Transition into St Mary’s
‘Transition arrangements with feeder schools are excellent; every child is visited by a member of the pastoral support team before they join St Mary’s’ – Ofsted
Transfer into Year 7 from primary school takes place at 11 years of age. The standard admission number for the School is 240. All admissions to the School are made in accordance with the Governors policy for admissions agreed with the Diocese of St Albans and the Local Authority.
Please click below to download the following transition documents:
For information about admissions into year groups other than Year 7, (inlcuding into Year 7 after September of the academic year) please CLICK HERE
The Transition Programme
The transition programme for students joining St Mary’s runs for over a year and aims to provide opportunities for new students to become familiar with the building, staff and other students as well as the standards and expectations of the school. The dates shown below are for the academic year 2016/17.
Place Allocation Day: 1st March 2017
On 1st March, all parents/carers with children who are transferring to secondary school will receive notification of the school in which their child has been allocated a place.
All parents/carers allocated a place at St Mary’s will receive a welcome letter and an invitation to attend the Welcome Meeting as detailed below.
Welcome Meeting: Tuesday 14th March 2017
All students who have been allocated a place at St Mary’s will be invited, along with their parents/carers, to come along to the School to share a welcome drink, meet key staff, hear more detail about the transition programme and have the opportunity to ask questions.
There will be a letter to all families allocated a place at St Mary’s from the Head Teacher following the Welcome Evening, giving details of the transition programme.
SMHS School Tours (Student Yr 7 Entry Sept 2017): March – April 2017
These tours are for any families who did not have a previous opportunity to visit St Mary’s and/or to see the School at work. Parents/carers of students with SEN or who may need additional support during the transition process may also choose to visit the School again as part of a more intensive transition programme.
Primary School Visits: April – June 2017
Every student transitioning to St Mary’s in September 2017 will be visited in their own primary school by a member of St Mary’s Transition Team. This is a demonstration of our commitment to knowing every child well by the time they join our school. This is an opportunity for students to share their aspirations and other information about themselves as well as for St Mary’s staff to meet with Year 6 teachers.
New Year 7 Targeted Parent / Carer Meetings : May – July 2017. These meetings will take place for any parent/carer whose child has special needs or if there is any additional support that is needed to support transition.
New Year 7 Parent / Carer Information Evening: Tuesday 27th June 2017 6.30 – 8.30pm
All parents/carers of the new Year 7 cohort are invited to the School to see a presentation about the curriculum provision that will be delivered to students. Staff will provide information about how to support students with their learning and how to actively promote excellent study habits as they start secondary school.
New Year 7 Transition Day 1: Wednesday 28th June 2017
The new Year 7 Students will spend the day at St Mary’s to start to familiarise themselves with the buildings, the routines for using the dining room and facilities, get used to moving about the School, as well as spending time with their tutor team and other staff.
New Year 7 Transition Day 2: Thursday 6th July 2017
This will be a second day spent at St Mary’s preparing for the start of the next academic year. Students will take some very basic tests and experience some taster lessons so that they feel more confident about what to expect when they join the School formally in September.
New Year 7 Summer School Programme: August 2017
St Mary’s is committed to offering a programme of Summer Schools during the August school holiday period so that students can enjoy an opportunity to meet and learn with their friends as well as building new friendships, to practice and develop further literacy and numeracy skills and confidence as well as try new sports, outdoor activites, performing arts and take part in competitions. Summer School is great for students who need to develop a little more confidence in themselves and or who struggle to find things to do over the long summer break!
A letter will be sent out in the summer term 2017 regarding August Summer School with the Booking Form for August 2017. The Summer School is likely to run in the weeks beginning 14th and 21st August 2017 although the exact dates are still to be confirmed. There is a charge for Summer School to cover operational costs. There may be some support for families whose children are eligible for free school meals, but this cannot be guaranteed. The charge for the Summer School in summer 2016 was the equivilant of £25 per day, or £125 for the week. Costs remain subject to change.
New Year 7 Term Starts (Year 7 only): Monday 4th September 2017 8.25am (TBC – this remains subject to change)
Parent / Carer Welcome Tea: Monday 4th September 2017 1 – 1pm (TBC – this remains subject to change).
Dates for the start of the September 2017 academic term will be confirmed in the transition meetings that take place in March and June 2017.
New Year 7 Student Team Building Day*: September 2017
This is a very important opportunity for students to experience their first offsite visit. They usually visit an activities centre where they will take part in a range of different challenges such as raft building or climbing aimed at developing the ability to work with different groups and try out new activities.
*Please note there is usually a request for a voluntary contribution of £20 – 25 for this activity.
New Year 7 Parent / Carer & Student Church Service: September/October 2017
This special service will take place in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Churchgate and will be led by one of our local clergy. This service provides students with the opportunity to visit the Church after which the School is named and to experience the very special atmosphere that exists in its medieval buildings.
Secondary Transition Evening (for entry Sept 2018): Tuesday 19th September 2017 5.30 – 8.30pm
This is our annual open evening for parents/carers considering St Mary’s for their child’s secondary education. Most parents/carers will attend our transition evening when their child is in Year 6 but some also come when a child is in Year 5 when they are beginning to consider what they are looking for in a secondary school. All are welcome to join us for this very special evening when there will be presentations by the Head Teacher, Stephanie Benbow and the opportunity to tour the school with our Student Ambassadors. Specialist faciilities will be open to visitors and parents/carers can meet and talk to staff and children can take part in a range of activiities. A free creche is provided to support families visiting with smal children during this evening.
New Year 7 Parent / Carer Information Evening: September/October 2017
New Year 7 Progress Review Day (PRD): October 2017
This will provide the first opportunity to check student progress and how they have settled to their studies after the first half term at St Mary’s. Tutors will discuss the GCSE target grades/numbers that will have been set for each student to achieve by the end of Year 11 and agree the first targets for students to work on during the next term.