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What do other people's secondary schools do to prepare the new children?

(14 Posts)
emsiewill Fri 22-Aug-08 20:28:46

Not sure if that title makes sense, but have been so impressed with the preparation my dd1 has had for her new school & I wondered what other schools do.

Dds 'bridge' (as they call it) started in yr 5 - an open evening for kids and parents to have a look round the school and get a feel for what it's like.

During yr 6, dd visited the school 4 times - a Christmas concert, an Easter egg hunt, a sports day and another open evening. The head of lower school and head of yr 7 also visited their school 3 times to talk to the yr 6s and the headteacher held an open evening at the primary school as well.

Next week, dd will be staying in the school from Wed - Fri. They do sports, go to the cinema and get a chance to get used to the layout and feel of the school in a relaxed atmosphere. The 6th form prefects are also there to help, as well as the yr 7 teachers.

The first week of term is spent at an activity centre in N Wales, again with 6th formers and form teachers, so by the time they actually start school, there isn't such a pronounced divide between the children from the different feeder schools, they have formed good relationships with the 6th formers, and got to know their teachers.

I have been soooo impressed with this whole programme, and haven't yet heard of any other secondary school that does anything like this, but would be interested to hear whether they exist...

emsiewill Fri 22-Aug-08 21:22:29

has noone got anything to add to this?

Or do things just move so fast around here nowadays?

cheerycherry Fri 22-Aug-08 21:26:17

Sorry but can't think about Sept yet, not wanting hols to end!

SqueakyPop Fri 22-Aug-08 21:29:42

We have an assessment day in January of Y6, where prospective pupils come in for academic testing, but it is also 'fun' with PE and drama activities.

The next time they come to school is for a parents' evening in June. As the parents are given loads of practical information, the girls do team buiiding activities.

Two of our senior teachers visit feeder schools and have individual chats with the girls.

In September, they come in for a morning the day before school starts. They have an assembly, and then off to form tutors for their induction - giving out planners, going over the rules, timetables, how to work the lockers, tour of school, and getting their network logon.

On the first day of school, they are in form time the same as everyone else, then assembly, then off to normal lessons.

christywhisty Fri 22-Aug-08 23:22:55

Last year in July before DS started he had an evening at school where he was introduced to Form tutor and parents got a talk from Head Master and Lower school Head. Next day they spent the day at the school doing cookery, pe and various other things, then the day after they sat CAT test. There was also a visit to their primary from one of the induction team. I think this year 6 also had an option of a French Day.

Then the Friday after they started they had a team building day building rafts, archery etc which was an interhouse competition.

DS has been made a housecaptain of lower school for Year 8. Although he isn't official until September, he had to go in for the evening the yr6's met their tutor and spent all the next day with them as well.

emsiewill Sat 23-Aug-08 07:37:59

Well, it sounds like there are some schools trying to make the transition as painless as possible. Still think dd's is the best I've heard yet, though...

christywhisty Sat 23-Aug-08 17:36:36

I think emsiewill it also depends on the connection with the schools or not.

DS's school is not local to us, it is 5 miles away, but from what I can gather they have science days for the local primary schools and have very close links.

DD is just going into Year 6 and has already been to one of the local schools twice for DT and music days, also they have a joint music production in September. She was also there for a g&t summer school. She won't be going there as I really like DS's school and she can get in on the sibling rule.

Earlybird Sat 23-Aug-08 17:45:25

squeakypop and christywhisty (and anyone else) - interested to hear about the 'team building' activities - can you elaborate on what they did?

christywhisty Sat 23-Aug-08 18:33:29

DS was taken to the local scout camp, where they did an inter house competition for year7 (each house is made up of 1 form from each year). DS is away so I can't ask him at the moment,but I am sure there was a raft building/race competion and archery.

Madlentileater Sat 23-Aug-08 18:43:49

DS has just finished Y7, and they had a similar programme, altho only 1 day away doing outdoor ed, sadly. But whole thing worked very well, he settled in brilliantly and is very happy....well as happy as he's ever likely to be at school. High schools have to make more of an effort nowadays because there is such a worrying fall off in acheivement, esp for boys after KS2.

Milliways Sat 23-Aug-08 19:15:45

DS goes to a Grammar where loads of boys are the only from from their primary school.

They have the Usual Open days, but the Entrance Exam day is very well run. DS quite enjoyed the overall experience. Once given a place, you have an evening where the parents listen to the Head etc, and the kids are taken by their form tutor to see their classroom & get to know their clasmates.

They then have a whole day in July - which is packed full of fun lessons.

They start in September a day before the rest of the school - so time to find their way before getting crushed in the crowd.

They spend the whole year doing lessons in their tutor (house) group, and only mix with others for PE, so the form becomes really close. At the end of Yr7 they go an a week away where all houses are muddled up (no say in who you share with) so they get to know the other boys before the greater integration of Yr 8.

DD goes to a mixed comp, and she went to a week of Summer school just before term started, which was a great confidence booster. (Also had the usual day visits).

roisin Sat 23-Aug-08 22:04:59

ds1's school have fairly close links with their feeder primaries, and do various things over the course of the junior years.

But ds1 is not in catchment area, so he hasn't had this link. He has had two days in school with taster lessons and sport.

There was a summer school/activity thing anyone could go to for 1 week, not just for prostpective yr7s, but many of his friends did. But we were already busy.

ds1 is cool and calm about starting, so I'm sure he'll soon find his feet and be OK.

ecoworrier Mon 25-Aug-08 13:19:03

Our school has a great transition system. Children visit with their whole class in Year 5, spending a whole school day there.

Then, over the course of Years 5-6, they will probably visit the school (and the other main secondary school) up to a dozen times for sports events, themed days in various subjects (science day for example) and to watch dance, drama and music productions.

There is an open day in Year 5 and an open evening at the start of Year 6, in preparation for applications to be in.

The head of year and deputy head also visit all the feeder primary schools to talk about the school and settling in, and to chat to primary school teachers to see if there is anything particular they need to know.

Then all the new Year 7s actually start their new school in the last week of term in July. The first day is new Year 7s and prefects only, with loads of ice-breaker activities, getting to know you stuff in tutor groups, tours of the school and a first assembly. Days 2-5 are proper timetabled days, with the rest of the school having come back and moved up a year.

So my son has already 'started' his secondary school. He knows his tutor and has met all the others in his tutor group. He has also had lessons with nearly all of his subject teachers, the couple of exceptions being those joining the school in September.

When term begins in September, he will have a few days at school, then a 2-day camp with his year group for lots of outdoor activities and team-building stuff.

It is a brilliant system.

Blandmum Mon 25-Aug-08 13:23:27

We have kids in for taster days in year 5

If they get a place with us they have a day with us at the end of the summer term before them come up with 'Buddies' from their own Primary school (wherever possible)

They have a disco with the current year 7 when they are stil in year 6.

We have a new kids open evening with them and their parents towards the end of the summer term, where they meet the other kids in the class and their new form tutor, we have a fashion show of the uniform and sports kit etc.

They come in a day before the rest of the school and it runs as an induction day where they go round all the main depts/ get passwords for ICT etc. They have the year 7 buddies and sixth form buddies.

We phone home after 2 weeks to see how they are settling in

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