Transition - New Parents
The transition from Primary to Secondary school can be both unsettling and exciting for pupils and parents alike. It is very important to us that Year 6 students feel confident about their move to Ysgol Friars.
THE INDUCTION PROCESS
Although there are opportunities throughout primary school to experience Ysgol Friars (for instance through our highly successful annual Year 5 Skills Days), the formal induction process starts a year in advance when your son or daughter starts Year 6 in September. Our Year 7 Co-ordinator, Mrs Whelan along with our Transition Co-ordinator, Mrs Parry, will visit staff and students in their primary schools, listening to their teachers and support staff about individual student needs. We pride ourselves on the relationship we have with our Learning Community and work closely with local schools to support our Year 6 pupils.
During the autumn term, Mrs Whelan and Mrs Parry will visit each feeder Primary School to introduce themselves and talk to Year 6 pupils about Ysgol Friars. The aim of the visit is to reduce any worries Year 6 pupils may have by talking about what to expect – they are sometimes accompanied by Year 7 pupils. The Year 6 students have the opportunity to ask questions and find out about their exciting new school. All non-catchment pupils will have the chance to visit in the summer for a similar talk once places have been confirmed. Should you wish to visit earlier please do not hesitate to contact us.
At the end of November we invite all interested pupils and parents to attend our annual Open Evening. Following a presentation from our Headteacher, Mr Foden, families have the opportunity to tour the school and visit each department. Ysgol Friars prides itself on the displays and interactive experiences on offer during the evening – it shouldn’t be missed! If you are unable to attend the Open Evening, some visits can be arranged at alternative times. To arrange a visit please call the school on 01248 364905 to book an appointment.
In the Summer Term, Year 6 students where their class teacher has recommended they may benefit from some extra sessions in school, are able to visit the school. This gives them an opportunity to make friends, familiarise themselves with staff and gain more confidence in and around the school building. If you feel your child would benefit from this additional support please do not hesitate to contact either Mrs Parry or Mrs Whelan.
‘WELCOME TO FRIARS’ EVENING
Parents and carers are invited for an Induction Evening to meet key staff including Mr Foden, his Senior Management Team, and both Mrs Parry and Mrs Whelan to hear about how they can be involved with the school and to discuss any concerns. This is the perfect opportunity to purchase school uniform, find out about hiring a locker and about bus routes. We have staff available on the evening to help and answer any questions you may have. Importantly, we will also discuss arrangements for Roll-over Day.
In June, all Year 6 pupils join us for a day. The pupils will be able to experience what a full day in the school is like and attend a wide range of lessons.
Drama workshops are created to support every child’s transition from Primary into Secondary School, this year’s workshops are themed around our summer production ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ where participants will have the opportunity to develop their performance skills whilst developing self-confidence. Assisted by some of the main cast, students will take part in various drama based activities including drama games, a question and answer session and meet the famous ‘Audrey II’ all of which will hopefully smooth their transition in the Autumn term.
Peer Support makes a valuable contribution to our students’ experiences and to the ethos of the school. These 6th Formers, our oldest and most responsible students, provide younger pupils with an initial, accessible point of contact from which to seek information, support and build life skills in a language and manner that is both familiar and acceptable. This work is constantly developing at Ysgol Friars and is a valued part of the transition process.
The Transition process continues into Year 7 as our newly-arrived pupils are again introduced to Peer Support and members of the pastoral team. For parents there is also an opportunity for you to meet a member of the pastoral team and raise any concerns you may have through ‘Open Access’.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS
As a school, we maintain high levels of contact with parents. Members of staff will often write to parents, contact them by telephone or invite them in to discuss issues of importance about their child’s welfare and progress. Likewise, we encourage parents to contact us if they have any concerns they would like to discuss. There are regular Parents’ Evenings throughout the school year where parents can speak to their child’s subject teachers (details on the website and in Homework Diaries).
YEAR 7 GROUPINGS
Year 7 students are divided into eight tutor groups (DUAMELYN). Assessment data received from primary schools is used to help place the students in their new form class. Mrs Parry and Mrs Whelan also consult with the relevant primary schools concerning pupils’ social groups. There are up to 3 bilingual groups in each year, and our Welsh Department advises Mrs Parry and Mrs Whelan about who should be placed in these groups. Essentially, the pupils are put into form groups most suited to their needs. We’ve found that Year 7 pupils enjoy moving to Friars because of the number of new friends they make with pupils from different primary schools in their tutor group.
If you’d like to discuss your child’s tutor group, please get in touch with Mrs Parry or Mrs Whelan at the school. During the year, it may be possible for your child to change tutor group, but there needs to be good reasons for doing so and you will need to write to the Headteacher.
GETTING READY FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
You can download the leaflet for “Getting Ready for Ysgol Friars” here. This includes hints, tips and advice for starting here at Friars.
Here's what some parents said at our Welcome to Friars Evening:
- ‘The whole process has been so well thought out and I am amazed and pleased at the amount of staff are involved during and after the transition period. Well done to you all (from a very happy parent)’;
- ‘Really fell we have made the right decision coming to Friars’;
- ‘Made me feel really at ease and definitely know we have made the right decision’;
- ‘Brilliant school. Looking forward to my daughter coming here. Thank you’;
- ‘Great organisation and good teamwork – instils confidence in school and staff’;
- ‘Looking forward for my son to begin with you’.