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Kooth are running virtual parent support sessions on Monday 22 April at 1pm and again on Thursday 25 April at 6pm and each will last for 45 minutes. You can sign up using the link below.


Our Year 9 and 10 dancers took part in a workshop with Portia Oti of Zoonation Dance Company. They learnt professional repertoire from Kate Prince’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ and developed it with their own transitions. Everyone worked hard but had a great time!#cdscapa


Pupils visited Canterbury Cathedral and attended a workshop in the archives followed by a guided tour of the Cathedral. Pupils in our photograph are looking at the St Lawrence parish records from the 1700s.#cdshistory



Welcome to our weekly Wellbeing message!This week we are looking at how setting goals can support wellbeing.#cdswellbeing




CDS is looking to appoint an Assistant Head of Year (term time only plus 2 staff development days). If you, or someone you know, have the knowledge and skills to fulfil this role, please follow the link below to the full advertisement.


The final Hospitality skills workshop in T4 focused on high level fish skills under the guidance of our very own fish expert, and Leith's trained chef, Ms Grossmith. Pupils filleted, skinned and pan fried flat fish and then dressed it with some beurre noisette.


Our Pupil Voice team went to Broadstairs and St Peter’s Town Council to observe their Environment Committee meeting. It was a great chance for the Team to see local democracy in action and have the chance to learn more about the work of committees within the Town Council.


On Sunday the clocks go forward! As the weather becomes a little warmer, this gives us a pleasant feeling that summer isn’t too far away. There are lots of ways the extra daylight will improve our wellbeing and encourage that feel good chemical in our brain.


Pupils took 2 days off timetable for Cultural Capital. They took part in an exciting variety of activities from the wizarding world of Harry Potter, to chocolate piping, trips to Rochester and Chatham Dockyards, debate skills, West Side Story projects and dance masterclasses!



Y10 Mathematicians went to Canterbury Academy to take part in a problem solving day. There were 16 teams competing and our team did very well coming 4th, and 5th overall, coming 2nd in the most challenging round, and going on to win the best teamwork prize.#cdsy10



Y7 pupils were rewarded for their excellent attainment, attendance and behaviour this week and the top 100 were taken to the newly refurbished Elev8 in Westwood Cross. Pupils had a fantastic time at this energised venue. Well done to all who were eligible for the trip!





Y11 HSC pupils enjoyed a trip to the Canterbury Christ Church University Health and Social Care Simulation Suite. They were thought provoked and inspired by many interesting and engaging activities linked to higher education and future careers in the NHS and Social Care.


Y9 HSC pupils enjoyed workshops provided by the Canterbury Christ Church University Health and Social Care Outreach and Engagement Team. They took part in lots of activities. A very interesting and engaging session, enjoyed by all who took part.#cdsy9


is a crusade to drive change showing that football can, and should, be played by girls. You may have heard about it in the news a few days ago. This year’s event coincided with International Women’s Day, and we took Year 10 pupils to the event hosted at Ramsgate FC


Y8 pupils took part in a dodgeball tournament in Folkestone playing different schools from all over Kent.Pupils worked extremely hard and played brilliantly, showing great teamwork and commitment. CDS played 9 games and finished the tournament undefeated! Well done!


CMK Connect Programme is an opportunity for you to get active, take time for self-care, make new connections, learn new skills, develop positive habits, build confidence, and boost your overall wellbeing.More information can be found at their website


Any Year 9 girls interested in Engineering? This Summer School opportunity is fantastic!Sign yourself up!

Student Attendance

At The Charles Dickens School, we believe that consistent attendance plays a vital role in fostering academic success, social development, and a sense of belonging. When pupils attend school regularly, they benefit from continuous learning, active participation in class discussions, and the opportunity to build positive relationships with their peers and teachers.

Good attendance and punctuality are important for achieving success at school and are also important life skills.

Absence from school disrupts learning and hinders progress. Ensuring regular attendance at school is a legal responsibility for parents/carers.

If pupils are not in school a justifiable reason must be provided, parents/carers should contact the attendance team by 8.40am or as soon as possible thereafter via telephone or email.

School absence line: 01843 608692

School absence email:

Head of Year:

Yr7      L J Jones

Yr8      K Pluckrose

Yr 9     D Gonzalez-Bello

Yr 10    R Smith

Yr11    L Taylor

Attendance leaflet

Attendance during
one school year
Equal this number of
days absent

Which is approximately
this many week absent 

Which means this number of lessons missed
95% 9 days      2 weeks 50 Lessons
90% 19 days     4 weeks 100 Lessons
85% 29 days     6 weeks 150 Lessons
80% 38 days     8 weeks 200 Lessons

If a student’s attendance falls below 90% they are classified by the Government as being a Persistent Absentee (PA) and are at a much greater chance of failing in their GCSE subjects and therefore damaging their life chances.


Good punctuality is an excellent life-skill, and we expect all our students to arrive in school before 8:40am. For any student who arrives after 8:40am, we operate a ‘late gate’ through reception and pupils will receive a detention on third late to school. If a pupil arrives after 8:55am they will receive a detention the same day.

