And, for schools where kids might come from a distance, the " low down on the street" about modes of transport used.
For instance we would not have chosen the school they are at, of we had not been aware of a bus route that stops on the " other side" of the school grounds that wasn't even listed in the info given. However now the bigger/braver kids that travel to our area get a short hop on the bus then a short hop on the train, cutting travel time right down!
After school activities are so hard to predict. Often they are fluid, depending on staff and 6th form interest to run. THey don't start for some weeks either. Best plan our school has is that clubs of interest to year 7 are mostly at lunch time. It's only when they get to " play nicely with the big kids" eg higher tier music or sport that it has to be after school early on.
I suspect clubs are harder for schools to know in advance, as I guess they depend on what teachers are willing to run in their lunchbreaks / prep time! (DD has so far found out about orchestra/choir and rugby club, but since she isn't musical & doesn't like rugby that doesn't help much )
Our biggest issue has mainly been organising what to do after school as DH & I both work full time and what to do if she went to an after school activity. She couldn't have got the bus home as there's only one at 3pm. So we didn't know if there was a club she wanted to go to and if we needed to arrange something else, and/or whether the library would be open for her to do homework in until one of us could pick her up.
But then knowing hasn't helped either as the library closes at 4pm so she can't go to any clubs anyway, unless another mum can pick her up.
DD got really excellent information, don't think there is much that could have been added.
She got a booklet for new pupils which had pretty much all the info you've listed plus more (eg how the rules/consequences system works, merits, a map of the school, who to approach about different problems). We also got a booklet for new parents called 'How to Help your Child in Secondary' or something like that with 2 pages for each subject explaining the topics they'd cover in year 7, equipment required (also in dd's booklet), what support would be useful (nothing scary, things like talking about current affairs).
The only thing I think would have been good to add is information on how they find out when clubs happen - she has yet to figure this out though I suspect possibly because they haven't started yet (she could of course ask her form tutor but is shy of doing so).
DD has just started y7 and there was a woeful lack of information from the school. We went to an info evening, but apart from buying the new uniform and meeting the head of Y7, we didn't actually get any practical info.
I was going to put together a suggested list for the school for the new intake and wondered if you could help please?
I would have liked to know:
Timetable of school day (start time, end time) Bus timetable/ routes After school activities How the canteen system works and how to put money on the account What to bring on the first day List of equipment required (compass, protractor etc) Library opening times