It’s extremely important that every new child joining us settles in quickly and as smoothly as possible, to ensure this we have a dedicated team of staff and students, committed to supporting every child during the transfer period from their primary school. This includes a Head of Learning and Pastoral Support Assistant for Year 7, Service Family’s Child Liaison, Gypsy & Roma Traveller Liaison, Family Schools Support Worker, Student Peer Mentors, Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCO), More Able & Aspiring Students Co-ordinator and an Assistant Head Teacher overseeing the transition.
Our Transition Programme provides a number of opportunities for your child in Year 5 and 6 to become familiar with the school before joining as outlined below:
- Our dedicated team of Student Peer Mentors and Peer Mentor Co-ordinator visit feeder primary schools and run team building and ‘getting to know us’ activities, with Year 6 students in the summer term before they join us
- Our SENDCO visit feeder primary schools to gather information about Year 6 students including social, emotional and learning needs so we can be ready to support these in September
- Our Family Schools Support Worker visits primary schools and works with families to support them through the transitional period which includes offering extra visits to our school for students who are more vulnerable
- We offer two Year 6 induction days for your child to meet their new tutor and experience a school day at The Willink before they join us.
- We provide a personalised welcome pack to each student which contains key school information as well as a handy FAQ booklet, key dates, examples of a timetable, a school map and much more.
- We organise individual parent and student interviews with their Willink tutor in the summer before joining the school.
- Our Year 9 students help run a Year 6 competition with UK Mathematics Trust
- We hold a gifted and talented maths master class
- Year 5 information evening is held in June for prospective parents
- Year 6 new student evening is held also in June giving an opportunity to meet new tutors
- Open evening and open mornings are held so prospective parents and students can visit the school
- We invite Year 6 students to take part in a Languages sports day
- Every feeder school is invited to send a group of Year 5 students to take part in our Key Stage 3 Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) club.
- We run afterschool maths club for Year 5 and 6 students
- The Willink maths quiz is sent to primary schools throughout the year
- We invite Year 6 students to watch our Year 7 French and Spanish Carol Concert
- Our newsletter is sent to primary schools so students can keep up to date with the activities at The Willink School
- We liaise and meet with primary school Head Teachers to ensure we continue to develop our transition programme and provide the best support for our students
- We arrange for Year 6 to visit Year 7 classes in the autumn term to meet their old students
- Our Maths and English teachers liaise with Year 6 teachers to ensure the continuity in teaching and learning.
Once students have joined us in September there are several processes in place to help them settle in;
- Year 7s have the first day of the autumn term in school on their own to help them learn their way around the school while it’s quieter
- We provide every tutor group with two class Peer Mentors as well as pairing up individuals with 1:1 mentors if needed
- For the first two weeks of the autumn term we allow Year 7 students to leave five minutes early from lessons to give them that extra bit of time to find their way to their next lesson, be first in the lunch queue and first on the buses
- For the first two weeks of the autumn term the library is open to Year 7s only
- Year 7 assemblies are held more regularly to provide information to students.
Parents are always welcome to contact us with any queries and we have several staff working with Year 7 to ensure that we can positively resolve any concerns.