Welcome To Year 7 Student Guide
Welcome to Le Rocquier School and the beginning of an exciting journey into adulthood. We want your time at Le Rocquier to be a challenging and enjoyable experience.
You will be starting in Key Stage 3. Our aims are to:
- Build on your achievements in Key Stage 2
- Introduce you to a wide range of subjects and studies
- Make you a more independent learner and show you how to think and learn for yourself
- Lay the foundations for success at GCSE and beyond
- Give you the skills and knowledge that you will need for lifelong learning
- Give you a taste of new experiences and activities
- When we visit primary schools, one of the main worries that students want to talk about is being organised. Following these simple ‘tips' will help put students' minds at rest.
- Have your bag packed with everything needed for the next day.
- Make sure everything is ready to put on the evening before so you are not rushing around in the morning.
- Make sure a full PE kit, and any other equipment such as ingredients for Product Design, is taken to school on the days it is needed.
- Know what equipment is needed for each lesson (e.g. ruler, compass, calculator for maths).
- Have a good system for keeping books and equipment. Keep your study area tidy.
- Understand the timetable.
- Know who your teacher is.
- Know what lessons you have on a particular day.
- Get up on time.
- Leave the house to get to the bus stop or to school on time. Be in school by 8.25 am at the latest. You must be outside your tutor room by 8.30 am.
- Use your student planner (to write down important notes and messages and refer to it as a reminder).
- Know where the classroom is for each lesson.
- Get to lessons on time - especially after lunches.
- Know what to do if you are delayed for any reason.
- Be in the right place at the right time at the end of school.
- Go straight home. If you have an after school club, tell your parents so that they don't worry.
- Another concern is homework. This will be introduced in a gradual manner to assist you to get used to it. If you follow the hints overleaf, you will become more organised and successful with your homework tasks.
- Try to do homework on the night it is set - not the night before it is due in.
- Write down your ‘homework timetable' - what homework you get on which days.
- Write down your homework in lessons (write exactly what you have to do).
- Record when it has to be done for.
- Ask for help if it is too difficult or you don't understand something.
- Ask if you are not sure what the task means and check with the teacher if you are not sure what books, etc. you will need.
- Make sure you bring home everything you need to do the homework.
- Work by yourself to complete tasks, spending the correct amount of time. Do your best, but if you need help, ask your parents. If you really cannot do it, ask your parents to put a note into your exercise book or your planner.
- When you get home, use your student planner to remind you what your have to do.
- Tick the ‘done' column in your planner when completed.
- Take your completed homework to school on the correct day. Remember to give it in!
We want all students to get off to a flying start in Year 7 and develop a passion for learning. You have already received a copy of our ‘Guide for New Parents' which deals with the organisational and administrative aspects of the school. This booklet contains a number of practical tips on what students and parents/carers need to consider ensuring that everyone enjoys the experience of moving into a new school.
Time spent early on establishing good habits of work and independence is an investment that will save endless battles in the long run!
So, what are the main changes that students will notice?
They will have to wear a full school uniform, maybe for the first time, and have a whole list of new rules and regulations to remember. Instead of one teacher, who has often known them since their early days, they will be taught by a number of different teachers and have to get to know a whole range of adults in different roles within the school. At Le Rocquier, we introduced the New National Curriculum in September 2008 which focuses on Personal Learning and Thinking (PLTs). This means that students will have fewer teachers than other year groups and work in fewer areas in the school.
They will have to use and interpret a timetable and a school home planner. For the first time students will be fully responsible for ensuring that they have the correct books and equipment for four or five different lessons, their lunch card, bus ticket, PE equipment, etc. each day. Students will be given full responsibility for recording homework, completing it by the correct day and giving it in on time. They will be shown how to record homework in their student planner, which will be checked by tutors as some students may need help.
- There will be new lessons (e.g. French) and new variations on familiar ones (science in a laboratory, for example).
- Teaching and learning styles may be very different. Students may be expected to write more frequently and for longer, and they may be expected to select appropriate reference books from the library.
- Lunch times will be organised differently with less adult supervision and students having a lot more independence in terms of getting back to lessons on time, buying their own snacks and lunches, etc.
- In short, students will have to be more independent and self organised. A welcome development for many but a challenge for most! So, how do we encourage them to become more organised? A useful rule of thumb is ‘never do anything regularly for them that they can do for themselves'. However, the ground rules needs to be established and a routine in place.
- Parents have an important part to play in their child's education. Mostly, this will include organising, supporting, nagging and cajoling them! However, you may find some of the following points useful in preventing your home deteriorating into a battlefield!