We thank you for your continued support in ensuring your child attends school on time every day, so they can achieve their full potential. Arriving just 5 minutes late every day is the equivalent to missing 3 days of education over the whole year. 10 minutes late every day will mean that a child loses over 30 hours of learning a year.

Supporting your child – Parents/carers

The following advice and support has been collated from Government advice and educational bodies around the support required to improve attendance.

  • Talk to your child about the importance of attending every class to support their learning. 
  • Help your child maintain daily routines; write out a morning and evening routine to follow, including wake up time, leaving the house, completing homework and a bedtime.
  • Having a routine for getting up, getting dressed, having breakfast and leaving the house can create a sense of confidence and reduce stress.
  • Prepare the night before by checking their timetable, packing bags and laying out clothes.
  • Ask about their school day; learn which classes are engaging your child’s interests.
  • Discuss ways to increase interest in classes your child does not find engaging.
  • Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs.
  • Discuss feelings of pressure from other children or feeling alone at school which can lead to skipping or missing school.
  • If your child is feeling unsafe, losing interest or missing school, speak to their Head of Year.
  • Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while pupils without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Schedule dental and medical appointments outside of the school hours.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick; medical evidence will be requested.
  • Communicate with the school - talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behaviour. These could be tied to something going on at school.  
  • Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child be successful during GCSE exams and throughout their future careers.

Attendance Rewards

Each pupil starts with 5 Reward Points each day with the expectation that they will attend school, work hard, be well behaved and respectful, and make the right decisions throughout the day. 

  Year Group Reward

At the end of each term, Christmas, Easter and Summer, there is a local/in-school reward offered to pupils in each year group who satisfy the following criteria:

97.5% attendance and Top 30 pupils in the year group on points.

At the end of the academic year there are three types of reward trips offered. An Elite trip, local trip and in-house reward. These will be based on a pupil’s attendance and accumulation of points (Both Rewards and Behaviour Points). These are offered to pupils who satisfy the following criteria:


Elite Trip/ reward – 97.5% Attendance + Top 60 pupils on overall Points

Local Trip/ reward – 95% Attendance + Next 60 pupils on overall Points

In-House reward – 95% Attendance + Next 30 pupils on overall Points

The Head of Year will run a reward assembly at the end of every term; this must include behaviour, attendance and progress.

The Head of Year will also promote the reward system and provide score updates through the weekly CDS mail and assembly.


Whole School Rewards/Attendance Rewards

At the end of the academic year there are a number of rewards available to pupils based upon the following criteria:

Highest Points pupil in the School - £100 Amazon Voucher.

Whole School Prize Draw: 1st Prize (£100). To be eligible a pupil must have a 100% attendance and a minimum of 925 points

Year group Prize Draw: 2nd Prize (£50) and 3rd Prize (£25) per year group. To be eligible a pupil must have a 97.5% attendance and a minimum of 925 points.

In addition to the above, excellent attendance (100%) will also be recognised three times each year at the end of term with an Attendance Letter of Congratulation from the Headteacher and an Attendance Certificate to be presented in assembly.  The Head of Year is responsible for the organisation of the letters and certificates. Data will be provided by the Attendance Managers.

Reward activities will be run for pupils that maintain excellent attendance throughout the school year. These activities will be set up at the end of term 1, 3 and 5 for each year group. To be eligible for these activities pupils must have 100% attendance or be in the top 10% of the year group for attendance. Pupils with incidents that do not meet expected levels of behaviour during the year may not be invited despite being in the top 10% in terms of attendance.

Supporting your child – School

The school utilises many areas of support. Additional support can be requested and made to appropriate support services within the school, including the school counsellor, SEND support and pastoral support. We also work alongside a range of external services.

The support that can be applied for includes:

ACS Time out card to access safe space

School counselling

Dove Confident Me sessions

School Nursing Referral

Salus mentoring


Kooth Counselling

Winston’s wish bereavement

Resilience workshop

Self-harm support (1-1 or small group)

Domestic abuse support (1-1)

Social skills (small group)


Holding on Letting Go (bereavement)

ABSA Support

Quarterdeck – Youth Clubs

Children and Young Peoples Mental Health Service (CYPMHS)

Single Point of Access

Early help referral

Emotional wellbeing team

TISS referral

Helpful links

Requesting absences

Authorisation of absences are at the discretion of the Headteacher.

All absences, including for holidays, must be requested as far in advance as possible. If you think your child needs to be taken out of school, you should discuss the reasons with the attendance team or the Head of Year as soon as possible.

If the Headteacher is satisfied with the evidence and the notice period, they will authorise the absence.

The school cannot be expected to authorise an absence for a holiday during term time.

Taking holidays during term time means that pupils miss important school time – both educationally and for other school activities. It will be difficult for pupils to catch up on work when they return to school. Only in exceptional

circumstances may a holiday be authorised during term time – this will be decided by the Headteacher.

Exceptional circumstances do not involve cheaper costs, family availability or weather conditions.

KCC can issues a fine if your child is on holiday during term time without permission from the Headteacher.



Page Downloads  
Attendance Policy Download
Attendance leaflet for parents 2023 Download
Leave of Absence Form Download
CDS Attendance AAHT Letter September 2023 Download

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