Frequently Asked Questions If you’re new to Penrice Academy, you are bound to have a lot of questions. There’s no group of people better suited to answer your questions about subjects, daily routine and homework than our students. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions, put together by our Academy Council. How much homework do you get at Penrice? Homework depends on your subject and your year in the school, but in Year 7 you only get Maths and English homework to begin with. Homework in other subjects is then staggered to help you get used to the workload. How do new students find their way around the school? Like any new school, it takes a few days to find your way around. However, there are older students and teachers everywhere who are more than happy to help – you just need to ask. You can also go to Reception at the front of the school. Year 7s are assigned prefects for the first half of the year who are available for help and advice. See a map of the school here. “It took me about two weeks to feel at ease and at home at Penrice and get used to the routine – I love it!” (Sarah, Year 7 Academy Council) Why do we only have three lessons, and how long are they? There are only three lessons a day at Penrice Academy and each one is 100 minutes long. This allows for a break between each lesson – Break 1 and Break 2 – for students to have a drink and something to eat. This helps with concentration in each lesson. Penrice is quite a big school, so this structure also limits congestion in the corridors. Students only need to remember to bring three lots of exercise books each day, homework is better spread out across the week and school bags are lighter. Read about our School Day. How many lessons of each subject do we have? Timetables are done over two weeks – Week A and Week B – and the number of lessons you have in each subject depends on your year and the Options you have chosen. Generally, over two weeks, you will have 5 English, 4 Maths, 4 Science, 3 Physical Education, 2 Art and Design, 2 Languages, 2 Geography, 2 History, 2 Religious Studies lessons and 1 Product Design, 1 Catering, 1 Performing Arts, 1 Computer Science and 1 Music lesson. What subjects can we study and how do you work out sets? Data from your Primary School is used to work out which set would be best for you in what subject. This is the case for most subjects except Art, Drama, Music, Catering and Product Design, which are mixed ability. Read about the Curriculum. What Options do we have to consider in our first years? Year 7 is all about getting used to school life and enjoying and exploring all of your subjects, without thinking too much beyond that. Year 8 is the time to choose your options – and you will be given advice and information long in advance, to help make the right choices for your future. Read more about Year 8 Options. What do the new grades mean? At Penrice Academy you are given a numerical subject grade, ranging from 1-9. These grades have no correlation to the old system, where you might get A, B or C, however you can think of a ‘number 9’ as a top performance grade, much like A*. These grades begin in Year 7 and help make up your five year journey at Penrice. How do iPads come into lessons and are they useful? Penrice Academy is an Apple Regional Training Centre, meaning there are dedicated teachers at the school who know how to get the best out of an iPad when it comes to teaching and learning. Students at Penrice are given the opportunity to use iPads in their lessons, and each subject uses them differently. For example, some subjects might use them for reading on, for research purposes or as an alternative to printed hand outs, where others – such as PE and Drama – can use them for videoing or taking pictures. Read about our iPad Genius program. What is the canteen food like and how do I pay? You can see the menu here and payment is made through the Parentpay system. You can also top up by using your thumb print at the till. What clubs are there available for me to join? We offer a fantastic Extra Curricular program ranging from surfing, art and science to photography, travel and creative writing that complements our curriculum perfectly. Read about our Extra Curricular Clubs. Where can I go if I stay late after school? If you are at the school after 3pm, you must either be in The Core, which is open until 4pm, or be part of a supervised club. Read about The Core. How can my parents help out? Outside of the school day, parents and guardians are an important part of a student’s school life. Support and guidance when it comes to preparing books for the day, helping with homework, discussing progress reports and keeping in contact with the school when it comes to queries and concerns all help with the school experience.