It’s perfectly normal to have worries when joining a large secondary school; it’s a big change from what you’re used to. Here, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions by our previous new year 7 students. If there are other questions that you have, then please ask your parents to contact the academy.
There is no such thing as a silly question!
'Will I be put in Detention or get in to trouble if I don’t know my way around on my first day?’
Of course not! This is our most common question. Don’t worry, we are a big site but we are very friendly. There will be lots of staff around during the Academy day to help you as well as our very helpful older students. You will be given a map and all of the information you need on the first day. There will be nearly 400 other students in the same situation, so there is no need to worry.
'What if I am not with all my friends for some lessons?'
You will be placed with people you know or are related to in your House group. However, you will be in with different students for your lessons. In the first few weeks of term you will meet many students, a number of whom will have similar interests and sense of humour as you. It does not take long at all for friendship groups to join up and circles of friends to get bigger. Everyone is in the same position and keen to make friends.
'Will I be together with older students at Breaks and Lunchtimes?'
Whilst our older students are very helpful and friendly it can be a bit daunting to see so many students out and about in the Academy. Don’t worry, Year 7s and 8s have Break in a separate area (next to the Sports Hall), have Lunch at a different time to Upper School (12.00-12.40) and leave 5 minutes earlier (at 3:10). You will of course get the chance to meet some older students in your House group.
'What do I need for school?'
Ensure you have the correct equipment in a pencil case – pen, pencil, rubber, ruler, protractor, calculator and a dictionary/Thesaurus.
'How does the House system work?'
Your House group is your extended family during your time at the Academy. There are 6 houses; each with a Head of House and a Form Tutor. You see your Form Tutor every day and your Head of House will get to know you and be here for you if you need assistance. There will be some Year 8s, 9s, 10s and 11s in your Form – this might seem scary but it is really helpful – it means you will know some other students in the Academy, not just year 7s. You can also become involved in the honour of representing your House in Interhouse competitions. One House each year is crowned 'House Champion’. You will see that the Heads of House are very passionate about winning this!
'What happens if I do not understand some of the work?'
This is perfectly natural; no one is able to understand everything for the first time! All of your teachers are here to help you. If you require a further explanation about something you are learning, it is very important that you speak to your subject teacher or your Form Tutor if you are worried about any part of your learning.
'What is the planner for?'
This is a very important document that you must carry with you at all times. It contains important information about the Academy, it is used for recording your homework and tracking your progress and has information to help you. This is a useful way of contacting home and must be signed very week. Your parents/carers are welcome to write a note to a teacher or your Form Tutor in your planner.
'What if I miss my bus home?'
If you do miss the bus home, do not worry or get upset. There will always be members of staff on Bus Duty. Tell them what has happened and they will take you to your Head of House or the Student Office so you can contact home.
'What happens if I have a uniform issue?’
You need to speak to your Head of House, who will do their best to assist you. Please note that we do not allow students to wear trainers or jewellery to the Academy. See our website for full uniform details.
'What do I do if I feel upset?'
Speak to one of your teachers, your Form Tutor or your Head of House as soon as you can and let one of them know what is troubling you. Talking issues through and sharing a problem will always help. If you start worrying about an issue when you are at home, talk to your parents/carers; they can contact your Head of House on your behalf the next day if you are still worried. Your Head of House will talk to you and do everything they can to help solve your concern. Do not bottle problems up as this rarely solves anything. The teaching and support staff will help you as much as they can.
'What do I do if I lose something, like my P.E. kit?'
The first thing to do is retrace your steps. Check in the P.E. Changing Rooms as well as asking members of P.E. staff if they have seen it. It could be that you left it in another classroom that day, so check all the rooms you have been in as well as the Dining Hall. If cleaning staff have located it at the end of the Academy day, they will take items to the Student Office. Check with the staff at the Student Office. This is why it is vital that all uniform items, even shoes/trainers, are labelled so they can be easily identifiable as yours.
'Can my parents help me with homework?'
We encourage all students to talk about their school work with their parents / carers. However, it is important that the work you produce is done by yourself, so your teachers know what you have understood and what may need to be discussed further. By all means show your homework to your parents / carers after you have completed it, so they can see what you have done and tell you how good it is!
'When are the extra-curricular activities on and how do I sign up for these?'
There are a great many activities to get involves in at Lunchtimes and at the end of the Academy day. All Form Tutors will display the extra-curricular activities timetable on the Form notice boards. Do try to get involved in as many things as you can. This is a great way to make friends and widen your social circle, as well as trying different sporting, musical, artistic and creative pursuits. If you have a concern, we also have our S.TA.R. group (Stand Together Act Responsibly), which offers the opportunity to meet with other students and to anonymously report your concerns.
'If I am worried about anything, who I do speak to?'
If you are worried about something in a particular subject, speak to the subject teacher after the lesson or when convenient; they will arrange to talk to you further later in the day at Break or at Lunch-time. If the issue is something personal, talk to your Form Tutor at registration or speak to your Head of House. It is really important that you talk about any worries you have so that we can support you.
'I don't feel very well. What do I do?’
If you don't feel well in a lesson, tell your subject teacher. It may be that you need to sit by the window to get some air and they can organise this. If symptoms persist, there is a medical room in the Academy. The Medical Assistant will contact parents / carers if they feel this is necessary.