We are delighted that you are considering Yavneh College to educate, inspire and support your child during their crucial high school years.
At Yavneh College, we appreciate that starting secondary school is an important milestone and one which can often cause anxiety amongst both parents and pupils. A smooth transition into secondary school paves the way for a successful secondary career. As such, we have put a great deal of time and thought into helping to make the transition from Primary school to Yavneh College a smooth one.
Below are a range of frequently asked questions and common concerns parents have about how the School deals with transition together with explanations of how we will deal with your child’s move to Yavneh College.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming your child to Yavneh College and inspiring them to become the very best that they can be both academically and as a person.
The first time your child will come to Yavneh College will be to sit their Cognitive Assessment Tests around April time but, we will let you know the exact date. The information we receive from these tests is invaluable and helps us to understand your child’s learning needs and strengths. These are not tests which can (or should!) be studied for and we try to make the process as relaxed as possible. On this day, pupils will get to meet each other, find their way around the campus and will receive refreshments over the course of the day. The day will run from approximately 8.45 until 13.30.
Thursday July 6th is the county-wide Transition Day. On this day we run a Yavneh College taster day for our new pupils. Pupils move from class to class as they would on a normal school day and they get to try out some lessons Yavneh College style! In this way pupils will begin to get a feel for their way around the school and the manner in which a school day functions. This day will also include a more thorough tour around the school with a Year 7 buddy (a pupil who is coming to the end of their first year at Yavneh College) who will also be able to answer any questions from a pupil’s perspective!
Later that evening, we will invite all parents into school to hear about everything they need to know from the Senior Team. By the end of that day, your child will know who is in their form class and you will be given a Form List and Neighbours List which will help you organise rotas, and ‘playdates’ for your child in advance of them starting at school.
Over the summer holiday it is common for parents or sometimes the YCA (the Yavneh College Association, the parents’ association) to organise a social event for the incoming Year 7s to help prospective pupils to get to know one another. This does not mean that your child will not be nervous on their first day but, Yavneh College will not be a totally unknown entity for them.
Furthermore, the first day that your child puts on their new uniform and comes to school they will not be overwhelmed by all the ‘bigger kids’ as we have Year 7 in for an orientation day by themselves on Tuesday 5th September 2017. We explain how their timetable works, we show them where their classrooms are and we help them understand how to be organised. We also talk to them about travelling to and from school safely and with confidence. Parents always comment about how reassuring their children find these sessions.
After a few weeks, the whole of Year 7 undertakes a fun-filled activity day with Mr Hodgkinson the Head of Year, Year 7 tutors and the Pastoral Manager Mrs Chweidan. This day is invaluable for pupils to really bond as a year group. They get to help one another to solve problems, scale walls and importantly, build friendships.
Throughout their time at Yavneh College pupils are repeatedly reminded about the Pastoral Managers and the manner in which they can help pupils deal with any problems, upset or concerns and never is this more the case than for a Year 7 pupil in the first few weeks of the school year. Your child may meet Mrs Chweidan or, Mr Hodgkinson when they visit your child’s primary school. Year 7s know that they will see their form tutor every morning and that they can turn to them if they feel that they need additional support – but they also know that Mrs Chweidan is also available to offer extra support in settling in.
We spend a lot of time making sure that we understand your child as best as we can before they start at Yavneh. As already mentioned, Mrs Chweidan or Mr Hodgkinson is likely to visit your child in their primary school and speak to your child’s year 6 teacher about their needs, talents, friendships and individual needs. They may also meet your child and ask them about themselves and answer any questions they have about secondary transfer in the attempt to allay as many fears as possible as early as possible.
You and your child will also be invited in to meet with the Headteacher who will also want to hear all about your child. You may also raise any concerns you may have about your child or, the transfer process with him directly.
Form tutors at Yavneh College hold one to one mentoring sessions with their tutees on average once every six weeks. This ensures that your child’s tutor will know your child really well – as will many of their subject teachers. You can contact your child’s form tutor or Mrs Chweidan if you have any concerns about them too.
Be assured that we will learn a lot about your child from the primary visits as described above and you will also be able to discuss your child with the Headteacher when you meet. Our SENDCo works closely with the primary SENDCo to make sure that all information is handed over carefully and that we can continue supporting your child as best as we can. We run a small induction morning for the SEN pupils we feel would benefit most from this. They meet the key members of the SEN department and are helped to feel more familiar with their prospective environment. If your child has been diagnosed with ASD for example, or you simply feel that this would be of benefit to your child please do not hesitate to get into contact with our SENDCo
You can get in touch with the school via email or telephoning Mrs Chweidan or, your child’s form tutor if you have any concerns about your child. If we feel that your child is struggling to settle into school then we will certainly contact you, but rest assured that no news is good news! We will send you a settling in report soon into the Autumn Term, during October and you will also be invited to meet your child’s form tutor too. In this way you will be able to put a face to a name when your child is talking about their form tutor and you’ll also meet other parents of children in your child’s form group. This is a good opportunity to raise any concerns or get some early feedback about your child. At the day to day level, you will be able to follow how your child is doing with regards to credits and debits, as these are all recorded via our real time reporting system Insight, which is essentially your Parental Gateway to Yavneh.
Firstly, don’t be too anxious about your child starting at Yavneh – it’s an exciting new chapter in their lives. Children are usually most worried about whether or not they will make friends. You can help them by reassuring them and being calm. After the first couple of weeks, experience has shown us that pupils are settled and happy socially. However, if you think that your child is still struggling on this front after a few weeks, please do contact the school to let us know.
You can really help your child settle into school by teaching them how to be organised. It is strongly advised that you purchase your child a set of plastic wallets so that they can keep all the books and resources to do with each subject together in one place. This will help them enormously. Establishing a homework routine is also crucial. Will they come home, have a snack and get the work over and done with? Will they stay at homework club and come home with nothing else to do? It is best to agree on this before the start of term so that your child knows exactly what is expected of them. Help your child learn to empty their bag out at the end of the day and repack it for the next day before going to bed! Keeping a copy of your child’s timetable in a prominent position such as on the fridge can help. Encourage your child to practise their journey to and from school independently before term starts so that they are not anxious about where to get on and off the bus. Our Insight Parental Gateway allows you to see what homework your child has been set that day, any outstanding pieces as well as deadlines which are looming. Your child will be able to access this with their own password but importantly, so will you. Insight also shows you your child’s timetable and is therefore very helpful in making sure your child is, and remains organised for school. When children are organised they are less anxious. When they are less anxious they enjoy school more, learn more effectively and settle much more quickly!