Year 6 to 7 transition
Transitioning from primary to secondary school is a landmark step in a child’s journey towards maturity and independence. We understand the challenges that accompany this transition and feel at Katherine Warington that it is important to prepare children carefully for these changes.
Our Transition Evening is now live – Click Here to view the evening!
What do I need to know about transition?
This timeline aims to inform you about when you should expect to hear from us regarding transition. It also outlines the steps in place to support a smooth and successful transition for all children.
We ask that you are patient with us at this time. We are trying to develop a transition process that can work in this current climate. It is important to let you know that events as we expect them to happen may need to be changed and adjusted at any moment depending on guidance from the Government and the Local Authority.
We will do our best to keep you as informed as possible.
We would advise any new parent to follow us on Twitter or to join our Facebook group. Or if you are not a fan of social media, all of our action on social media can be accessed through our website’s social wall which can be accessed here: https://kwschool.co.uk/social-wall/
Formal communication regarding school uniform, transition days etc can be accessed via Arbor or your emails as all correspondence is electronic. However, keeping up with our social media pages helps you to get other notifications and updates.
|When?||What to expect?|
|From 8th June||Transition on our website:
Information is being shared on this page to help you and your child to understand the transition process.
Your child can access the Student Transition Site here: https://kwschool.co.uk/student-transition/
You can reference the Frequently Asked Questions document and more information will be added as and when it is available.
|25th June||Information evening:
Normally we would invite all parents in to school for an information evening regarding transition. However, we have decided to do this virtually to control the spread of the virus.
On 25th June a video presentation will go live from our website. In this information video you will meet our Headteacher and relevant members of the Pastoral Team including our new Head of KS3.
Ideally the presentation from staff would be nice to be filmed in the main site but we will see if this is appropriate for all involved.
Following this presentation, parents will be invited to submit questions via a direct email address. There will be a 24 hour window in order for you to submit your queries or concerns and the team will respond appropriately.
|29th June||Form groups:
Children are carefully sorted into form groups by our pastoral team and this process is taking place as we speak.
Form groups are selected based on a combination of factors and we consult with the primary schools in order to make good decisions about where children are placed.
On the 29th you will receive an email addressed to your child revealing their form group. It will be written by their form tutor so that they can introduce themselves before the transition day(s) in July.
|30th June||Single joiner evening:
Single joiners are students who are joining on their own from a primary school. This can add anxiety where children are coming without secure friendships already.
This is why we will be holding a virtual single joiners event on 30th June.
It will be hosted by our Head of KS3 and our Student Transition team will also be in attendance to play some games and to answer any questions.
If an invitation applies, we will be in touch with you directly when the event is organised.
|9th July||Transition day:
Transition Day will be taking place this year however it will take place virtually. We are of course disappointed that we cannot offer a moving up day as is tradition but the current circumstances dictate that it would be too soon to do so.
We have an exciting day of virtual activities planned where students will get to meet the peers in their form, their tutors and will have more opportunities to get a feel for what it is like to attend Katherine Warington School.
Our student transition team will also be present to answer questions and support our new students. Please wait for further correspondence about how your child can take part in this event.
|3rd – 11th September||Pastoral transition programme for Y7:
We are fully aware that considering the impact of school closures, it is more important than ever to prioritise the wellbeing of our students. Therefore, Year 7 will not come straight back to a full timetable. Instead they will take part in a range of different transition activities to help them settle in and become accustomed to their new surroundings.
Students will take part in Anti-Bullying projects and engage in team building activities with their form group. They will also get to have a go at using their timetable with support from older students and tutors.
We also hope to support students using a range of methods. We intend to use our Year 8s to help the students to feel more comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions for Parents and Carers 2020-21
These questions were provided by Katherine Warington Association of Friends, our parent association. We hope you find these useful as a first step in getting to know a bit more about us.
How will my child be grouped across the school day?
Students will be placed into form groups. These form groups will not be based on ability but will be dictated more by combinations of students based on existing friendships and primary schools. These groups will be revealed on the 29th June prior to any transition days. In September students will also be placed into mixed ability teaching groups where they will be taught for all subjects excluding Period 7. Period 7 groups will be dictated by students’ options and Period 7 will hopefully start the week commencing 14th September.
