School Life

Welcome to the Dowdales Community – here you will find information about your child’s life at school.

We keep in touch with you through a variety of different mediums to ensure effective communication for all.

All letters are emailed directly to priority 1 contacts – but can also be found here, we use text messages and our MyEd app.  We also place key information on the website.


How we’ll communicate with you

If you wish to get in touch with the school; please contact the office via phone or email and a member of staff will contact you and, if appropriate, make an appointment to see you. As all of our Senior Leadership Team, teach using the office as the first point of contact and then an appointment is the best way to ensure that we can see you as soon as possible.


You can also see absence information on this page should you need to get in touch with us. If you’re looking for school term dates to plan holidays you can find them on the  Term dates page.


To help you keep track of your child’s academic progression please use their subject exercise books and teacher comments, as well as their official feedback. One way we feedback is through Assessment Profile reports; these give your child’s commitment, in a star rating, and if your child is on track to achieve their target by the end of the year/ course. Another is via parents’ evenings (1 per year group/2 for Year 7) where you have the chance to speak to individual teachers face to face and to your child’s from teacher. Finally at the end of the year your child will achieve an ‘End of Year’ report which includes commitment, their grade for that year and a comment from their form teacher.


Below you will also find information about the Educational Visits that we are running. At Dowdales we believe that the offer of visits are a must for the enrichment of our students’ education.

School Day

8.30am arrival onwards

8.50am Form/Registration

9.15am Lesson 1

10.05am Lesson 2

10.55am Break

11.15am Lesson 3

12.05am Lesson 4

12.55pm Lunch

1.35pm Movement time

1.40pm Lesson 5/Registration

2.30pm Lesson 6

3.20pm KS3 Dismissed

3.25pm KS4 Dismissed


29.06.23 Strike Action – click here


29.06.23 Final Week Activities – click here

Library Newsletter

Autumn Newsletter – click here

Educational Visits & Activities in the year

  • Sporting fixtures are continual throughout the year and your child will communicate these directly with you via letters from school
  • Swimming Relays for the Northwest, October 2023
  • Two Ski Trips in Aosta Valley, in Italy, for Year 10 and Year 11, January and March 2024
  • Furness Gymnastics Key Steps Competition, March 2024
  • Year 7 Outdoor activity trip planned to Tower Wood in Windermere, April 2024
  • Coniston 2 Barrow walk, May 2024
  • Netball Tournaments
  • A joint trip for Maths and Languages to Paris, France, in preparation for GCSEs, September 2023
  • German School visit to Dowdales – taking students to Dove Cottage, Lancaster and The Midland Hotel, Grizedale Forest, March 2024
  • Christmas Markets and partner school visit to Munich, December
  • Year 9 and 10 trip to Barcelona and Costa Brava, in Spain, April 2024 
  • Year 8 trip to the Opal Coast, in France, June 2024
  • Year 8 trip to Cologne, in Germany, June 2024
  • Macbeth RSC – Stratford Upon Avon, September 2023
  • Barrow Music Conference, Forum 28, October 2023
  • The Woman in Black – Blackpool, November 2023
  • A Midsummer Nights Dream RSC – Stratford Upon Avon, February 2024
  • Romeo & Juilet First Encounters – Stratford Upon Avon, March 2024
  • Grasmere – Geography Field Trip, June 2024

For 2023-2024 we have a number of events and trips planned across our different subjects with further details being confirmed as we progress through the year. 

  • Numerous RSC and other performances locally further afield at Stratford Upon Avon
  • Trips for Languages and Maths to France, Germany and Spain
  • Two Aosta Valley, Italy, ski trips
  • Sporting events and fixtures frequently through the year
  • Various trips to Jobs & Skills fairs and in school Careers Events  including visitors from further education, such as Oxford University, and local employers including Bae.
  • Duke of Edinburgh Trip, June 2024

You can view the school Calendar for the current week below.

  • Robotics Challenge Day at Lancaster University– Lego league students
  • Top of the Form Competition at Forum 28, where local schools compete to showcase their STEM talents with academic and practical challenges
  • UKMT Maths Challenges in January and April 2024

Year 11 have the Prom to look forward to on the Thursday 4th July 2024 when all the exams are over. 


Students will be able to collect their exam results on Thursday August 22nd 2024.

Communicating with us

The easiest way to get in touch with us is via the MyEd app (details below) but you can also text, email or call us.


If your child will be absent from school it is a legal requirement for you to inform the school. 

Please message us via the MyEd app or text our absence number before 9.30am.

Absence text: 07984 440335

Call: 01229 469807 or 01229 469800 

Email: Click here

Application for Absence

It is a legal requirement for parents/carers to obtain the permission of the Headteacher before removing their child from school in order to take a holiday during term time.  Parents/carers may be issued with a Penalty Notice if they do so without prior arrangement with the Headteacher. Parents/carers wishing to apply for their child to be granted leave from school should complete the Application for Absence from School form.

