These questions have either been posed directly to members of the school staff or taken from the survey with regard to small group tours. As we move through this process there may be more and I will endeavour to keep adding to this list and regularly forwarding it by email to you.
– as I am sure you are acutely aware, the transition to secondary school is a worrying time for parents, often more so for parents than for our children. As a school we talk to all of the feeder primaries and we take their advice on who they feel would benefit from an enhanced transition to our school. Unfortunately we cannot provide an enhanced transition at the request of parents as parental requests for additional support at transition far outweigh our capacity to provide them or the need identified by the primary schools.
– we do not set tutor groups. We have mixed ability tutor groups and the vast majority of our students in Year 7 will be taught in these mixed ability groups. We do set for maths and we do have some streaming in English and ordinarily we would use SATs plus our own internal assessments, including the CATs tests, to place students in to these groups. We will continue with our own assessments and make a judgement with regard to setting when I feel that we have re-established school routines. I think we need to be honest and accept that the start of the next academic year is unlike anything we have as adults experienced, let alone our children. Our focus will not be on the set a child is in, but rather on building relationship, routines and an understanding of our ethos and culture in the first instance. We will try to ensure that every child has the skills to be successful across the five years that they spend with us and worry about setting a little further down the line.
Equally forms themselves are created for the benefit of all children both in that individual form and the school as a whole. We do take advice from primary colleagues before we decide on the form, but we do not move or allocate children to a form at the request of parents, if we did, we would move children quite literally every week and destabilise all the forms.
– we have tried to keep the costs associated with our uniform to the absolute minimum. The bulk of the school uniform is non-branded, so the skirts, trousers and shirts/blouses can be purchased form any high street chain.
The blazer, tie and PE kit are available from the uniform shops in, Heswall and West Kirby, and possibly others. However, the main supplier to our current parents appears to be the Uniform Centre in the market in Birkenhead.