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 Year 6 we provide a programme of events to ensure a seamless academic and pastoral move to New Mills School.

An open evening is held at New Mills School in September. This is an opportunity for prospective students and parents 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.

From the spring to the summer terms, once places are confirmed from the local authority our families will receive a comprehensive transition package.  This will include:

•    Visits to all primary schools from our Year 7 Manager (Mrs Quigley).  She will speak to all children making the move to New Mills School, getting to know them and gathering information on interests, strengths and any specific needs.   
•    Regularly mailshots / videos sent home to families with information to prepare students for their transition.  This will include information regarding uniform, rules and extra-curricular activities
•    A welcome to Year 7 evening where information is shared with families about how to prepare for Year 7.
•    Opportunities for parents / carers to attend drop ins, where families can share key information with staff members about how to support their child in Year 7.
•    A taster day, where all students will be invited into school to spend the day with their new groups and meet key members of staff.
•    A summer booklet full of information and challenges for students to complete in preparation for joining us in September.

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 Year Manager for Year 7, Mrs Quigley or transition lead, Mrs Adrio, is always 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 late September students will complete a team building day. The focus is on getting the new groups to gel and get to know one another whilst doing a range of challenging activities.   In the side panel are some photos of this year’s trip to Kingswood.

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. This is followed by school reports in December and June. Between these in March there is a full parents evening and a chance to meet and talk with all relevant teaching staff.

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 Mrs Quigley is always available by appointment and can make space to meet with parents or discuss matters over the phone.

Welcome to Year 7 - Parents Handbook