Year 6 onto 7 Transition Newsletter
Welcome to John Taylor High School Community
We are extremely excited to be welcoming our new Year 7 cohort to our school community. It has been a pleasure to meet so many of you face to face over the last half term, whether that be us visiting you at primary school or you visiting us on your induction day, students, and parents alike! We are so proud of the resilience the Year 6 into 7 students are already showing at the start of their John Taylor High School journey, in what has been a different transition period.
This Transition Newsletter has been created for the Year 6 into 7 students and their parents/carers to help support in preparation for September and key information to ensure those first days go as smoothly as possible.
We are proud of our whole school vision, which is ‘One Community, Striving for Personal Excellence.’ This is at the heart of John Taylor and highlights the great importance of having a strong, inclusive, diverse community which works effectively together, so that everyone, is able to achieve their personal excellence. The whole school vision is underpinned by the four core values chosen by our school community.
Respect – to be thoughtful of the feelings, wishes, or rights of others. It also means looking after our environment.
Kindness – to treat everyone the best that you can. No matter who they are or how you feel about them you treat them with fairness and respect.
Integrity – a person's commitment to honesty and a willingness to do what is right.
Perseverance – is not giving up. It is persistence and tenacity, the effort required to do something and keep doing it until the end, even if it is hard.
So welcome to our school and community, we are looking forward to working with you to ensure each of our students achieves their own personal excellence. #weareJT
Mr Markwell - Head of Year 7
Ms Crutchley - Head of Lower School
What to expect in September?
The big day will soon be here, and we are excited to be welcoming you to John Taylor High School. The first day for our new Year 7 pupils is Friday 3rd September and it will look slightly different than previous years.
Students will arrive on site at their designated time according to their form group to have their first COVID test. Each student has been given their form group on a postcard during their induction day or via post if they were unable to attend. Arrival/testing times are as follows:
Year 7 students arriving on buses 8.00 -9.00am
7J – 9:00am
The testing process is supported by an experienced team of senior school leaders and support staff. Tutors will be waiting to collect the members of their form and their day will begin with their form group.
Following morning break, students will meet their peers in their teaching groups, whom they will spend their lessons with. For the remainder of the day, periods 2 and 3, teaching groups will have a Maths and Science lesson.
At the end of the day, students who walk home or are collected can leave school site at 3.40pm. Students who catch the bus will be guided to bus queues on the tennis courts.
The support will continue into the next week, with students being met on the tennis courts by their tutors and supported in the movement throughout the school day until they get used to the site. From Monday 6th September, please ensure students are on site by 8.55am and make their way to the tennis courts as on their induction day. Any worried students (or parents!) can be assured there will be staff ready to support any uncertainty.
Please ensure students are aware of the collection arrangements in place for them at the end of the school day as we will not be able to allow parents/carers on site to collect.
We are JT: Top tips to be ready to start JT
What we do:
- Turn up
- Work Hard
- Be Nice
Together as ‘One community’ we want all students to turn up, ready to excel in everything that they do. To have a foundation of positive wellbeing to enable academic excellence.
We appreciate that this can be hard, as there can be many things that can effect us which can be out of our control – however establishing positive routines to manage what we do have control over can make a real difference.
Being ready to learn
Sleep: We want all students to turn up ready to excel and that means having had between 8 – 10 hours of sleep. Using the last week of the holidays to get into a good sleep routine is important so they are used to being woken by an alarm clock that gives them adequate time to get washed, changed, fed and ready to get to school.
Nutrition: being fuelled for the day is really important to ensure that pupils can concentrate and do their best. We would advise that student get into a routine of having a good breakfast each morning and are fully hydrated when they arrive at school. Having woken from 8 – 10hrs of sleep, it is important that we start the day with water in order to start hydrating the body again.
Please ensure that your child comes to school with a named drinks bottle, so they are able to use the many drinking taps around the school site to rehydrate during the day. We don’t allow fizzy drinks at school as we want to encourage all pupils to be as healthy as they can be.
