Transition to Year 7
The decision of which secondary school your son attends is one of the biggest that you and he will have to make, the impact that this will have on his future development cannot be overstated. At Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, we realise that there is more to a school than just exam results, we are also here to help shape the character of the boys that join us and turn them into men that are ready to meet the challenges of the world in which they will live.
To this end the school stands by three core values: Respect, Excellence & Determination.
Respect for the school environment, themselves and each other, are promoted from day one, this is of course reciprocal, with staff showing equal respect to the students.
Excellence in all that they do. This includes work, appearance and conduct. It does not mean that everything is perfect, but is the best that each student can do. One of the biggest challenges in moving from a small primary school to a much larger and selective secondary school is that while the student may have been the greatest at something out of their 30 classmates at primary school, they may not be out of the 210 Year 7s here. The important thing however, is that they are the best they can be.
Determination to do as well as they can. We think it is important to challenge students consistently, to enable them to produce better quality work than they would originally think they could do. It is important for students to learn early on not to give up when something is a little tricky, but to see things through to the end.
The Transition Process
Our aim is for all boys to arrive at the school in September with a very good idea of what to expect, and therefore feeling as confident as possible.
You will receive 'New Entrants' information in March. There are, of course, numerous forms that we ask you to complete as soon as possible. Your prompt response will enable us to pass on crucial information to the team of around 15 staff who will be involved in teaching your son. In addition to this, information regarding present academic levels is requested from the primary school.
Where possible, your son will also be visited in his primary school by a member of our transition team. This conversation is a chance for us to explain the school day and some key procedures, as well as offer advice on how to manage things like preparing in advance for a much more structured day. It is also an excellent opportunity for him to ask questions of us and for us to talk to his primary school teacher.
An information evening for new parents is held in late June (Thursday 25th June for 2020 entry – an online meeting due to COVID-19). The Headteacher will outline the ethos of the school as well explain some of the day-to-day procedures that operate. You will also be able to meet with the Year 7 pastoral team if you have any concerns.
Shortly after this, the boys are invited to a transition day, which normally takes place in early July (again, because of COVID-19, this is different for 2020 entry). They will have a short assembly with the Headteacher, meet their new form and tutor, have a tour of the school site, and a few lessons. They will be accompanied by some current Year 7 students who will act as helpers for this day and the first couple of weeks in September.
Following on from the transition day, you are more than welcome to come back into the school if you or your son have any concerns. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a mutually convenient time for this.
After the boys start school in September, the transition process is far from over. They will now know their form tutor, who is their 'go to person' for help and advice, and the form tutor is therefore the best person for you to contact if you are concerned at all.
In late September, the PTA arrange an informal evening with refreshments, which is a chance to meet the Year7 pastoral team and other parents.