Information for Year 6 students starting in September 2020
Schools in the UK remain closed until further notice. As yet we have no confirmation of when and how schools will open and when students will return. Rest assured, we will keep you fully informed as and when we have any further guidance from the Government.
Please click here to find the Spen Valley A-Z. Here there is a wealth of information including details about the uniform required for year 7.
You can purchase uniform from Rawcliffes in Dewsbury. See the link to their website here: https://smartschoolwearcentre.co.uk/spen-valley-high-school/
Please watch the video below where you will be introduced to some key staff including the Year 7 Form Tutor Team.
Parents Information Evening - Via Zoom
In lieu of the traditional Parents' Information Evening we will be hosting an event for new parents via Zoom on Tuesday 7th July at 6:00pm. Families will be provided with the link and password to join via letter.
For help on how to join a Zoom meeting please follow this link: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193
If you have any questions or issues that you would like us to address during the meeting please complete the form below and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
Easing the Transition
Please read and complete the documents below; these will ease the transition process for your child and help them to become familiar with the routines at Spen Valley as well as the people and building itself.
The 'All About Me' booklet can be brought on the first day back and will be a vehicle for discussion with your child's new form and tutor:
Here are some photographs of key staff so that students can familiarise themselves with adults that will be intrinsic to their journey throughout secondary school:
Students will have a tour of the school, in the meantime here is a map so that students are aware of where departments and leisure areas are situated:
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of these relate to the Covid-19 situation and are accurate at the point of writing.
- Will my child be starting school in September?
The government have recently announced that it is their intention for all students to return to school in September. We still await details of what this will look like, but we will keep you updated about the details.
- Will Year 7 students be starting school at the same time as other students?
Because of Covid-19 our usual Transition activities have not taken place. However, we will ensure our new Year 7 students start before the older students return. We are currently unable to confirm when this will be until we receive further guidance form the Government.
- Should I buy my child a Spen Valley High School Uniform?
Currently our students are not wearing school uniform but guidance states that there is little risk of the Covid-19 virus being transmitted via clothes. Therefore, from September our students will resume wearing school uniform so you will need to purchase this. Details of our school uniform can be found in the Parents/Carers A to Z. Due to the current situation suppliers may have found it difficult to obtain this, therefore if you experience any difficulty in purchasing your child’s uniform, please contact school.
- What colour tie does my child need?
The colour of your child’s tie depends on their form group. The letter you should have received informs you of your child’s form and tie colour.
- Who is my child’s form tutor?
Your child has been placed in a form group and the name of the group and their form tutor has been given in the letter. The name of the form group relates to their year group and their form tutor’s staff code. You can see your child’s form tutor in the short introductory video and we will look at opportunities for you to meet with them in person as soon as possible.
- My child is not in a form group with their friends from primary school, can I change this?
When creating form groups, we take into consideration a lot of information from primary schools and try to ensure students are from a range of primary schools and abilities. Your child can meet their friends at social times and often they widen their circle of friends when they join secondary school. It is important that your child mixes with new children, so unless there is a very good reason we would prefer for changes not to be made. If you have any concerns regarding this please contact Mr. Frost.
- My child has not been in school since the lockdown started, what will you do to support their gaps in learning?
In Primary Schools after the pupils take their SATs, the summer term is often used to focus on other non-core subjects and activities. Whilst we cannot replicate these experiences, we are reviewing our curriculum plans to take account of any gaps in learning and we will support students both in lessons, and where necessary, targeted intervention. In the meantime, on the Spen Valley High School website you will find a wealth of resources for online learning. We would strongly recommend that you encourage your child to access these over the summer so that they are ready to learn and that the ‘summer slide’ in achievement and progress is prevented. One of the most important things your child can do to improve their learning is to read; both fiction and non-fiction. This is something that will not only develop their vocabulary but also deepen their knowledge.
- There were no SATs this year so how will you know the academic level of my child?
