Welcome to Year 7
Welcome to the Furze Platt Senior School community.
As with all our year groups, we pride ourselves on our strong partnerships with our parents and welcome our upcoming parents and carers.
See 'A Day in the Life Of' video for new students!
All parents receive regular communications about their child’s progress and about developments at the school. Our Year 7 Parents' Guide will provide you with a range of general information which will answer most of the most frequently asked questions.
Year 7 Parents' Guide
We have a thriving ‘Parents, Teachers and Friends Association’ (PTFA), which contributes enormously to the life of the school. All parents are automatically members.
We publish a weekly newsletter to keep parents up to date with activities at the school and a termly round up of the bigger stories which illustrates the rich and diverse experiences that our students enjoy. Please follow us on our Twitter and Facebook accounts for more news and information, and connect with us on LinkedIn.
We actively encourage parents to express their views about the school. We run focus groups and there are regular parental surveys to help us see what parents think we are doing well and what we could do even better.
Help your child be School Ready for Year 7 with our ten top tips:
- Can they tie a tie and shoelaces?*
- Help them pack their bag the night before
- Include fully stocked pencil case, locker key if needed
- Help them get their uniform ready the night before
- Do they need their PE kit?
- Have you topped up their lunch money / have they made themselves a packed lunch and have a bottle of water?
- Ask them to make a note of their password and logins somewhere safe
- Print a copy of their timetable and put it up at home so they can easily see what their lessons are for the next day
- Encourage them to walk to school by themselves
- *Did you know…If your child is left handed the easiest way to teach them to tie a tie or shoelaces is to sit opposite them and demonstrate
Maps of the School
Times of the Day
Students start at 8.40am and end at 3.15pm.
Students - frequently asked questions
Q: What if I get lost?
A: The main thing is not to worry, we all get lost at times! You will be given a tour of the school, you could take the virtual tour of the school to help you (link above), and we will give you a map. However, the best this to do is ask a teacher or another student to show you the way. Within a matter of days you will know where the subject blocks are, the classrooms and the teachers in them. To see a copy of the map, please click here.
Q: What clubs are there?
Q: What will happen if I find the work too hard?
A: First of all, don’t worry! There are some subjects that you’ve not studied before and you may find them hard at first. Your teachers want to make sure that you have work that makes you think really hard but isn’t impossible. If you need any help with your classwork then ask your teacher or teaching assistant in the lesson and they will be more than happy to help you. If you are stuck with your home learning then you can email your teacher asking for help or see them in a break time or after school. The most important thing is that you have a go at the work before you ask for help.
Q: How much home learning will I get?
A: This will depend on the subject but all pieces of homework should take no longer than 20-30 minutes. English, Maths and Science will set 2 pieces each week. History, Geography, Computer Science and Languages will set 1 piece of homework each week. Our advice is to try and do your home learning on the day that it is set to make sure you keep on top of it and this will give you lots of time to enjoy yourself at the weekends.
Q: Is there somewhere for me to keep my PE kit so I don't have to carry it around all day?
A: Our new Year 7 students have the first opportunity to purchase lockers before availability is opened up to other year groups. Locker hire is £5 and will be available to purchase on ParentMail, details will be sent out nearer the time.
Q: How do I use the cafe and what do you sell there?
A: Innovate have produced a short welcome video which you can see here: ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIRTgb3y64Q&feature=youtu.be
Parents / carers - frequently asked questions
Q: Is there a summer reading list?
A: Yes there is! You can find book recommendations in the link at the bottom of this page which are aimed at more advanced Year 6 readers. Mrs Crisford has also created an ACHIEVE programme for each department with ideas and challenges for students to engage in over the summer period.
Q: How will my child be academically challenged in Year 7?
A: All teachers have received training on how to incorporate stretch and challenge into lessons and some departments will offer additional resources to encourage creative and critical thinking at home. We are planning a number of termly masterclasses and projects after school across a range of departments for 2022-23.
Q: How will my child have feedback for his/her work?
A: Feedback takes many forms. Often, the most effective feedback is verbal feedback within the classroom. Students are encouraged to write down their feedback after the dialogue with their teacher so they can respond straight away. Teachers will also provide detailed written feedback when appropriate and dedicate a lesson for students to act on that feedback and improve their work. Home learning will be checked but will not always be marked. Most departments set home learning that will be used within the subsequent lesson, either to form a discussion or to be peer marked.
Q: What should I do if I that feel my child is not getting enough / is receiving too much home learning?
A: Teachers set home learning that will best assist the learning of the class and will differentiate when appropriate. When home learning is set it’s because there is a clear purpose. Examples include: consolidation, reinforcement and extension of work done in class; research, questioning or reading activities to prepare for the next lesson, and to develop learners’ literacy further; practice activities to prepare for assessments, and finally, independent learning activities. The frequency and duration of home learning depends on the department but all Year 7s will be issued with a home learning timetable to prevent the issue of receiving too much. Teachers will inform students, via Show My Homework, about how long each piece is required to take. If you feel your son/daughter is receiving too much home learning then check to see how long they are taking to complete the home learning and when they are completing it in relation to when it has been set. We offer a home learning club for students who struggle to complete work at home. If you believe your child is not receiving enough home learning then you can access each department’s ‘super curricular’ list with a range of resources to stretch and challenge your son/daughter’s ideas about a subject beyond what is taught on the curriculum. This is currently being updated but from September this can be accessed on each department’s page on the school website.
Q: Which classes will be streamed?
