The transition from primary to secondary school can be a daunting one. We recognise this and try to make the first year as smooth as possible. We pride ourselves on our warm, welcoming atmosphere in which each child is known and supported individually.
In Years 7-8 students are placed into one of four form groups. They are looked after by a form tutor, who sees them twice a day and will remain with them until the end of Year 8. As well as the tutor, the Head of Year and Assistant Head (Pastoral) are proactive in offering monitoring and guidance to students. Furthermore, students are mainly taught in these form groups, to help ensure that they make strong and supportive friendships as early as possible.
The Head of Year specialises in working effectively with the primary schools to ensure continuity from Key Stage 2 to 3. Students have a carefully managed induction process which is very much supported by the RSHE programme. If, at any time students require additional care and guidance, there are several avenues open to them.
Students have a Taster session once an offer has been made, an Introduction day in June as well as an Induction day at the beginning of Year 7 to ease the transition process. This includes team-building exercises to help students in the new tutor groups integrate. There is an Information evening for parents both in the summer term and in September which allows students and parents to settle into life at St. Olave’s as quickly as possible.
In Year 8 There is an Options Evening early in Spring Term, where the Assistant Headteacher and departments provide information about GCSE courses, which students follow from Year 9 onwards. The RSHE programme supports the Options Evening so that students and parents can make well-informed choices.
In Year 9, students move from four forms to five to enable Form Tutors to offer greater pastoral support with a smaller number of pupils to focus on.
There are also curriculum benefits as English and Science are delivered within tutor groups and consequently class sizes in these subjects are smaller as they begin the three-year GCSE courses. The Head of Year and tutors change at this point but then remains with their form throughout Key Stage 4, the form tutor remains the primary point of contact. As well as the tutor, the Head of Year oversees the guidance and monitoring of students during their first year at Key Stage 4, supported by the Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral).
Students have an Induction day at the beginning of Year 9 to ease the transition from Year 8 into Year 9, which includes team-building exercises to help students in the new tutor groups integrate. There is an Information evening early in the year to provide a further overview of the requirements of the GCSE courses as well as information on study skills as students embark on their three-year GCSE course.
RSHE and Citizenship (Years 9-11) provide opportunities to develop key skills that crossover multiple subjects. It enables students to explore key areas which impact daily life. Each year group has its own assemblies and events ensuring pupils enjoy being part of a small unit while still benefiting from the opportunities provided by a larger school.
Student voice is a key component to our pastoral provision with each form having form representatives who meet regularly with the Head of Year and the Assistant Head Pastoral. There is a Lead Delegate group where integration and communication between year groups is encouraged. This is seen further with the use of Form prefects. Sixth Form students provide a listening ear, mentoring and support to students in Years 7-11.
In Year 11 students are members of one of the six forms, with a form tutor who provides regular daily contact with them.
A sixth form group is introduced (11H) to provide specialised support for any students who need it, either for academic or pastoral reasons. This group receive regular mentoring from senior members of staff, which involves meetings and additional guidance. The Head of Year and Assistant Head (Pastoral) are proactive in offering monitoring and guidance to students, during this very important year.
After the mock examinations, all Year 11 students meet with their parents and a senior member of staff to discuss their Sixth Form Option choices. This is complemented by a Sixth Form Options Evening led by the Director of Sixth Form, which includes talks in all A Level subjects. It is an exciting time, when students begin looking forward to the next stage in their Olave’s careers.
As well as Parents’ Evenings Tutorial days occur with each year group where students have a one-to-one meeting with their form tutor to set the agenda for the forthcoming year.