Frequently asked questions

Please find below, a list of frequently asked questions which may help you when you are gathering information about our school. If there is anything else that you would find helpful to know, please email

  1. Curriculum; What are the core subjects and how many lessons per week do KS3 students get in these subjects? The core subjects are Maths, English, Science, IT and Ethics, Philosophy and Religion. In KS3 all of these subjects have four one hour lessons.
  2. What are the foundation subjects and how many lessons per week do KS3 students get in these subjects? Foundation subjects are all the other subjects we offer; Spanish, History, Geography, Business and Computer Science, Art craft and design, Technology (catering and nutrition, media technology, graphic design), PE, music, drama and EPR (at KS4- Ethics, Philosophy and Religion). Students in key stage three have one lesson of PE a week. The rest of the curriculum time is split between these foundation subjects. In Geography and History students have at least two lessons of each subject per week. For all the other subjects students have at least one hour per week of each subject – this does change from year to year and some subjects change the amount of time they get from year to year. For example in current year 7, History have three lessons as one lesson is designated as History/Literacy where students are practising their literacy skills more but set in a History context. In years 8 and 9 History is back to 2 lessons and Spanish have two lessons.
  3. How are students set in the core subjects? How does this affect the foundation subjects? KS3 students are set in school based on their Mathematical knowledge and their ability in English. In years 7 to 9, the Maths department have placed students into sets based on their mathematical ability.  The students then follow these same sets around for their Art, Computing, Music, Science and Technology lessons as well. In year 7 they are based on their year 6 grades (SATS grades). In year 8 and 9 they are based on their grades in our end of year tests the year before. The English department have also placed students in years 7-9 into sets based on their Literacy ability.  The students then follow these same sets around for their Drama, EPR, Geography, History and MFL lessons as well. In KS4 Maths sets are based on their maths ability.  English on their English skills and Science on their Scientific Knowledge.
  4. What are the options for KS4 students and how many lessons per week do students get? There are some compulsory elements to KS4. These are: English (5 lessons – to complete English Lang and Literature – 2 subjects), Maths (4 lessons), Science (4 Lessons), PE (1 lesson), Computing (1 lesson) and Preparation for Life (1 lesson). Option subjects take up the rest of the time and these options may change year on year, depending on student needs. Each option subject enjoys 3 timetabled hours per week. Options currently offered are: Art, Technology, Media, Spanish, Business Studies, History, Music, Geography, Food Technology, PE, Triple Science, Drama, Computing, EPR.
  5. What support do we offer for students that struggle in Maths and English? Numeracy and Literacy intervention is regularly assessed and critical students are taken out of lessons for extra support with numeracy and/or literacy, as and when needed.
  6. What is the SEN provision at THS? Every student is different and every student has different needs. All students with additional needs complete a pupil passport with a member of the Student Learning and Progress Team. This contains information they would like the class teacher to know so that their needs can be met in every lesson. Passports are available to be read by all staff members who work with the student. All students have a key worker and regular meetings take place. We have the Ewood centre which is part of our provision, here we demonstrate the exceptional care and provision put in place for SEN students. For further information regarding specific needs please see the SEN page of our website and the SEN local offer document in the policies folder, which details how we support all different needs in school.
  7. Rewards Trip: What is the criteria? The child has had no exclusions. They have 95% attendance or above (unless long term injury or illness). They have been in seclusion no more than 3 times. They have not been on journal report.
  8. How will my child get to and from school? There are a number of services to and from Todmorden High School.  Details of these can be found at the bottom of this list.
  9. We live in Bacup, will there be a place on the bus service from Bacup? There is now a public service, operated by Rosso, which runs from Bacup directly to Todmorden High School and back each day.  You do not need to book a place on this service, your child will just use it in the same way they would use any other bus service.  Most parents will need to pay for this service but please speak with your own local authority to find out if you are eligible for any support with this.

To find out more information about applying for a pass and the times of the buses that service Todmorden High School then please click here to go directly to the GenerationM site.

10. What can my child eat in school? Every day we serve food at brunch (10.55-11.20am) and lunch (1.20-2pm).  Brunch is available from the dining hall and students can buy toast, muffins, waffles, bacon and sausage sandwiches, toasties etc.  Lunch is served from 5 locations throughout the school including a serving area exclusively for year 7 in the year 7 common room.  Students can have a hot meal every day and there is always a vegetarian option.  We have a roast dinner day every Wednesday and chips on a Friday, In addition to this students can get sandwiches, pasta, paninis, chicken burgers, wraps, jacket potatoes, pizza – there is always something for everyone

11. How do I pay for school lunches? We have a system called ParentPay which means that parents can pay for school lunches online.  You will also be able to use it to see a log of what your child is spending their lunch money on!  If you do not want to pay online or you do not have access to the internet, we will arrange for you to have a card which you can use to top your child’s account up – the card can be used in any shop that has a PayPoint (these are located in lots of places around Todmorden including Walsden and Cornholme).  Your child will then use our biometric fingerprint system to buy food from their account.  If parents do not want us to scan their child’s fingerprint then they can have a pin code instead.

12. How much are school lunches? All lunches are £2.  Food at brunch ranges from 20p for a slice of toast to £1.30 for a bacon or sausage butty!

13. My child is entitled to free school meals – how do I apply for them at your school? We will send a full information pack before your child starts school with us and the application for free school meals will be in this.  We use a fingerprint system for children to pay for their food and children who have free school meals will pay in exactly the same way so they do not need to do anything different to all the other students to get their food.

14. I do not live in the catchment area but I want my child to come to this school.  Will they get a place? To secure a place – Todmorden High School needs to be put as your number 1 choice of school. Our admissions number is 180 and we do have a waiting list for our current year 7.  Lots of families who applied for places from outside the catchment area were successful in securing a place though so if you want your child to come here then make sure you put us down on your list.  Details of our admissions criteria can be found on the school website but priority is given in the following order:

  • Pupils who are in public care (Children ‘Looked After’) or pupils who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they became adopted or became subject to a child arrangements or special guardianship order immediately following having been looked after.
  • Pupils living within the defined priority area (catchment area) who have a brother or sister (including step/half brothers and sisters) permanently resident in the same household and currently attending the school (excluding pupils in their final year).
  • Other pupils living within the defined priority area (catchment area).
  • Those pupils who do not qualify under categories 1-3 who have a brother or sister (including step/half brothers and sisters) permanently resident in the same household and currently attending the school (excluding pupils in their final year).
  • Other children. 

When is the building work due to be completed and what will be in there?

For the new build: A 5 million pound building is under construction on the school site which is intended to replace the old ‘Riverside’ building and the porta-cabin English block. It will house 16 new classrooms accommodating the subjects that include English, geography, MFL and history. The old blocks will be demolished and replaced with sports and play areas as part of the process. The new block will be finished in the spring of 2018 and the old blocks removed by the end of the summer term.

For the roof: Contractors are replacing the old and at times leaky roof on the vast majority of the existing school site. This work is coordinated by the construction company ‘Bardsleys’ and the local council. The work will be complete in phases, the maths block is almost finished and the art and science area will be complete during the autumn term.

135 total views, 1 views today