Will classes be streamed or set?
No. We do not set students as there is not a wealth of educational research suggesting it benefits the progress of students. Instead we teach in mixed ability classes. In these classes teachers think carefully about differentiating the work to suit the needs of all students. We teach from three different curriculums; Fundamental, Core, Higher.
How will students be tested in the transitional phase and what will this mean for my child?
Students will undertake a process of Cognitive Ability Tests (CATS) which help to guide us in understanding what support each individual child needs. We will also test students’ reading, writing and spelling which also helps to inform how we support them in the classroom. This will not mean very much for the students themselves as we will not make it a priority to share this data with students and it does not lead to a process of setting.
We understand that balancing the support of students’ wellbeing and academic ability is going to be a significant and difficult balance as students return to school after the school closures. However, it is possible that baseline assessment is now more important than ever for secondary schools. Therefore, we do still intend to test students but please rest assured that we will think very carefully about how we manage this during the transitional phase.
Do students get homework in the first half term?
To support transition, we would normally not provide students with any homework in September, and then begin by introducing Core subjects in October, before the half term break. Given that students have been away from school for part of Year 6 this may need to change to ensure we give them the best possible start in Year 7. It is also possible that we need to set some remote learning, depending on the wider COVID situation. If this is the case it will be communicated clearly to parents nearer the time and carefully balanced with our wider transition programme and focus on student well being.
Will there be a homework club?
Yes. It will start a few weeks into the first term to support Year 8 and Yr7 will join in October.
Is there a provision for piano/music lessons?
We have a number of instrumental and vocal tutors visiting the school to provide weekly one-to-one music lessons for students. These can be booked through the music education company Rhythm Room (https://www.rhythmroom.co.uk/), or organised as a private arrangement between parent and tutor (providing safeguarding measures are met and we have rooms available). We are also able to part-fund the cost of lessons for students who qualify as Pupil Premium.
Are rugby or football offered as part of your extracurricular offer?
Both sports will be offered for both boys and girls within curriculum time. In September, students will also complete an online questionnaire to establish which sports they would most like to see featured within the extra-curricular timetable and we will try to accommodate this the best we can with the staff we have available.
What club/activities are on offer?
This year we have tried to offer as many clubs as we possibly could with a small team of teachers. Hopefully as we grow, we will be able to offer more opportunities as the PE staff and creative teams grow. Students have enjoyed debate club, netball club, football club, chill club, drama club and choir as lunchtime clubs.
Our Year 7s have thoroughly enjoyed Period 7 this year which provides a broad range of extra curricular opportunities. For more information about this, please follow this link: https://kwschool.co.uk/extra-curricular/
How does the school tackle bullying?
In our early transition work with Year 7, students spend time completing an Anti Bullying project with their form group. We do this as it is important to establish our expectations when it comes to bullying and behaviour very early on.
This year we have appointed Anti-Bullying Ambassadors who led their form groups in Anti Bullying activities throughout the year and met to discuss the issue of bullying in our school community.
These ambassadors also attended Anti-Bullying training with the Diana Award this year and we hope to continue to develop our relationship with this organisation. For more information about this, please follow this link: https://kwschool.co.uk/anti-bullying-information/
How long can my child stay at school in the evenings?
School ends at 4pm but the school building will be open until 5.30pm. Students can remain until then provided there is an adult available to supervise.
Can you tell me about your provisions for pastoral care?
We think pastoral care is incredibly important; it is essential to any child’s academic and personal success. This is why we have taken steps to prioritise this.
We have employed a pastoral leadership team including a Head of KS3 and two Deputy Heads of KS3. They manage a team of tutors to provide an excellent standard of pastoral care.
Whether it is individualised intervention, mentoring support or academic support our staff are on hand to make sure all students are happy and safe in school.
More information regarding pastoral care and support for your child following school closures will be covered in our presentation on the 25th June where you will get to ‘meet’ key members of the pastoral team.
You can find out a bit more about key members of the pastoral team here: https://kwschool.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/KWS-Pastoral-Team-Adult.pdf
What SEN provision does the school have?
