Dear Year 6
We look forward to you joining us in September 2016, as you move into your high school of choice.
Last term I sent you a postcard asking you to reply with any questions you had regarding the move from your current school to Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form.
Thank you to all who have replied. I have tried to answer your questions here, grouping these together, so look out for your name against each question.
Firstly, I would like to point out that nearly all of your questions are questions which could have been asked by any Year 6 student in the country as they make the big move to high school. So do not worry, these are worries everyone has but you will find they are not a problem once you are at high school.
It was good to receive a card from William who, in reply to ‘I’m worried about’ said ‘I’m not worried about anything, I am looking forward to coming to high school’. (And to Millie, I have taught thirteen subjects to examination level in my career, so I understand most areas where you will be learning).
Will I be with my friends?
We will obtain friendship names from you and talk with your current teachers as to who works well together. You will be allocated to one of six Houses and you will know other people in that House. You will also make new friends very quickly and this starts to happen when you visit us during the Summer term. (You will be in the same House as any older brothers or sisters and, if you want, even be in the same Form).
(Question raised by Freya, Chloe, Edward, Elysia and Ruby)
Will I get lost in a big school?
Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form is a big school but it doesn’t take much time at all before you know your way around. All the students and adults within the school are very friendly and they will soon help you out (and no, you won’t get into any trouble for being late in the first few days). So, Freya, Ruby, Matthew and Summer you will be given a printed timetable and map. ‘Buddies’ will also show you around the school on the first day.
Hollie, William and Imogen asked how many students are in the school and I can advise that there are approximately 1,850 students across the whole school.
(Question raised by Freya, Chloe, Matthew, Millie and Rebecca)
Jack and Rebecca, you do have access to a locker.
Why are there two sites – North and South?
Originally this school was two schools which have now joined. Subjects are based on different sites, for example Mathematics is on the South Site and English is on the North Site. This is the only difference, so when you are put into a form group it does not matter if this is North or South Site based. You will also have five minutes between each lesson to get to your next class.
(Question raised by Chloe and Ruby)
Your teachers will expect you to come to school ready and prepared for work. They will give reward points to those who show a good attitude to work and they will take action against any students whose behaviour stops others from learning (including contacting parents).
(Question raised by Lauren, Lucy and Ethan)
Olivia and Dani – you will have a Form Tutor to help you but I do not know who that will be yet. Your Head of House will also help you settle into school.
Will there be homework?
The answer to this is ‘Yes’. In Year 7, the homework will be spread over a number of weeks, so you can work at it a bit at a time. All the homework can be found on the school website so you can check it and get support from home. (However, this doesn’t mean that your parents or anyone else can do it for you!).
(Question raised by Heidi and Freya)
Will I get detention?
Well, I hope not. You will have nothing to worry about if your behaviour is good and you make a real effort with your work. However, you can expect to get a detention if you behave in a poor manner and are stopping others from learning.
(Question raised by Anoushka and Holly)
Will there be lots of tests?
There will not be lots of big tests in Year 7 although we will give you a short test at the start of the academic year. Your work is assessed as you go through the year. Sometimes your teacher will mark it and sometimes either you or someone in your class will check your work. The aim will always be to help you improve and learn from what you have done.
(Question from Olivia and William)
What are the times of the school day?
You will need to be up early each day as we start at 8.20 a.m. You will have two lessons lasting one hour each and then a break time which lasts for 20 minutes. After break time, there are two more lessons which again last one hour each. Lunch time is at 12.55 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. After lunch, you will spend 20 minutes in your forms followed by the last lesson of the day which ends at 3.05 p.m. However, the day doesn’t have to end there……
(Question raised by Laura, Paul, Andrew, Chloe and Connor)
Hannah, I am sure you will soon become familiar with catching the school bus.
Rosie, you will have all the usual subjects that you currently study with the addition of these being in very specialist rooms for subjects, including Science and Design Technology. We also teach French and German in the main school with Spanish and Italian in the Sixth Form, so there is lots of choice Lucy, Zac and Mila.
And…Lillie-Grace, Drama is also an important subject.
Will there be clubs I can join?
‘Yes’, there are lots of Clubs here at Thorpe St Andrew School including Music, Orchestra, Choir, Drama, Science and of course many sports including Dance and Athletics Clubs. Most of these take place after school and there is a late bus for those who need it.
Ethan, there are saxophone lessons and perhaps we can play a duet?
(Question raised by Alfie, Christopher, Bethan and George)
Are there lots of sports teams?
Yes, there are many opportunities for you to join in with sports outside of lessons (and you may get to use our brilliant All Weather Sports Pitch). You can represent your House and hopefully go on to represent the school.
(Question raised by Monty)
Will the older students tease us or even bully us?
This is the fear that all new Year 7 students have and that is because in every school there are rumours and silly untrue stories.
In our inspection by Ofsted they wrote:
‘Although bullying of any kind is extremely rare, students, parents and carers say any unkind behaviour such as name-calling is dealt with quickly and effectively.’
I hope this re-assures you.
(Question raised by Polly, Cerys, Toby and Katie)
What happens if I need extra help in my work?
Again, don’t worry. We will have spoken to your current teachers so we know if a helping hand will be needed. If you may be in need of this, we will arrange extra days for you to visit in the Summer before you start so that you can meet all the people who will help you.
(Question raised by Bethan and Oliver)
What about food and drink?
You can bring bottles of water and drink this in most lessons (but not Science and Technology for safety reasons). You can bring snacks and lunch which can be eaten at break and lunch times. Why not have a look on our website to see the excellent meals available at lunch time for you to buy?
(Question raised by Olivia, James and Lucy)
Do I have to wear school uniform?
The answer to this is yes. It is a sensible style of clothing to allow you to be able to move freely and get on with your work. The uniform details are on our website and please follow them so you do not get into trouble. Your teachers will be strict but friendly and fair.
(Question raised by Anoushka, Laura and Ethan)
Are there places for everyone?
Chloe, we have places for those who live in what is called the school’s ‘catchment area’. This year, I know we will also have a ‘spare’ places so you can apply and then Norfolk County Council will decide if you have a place.
I hope these responses answer your questions.