Year 6 to Year 7

Parent & carer handbook 2023-24

The move from a relatively small primary school, where everybody knows everybody else and is taught by just one or two teachers, to a secondary school with much older children and lessons with up to 15 different teachers in the course of a week can be a daunting prospect! We therefore do our utmost to ensure the move is both worry free and exciting. Throughout the Year 6 we provide a programme of events to ensure a seamless academic and pastoral move to New Mills School.

Transition begins with our open evening which is held each year at New Mills School in September. This is an opportunity for prospective students and parents/carers to come and visit the school, hear about our vision and ethos, and then experience the various subjects and talk to staff. The evening is open for families with children in Y6, Y5 and even younger.

Following this date families are able to apply for a place at New Mills School via the Derbyshire County Council website - Apply for a school place - Derbyshire County Council.

Families will receive information if they have secured a place at New Mills School on National offer day – 1st March via email.  Please ensure that you submit the correct email when completing the application.

Once all places at New Mills School are secured our extensive transition programme begins.  

Our Key Stage Three team (Ms Brooks, Miss Tabbenor and Ms Barker) will visit all students in their primary school settings. They will speak to all children making the move to New Mills School in September, getting to know them and gathering information on interests, strengths and any specific needs.  In addition, some of our larger feeder schools will receive a two hour transition session from Take Part - Home - Take Part ( who will support students with skills on making friendships and breaking down any worries or fears that they may have in anticipation of joining secondary school.

Throughout June and July, staff at New Mills School offer an optional Thursday night welcome session, where students are welcome to come into school between 4pm and 5pm to get familiar with our school and take part in activities designed to get students excited about joining New Mills School.

In the summer term the students who have secured places at New Mills School spend two days on our site in a planned programme of activities designed to familiarise them with the school's layout and routines before arriving in September.  On this day they will meet the Year 7 tutor team and as many of their new teachers as possible.

In the same week parents are invited into school in the evening to meet key staff and to pick up information for the new school year.

From these events, students are sorted into Year 7 tutor groups.  In each class we strive to achieve a balance of gender and ability, a blend of primary schools, a blend of interests (musical, sporting etc.) and that all students, as far as possible, has at least one friendly face they recognise from their primary days in their new secondary groups

Our aim is to have all students starting their careers at New Mills School feeling comfortable and supported but over the summer holiday, and in the first few days concerns can arise about any number of aspects of moving to secondary school.  Our Key Stage Three team will be available to help new students with difficulties that may arise. We do rely on parents to keep us informed if they feel their child might be unhappy for whatever reason. When we receive information on any problems we do our best to rectify the issue rapidly.

In October students are invited to attend a one night residential activity (optional activity). The focus is on getting the new groups to gel and get to know one another whilst doing a range of challenging activities.  

Just before the half-term in October, parents have the opportunity to come into school and meet their child’s tutor who will be able to provide an overview of how their child is settling into life at New Mills School.

Throughout all of this, we are just a phone call or a visit away and we positively encourage parents to stay in touch with us. It is a sad inevitability that the sort of relationship parents enjoyed with their primary school teachers is difficult to sustain at secondary school because of the number of teachers now involved in each child's education.  Additionally, many parents begin to feel left behind as the nature of their child's work changes, or indeed, that they shouldn't interfere or intrude or make a fuss. On top of this, many students will actively discourage their parents from phoning up or coming into school to see how things are going - the last thing they want is for their friends to see their parents coming into school! However, we welcome such visits or phone calls, and tutors, and Key Stage Three team is always available by appointment and can make space to meet with parents or discuss matters over the phone.