Lockers are available in the Main School, Ciao and Muse and are for hire direct from Prefect Lockers by visiting 

The cost per school year is £18.00 (£6.00 per term). Payment can be made by Paypal, debit or credit card, you can select the location of your choice and the position of the locker and on receipt of payment the code for the combination lock will be sent to you. The agreement for hire is between yourself and Prefect Lockers and Dowdales School has no part in this; if your child forgets their locker code then you can obtain a reminder from Prefect Lockers.

Please note that no student will be excluded from renting a locker, and if you have difficulty funding this, please contact the school in confidence to discuss further.

MyEd is the free parent App that provides you with a multitude of communication and information features to stay in touch with what is going on at school.


The App provides you with direct access to your child’s attendance, timetable, absence records, achievements and much, much more. You can also see that we update and change the information in the app as the school year moves along.


Go to to see a short video about the app.


Full information including a guide on how to download the App is included in the booklet below.



We operate a Cashless Catering system which means that students do not need to carry cash throughout the day. This system provides students with a more efficient, faster and ultimately better quality of service.

The Cashless Catering system incorporates the latest technology using Biometrics. Any amount of money can be paid into a student’s account and any money spent on food and drink will be deducted on a daily basis. A daily ‘spend limit’ of £5 will be programmed into the system. This can be increased or decreased for an individual student by making a written request to Finance – to email click here


What is Biometric?

Biometric is simply a method of identifying an individual person. We will be using an algorithm based scan, which reads between 50 and 130 points on the finger/thumb. It is not a fingerprint in any way, shape or form and is of use only in the cashless system.


How does the Biometric System work?

The information of a student or staff member, who has been biometrically registered, is stored on a secure Biometric Controller within the school, which only our provider, Nationwide Retail Systems Ltd, can access. Once an account is credited the student or staff member places their finger/thumb on the EPOS Terminal, which looks up their account details and allows them to purchase items using only this method of identification.


How does my child register on the Biometric System?

Your child will be registered on the system as part of their induction process. At this time they will be required to place their finger/thumb on a Biometric Sensor twice to obtain a matching template, this only take a few seconds.. If you have chosen to ‘Opt Out’ of this procedure, your child will be presented with a 4 digit PIN Code.


What methods of payment can be used to credit an account?

Any amount can be credited to an account by way of any of the following:


Online Payments

You can make secure online payments via ParentPay®. 

ParentPay® is the school online payment system that lets you make secure online payments by credit and debit card. It’s used to make cashless payments in schools for dinner money and activities like trips, clubs and music lessons.

To visit the ParentPay® website click here

Our Finance Department will issue all parents and carers with log in details. For more information or to speak to our Finance Department on 01229 469816.


Cash at the Revaluations Units

Revaluation units are sited at different locations within the school. These can be used to top up accounts by the student/member of staff placing their finger/thumb on the sensor or by entering their 4 digit PIN Code followed by inserting the accepted tender below:
£20, £10, £5 notes.  £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p coins  (Please note – copper coins are not accepted)


Cheque payments can be accepted via the Cashless Catering System. Cheques should be made out to Dowdales School and have written on the back of the cheque Student Name & Form Number. All cheques must be handed to the school office and must be received by 9.00 am prior to that day’s commencement of service. Cheques received after this time will not be credited to the relevant account until the following day.


Can I change the daily ‘Spend Limit’?

Yes – The daily ‘Spend Limit’ has a default of £5 but this may be changed by written request to Finance – to email click here 


How do ‘free meal’ entitlements work?

The Cashless Catering System will, on a daily basis, automatically allocate the appropriate accounts with the free meal amounts. Students with Free School Meal Entitlements remain anonymous at all times as all account types are accessed in the exact same manner regardless as to whether paid for or not. NB. Any monies not spent from the daily free meal allocation will not be carried over to the next day.


Can anyone else use my child’s account?

No – Due to the extensive security on Biometric templates no-one will be able to access your child’s account. If your child is using a 4 digit pin code and they suspect this has been misused they must contact Finance – to email click here


My child has an allergy, how will this be monitored?

All allergy records registered with the school will be entered on to the Cashless System. When students attempt to purchase an item, which has ingredients that they are allergic to, the system will alert the operator and prevent them from selling the chosen item.


Can I dictate my child’s dietary requirements?

The system will allow you to register any items that your child is not allowed due to dietary needs or religious beliefs. Any such items must be confirmed in writing by the parent/guardian to Finance – to email click here


Can I request a printed report?

Yes – The Cashless Catering System allows numerous reporting facilities, which includes Dietary Habits. These may be requested by contacting the Finance Administrator, Finance Office,  Dowdales School, Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria LA15 8AH.

If you require any further information please contact the school on 01229 469800.

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Dowdales School will be closed tomorrow Monday 4th December