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What time does the school open and start/finish?
The school day starts at 8:30am. Usually under normal operational circumstances, the canteen starts serving breakfast from 8am. Under current circumstances, and with advanced noticed, the school are supervising early drop off at 7:30am for parents avoiding public transport. The school day usually ends at 2:55pm, however this has been extended by 10 minutes to allow staggered breaks linked to Covid 19 risk assessments. We will notify parents of any permanent changes.
How many lessons do I have each day and how long are these?
You have six, 50 minute lessons and a tutor time session.
What is the difference between a tutor and a teacher?
Nothing, they are all teaching staff, however you are allocated a tutor when you arrive in Year 7 who will hopefully stay with you and your tutor group until you leave in Year 11. They see you each day and offer a level of pastoral support and well-being. They are there to support you. At Willingdon your tutor is your first point of contact for you and your parents.
Are the students in my tutor different to my subject classes?
Yes, your tutor group is based on a friendship choice you would have made at primary school before you arrived. The tutor group usually stays the same for 5 years. Curriculum subjects are designed around level of academic ability and these can change linked to progress. Everyone in your tutor group is in Year 7, they are not mixed year groups.
Can I be with my friends in lessons?
When you are allocated a place at our school, you select 3 friends, we guarantee you will be with at least one of these, sometimes more for tutor time only. They will not necessarily be in all your classes.
My child is the only one coming from their primary school, what support is in place?
We offer extra taster session for anyone transferring alone or where there are small numbers. We are therefore flexible and will accommodate any new found friendships during the transition events and allocate a tutor group for them. We also try to place other students in the same position together. The Transition Teaching Assistant will also monitor them closely and buddy up with students as needed.
My child is the only one coming from their primary school, what support is in place?
We offer extra taster sessions for anyone transferring alone, or where there are small numbers. We are therefore flexible and will accommodate any new found friendships during the transition events and allocate a tutor group for them. We also try to place other students in the same position together. The Transition Teaching Assistant will also monitor them closely and buddy up with students as needed.
What lessons can I expect in Year 7?
You will have 5 core subjects per week of Maths, English and Science. In addition to this you will have Geography, History, Ethics, PE, DT, Art, Music, Drama and Languages.
How are the lessons set?
When you arrive in Year 7, we will have received your teacher assessments and SAT results. All this information is used to set students, but this is not fixed. If you continue to make excellent progress then your teachers can move you. We also carry out Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT) to validate this information and ensure you are in the correct class. Each year you may move up or down the sets depending on your levels of progress. You may find yourself in a different class for Maths and English as we recognise different students have strengths. Also, some subjects like Geography and Languages have mixed ability groups.
What clubs are there at Willingdon?
We offer a wide range of clubs in most departments including: PE/Sport, Music, Drama, Computer, Homework support, Eco, Warhammer etc.
What trips are there?
There are a wide range of trips. Some are day trips linked to the curriculum e.g. a day trip to London to visit the Natural History museum, visits to Pevensey castle, a day trip to French markets or to Ypres War Graves. In addition to this, we offer residential trips to Morfa Bay, Blacklands Farm, Poland, New York, Iceland, Uganda and we also run an annual ski trip to Austria. We are constantly looking to plan new trips to extend your educational experience. The PE department also offer the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Are there payment plans for trips?
Absolutely, we wouldn’t want financial hardship to be a barrier for anyone with regards to trips. For the more expensive residential trips, there are regular payments made over the course of the year.
Do I have to bring a packed lunch?
You are very welcome to bring a packed lunch, but we also have 4 food outlets (3 remote and 1 main servery for hot food). At Willingdon, Year 7 have their own food outlet in the Our Space area. You can buy hot and cold snacks from this. Hot dinners are provided in the main canteen. We have a cashless system which is operated using your finger image (not a fingerprint). Your parents can upload money using ParentPay, or you can upload money using one of the 2 machines in the school. If you receive free school meals the money is automatically allocated to your account.
Will my Free School Meals be transferred automatically?
Yes, we also provide information regularly on how to apply for Free School Meals, as we recognise parents financial circumstances often change.
Do we have to do the homework?
Yes, homework is an important part of your learning and allows you to develop as an independent learner. You will receive a manageable amount of homework weekly in the core subjects in Year 7 and other subjects over a 2 week period. There is also homework support at lunch times to help with the Transition team and support from out Inclusion team after school. If you are struggling with the task, then speak with your teacher in advance of the homework deadline. All homework is set via an App called Edulink. This helps you to manage the homework and organise your time.
