Answers to Questions on Postcards 2016

Thank you for all the postcards you have sent in. It’s not too late to send them in if you think of anything else you would like to know.

What will we do on our first few days?

When you arrive on your first day you will come to the main reception and meet me in the school hall. We will have a short assembly and then you will get to meet your tutor and be given your timetable, planner and ID card.
You will have lessons for the rest of the day. During one of the lessons you will be given your login and password details for using the computers. Don’t worry about finding your way around as your teachers will collect you at the start of the lesson and bring you back to the hall at the end of each lesson.

On your second day the rest of the school will be in so you will be able to meet the other members of your tutor group.

During your first two weeks you will be allowed to go to lunch 10 minutes early so that you can get used to finding your way around and meet up with your friends. You will also have student guides who will come and collect you from your lessons and take you to the next one. There will also be a map in your planner.

Why are we only getting one Transition Day this year when in previous years there have been two?

I really enjoyed the transition days last year and thought long and hard about whether it was the right decision to change to one day. It is lovely to have you all together but I feel that you can get a really good experience by attending on a single day; you will meet your teaching group, have an assembly, be given a school dinner and of course have some lessons. I felt that I would like to spend more time coming out to primaries to meet you and have a chat about your move here. If there are a lot of students coming from your school I will give an assembly and then meet with you in smaller groups. You will be able to ask any questions you have and tell me about which subjects you like and your hobbies. I’m really looking forward to these visits.

For the first week when I go to the bus stop, could someone meet up with me to show me where I need to go?

Unfortunately we can’t arrange for someone to meet you in the mornings at the bus stop as there are lots of different buses and stops. It may be that someone from your school will also be getting the bus or when you come for your Induction Day you may meet someone else who will be getting the same bus as you. We have details on our website about the bus companies if you need to find out where the bus stops are and what time the bus will arrive.

In Drama do you do dance?

You don’t do dance in Drama but you will get the chance to do dance in PE. This year in Drama the students have learnt about narrating, acting, still images and Greek theatre.

What time do you start and finish school?

School starts at 8.55am, this means that you need to be in your tutor room at 8.55am. So you need to get to the school gate before this. After you first day you will come in to school by the student entrance which is by the side of the Sports Hall. I will be there for the first week to look out for you so you know where it is.

School finishes at 3.25pm. For the first week Year 7 will be able to leave their lesson 5 minutes early so that if they are getting the bus they will have plenty of time to get to the yard where students wait for the bus. Students who do not get the bus leave through the gates by the main reception. Staff will be around to show you where you need to go.

Do you get to choose the friends you want to be with?

All of Year 7 are together at break and lunchtime every day so you will always be able to see your friends at these times. You will be put in a tutor group and a teaching group when you start. You stay with your teaching group for most of your lessons and you will get to know them really well. You will not necessarily be put with your friends in a teaching group as lessons are a time for learning. You will find that most teachers have seating plans and you will be in different groups for Maths, Languages, PE and Technology. Tutor groups will usually include someone you know from a previous school. If you are the only student coming from a particular school (and we have lots of these) I will put you with some other students coming on their own so you can start to make new friends.

How much homework do we get?

You will have homework in most subjects. The amount you get will vary but you are always given enough time to do your homework. All homework is put on a computer programme called INSIGHT, you will be able to log in and remind yourself of what homework was set in the lessons. If you need help with your homework you can ask your teacher, speak to your tutor or come and see me. We also have homework club in the mornings where you can have help.

Is there a Dance Club?

At the moment we do not have a dance club although there are lots of other clubs which run every week. You will do dance during some of your PE lessons.

Do Year 7s get to play competitive sports against schools?

Yes, in Football, Rugby, Basketball, Netball, Cross Country, Athletics, and Rounders.

Do you have support groups in particular subjects?

The first thing to do is ask your teacher if you need some extra support or you could ask your house tutor when you see them in the morning.
We also have Study Support after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This takes place in the library and is run by two members of staff. There are also clubs where you can get support in specific areas such as reading and Foreign Languages.

Are you allowed pencil cases and what equipment do you need?

