"I’m Mrs Tanner, head of year 7 at The Burgess Hill Academy. My job is to help make your transition to secondary school as smooth as possible. Having worked in primary and secondary schools I have first-hand experience of the excitement and concerns that year 6 students have. Below you’ll see details of the various activities we offer to help you settle in to life at The Burgess Hill Academy.”
Throughout the year we will have regular meetings with the local primary schools, discussing the best way of supporting the students in the transition process and ensuring we have all the information we require to put in place a programme that meets the needs of the students. Students are also given the opportunity of naming friends that they wish to be with and we will do our best to ensure that they are placed with at least a couple of friends in their tutor groups.
We will be running several mid-week (3:30-5:00pm) enrichment activities throughout the year for students moving to The Burgess Hill Academy. This will give pupils an opportunity to meet students from other primary schools who share a common interest, meet teachers from The Burgess Hill Academy and to familiarise themselves with the layout of the academy.
On the 6th July students will spend the day at The Burgess Hill Academy in their tutor groups. This will give the students a chance to meet their tutors and other members of staff as well as familiarising themselves with academy routines and layout. We are also hoping to arrange an afternoon when students will come up to the academy with other students from their current primary school.
Several members of staff will be visiting primary schools at certain points of the year, introducing themselves to pupils and answering questions they may have. On occasions they will be accompanied by Year 7 students who are former pupils of that primary school and who will be able to describe how they found the transition process first hand.
Students that we feel will benefit from a Buddy System will be teamed up with a current Year 7 student who will be there to help them settle in, find their way around and ask any questions to.
Students who have been in receipt of free school meals, who are looked after by or have family in the armed forces will be invited to join our summer school which is a government funded initiative. This is to aid the transition process and mixes both academic and social activities.
We have, for many years, run a very successful programme when students who we and the primary schools feel may need a little more support with the transition to secondary school, make regular small group visits during the summer term.
A member of the support team will offer mentoring to students we feel are struggling to adapt to life in secondary school and we will closely monitor how the students are progressing and offer the appropriate support
Students who did not reach the old ‘Level 4’ in their National Curriculum Tests are given extra numeracy and/or literacy support and will study only one modern foreign language. We also offer individual or small group support at certain points during the day for students who would benefit from such things as Speech and Language support, handwriting development, literacy support and numeracy sessions.
The Haven and a homework club are available at lunchtimes for Year 7s with a particular focus on students who we feel need a little more nurturing and support. There is also an area given to students who feel a little overwhelmed with the number of students in the canteen, where they can eat their lunch in a smaller group.