How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?
- Our goal is to make sure our new students feel like they belong at BHCS before they officially arrive. Learning is most effective when students feel they belong and are comfortable in the school environment.
This is achieved through close collaboration with Primary schools or through Parent and Student meetings if your child is joining us once the academic year has started.
Key Stage 2-3 (year 6 to year 7)
During your child’s final year at Primary School, Mrs Macdonald (Head of Year 7 & 8/SENCo) visits the school and meets all future students and talks to class teachers and the Head teacher. This is an important part of your child's introduction to our school. During this period our Head of Learning Support, Mrs Cornelius, and FLC Manager, Mrs Roche, also liaise with your child’s Primary/Junior School to discuss the support requirements of those students with special needs including those on the Gifted and Talented Register or need extra support with transition.
In the summer term, Year 6 pupils will visit the School perhaps on several occasions. This important step in Primary to Secondary transition helps to ensure that we get to know our future students and their needs as fully as possible before they join us in Year 7. This means that we can begin productive work immediately in September to maximise learning and that we can also ensure that students experience a smooth and happy transition from Primary school.
- All students in Year 6 who have accepted a place at BHCS for Year 7 are invited to two Transition Days in July. These days provide a taste of secondary school life, giving them the experience of lessons, providing information about how the school runs and allowing an opportunity for students to meet their new classmates.
- Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs) are carried out on the second day and these provide extra valuable information to ensure that your child is placed in the correct classes when they start their secondary school experience.
- Parents/carers are invited to a ‘Year 6 Parents’ Evening’ at the end of the first Transition Day, to learn about the activities their children have undertaken, to meet their tutor and other key members of the Key Stage 3 team and to receive information about the organisation of the school.
- The Head of Year 7 & 8/ SENCo, Head of Learning Support, FLC Manager and Family Support Advisor visit feeder primary schools to meet students and gather information from Year 6 teachers and support staff.
- Before the end of year 6, BHCS tutors are provided with information about their new students’ needs, strengths and any other relevant background information.
- BHCS operates a vertical tutoring system in Key Stage 3, which means that students in Year 7 & 8 are placed together in tutor groups. This system also means that students are able to share their experiences and provide support for students experiencing the same changes and transitions that they have already faced.
- The Head of Year 7 & 8 allocates Y6 students to tutor groups according to advice from the primary school.
- Every student’s school file is passed on to the Head of Year (or, in the case of students with SEND, the SENCo) at the end of Year 6.
- The school arranges extra transition visits for vulnerable Year 6 students so that they can get to know the school site, meet staff with whom they will work and learn about how the school is organised.
- Each year, a small number of Year 7 students arrive at BHCS who are not secondary ready, or who are below the National Standard in literacy and numeracy. For these students, we have a specially designed primary style curriculum called Zone 7.
Key Stage 3-4 (Year 8 to Year 9)
- At BHCS students are in KS3 for two year (Year 7 and Year 8 only) and spend their remaining three years with us in KS4 (Year 9 onwards). This is so that our students have more time to spend on developing the skills and knowledge required for achieving qualifications at the end of Year 11.
- For KS4, students choose from a range of GCSE and BTEC courses which help to prepare them for the next steps in their education, be that college, apprenticeships or work. Students and parents/carers are offered advice and careers guidance at the appropriate time to help make these important decisions.
KS4-5 (year 11 to year 12)
- The school arranges visits to open days and further education fairs for all students. Support with finding and applying for apprenticeships is also available.
- Students are encouraged to consider attending university in the future and the school works with higher education establishments to provide experiences for students in order to inspire the ambition to pursue this route.
- All students in Year 10 are provided with 1-1 careers advice to help them plan possible routes for training or education.
- Students with a Statement of SEN or an EHC Plan who are moving on to further education are supported by the Local Authority’s Youth Support Services. A youth support worker will attend all Annual Reviews from Year 9 onwards to help plan and organise support for the move to college or vocational training.
- All information relating to a student’s exam concessions and required differentiation is passed on to college or the training provider during the summer term of Year 11, after college places have been confirmed.