Creating routines to get into school on time: Having an alarm clock and establishing a positive routine is important. If your child is catching a bus to school it could be useful to get them familiar with where the bus stop is, to arrange to meet someone at the bus stop if this is possible. It is also important to have a plan in place for what your child should do to contact you if there is any issue on the way to and from school. All students need to be on school site by 08:55 and in their form rooms at 09:00.
Being organised: Please help your child to get into a habit of being organised. They will have a planner, where they will have their timetable, record their homework and keep a note of important messages. You should see and sign their planner weekly. They should also know how to log into Go4Schools, where they can keep up to date with all parts of the school life, and have access to their school Office 365 account. Please encourage your child to pack their bag the night before and practice taking responsibility for being organised.
Pride in our uniform: We are incredibly proud of our school and want our students to show this in the way their wear their uniform. Checking uniform a week before we start school would be good to check that it still fits and can also help students to prepare for the first day and talk through any worries that they may have.
We want all members of our one community to strive to achieve their own personal excellence, and want to work with students to develop a positive and proactive work ethic.
We don’t expect all pupils to be the best, but we do expect all pupils to be their best and are committed to work with them to help them meet these high expectations. We expect pupils to show perseverance, and encourage them to get to know how they can use other members of our ‘one community’ to be their best. This will be teaching staff, members of the pastoral team and also lunch staff, administration staff or the site team. We are ‘one community’ striving together to be our personal best.
We want pupils to have a positive relationship with their mobile phone. We want pupils to feel safe when travelling to and from school, especially when they are using coaches or public busses. Your child can bring a phone to school, but once through the school gate this should be turned off and put tin their bag. We have a very clear “see it, hear it, lose it” rule, where if a phone is seen or heard at school it will be removed from your child and then returned at the end of the day. If this happens more than once in a half term, someone from home will be required to collect the phone from the school. We would encourage all students to speak to a teacher if there is a problem at school. We can then look to help your child and contact you in order to support your child.
Having a positive and open relationship with their mobile phone out of school is also key. Keeping phones in an agreed place away from the bedroom and using the
We want to develop a strong relationship between pupils – parents – school. This means talking to your child about using staff at school to support them and contacting your form tutor or a member of the pastoral team if you have any queries.
We want all students to feel valued as a part of our ‘one community’ and showing integrity, respect and kindness in what they do is essential in doing this. Your child may know lots of people who are coming to JT, or may be the only one from their school. We would offer the same advice to all students – go out of your way to make a great first impression as the person that they meet could have a massive impact on the rest of their lives – a best friends for life, an inspirational teacher a team mate in an England team that finally brings “football home”?
We want to give every opportunity for pupils to build and establish positive relationships with every member of our ‘one community’.
Structure of the Day 2021/22
The John Taylor School Day consists of a registration session, three 100-minute lessons with a 15-minute morning break and a 50-minute lunch break. We run a two-week timetable consisting of week A and B.
Friday 3rd September Week A
W/C Monday 6th September Week A
W/C Tuesday 13th September Week B
Morning Break: 10:25-10:45am
Lunch Break: 12:10 – 13:00pm
During lessons students will be placed in seating plans for each of their lessons by their classroom teachers.
COVID 19 Testing from September
We are fully aware that our new Year 7 students will not have experienced testing in school, some may never have taken a test at all.
During all testing sessions, staff experienced in the testing process will be on hand to support any nervous students. The tests being used from September requires a nasal swab only. A simple overview is below:
It would be helpful for you to discuss the process with your child/children at home. You may wish to practice at home before testing at school with free tests that are available for you to order through the government:
Testing remains voluntary, but strongly encouraged. If consent is provided, pupils will be asked to self-swab in school and will be informed after 15 minutes.
