Transition 2020 FAQs

What events are there leading up to transition to The Halifax Academy?

In these unprecedented times it is difficult to know exactly how transition will work this year. Normally visits to our feeder primary schools are undertaken by our Transition Leader, Ms Saddique, and the Year 7 Year Manager. Students are then invited for Tea Party and Transition Day to experience a day at the academy. There is a Welcome Evening where learners and parents have the opportunity to come into school for a presentation by the Headteacher and the Year 7 Progress Leader, receive information about the uniform and ParentPay, familiarise themselves with the facilities and ask any questions that they may have.

At present we cannot say if these things will happen. In the meantime, we are working hard to prepare resources to share information about the academy with your child. We are also in communication with the Year 6 teachers from all your primary feeder schools to ensure that we have as much information as possible about your child and their needs.

What equipment will my child need?

The basic items of equipment which your child will need are: pencil case, pen, pencil, ruler and rubber. Many learners also choose to bring coloured pens and pencils along with other items of stationery which they feel they may need.

What happens on my child’s first day?

Normally all learners will gather in the main school entrance until they are asked to go into the Great Hall for a welcome assembly led by the Year 7 Progress Leader, Ms Saddique. Following this, students will go off to their tutor groups for a period of time. This allows them to meet with their peers and collect their timetables. Later during the day, timetables commence and learners will take part in lessons.

Will my child be in a tutor group with other children who they know?

Wherever possible, and appropriate, your child will be placed with at least one other learner from their primary school.

What happens if my child is ill when they are at school?

If your child is ill they will be sent to the medical room where trained first aiders will assess your child. If required a member of staff will call home to discuss how your child is feeling with you.

What do I do if my child is ill and going to be absent from school?

Please contact school as early as you can to leave a message on the absence line.

How do we pay for school dinners?

Students will be set up with an account on our cashless system. This uses your child’s fingerprint to load money onto their account and to pay for anything they purchase (this is currently under review due to coronavirus restrictions). You will also be sent a log on for ParentPay, which will allow you to top up your child’s account online. Students who receive Free School Meals will continue to do so. Their account will be pre-loaded with the allocated amount daily.

Who do I contact if I have any questions or if there are any problems?

You should contact the Year 7 Year Manager in the first instance. The most effective ways of doing this are either by putting a note in your child’s planner or sending an email direct to the relevant person who will then respond as soon as they can. For more significant questions or concerns please contact Ms Saddique, Year 7 Progress Leader by email: progressleaderyear7@thehalifaxacademy.org or Mrs Hopper, SENCO on the SEN mobile number: 07501 532614

How can I prepare my child for secondary school?

Moving to secondary school can be a daunting time for both children and their parents. One of the key ways to prepare your child for transition is to develop their independence skills. This includes encouraging them to gather and pack their own equipment ready for school or other activities, managing time and money, looking after their belongings and development of strategies to use if something goes wrong.

What if I get lost?

No need to worry about getting lost, you won’t really be lost, but at some point you may be unsure where your classroom is: you don’t need to panic. All our teachers and pupils are really helpful, all you need to do is ask and someone will point you in the right direction or often, walk you to lesson. Most of our building is set out in two streets across two floors with a one-way system, and all the classroom doors are clearly labelled. You will additionally have a tour of the school and be provided with a map on your first day. By October, you will be brilliant at knowing your way around. Trust us!

Will work be really hard?

All your work will be specific and targeted towards your own ability level, this will be different for everyone. If the work is too easy you will become bored and uninterested, so the work will be challenging but still achievable. We work very closely with primary schools to find out your ability levels and any additional support you might need. If there is a piece of work you are finding difficult, you can speak to your teacher as they will be able to help you and explain it in a different way. There may be some resources or books to help you, and we also have a Homework Club each week after school until 4pm where you could get support.

How much homework will I get?

We would expect you to get between 2-3 hours of homework a week. To make sure you keep on top of your homework, you will be given a school planner where you can write everything down and the date it is due in. It is best to do your homework the night you get it, then you know it has been completed and you won’t forget to do it. Reading is a key expectation of homework so we hope you are already making a start on this whilst learning from home.

How will I be rewarded for my work?

Teachers will reward positive behaviour, good work, correct uniform and helpfulness by awarding you achievement points. Your name will go into a prize draw to win something in assembly. We also recognise achievements and effort by sending postcards and letters home and rewarding groups with excellent A2L Grades with a KS3 pizza lunch. At the end of the year, pupils who have maintained high standards all year will be nominated for our Year 7 Oscar Assembly. You will also have an opportunity to go on a reward trip.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Yes, The Halifax Academy has a specific school uniform, making each of you look part of The Halifax Academy community. More information can be found on here: Uniform

How will parents know what uniform or equipment is needed?

The uniform requirements can be found here: Uniform

More information regarding this will be published at a later date due to COVID-19. We thank you for your support and patience with this matter. Each day pupils will be required to have a blue or black pen, pencil, rubber, ruler, compass, protractor and calculator. We advise coloured pencils and a sharpener would be useful. Additionally, pupils will be provided with a school planner. A strong and sturdy A4 size school bag will be needed to carry equipment and school books for the day. We do not provide lockers. Equipment checks will be done daily during registration; it would be a good idea to practice being organised with all the equipment you need.

How will the Academy decide which tutor group to place my child in?

We collect information from your primary schools and ask them to recommend learning partners. These are peers that work well together to bring out the best in each other. We do not take requests to be with friends as this is a great opportunity to meet new people, and as a school we have found this to be a very successful approach. If your child is coming from a school where they are the only pupil, we would place them in a tutor group where there are others in the same situation so that they can support each other.

How will the school be up to date with my child’s needs if Primary School is closed?

We are working closely with primary schools and the Year 6 teachers to collect all key information and data to ensure a smooth transition into Year 7 at The Halifax Academy.

Primary colleagues and our staff have positive relationships and both parties are working collaboratively to meet pupil needs. However, if you feel there is new information that the primary may not be aware of, you are welcome to contact us on: office@thehalifaxacademy.org