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Orchard School Bristol


Illness and attending school

Attendance at school is absolutely critical for your child. Too often, children stay at home when they have a minor illness, and then they miss out on learning and fall behind at school. 

Please read our 'Illness and attending school' leaflet to help you decide whether your child is well enough to attend school. 

Our approach to attendance

We have launched a new way of looking at attendance at Orchard School Bristol. You'll be surprised at how much learning a student misses when they are absent! 

We are using the following diagrams to motivate students to attend school at least 96% of the time:

It is essential that your child is in school every day by 8.30am for lesson 1.  

Should your child be absent for any reason please make sure that you contact us on 0117 3772021.  This is a 24 hour answer phone: call at any time, day or night.

Medical and Dental Appointments

Parents are encouraged to make medical and dental appointments out of school time whenever possible.  Students are expected to attend school before and after appointments if they are during the school day.  A doctor's note may be required for absences in excess of 5 days.  Copies of doctor's/specialist's letter will be kept on the school file.

The school nurse can be contacted via reception for any health concerns.


The cost to your child' education:

  • 5 minutes late every day = 3 days lost in a year
  • 10 minutes late every day = 6.5 days lost in a year
  • 15 minutes late every day = 10 days lost in a year
  • 20 minutes late every day = 13 days lost in a year
  • 30 minutes late every day  = 19 days lost in a year


Holidays during term time are not allowed and cannot be authorised.  Families may request leave in exceptional circumstances. Orchard School will only consider requests for absence in term time upon receipt of a completed request for absence form that must be returned to school 14 days before the start of the absence.
We will notify parents/carers of the decision by email. The form can be found by clicking here.

Penalty Notices

We have adopted a policy to make use of penalty notices to help raise our attendance levels.

The policy states: Penalty notices (£60 fine per child per parent) may be issued when:

  • A student has 8 or more unauthorised absences. 8 unauthorised absences = 4 days. 


We like to celebrate and reward those students with high attendance with special awards assemblies and prizes. House teams also arrange reward trips which may include: bowling, ice skating, laser-quest or a trip to a theme park.