For the New Year 7 Pupils Starting in September 2021
At Urmston Grammar, we understand that the transition from primary to secondary school is one of the most important stages in a child’s education. As we navigate our way through an unprecedented time due to the pandemic, it is even more important to ensure a smooth and effective transition. Every year, we work closely with our primary schools to ensure that suitable arrangements are in place to support our new pupils as they make this significant step into our Urmston Grammar community. Our Year 7 curriculum and the pastoral support programme supports every pupil to make the best possible start to their secondary education.
1. As soon as we have received the admissions’ form to confirm the pupils who have accepted a place at Urmston Grammar, contact between our transition team and our future pupils and their parents begins.
2. Each year, there are in excess of 55 primary schools feeding into our school community, and this often results in a significant number of primary schools sending less than 3 pupils. We encourage our new Year 7 not to feel overly anxious if they are coming to Urmston Grammar on their own, as there will be many others who are in the same position. It will not take long at all to establish new friendships with their new peers.
3. After the Easter break, a ‘Starting at UGS’ booklet will be posted online for each new pupil to access. This provides valuable information for both pupils and their parents/carers, and starts to give an insight into how things will work for the pupil during the first few weeks at our school. Hopefully, the booklet starts to answer some of the questions they are likely to be asking, as they begin their transition journey. We would encourage parents and carers to spend time with their child reading through the booklet together.
4. Any Special Educational Need and/or Disability information relating to the incoming pupils is collated. This information may have already been submitted by the parent(s) and/or the primary school. Our SEND department then reads through the information and when necessary, will arrange a meeting ahead of the start of term in September.
5. From after the May half term, we are intending, (pandemic restrictions permitting), to offer weekly sporting opportunities to the incoming girls and boys so that they can start to get to know, and build relationships with other likeminded pupils who are coming from other schools. These sessions are always hugely popular with our new pupils and we would encourage them to participate and get involved as early as possible.
6. We will be hosting a virtual Induction Evening in June for parents and pupils, to provide a wealth of information about our school and its procedures. In addition, you will be given the opportunity to meet virtually with the form tutor allocated to your child. We will communicate with you well in advance, and provide regular updates via our Admissions’ tab on our school website.
7. We will be in contact with all the primary schools to gather information about our new pupils, and we will use the information shared, (including friendship groups, ability, gender, strengths and weaknesses), to create five balanced form groups. These forms are not created according to ability. Each pupil then receives a letter giving them information about which form they will be in, and with whom.
In July, we are hoping to hold a Visiting Day for our incoming pupils to experience ‘taster’ lessons in both familiar and new curriculum areas. We are hoping to be able to host our new pupils on site, and this is certainly our current intention. These lessons are delivered to the pupils in their form groupings. This is subject to change depending on Covid-19 restrictions and advice from Trafford Public Health.
8. During the Visiting Day, the pupils are also introduced to our website, on which they will find a series of academic transition tasks from each curriculum area. Completed tasks are brought into school in September and handed into the form tutor. We are always hugely impressed by the effort and hard work demonstrated by our new pupils over the summer holiday!
9. On the first day in September, Year 7s (and the new Year 12s), come into school, whilst the remaining year groups will begin one day later. This ensures that our new Year 7 pupils do not feel overwhelmed by seeing almost a thousand new and unfamiliar faces. It also gives them extra time to navigate our buildings on much quieter, less congested corridors.
10. Year 7s are also able to go into lunch early for the first week of the new term to help them as they get to know our canteen systems and our lunchtime duty team. We are also aware that they will have worked up a large appetite following the nerves and excitement of joining their new school!
11. Please do keep regularly checking your emails and our school website, as there will be regular updates posted for parents and carers. Parents are encouraged to contact the school at any time via email if they feel they have any queries or concerns. We are very much looking forward to extending a warm Urmston Grammar welcome to both you and your child, and we look forward to the months ahead as we support their transition.
Mrs A. Rogers