We are keen to ensure that the transition from primary to secondary school is both smooth and exciting for pupils.
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We operate a very successful liaison system working closely with partner primary schools and our families.
When students join us in Year 7 they are assigned a Home School Leader. This is a Senior member of staff who will manage the year group ensuring our behavior expectations are met and that students make good progress. They will be allocated into a form group and a form tutor will be assigned. This member of staff will be their first point of call for most things and will have daily contact with them during form time.
Our school system is organized in a way that these 2 key members of staff remain the same throughout their 5 years with us. This allows them to gain a true understanding of each child and develop relationships with their families that are so key to their role.
Each year group also has an appointed Pastoral Support Assistant. This is a specialized member of staff in year 7 to support with the transition process. When students enter into year 8 they are appointed a new Pastoral Support Assistant who also remains with them until they reach year 11.
Pastoral Support Assistant
The Pastoral Support Assistant for Year 7 is Ms Tracey Auchterlonie. Ms Aucherloine is an experienced member of staff that remains in the Year 7 team each year. With specific responsibility for Transition she works closely with our feeder primary schools to ensure that this is as smooth as possible. With over 5 years experience of this with us at Saddleworth, she knows the schools and staff very well.
We complete visits to all our Partner Primaries to talk with Year 6 teachers about the children we are due to receive and any individual needs that they may have.
This information is used to place you son/ daughter in one of ten mixed-ability form tutor-groups from New Intake Day onwards. We always seek to ensure that you son/daughter is placed with at least one familiar face.
We also recognise the importance of making transition as smooth as possible and in wanting to work in partnership with you, allow you the opportunity for preferences to be made. Where we can accommodate your request, we shall do so, but I am sure that you would understand that the final decision rests with school.
Classroom support programme
In the build up to Secondary school Ms Auchterlonie makes a series of visits to our partner primaries to work with the children. She carries out a 6 week programme with them talking through the common worries they have about Secondary school. She is supported at various points with our Peer Mentors, allowing them to meet those students in school assigned to support them.
We run a very successful Peer Mentor programme in school. Recognised Nationally we have received Regional Awards for our work. All Peer Mentors receive Anti bullying training and provide a programme of support to our younger students.
Each year 7 form has a number of Peer Mentors assigned to their form who visit twice a week.
We are hoping for 2019 to build in a series of transition events that we introduced in 2017. These were very popular and very well received. With over 10 things offered there really was something for everyone. A calendar of events will be scheduled and for Summer term leading up to the transition days and shared as part of your welcome pack. Our new intake will be able to sign up to these, get a flavour of secondary and meet some new friends.
For students where the staff/ parents are concerned about the transition to secondary school we offer additional visits in advance of our New Intake day to familiarise themselves with the school, the staff and team that they will be working with
New Intake Day
The students are invited to spend the day with us. Your child will have the chance to meet others in their form group and take part in a variety of different lessons.
The day is supported by out prefect team and peer mentors ensuring that they feel cared for and supported.
New Intake Evening
As new parents you are invited to attend a meeting to support you . This is usually on the same evening as the New Intake Day and you will get a chance to see what they have been up to during the day. This is an ideal opportunity to receive more information, meet the year team and have any questions answered.
Year 7 Handbook
We appreciate it is hard to take on board so much information and also for us to cover this. To help support the transition to secondary we have created a Year 7 Parent Handbook covering all aspects of school.
First 2 Weeks
The year 7 students have an adjusted timetable for the 2 weeks. This allows them to go to lunch early, being served first whilst they get used to the systems. They are also supported in form by the Peer Mentors who help them find their way around.
Settling in Evening
We know how important it is to get reassurance that they have settled well or have a chance to request further support. To allow this we have a Setting in evening in September. You are given the opportunity to meet your their childs form tutor to discuss how they have settled. A series of workshops are also offered on this evening to support you in the schools technology systems to ensure you feel informed.
We report home at the end of the first term, sharing with you their levels of attainment, effort, attendance, credits and debits. Of course being new, it comes with a support evening to understand the data and expected progress in secondary schools.