The SEND team is comprised of the SENCO and 4 Learning Support Assistants. Pupil centred practice is the backbone of the SEND provision, in accordance with the Code if Practice. Provision is targeted to meet the needs of the individual. It may comprise of in-class support, intervention sessions for small groups and individuals which largely take place in form period, or we may draw on the expertise of external agencies where necessary. At Katherine Warington we are absolutely committed to inclusion and ensuring that every child is supported in reaching their true potential, regardless of any SEND.
For more information, please see the SEND report and policy on the school website: https://kwschool.co.uk/special-educational-needs-and-disabilities/
Is there a school Parents’ Association?
Yes. This is called KWAF (Katherine Warington Association of Friends). They are a very supportive aspect of our school community and this year they have helped the school in a number of ways. They organised our Halloween Disco and sold goods at our Winter Showcase. They also provided these FAQs as we feel it is important to engage with KWAF as we welcome more and more parents to our school community. They are keen to get to know our new parents!
Where do I find information about transportation links to the school?
We are keen that students avoid using cars to get to school as much as possible. However, under current circumstances the transport picture for September and beyond is unclear. Our website will carry all transport information with links to local commercial bus providers. To be clear, there are no school buses, that is buses run and operated by the school.
How do school dinners work? Do they need to bring in money?
We have a cashless catering system so parents put money onto the child’s account and if they wish to set a daily spend limit they can contact the finance team by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org. The child uses their finger at the till to identify them via a biometric touchpad and the cost of the purchases are deducted from their account. Parents can see what has been purchased and can set a reminder for themselves to top up the account if it falls below a certain level.
How do I find out about what school uniform I need; how do I order it and what are the costs?
Beats Uniform suppliers are our chosen uniform outlet. They provide both a physical and online retail experience with a shop in Harpenden. They will tell you what uniform is compulsory and what is discretionary and give prices. Please visit www.beatsschooluniforms.co.uk
Do I need to buy the chrome book as part of the school scheme, or should I just purchase my own or do I need one at all; what are the benefits?
We have identified Google Chromebooks as the best device for Yr 7-11 to use in school and at home. They are virus free, have a long battery life and cost less than laptops. We are recommending purchase but are not dictating it. Lessons will be built around resources available in Google Classroom, accessed easily with a Google Chromebook. The purchase system recommended by the school includes software, warranties and damage provision. It allows for payments to be spread over three years if you choose. If you decide not to use this system, that is fine but please consider how you will provide for a replacement if the Chromebook needs to be sent away by you for repair. Students bringing their own Chromebook not purchased through the school scheme will need to pay £20 to enrol the device into the school’s Google tenancy.
Approximately, how much will transitioning to secondary school cost?
Our uniform will cost approx £210 including spare trousers, skirts and shirts. Chromebooks cost approx £300 and payment can be spread across several years. Transport can vary considerably. HCC has identified some bus routes as free to all users and others free to those entitled to support. If a bus or train is your chosen or only available form of transport, the price for a termly ticket is between £200-£300. Prices for several bus routes for the next academic year should be available soon.
We fully appreciate the financial burden placed on parents and have considered this in every decision we have made. There are payment scheduling options and anyone unable to finance this should contact the school and we will assist in seeking financial support.
What school trips are planned?
In Year 7, we planned a residential camping trip which took place in October. Other than this, our other trips unfortunately were cancelled based on COVID 19. Unfortunately, this year our students missed out on a Geography field trip, a trip to the Voice in a Million concert and a London trip to The Globe. For now we are not planning any trips for Year 7 or Year 8 as we await guidance from the government regarding safe practices amid the current pandemic.
As a school you’re promoting technology. How much are mobile phones encouraged?
Mobile phones are not encouraged at all. Instead we have a ‘see it, hear it, take it,’ policy meaning that students who are found to be using their phones in school will have them confiscated. This is covered clearly with students as part of their induction.
We do promote technology in everything we do, however the fact that we have embedded the use of chromebooks so well means that mobile phones are simply not needed in the school day.
When will the first A level students start?
As we are a new school we take on a new intake of students every year. By September 2024 we will be ready to take on a Sixth Form cohort.