It is extremely important that parents/carers provide the school with consent for the student to carry out the test in school. You can do this by completing the form on the link below:
FAQS – Year 6 STUDENTS
Got a question that is still left unanswered? Have look at the FAQ's below. Don't forget if you can't find the answer you need, please email email@example.com
Will I get lost?
JTHS is a big site, but do not worry once you get here we will give you a map and during your first 2 weeks we will have lots of student leaders and staff around to help you get to where you need to be! You would be surprised how quickly our new students get used to their timetable and the rooms they need to be in. Should it take you a little longer, don’t worry, other students and all staff will be there to help you find your way.
What can I do at lunchtime?
You have the choice to bring a packed lunch or use one of the two canteen areas. The canteens are open before school, at break and at lunch. As we have a big site, there is lots of space for students to spend their free time. Some students choose to sit with friends and catch up, others participate in a club, lots of students use the space to play a game of football. There are also quieter areas such as our LRC (Learning Resource Centre) which is very popular, to read, play chess, use computers or complete homework.
Who will help me if I have a question or if I feel worried?
We understand that whilst you are excited about joining JTHS sometimes you may have questions or feel worried. Should this be the case, there are lots of people around who want to help. You will see you Form Tutor every morning for 30 minutes and they are your first port of call for help and support. Older students can also be a real help, remember they were once where you are now and they are all really friendly and happy to help. You can also find Mrs Gilmore (Pastoral Support Assistant) and Mr Markwell (Head of Year 7) in the Lower School Office.
How much homework will I get and what will it be like?
During your first week at JTHS we want you to focus on settling in and becoming part of our school community so no homework is set during this time. After this homework is set on Go4Schools which you and your parents/carers can view and you can also use school planners that are provided for you to help stay organised. After the first week, you can expect 2-3 pieces per week from Maths, English and Science which should take around 20 minutes to complete. Eventually, you will be set a piece of homework per subject each week.
Am I allowed to use my mobile phone at break and lunch?
At JTHS we allow students to bring their mobile phones to schools so they can be used if needed on the journey to and from school. Once on the school site, mobile phones should be turned off and kept in your school bag. If your mobile phone is seen on the school premises, it will be confiscated by a member of staff and can be collect from the Lower School Office at the end of that school day. Should your mobile phone have to be confiscated on a second occasion, it will need to be collected by parents.
Will I be in the same class as my friends from Primary school?
It is unlikely that you will be with all of your friends from Primary school in you new groups at JTHS, but this provides an excellent opportunity for you to make new friends with the other new students who are all in the same position as you. You will have plenty of time to catch up with Primary school friends and introduce them to your new friends at break and lunch.
Will there be people around to help when I first start at JTHS?
Absolutely! For your first two weeks, if guidance allows there will be a team of student leaders to help you around the school and answer any questions you might have along with key staff including your form tutor, Mr Markwell - Head of Year 7, Mrs Gilmore – Lower School Pastoral Assistant and Ms Crutchley – Head of Lower School. Our school community is one of kindness, this support will maintain well beyond the first two weeks and continue throughout your journey at JTHS.
Are there any extracurricular clubs I can join when I come to JTHS?
JTHS has a wide variety of extracurricular clubs to cater for different interests. These include Sport, Chess, Reading, Films and lots of subject based groups to join. You will receive an A-Z guide of the extracurricular clubs available at JTHS soon. If there is a club you would like to set up that isn’t available, let us know and we can support in getting that launched, we are always looking for new ideas.
What will my school day at JTHS look like?
The school day starts at 9am and finishes at 3.40pm. Throughout the day you will have 6 lesson periods which are broken up with a morning break (11.10 – 11.30am) and lunchtime (12.10 – 1pm) The biggest difference from Primary will be the number of different classrooms you will have your lessons in and the number of different teachers you will see. Every day starts with registration with your Tutor and tutor group and in your lessons you will be in your core teaching group.
Will the work at John Taylor be much more difficult?