Yes a pencil case will be a good idea. You will also need: pens, pencils, ruler, eraser, glue stick, pencil sharpener, protractor and a scientific calculator.

What kind of art do you do?

I have seen lots of the Year 7 art this year and it is really good. When I went into their lesson today they were doing mosaic pictures of famous buildings by using tiny pieces of old magazines. They have also done Pop Art, collages and perspective drawings. You will probably have noticed that the drawing on the postcard was by one of our Year 7 students.

Transition FAQ

Q. Which subjects are taught at Heart of England School?

A. English, Maths, Science, Art, Technology (Food, Graphics, Design), Geography, History, Languages, P.E, Drama, Diversity Studies, Music.

Q. Do we get to remain with one of our friends from Year 6 in our new teaching group?

A. This cannot be guaranteed. Your teaching groups are for teaching and learning and you will mostly be sat in a seating plan designed by the teacher. You will be in sets for Maths, Languages and P.E and you will be in a mixed grouping for Technology. Therefore, you will not have every lesson with those in your teaching group. If you wish, you are able to meet up with friends from other teaching groups at break and lunchtime.

Q. Is there a swimming and a netball team?

A. There is a Year 7 netball team. We don’t have a swimming pool here and so don’t have a swimming club. However, we do enter the swimming gala each year and enter club swimmers.

Q. How is homework set and how will we manage it all?

A. You will be given a planner in which you can record your homework and the date it is due in. We also have an online system called Insight which you will have a personal login for. Teachers record homework on here and can add any attachments/worksheets, so you can check this from home.

Realistically, you will get more homework in secondary school than you do currently; you will be set homework on every subject at various points and will more than likely have some homework to complete each evening. However, this is not to say each piece will take you hours! Some pieces may only take 15 minutes, whilst others will take longer. Your teachers will give you plenty of time to complete lengthier pieces of homework.

Many students have a set time each evening for homework, often not long after they have got home from school. This way, once complete, you have the rest of the evening to yourself.

We also have a Study Support club which runs every Tuesday and Thursday after school from 3:30 – 4:45pm. Here you have access to the library and computers and printers. There are staff on hand to support you if needed. You do not have to stay for the whole duration. If you get the bus home from school there is a late bus on these days.

Is there a homework club?

A. Yes there is a homework club which is held every morning from 8.20am – 8.50am.

Q. Which subjects are set?

A. You will be placed into sets for Maths, Languages and PE

Q. How many lessons are there each day and what time does school start and finish?

A. There are 5 lessons each day; school starts at 08:55am and you will spend 25 minutes each morning until 09:20am in your tutor groups with your House tutor. Break is at 11:20am for 25 minutes, lunch is at 13:45pm for 40 minutes and school finishes at 15:25pm.

Summary of the New September daily timetable:

  • 08.55–09.20 Tutor Time
  • 09.20–10.20 Period 1
  • 10.20–11.20 Period 2
  • 11.20–11.45 Break
  • 11.45–12.45 Period 3
  • 12.45–13.45 Period 4
  • 13.45–14.25 Lunch
  • 14.25–15.25 Period 5

You can download a letter about the timetable here.

Q. Will there be a summer challenge this year?

A. Yes there will be! During your induction day you will be given the Summer Challenge booklet with a range of activities for you to complete and plenty of House Points up for grabs.

Q. Are there Houses?

A. Yes. There are 4 Houses; Phoenix, Apollo, Pioneer and Voyager and you will be placed in one of these Houses.

Q. Will there be a football team and a cricket team?

A. Yes, there will be both of these.

Q. Are there a range of lunchtime clubs and extra-curricular activities?

A. Yes. We have clubs that run during break and lunch times as well as after-school. The clubs vary from Music to Radio to Debate to Sports and many more. You will be informed of the clubs that we run with the dates and times when you start in September.

Q. Is there any extra help if you struggle in a subject?

A. Absolutely. If you require any extra help in any subject, your teacher will be more than happy to provide this. Between you, you will work out the best ways to help you move forward in the area you are struggling.