New”, throughout the year.

Mrs Clews ensures items are carefully displayed and prices are very reasonable. Payment can be made by cash or cheque (payable to the OSA). As a member of the OSA, she is a volunteer parent and the school are very grateful to her for providing this service for parents and students.

In addition, at the end of each academic year, uncollected items of lost property stored in the school office are given to Mrs Clews , who includes items of school uniform in the “Owen’s Nearly New” displays. Other uncollected items, such as watches, mobile phones and glasses are recyled by the school office.

If you would like to contact Mrs Clews at any time for further information about the “OSA Nearly New”, or would like to volunteer to help, she can be emailed via the school office at admin@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk.


What access is there for wheelchairs when visiting the school?

If you are visiting the Edward Guinness Hall (EGH), visitors are advised to park in the Lower School car park and take the ramp down to the EGH. There is one disabled parking space directly adjacent to the EGH on the left hand side, which can be used for dropping off and collecting immediately outside the EGH if required. If you are visiting the Arnold Lynch Building, a lift is available – the key must be collected from the Site Superintendent. Disabled facilities are available in both the EGH and the Arnold Lynch Building.


What time does school finish at the end of half terms and full terms?

At the end of a half term, school finishes at (see revised timetable for the day below) and at at the end of a full term (Periods 1-3 only). For the normal timetable you can go to About Us/School Day.

AM

 

8.50-9.05

 

Registration
9.10-10.05

 

Period 1
10.05-10.10

 

Movement Gap
10.10-11.00 Period 2
11.00-11.15

 

Break
11.20-12.10

 

Period 3
PM

 

12.10-12.50

 

Lunch
1.55-1.50

 

Period 4
1.50-1.55

 

Movement Gap
1.55-2.45

 

Period 5

Buses are sometimes scheduled to run at the earlier times and we try to let the children know the day before. It depends on different bus companies schedules and the availability of their drivers as to whether or not they can come at the earlier times.

You can contact the school office (admin@damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk) the day before the end of a half term/full term if you wish to confirm bus arrangements.


What are CATs?

Your child will take CATs (Cognitive Ability Tests) in the Summer Term of Year 6. They are standardised tests used by many schools, including Dame Alice Owen’s and DO NOT REQUIRE ANY REVISION. There are three sections to the tests that assess verbal, non verbal and quantitative ability.

CATS are useful as they help to statistically predict a student’s learning potential across a range of curriculum subjects. CATs can also indicate a student’s strengths and weaknesses and their preferred learning style. CATs results will be available towards the end of the Autumn Term.


When can I expect to receive reports for my child?

At Dame Alice Owen’s we report to you three times a year on your child’s progress.  The current reporting timetable is shown below:

Timetable of Reporting to Parents

 

Autumn Term

Spring Term

Summer Term

Year 7

CATs (Cognitive Ability Tests) Results
Written Report

Parents’ Evening

Written Report

Year 8  Written Report

 Parents’ Evening

Written Report

Year 9

Written Report

Parents’ Evening

Written Report (including Key Stage 3 results)

Year 10

GCSE Target Grades
Parents Evening

Written Report

Written Report

Year 11

Written Report
Parents’ Evening

Written Report

Year 12

A Level Target Grades
Written Report

Parents’ Evening

Written Report
Year 13

Written Report
Parents’ Evening

Written Report

 

What do students wear in the Sixth Form?

Please refer to Sixth Form for dress code details.


If my child is unable to collect exam results from school, can they be posted?

If you provide a first-class stamped, self addressed envelope, clearly marked with your child’s name as the addressee, results will be sent out at the end of the day they are available for collection from the school.  They are not given out over the phone, emailed or faxed.  A nominated person can collect them on your child’s behalf if they provide a note of authorisation.


How do I communicate with my child’s peripatetic music teacher?

You are provided with a written contract when your child commences instrumental lessons. This contains details about your child’s teacher, which includes their email address.  You may contact the teacher directly with any queries.


What do I do if I can’t contact my child’s peripatetic music teacher?

You can contact the school music department on 01707 643441 Ext 236 and ask for a message to be passed on to the music teacher.


What if my child has to cancel a lesson?

You need to give your child’s teacher at least 24 hours notice and suggest an alternative time; otherwise you will be charged for the lesson.


How do I know how my child is progressing?

The peripatetic music teacher provides a written report annually, which is sent home with your child’s academic report.  For Years 7-9 this is in the Summer term and for Years 10-13 this is in the Spring term.  If you require more regular updates, please contact your child’s teacher directly.


How does my child know when the lessons are scheduled?

Students may refer to the timetables that are available on the noticeboards in the Music Department. Students’ lesson times are available on the noticeboard at least a week in advance of the lesson taking place. Individual students’ music lessons rotate times each week to avoid students repeatedly missing the same academic class.


How does my child know when concert rehearsals are scheduled?

Rehearsal timetables are displayed on the Music Department noticeboard. Rehearsals on concert days are communicated to students in the weeks prior to the concert.