Moving from primary school to secondary school
To make the transition from primary school to secondary school as easy as possible, we work closely with Heads of primary schools and Year 6 class teachers to try to place students into classes with at least one child they already know, to help them settle in quickly and feel secure.
Students meet their Form Tutor each day. This is the person who will be responsible for their pastoral care, support them in their progress and encourage them to make the most of the many opportunities at Archbishop Holgate’s School. You and your child will be able to meet their Form Tutor before they start in September at the New Parents’ Evening in July. The Form Tutor or the Head of Year are therefore the people to contact first in school if you, or your child, have any worries or difficulties.
Our whole-school approach to Special Needs is designed to help all students take full advantage of what Archbishop Holgate’s has to offer. We aim to be sensitive to the full range of needs and abilities. Our highly regarded programme of Extension Studies provides special out-of-hours learning courses of study for gifted and talented students. For those needing help with academic progress or social skills, Learning Support helps students gain confidence in basic skills. This may be in small groups with specialist teachers, in the classroom with support from a learning support assistant, one-to-one with another adult in our well-resourced Learning Support Centre, or through special learning materials in the student’s normal classroom. One-to-one counselling, guidance and support may also be arranged when needed.
During their last half term at Primary school, all Year 6 students transferring to Archbishop’s are visited at their Primary school by members of the Pastoral team including the Head of Year 7 and SENDCo. The purpose of this visit is to allay any fears they may have about transferring to secondary school. All information passed on is student orientated, and informs them of what to expect, and what is expected of them. Students are given a chance to ask questions at this informal meeting, and to suggest who they would like to be with, if possible, in their new Form. It is important to try to place students into classes with some children that they already know, to help them settle in quickly and feel valued.
This is followed in June by a Welcome Evening for Year 6 parents and their children. The purpose of the evening is to welcome both students and parents alike, inform them of specific procedures, remind them of the impending Day Visit and meet members of the School Association.
All Year 6 students are then given a day release from their primary schools to spend a day at Archbishop’s. The visit usually runs from 10.00am to 3.00pm on the first Wednesday in July. Students meet their Form Tutor and the other members of their Form for the first time; begin to become familiar with day-to-day routines and the layout of the school; sample the school lunch system; and spend an afternoon in activities. A number of other initiatives are also in place, including work with Year 5 students in Science, Maths, Technology, English and Music, Modern Languages and PE.
A number of other staff help new students feel at home as quickly as possible. Mrs Edmondson, Head of Year 7, oversees the welfare and progress of students throughout their first year at Archbishop Holgate’s, and in particular works hard to ensure the smoothest possible transition into the school from our partner primary schools. All pastoral staff work closely together to support and advise students and parents.
The Form Tutor, Pastoral Support Worker or the Head of Year are the people to contact first in school if you, or your child, have any worries or difficulties. Please do not hesitate to ring or email our School Receptionists, so that they can make an appointment for you to see the most appropriate member of staff.
We fully understand the need to ensure an effective transition from primary to secondary school and strive to go the extra mile to ensure that this happens.
We also value the part that parents can play in this and as such all parents are automatically members of the School Association, which organises a range of events during the year promoting links between home and school. Parents and staff are able to meet to discuss matters of interest; members of the community are warmly welcomed. Money raised is used to benefit the education and opportunities of all the students in the school. Year 7 parents are invited to a Reception Evening in September at which they can meet their child’s Head of Year and senior staff. A typical year’s School Association programme may include events ranging from a quiz night to a fashion show, line dancing to an auction of promises. The aim in each case is to combine an enjoyable evening with support for the school. School Association members also do excellent work meeting prospective parents at Open Evening, serving refreshments at concerts and shows, and helping with the Year 6 Parents’ Evening.