Each year, pupils join St Bede’s from many different feeder primary schools and we aim to help them settle in as quickly as possible in the knowledge that a happy, settled pupil will thrive academically and socially. To support us achieving this goal, we work closely with our feeder primary schools to exchange academic and pastoral information on the pupils which is used strategically to plan the curriculum and pastoral support.
The pastoral team supporting pupils with the transition to Saint Bede’s comprise of: the Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for primary transition; the Head of Learning Support (SENCO); Head of Year 7 and Form Tutors for each form. All these members of staff oversee the transition for each pupil. Pupils receive a Transition Pack which includes:
- Transition Booklet - key information about their new school and the different subjects they will be studying.
- All About Me Profile – a task to be completed which provides the pupil with the chance to share information about themselves with their new Form Tutor and Year Leader.
- Summer Tasks – academic tasks in RE, English and Maths.
All pupils who accept a place at Saint Bede’s are invited to attend an Induction Day. This allows them to meet other new pupils, familiarise themselves with the school and experience a ‘taste’ of life at Saint Bede’s. Pupils follow a typical school day with three slightly shortened lessons and Mass in the school chapel.
Prior to starting in Year 7, very careful thought is put into the make-up of each form. Pupils are allocated to a form and specific Form Tutor based on guidance from our feeder primary schools. The aim is to ensure a smooth and comfortable start to their school experiences by providing them with a form group with some familiar faces but in an environment where they will develop new friendships.
New Year 7 pupils start school in September on the day before most other pupils return from the holidays. They will be introduced to the daily running of school life before everyone else returns. In the first few weeks of school, Year 7 pupils will attend Mass to welcome them to our school community. In the first half-term, Year 7 have the opportunity to take part in a pilgrimage to Jarrow Hall. This trip enables the pupils to learn about our patron saint and life in 8th Century England as well as visit the Age of Bede Museum, a reconstructed Anglo-Saxon settlement and the monastic ruins of St. Paul’s, Wearmouth. It is an opportunity for pupils to get to know key members of staff and each other in a more relaxed environment.
While our priority is to provide new Year 7 pupils with a smooth transition to Saint Bede’s, we recognise this phase in a pupil’s education journey can be unfamiliar and challenging for parents. We therefore host events prior to them starting Saint Bede’s and early on in the first term where parents can meet the members of staff supporting their child’s transition.
In addition to the transition materials provided and the events which take place to support new Year 7 pupils once they have chosen to attend Saint Bede’s we also offer opportunities to pupils in Year 4 and 5 to visit the school. These include our annual Open Evening, Year 5 Science and Technology taster days and the Year 4 ‘Let your light shine’ RE day.
Despite being an oversubscribed school Saint Bede’s does on occasion welcome new students midway through their secondary school journey. We aim to offer the same smooth transition as those moving from Year 6; by ensuring we gather all the necessary information from their previous school, conducting a pre-admissions meeting, which includes a tour of the school, and assigning the new student a ‘buddy’. The pre-admissions meeting is coordinated by the relevant Head of Year to ensure the new student and family are familiar with the key member of staff they should contact during the transition process.