If you are the parent or carer of a Year 6 student, currently exploring your options for secondary schools, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our school website and to make it clear that we will do whatever we can to support you and your family in making the decisions that are best for you at this significant point in your child’s education.
At John Smeaton Academy, we fully understand that you and your child are entering a period of significant change from the familiar life at a relatively small primary school to facing the new challenges of a large secondary school. Families who opt to join the John Smeaton Academy can be sure that we will work tirelessly to support you and your family in making this big step; it may or may not be your first experience of the transition process, but we aim to ensure that it is a smooth and helpful experience regardless.
For us, communication is the foundation to a smooth process of change and we continue to review the way that we engage with families of children looking to join us in Year 7. Some of our communication is documented and you can access these materials here on this website. Some of the other ways that we communicate with families is through events that we arrange here at John Smeaton or through visits to relevant primary schools; documents and letters are very important, but we do not underestimate the value of face-to-face communication.
Over the next six months our transitions manager Jimi Jibodu will lead a team of staff who will be working with primary schools to ensure that students feel comfortable and familiar with life at secondary school.
Open Evening – September
This would be the first opportunity for families and children to visit the school and experience at first hand the excellent facilities and meet the dedicated staff and enthusiastic students. Primary schools will be informed of the exact date via the Leeds Childrens Services booklet and through the schools website / calendar found here.
Primary School Visits – Spring & Summer Term
During this time staff from John Smeaton will visit your child’s Primary School and discuss any concerns and answer your child’s questions in relation to the transition to Secondary School.
Year 7 Induction Day – June
Your child is invited to attend an activity day with us, during which they spend a short time in their tutor base getting to know their new class whilst the rest of the day is spent attending a wide variety of challenging and exciting activities on the school site. These will include ‘taster’ lessons in a number of lessons enabling children to sample the subjects they will be able to choose when they arrive in year 7. This is an innovative approach we take to curriculum design based on the belief that children have greater levels of motivation in subjects they enjoy and will consequently progress quicker and master the skills involved to a higher level.
Easter/Summer Transition Event
Over the last two years the academy has received funding from the DFE to run Summer Schools for Yr 6 students transferring from a range of primary schools to John Smeaton Academy. During 2014 the academy ran additional activities during Easter and Residential activities in Richmond, North Yorkshire. We will be writing out to invite students again this year. Please see our Summer School Newsletter for 2014. For further information please contact Student Services on 0113 8313904.
Nurture Day – June
Those students who are identified by their Primary School as needing extra support with the transition to Secondary School are invited to attend a morning session at John Smeaton. They spend time in small groups with key Year 7 staff whilst participating in some fun activities, giving them the chance to share their concerns and hopefully lay to rest their nervousness at entering a new school.
Parents’ Information Evening – July
This will be an opportunity for you and your child to meet with the Headteacher and Leadership Team, your child’s new Pastoral Leader and Group Tutor. In addition there will be information about the Year 7 curriculum and the day to day experience of Year 7 students.
We hope that by communicating our expectations this way and by giving families an insight into life at John Smeaton, we will remove the anxieties and concerns that can make transition a hurdle to leap over rather than a doorway to walk through.
We look forward to forming sound partnerships with you!
Please find a copy of the information evening presentation below;
Year 6 Information Evening