Everyone comes to John Taylor with different knowledge, skills and talents based on the different experiences that they have had at primary school and through life. Our job, as your school, is to give you the opportunity to show what you know and enable you to learn by building on what you have already learnt. We expect all members of our community to turn up ready to try their best and work hard. It is our teacher’s job is to share their passion for their subject and help you to learn and develop your confidence in your own ability. So all you can do is turn up, be confident in yourself and work hard with your teacher to be your absolute best.
Will I get detention for little things?
We take great pride in our expectations of our students. By follow our motto of ‘Turn up, Work Hard Be Nice’, we believe that we can work as one community to strive towards our own personal excellence. We believe that we all have a part to play in creating a kind and caring community, and our teachers will support you in understanding how we expect you to act and behave. Teachers will talk to you about your actions; noticing when you excel and are JT, as well as explaining where you could change your behaviour in order for your to be your best. We expect you to work respectfully within our community to learn how to be JT. Detentions are a part of our behaviour policy, but are only issued when you have been given an opportunity to meet our expectations. You should aim to meet our values in all that you do and then you can focus on getting merits and other forms of praise rather than getting detentions.
How is my best work rewarded?
At John Taylor we look to recognise excellent effort rather that rewarding those who get the top grades. We expect everyone to ‘Turn up, Work Hard, Be Nice’ and recognise when you do this by giving out House Merits which you can track on your personalised Go4Schools site. If you consistently meet our expectations you may get a ‘Praise Postcard’ from your teacher or an email home. We also have form and year awards, as well ‘Hot Chocolate with the Head’ for those who have gone over and beyond. We want to recognise your effort in living our school values through your actions, believing that this will enable you to strive to be your personal best.
What happens if pupils are not kind to me?
We have clear values that we expect all members of our ‘one community’ to commit to. Learning to meet these expectations is learnt behaviour, which some students may need more support to live to. We believe that every member of our community have the right to feel safe and respected. All staff, teachers, lunchtime supervisors, admi staff are committed to work with all students to create this environment. We want you to feel comfortable to talk to your teacher if you do not feel comfortable, and certainly speak to your form tutor. We have a very experienced pastoral team in lower school office to support you and a clear behaviour policy to follow to ensure we are ‘one community’.
What is the House system?
The school is split into four different Houses – Kingstone, Marchington, Sherwood and Needwood. In year we have two forms from each of Kingstone, Marchington, Sherwood and Needwood. There are three different House Cups which you will all compete to win through the year. The ‘House Merit Cup’ is awarded to the House with the most merits through all year groups through the school year. The ‘Cross Country Cup’ is awarded to the House whose students have come in the highest positions in the cross country. The ‘Sports Day Cup’ is awarded to the House with the most points awarded at sports day in July. There is lots of opportunity for you to contribute towards your House winning.
What happens if I forget something?
There are many things that you can do to help you get into good habits: to ‘Turn up’ ready to learn and be your best. You will have a planner which will have your timetable and a list of all the required equipment you should have for all lessons. You should use your timetable to bring just the books you need for each day. We do not have lockers, as you should be able to carry the equipment you need for your three lessons. We do have seating areas and bag racks which you can use when you are not in your classroom. We would encourage you to have a copy of your timetable in a prominent place at home, and work with people at home to pack your bag the night before. Again, if you do forget something your teacher will work with you to help you to remember and be organised.
Optional Summer Challenges
Below are links to some JTHS Values challenges you may choose to have a go at over the summer break.
We would love to see how you get on! Please share with us by emailing any pictures of work to firstname.lastname@example.org or bringing it in to share with your tutor group in September!
Key Dates for the diary - Year 7 Autumn Term
Friday 3rd September - 1st Day!
Tuesday 21st September - School photos
Thursday 30th September - Service of Welcome
Monday 18th October - Bonding Day at Beaudesert
Monday 25th - Friday 29th October - Half Term
Monday 6th December - Year 7 Reports
Friday 10th December - Christmas Jumper Day
Friday 17th December- School closes for Christmas at 12.30pm