We have been in discussion with the Year 6 teachers from each primary school and we have the teacher assessment judgements which we will use as a starting point. In the first half term your child will taught in mixed ability groups and during this time they will take baseline tests and a Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT) which also assess their overall academic potential. However, please do not worry about this, young people develop at different rates and during their time at Spen we will assess their learning in a variety of ways. This helps us to identify any gaps in learning so that we can target any intervention and inform our future teaching.
- My child has not been in school since lockdown and is particularly anxious about returning to school?
Most young people have some level of anxiety about moving to secondary school, however we appreciate that this year it may be even harder for some of our students. What’s important to remember is that most people will be in the same situation and usually once our students come to school, these worries disappear. However, if you would like to speak to someone about your child’s specific anxieties please contact Mr Frost, if he is unable to answer your specific question he will ensure someone else in school contacts you.
- I have always taken my child to school, but they want to walk on their own. How can I keep them safe?
It is natural for a child in secondary school to want to walk to school, either on their own, or with their friends and they should be encouraged to develop this independence. However, it can be very scary for parents/ carers. Therefore, it is important that that you talk to your child about how to keep themselves safe. This not only includes guidance on ‘stranger danger’ but also basic road safety. If they want to ride a bike to school they must also understand road safety, including the need to wear a helmet. Remind your child that with this independence comes ‘grown up’ responsibility and they must keep you informed if they are going to be late. We encourage our students to walk with a friend, but they should also go straight home or to an ‘agreed place’ and keep their phone charged and turned on when they leave the school site, so they can be contacted. We do have staff on duty at the beginning and end of the day to support our students as they travel to and from school and there are staff in school if your child does not arrive home on time; this is usually when they have forgotten to tell you they will be late!
- What happens if I forget to put money on my child’s school meals account?
Don’t worry, we won’t see your child go hungry. They simply need to explain this to a member of staff and we will get them a lunch. You can then pay the money back to us.
- What if my child gets lost in such a big school?
It might seem a bit daunting at first, but the school site is really quite compact and built around a basic inner court yard. In fact, the students are better than the adults at finding their way around! In the first couple of weeks, as Year 7 students settle in, there are no sanctions for being late to lessons and by week three they usually know where their lessons are. There are also lots of staff and students who are always willing to show students to their classrooms.
- Will there be the normal residential events in the first half term for Year 7 students?
At the moment all residential events have been put ‘on hold’, until we have further information regarding the Covid-19 situation.
- What will transition from Primary School to Spen Valley High School look like this year?
Mr Frost (Year 7 Achievement Coordinator) has been in touch with all Year 6 teachers and has collected information about every new Year 7 starter for 2020. However, so we can get to know our new students better, there is an ‘All About Me Booklet’ available on the school website. We would like to encourage students to complete this at home and bring it with them on their first day at Spen Valley High School. Paper copies are available from the school office.
On the website you will also find useful information including a map of the school and a list of key staff. We will also be holding a virtual Transition meeting for parents/carers on Tuesday 7th June at 6pm. During the first week there will be a range of activities to help our students settle into secondary school. In the meantime, if your child feels particularly proud of any work they have completed at home, please can they email it to: email@example.com.
- Who do I speak to if my child is experiencing difficulties?
If this is an issue with their well-being or any other pastoral issue, the first point of contact is your child’s form tutor. If they are teaching they may not be able to speak to you immediately, but should get back to you by the end of the day. If there is an urgent pastoral issue, that cannot wait, you should contact their Head of Year. If the matter relates to a particular lesson you, should speak to your child’s subject teacher. Please talk to your child so you are familiar with the names of all their teachers. For all matters relating to SEND and medical needs please contact our SENCo, Mrs Annette Holder and for safeguarding, Mr Fox-Rice (our Designated Safeguarding Lead).
- How will I know what equipment my child needs for school each day?
Your child will be given a school planner, in which there will be a copy of their timetable. We encourage parents to take a photograph of this and keep it handy so you can remind your child what they will need each day. However, it is important that our students develop independence so try and encourage them to check their timetable themselves, each evening, and ensure they have the correct equipment in their school bag for the day ahead.
If you have any further queries or questions please don’t hesitate to contact school.
Download a copy Year 6 FAQs