Year 7s welcomed with free bookPosted: 17th July 2020
Every Year 7 student joining in September is being gifted a reading book.
A dedicated transition lead has been appointed for the first time to help new starters to settle into Forest Hall School during the Coronavirus crisis.
With schools closed to the majority of students until after the summer break, the transition of Year 6 children into their first year at secondary has had to be adapted.
A raft of initiatives has been put into place to smooth the transition, including the choice of reading book being given to each child.
Those due to join Year 7 in September are already in regular contact with Forest Hall, thanks to a newly appointed transition lead.
Erin O’Dell, acting associate head of school, said: “This is the first time we have had a dedicated transition lead, which has meant we have been able to do more in terms of transition, despite the crisis.
“We would normally have had more opportunities to meet our new students and their parents face to face. But, as that is now allowed to happen right now, we are opening up communication in different ways.
“We have given students a reading book each as we believe reading is important and this is our way of showing our expectations from the very start.”
To ease transition, the school has also –
- sent postcards to welcome students to the school
- produced welcome packs for new starters, including a pencil set
- sent a letter to students from head of school Hannah Jones
- launched a weekly transition newsletter to keep families up to date with developments, give advice to parents on how best to prepare their children for the move, give guidance on uniform, outline term dates and the structure of the school day and share inspirational quotes
- set up a dedicated email address giving parents of children with special educational needs direct access to extra support
- sent letters from heads of houses to introduce them to students
- set subject challenges in English, maths and science, as well as emotional wellbeing tasks
Miss O’Dell said: “We have a very inclusive environment and our ethos is about aspiring to be exceptional. We want our new cohort to feel welcome at Forest Hall School, from now and not just from the moment they walk through our doors. We want them to know that while they are leaving their primary schools, they are joining our family. We want them to feel that from the moment they receive their welcome letter.
“It is very daunting to go back to their own school under these circumstances, let alone going into a new school. That is why we are making sure it is a smooth and supportive process.