Letters and Communications
Frequently Asked Questions for students starting in September 2020
Will there be a Transition Day this summer?
Unfortunately, our usual Transition Day and Parents’ Evening will not be taking place this term. We are moving as much as we can to an ‘Online Transition Experience’ whilst the “real life” transition events will now take place in September. We will update parents as soon as we know what September will look like for schools. Over the next coming weeks, we will be offering live webinars with the Headteacher and the Assistant Head Teacher in charge of Transition, along with messages from our pastoral team, a virtual tour of the school and letters from our current Year 7 students to Year 6 students. More information to follow.
How will the school be collecting information about my Child?
Most families will have already received welcome emails requesting them to complete ‘Applicaa’, our online registration platform. From July we will move over to a simpler online form to allow us to fully check collected information and for those who have only just been successful in being awarded a place at Highgate Wood School to supply the information we require. Please be aware that this online form will need to be completed in one single sitting.
When do I find out my child’s House/Tutor Group information?
The Heads of House will write to students’ families individually and give them the information they need. This would usually happen after Transition Day. This year, because of the current situation, we do not know how or when Transition Day will happen, but the information will certainly be with families by early July, which is the usual timeline for this information. They will then be able to order the relevant House PE Kit items. Please note, from September 2020, all students will be required to wear a Year Tie rather than a House Tie. House identity will be via na iron-on badge on the blazer pocket.
Can I choose or nominate friends for my child to be in the same tutor group/teaching group with?
No. At Highgate Wood School we do not offer the option of choosing a friend who you wish to be with in your tutor group. We take a lot of care about placing our students into their tutor groups and teaching groups. We are currently working with primary schools to collect the information to help us to do that. We look at a number of different factors to make sure our tutor groups represent the comprehensive and diverse nature of our students and, where possible, the priority is to keep students in the same House as their older siblings in school.
We do ask that you inform us of children with whom there may be a negative or detrimental influence on your child.
Students are not taught in tutor groups for any lessons. There are 9 tutor groups, each consisting of 30 students. There are 10 teaching groups in Year 7 – each consisting of 27 students.
How do I purchase uniform?
School uniform items can be purchased through School Colours Direct Please ensure that you have read our uniform code booklet at the bottom of this page (or visit here) .
Unfortunately, at the moment, there will be no opportunity to try on any sizes but the company have a detailed guide on how to measure for the uniform which you can access here.
Our wonderful PSA do offer second hand uniform sales and we are currently working on how we can offer this safely. We will update you shortly.
What will the school use to provide targets for my child without SATs scores?
The school will receive centre-assessed grades in line with government guidelines. We will also be completing CATs tests with students when school starts.
What academic support will be put in place to help my child catch-up on missed learning?
At Highgate Wood School we are planning to ensure that the start of the new school year for our students is appropriately tailored to take into account the gap in education whilst following DfE and government guidelines.
How Will The School Support My Child Emotionally In September?
At Highgate Wood School we have a very comprehensive emotional support network. Students receive guidance related to mental health through tutor time sessions and PSHE. Year 7 will also have a ‘Well-Being Day’ during their first term. We have planned staff training in light of recent events and will have specific interventions for students to support them.
How soon do we get information about how our child is progressing?
There is a progress report sent out to parents\carers each term and we have a Pastoral Review Day in December, just after the half term, where parents\carers come into school with their child to review their child’s progress and set targets for the year ahead. We have a Year 7 Parents’ Consultation Evening scheduled for Spring 2021.
What is the policy on homework?
Homework is set every week in the core subjects of English, Maths & Science and once every 2 weeks in other subjects. Students will receive a homework timetable that shows when to expect homework for each subject. Homework is posted on ‘Show My Homework’. Students and parents\carers will receive a login for this when their child starts. Students are also expected to record homework tasks in their planner.
Year 7 homework will be phased in gradually in their first half-term so no student will feel overwhelmed by the new expectations for homework at secondary school.
What are the expectations on behaviour?
We expect all students at Highgate Wood School to follow the four Cs of Contribution, Co-operation, Courtesy and Consideration. Our behaviour policy is designed to reinforce this. The emphasis in the policy is on positive reinforcement and rewards, thus students in Year 7 should expect to receive lots of merits that will be available for them and their parents to see on e-praise. We do also have a system of demerits and sanctions but there will be a period of grace during the first half term whilst students get used to our rules and procedures. During this time demerits will not be applied.
What happens if our child is late for school?
If a student is late and they have a genuine reason written in their planner by their parent\carer, the teacher on duty will arrange for them to go to their lesson. If a student is late and there is no good reason they will be registered as late and will be required to serve a lunchtime detention.
Will they have a locker to keep their things in?
The school does not provide lockers. We recommend students organising their school bags on a daily basis so that they don’t carry too many unnecessary books and equipment around. We do have a facility to keep musical instruments safely in the music department.
What happens at lunchtimes?
From September 2020, students will have 40 minutes for lunch. We are introducing Split Lunches and Year 7 will have their lunchtime during the first session. Students have a free choice of what they buy to eat. If they have a packed lunch, they can eat this in the Dining Hall too. We also have an outside pod where students can purchase food. Students pay for their food through their Wisepay accounts using their proximity cards or fingerprint. Students accounts can be loaded with cash at the machines in school or by payment online. Families will receive more information about this when their child starts.
What is the situation around bullying and what does the school do about it?
Incidents of bullying are rare at Highgate Wood School, but we do take it extremely seriously. Bullying is not tolerated and we have a robust behaviour policy to deal with incidents. We encourage children to report bullying and they can do this anonymously via the website and also through their epraise accounts. Our House Teams support students in all pastoral issues. We also have a peer mentor scheme for year 7s, where year 10 students work with the younger students to listen to concerns and help to resolve issues.
Becoming a Student at Highgate Wood School
Arrangements for receiving Year 6 pupils begins at the start of the year, with our Open Evening in October – which is followed by several Open Mornings when parents, carers and prospective students can see the school in action. In the weeks and months that follow, Highgate Wood School’s transition team visit all our local primary schools, talking to pupils regarding starting as HWS, as well as gathering information from their current teachers.
During the summer term we hold a Parents’ Evening for new parents and a transition day for the Year 6 pupils who will join us in September. For those students who join us during the course of the school year, they will be supported in their move to the school by their Head of House. During September, our PSA funds a Year 7 Team Building Day hosted by The Problem Solving Company. Year 7 students are given the opportunity to develop and build new friendships, improve their thinking and problem solving skills, and work better as a team. Pastoral Review Day happens in December. This is a more formal day where parents\carers and their children have an individual appointment with their form tutor to review how things are going, and what the first half-term has been like. This allows us to ensure that all Year 7 students have settled in well, are enjoying school and working hard.
Applications for places at Highgate Wood School need to be made through the Local Authority (see our Admissions Page).
Ms Jen Burniston is the Assistant Headteacher who is responsibhttp://hws.creativeschools.co.uk/about-us/join-us/admissions/le for transition from primary to secondary school. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our admissions officer is Ms Gemma King who can be contacted at email@example.com