Before they start:
- Agree a routine for the mornings and after school. Will they shower/bath in the morning or evening? Will they get their school bag ready the night before or in the morning? Who will make the packed lunch? When?
- Work out with your child what time they will need to get up to get to school on time. Work backwards from the time they need to be at school. Include all the things they will need to do.
- Have spares of essentials at home if possible, it prevents panic when things get mislaid.
- Name everything, even shoes - you would not believe what children lose! A marker pen is as good as labels.
- Time the journey to school. Be sure your child is clear about what time they are expected to be home and what to do if they are held up for any reason. Make sure they know/have your contact numbers.
- Help your child organise their living space so that they have a place for everything to do with school. Try to ensure they have access to a desk, good light and storage space for their school books.
- Equip them with the tools they will need at home (it's best to keep two sets of everything - one for school and one for home so that losing a pen at school does not stop them doing their homework).
A useful home ‘tool kit' consists of:
- Pencils, pens, rubber, sharpener, colouring pencils, felt pens, whitener, ruler, maths equipment (protractor, compass set-square and calculator), sellotape, glue-stick, paper (lined and plain) and plastic wallets.
- A box file or stacking system is useful for students with organisational problems - each file can be labelled with the subject and all books, worksheets, etc. can be kept ready to pull out and put in the school bag when required.
- Agree a bed time for school days with your child that will ensure they get enough sleep.
When they have started
- Teach a routine for ‘emptying the bag'. Getting PE kit out of bags can be a problem. It is amazing how often PE kit can appear at 8.00 pm needing to be washed and dried for the next day!
- Get a copy of your child's timetable (it will usually be written in their planner in the first week). Keep this on display in a prominent place so that you and your child can refer to it.
- If you have a timetable displayed for your child (a good idea) colour the days when your child has PE so they can see each day if they need to take their PE kit.
- Encourage your child to learn what lessons they have on which days, so that they can become independent.
- Encourage your child to hang up their uniform straight away after school.
- Decide on responsibilities - who irons the shirts, when/who puts them away? Etc.
- If your child is very disorganised, check items one by one, or give a checklist at first.
- Encourage your child to put everything out the night before (there's much more time in the evening for finding odd socks).
- Have a system for making sure that clothes are clean and ready - the earlier children start to take responsibility the better but, whoever does it, both parties need to know ‘the system'.
- Homework can often be a bone of contention between students and parents/carers. For some reason, watching the Simpsons, Cartoon Network or Sky Sports is more interesting than doing homework, so it is important to agree a routine for homework with your child. Life can become a constant ‘nag' if you don't start this from the beginning. Homework becomes an increasingly important part of the curriculum as your child goes through school what he or she starts off doing is what they will do until they leave.
- Encourage your child to read as much as possible as this will improve their literacy skills and general knowledge.
- A good time for homework is after a short break when they return from school, getting it out of the way early, leaving the rest of the evening free - who wants to start work at 7.00 pm?
- Agree with your child that TV, other activities, phone calls, etc. will only be possible after homework is done.
- Many children will say that listening to music helps them concentrate and do their work. Agree whether this is allowed. If their attention is on their favourite song, it can't also be on their homework (and more so for the television!). The important thing is to make an agreement and stick to it.
- Be prepared to invest time at first - for example, be available for a set time each day to help with homework until the routine is established - it will be time well spent.
- Recognise how hard it is to work unsupervised. Help your child structure their time and use it usefully - provide a clock or timer and agree the tasks that should be done in each half hour period. Try to be available to do ‘progress checks' - have they completed the task in the set time? - but otherwise leave them to it - don't establish a pattern of always doing homework with them - (it's unsustainable and they won't learn to work independently).
- Point out the rewards to working in this way - homework doesn't drag on all night; it feels good to have completed the tasks, etc.
- Don't let your child really struggle with homework that they don't understand. Check their planner and go through it with them. The recommended time to spend on homework is half an hour per subject. However, if they are enjoying the homework, don't stop them, and conversely, if they are finding it really difficult, put a note into their exercise book or planner.
- Take an interest in the marks and comments on the homework your child gets back - celebrate success and give the clear message that homework is valuable.
- When homework is completed, supervise the ‘packing of the bag'. This is best done the night before.
- If you know your child has Product Design (cooking) on a certain day, check at the beginning of the week if they need ingredients - searching through cupboards on the morning ten minutes before the bus leaves is not to be recommended!
- If your child is consistently not getting homework when they should (according to the homework timetable), do contact the school.
- Please check their planner each week and write a comment if appropriate.
If you have any concerns, please contact the form tutor. He or she will be pleased to help and welcome contact from parents/carers.