Do I need a computer?
Ideally a device does support your learning. Many of the homework platforms can be launched from other devices such as smart phones/iPads etc. We also offer a laptop scheme to Year 7 to allow an affordable way to purchase a computer.
Will I get lost?
When you arrive, you will be given a map and the teachers and students support your movement around school. You will know your way around by the end of the first week. You are not lost but may, at times in the first week, find yourself in the wrong location within the school. The school is much bigger, but remember that is for a good reasons – it allows you to have more experiences than you were able to have in primary school.
I need a lot of help with my learning, will my teachers know this?
Yes, they will know this in advance. Our Transition team spend a long time in the summer collecting information from the primary schools. They then process this information and make sure it is available for your class teachers before you arrive. If you need extra help, you will have a passport written to advise your teachers in advance and the Sen Team will visit and discuss with the Sen Team at primary school.
Am I allowed to use a phone in school?
No, you may bring a phone to school but it should not be used between 8:30am and 2:55pm. If seen, the phone is confiscated, this includes lesson transition and break/lunch times. It should be switched off in your bag at all times.
How often will I get feedback on my progress?
You will receive 3 reports a year. You will also be invited to a ‘Meet the Tutor’ evening in the first term to check on how you have settled into the new school year and this is followed up with a curriculum Progress Evening every year. Year 11 will have extra Progress Evenings scheduled in line with their exam preparation.
What support will I get once I have selected and received a place at Willingdon?
The transition timeline is available on our website. Parents will be invited to attend a Parents' Evening in March to find more about the school and our expectations. In term 6, we visit schools and arrange Taster days, Meet the Tutor Evening and extra transition events for students and parents. This include coffee mornings with the transition team. There is also a summer school run each year available to all students.
The Transition from KS2 - KS3
Sally Porter - Assistant Headteacher
Systems for Support
- Director of Student Progress, Transition
- Transition Teaching Assistants
- Consistent system for data transfer from over 20 primary schools across Eastbourne schools.
- Lone transferees workshops
- Taster Evening/Taster Day
- Group work session
- Summer School
- Welcome meeting for parents
- Taster Evening
- Parent Handbook
- Coffee Morning
- Individual meetings
- Primary School Surgeries
- Meet the Tutor Evening
Supporting Teaching Staff
- Tutor support programme
- Comprehensive information pack for every teaching class
- Pen potrait for SEND and EVER 6 students
- Nurture workshops and shared strategies
Year 6 Transition Timeline
Supporting Parents Support Students
Wednesday 30th - Q&A with the Senior Leadership Team and Director of Student Progress for Transition - 6pm
(Contact email@example.com if you would like to attend)
Prospective Parents' Evenings (Zoom)
(Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend any of the events below)
Monday 5th - Meet Core Subject Directors of Learning - 6pm
Tuesday 6th - Meet other subject area Directors of Learning - 6pm
Tuesday 6th - Q&A with the Senior Leadership Team - 9.15am
Wednesday 7th - Meeting Inclusion, SEN and Pastoral Support - 6pm
Wednesday 10th - Year 6 Welcome Parents' Evening
Wednesday 30th - Meet the Tutor
Taster Days - Dates to be confirmed
Tuesday 13th - Coffee Morning 10am
Tuesday 13th - Coffee Evening 6pm
SEND - Extra Transition Taster Days
Summer School - Dates to be confirmed
|June 2020||Year 6 Transition Letter - Click Here|
Alison Walters - Assistant Headteacher
- Shared schemes of works for all curriculum subjects between the two phases.
- Shared expertise for core subjects.
- Common learning packages cascaded from secondary to primary schools.
- Subject working parties.
- Shared expertise and strategies by primary teaching staff to inform learning in the secondary school setting.
- Subject specific activities; Common Science Investigation, Science Wash Day challenge, Year 10 Sport Leaders Festival of Sport and PE Release Transition Programme.
- Media workshops for all year groups in primary school.
- Lessons in all subject areas delivered at primary and secondary school setting throughout the year.
- Year 6 planner to aid organisation and expectations relating to homework. Supporting literacy.
- Preparation pack to introduce study skills.
- Open Evening
- Year 6 Welcome Evening
- Taster Evening
- Meet the Tutor Evening - MyMaths workshop