A: Currently only Maths lessons are set and we only start setting when we have sufficient data for the cohort and we feel it to be appropriate. Typically we keep Year 7 mixed ability and loosely set as students progress through Key Stage 3. There is more rigorous setting for GCSE. Student progress is regularly monitored through our own assessments and teacher judgement and set changes are made as appropriate. All other lessons are mixed ability. Studies have shown that mixed-ability group benefit all students and they are more effective in helping to identify students who may need additional challenge and students who may need additional support. Mixed ability classes help to break down assumptions being made about a student’s potential and ability. We design lessons ‘taught from the top’ so all students can access challenge and rigour in lessons while providing support where needed.
Q: What should I do if my child is off sick or has a hospital, dentist or doctor's appointment?
A: Absences should be reported via ParentMail using the Absence button as soon as you are aware your son/daughter will not be attending that day. This should be repeated each day they will be off school.
If possible, student appointments should be made outside the school day. However, we recognise that occasionally students may need to leave site to attend appointments. Where possible make any appointments after 1.45pm. Students must sign in and out at either Main Reception (Years 7-11) or Sixth Form Reception (Years 12 and 13) when leaving for/returning from appointments.
If there is a medical or safeguarding issue you would like to discuss other than sickness, you can also email our Attendance Officers firstname.lastname@example.org and Safeguarding Mailbox Safeguarding@furzeplatt.net
SEND - frequently asked questions
Q: How does the school know if children need extra help?
The excellent transition programme we run ensures that we know a great deal about our students and their learning needs before they join us. The SENCO takes part in the transition visits and meets the primary school SENCO to ensure that all of the relevant information and documentation is received. This information is then carefully disseminated among staff, both teaching and support, accordingly.
With emphasis on ‘Early identification’ the majority of our students learning needs are identified and/or diagnosed before they join us at FPSS.
This year we are liaising with primary school SENCO’s via phone calls and online meetings to ensure that as much information as possible can be shared.
Q: What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Occasionally the additional learning needs of a student may arise during their adolescent years. In this instance the SENCO will ensure strategies are put into place within school to manage the changing needs of the student. However, on the rare occasion that further strategies or support are needed the SENCO will seek advice from the relevant external agencies.
The school does not diagnose specific special educational needs and parents will be notified before referrals are made to other professionals. It is also important that parents notify us of any diagnosis obtained privately or of any additional changes to their child’s learning needs.
Q: How will school staff support my child?
We endeavour to ensure that the support we offer is discrete and inclusive. We have high expectations for all of our students and the additional support offered is tailored to ensure that students can achieve, that they are prepared for adulthood and most importantly it ensures that they become independent learners. It is a stepping-stone towards achievement.
Q: How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
An inclusive, whole-school approach is used to ensure that all students can access and benefit from the curriculum. The individual subject expertise of our teaching staff ensures that lessons are personalised and differentiated to meet the needs of all learners in the classroom.
When choosing Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11) GCSE subject options, advice is offered to students and parents to ensure that students get the most out of the broad curriculum options that we offer.
See the prospectus or website for more information about the curriculum at Key Stages (KS) 3 and 4.
Q: How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We aim to ensure that our students take responsibility for their own learning and are therefore aware of the progress they are making and understand how to improve.
For students on the SEN register the Learning Support team may also make additional contact with parents to discuss their child’s learning needs and progress or may arrange more formal review meetings to discuss academic and learning matters in more detail.
We aim to work in collaboration with parents to ensure that their views are heard, and to ask that parents support our work at home.
Learning Support’s Parent Voice is also an opportunity for parents to contribute towards the development of SEND provision in school and to seek the advice of strategies to use at home.
Q: What training have the staff supporting children with SEND received?
We feel that it is important for all of our staff to remain abreast of the ever changing decisions and approaches towards Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Staff are involved in regular training sessions to this end.
Learning Support Assistants have received additional training to support our young people with Special Educational Needs.
Q: How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
The broad variety of extra-curricular activities that we offer, including school trips, are available to all.
Additional extra-curricular activities offered by Learning Support include:
- Break time and lunch time club
- Morning motivator
Q: How accessible is the school environment?
Furze Platt Senior School is an inclusive school where we strive to encourage all students are able to participate fully in all of the daily activities of school life. We consistently review our approaches, such as adaptations to our newer buildings, to ensure that this continues.
Q: How will the school prepare and support my child transfer to a college or the next stage of their education or training?
During KS4 and KS5 students and parents will receive clear and impartial guidance and information to ensure that they make informed, and the best, choices to pursue their aspirations towards their next stage of life.
For students with an Educational Health Care Plan, this will be discussed as part of their transition review.
Q: How are the school’s resources and support allocated and matched to students’ special educational needs?
We promote inclusive learning; consequently teachers will use a range of resources to ensure that the majority of additional learning needs are met in the classroom.
Further resources and additional short-term interventions may be offered by the Learning Support team to assist students towards making good progress.
Advice to our new students from current students in Years 8 and 9
"Dear Year 7..."
"I know it may be scary transitioning from junior school to senior, but don’t worry we are all welcoming and once you settle in it will be fine. You will look back and think what I was worried about!
When I first joined Furze Platt I was very nervous because all my friends had gone to another school and it really did scare me but with the support of the teachers it helped a lot and I settled in within days and made lots of new friends. In the summer holidays before I started FPSS I was very weary at what the school would think of me and I was upset that I may not make any new friends and I wouldn’t be happy there but when I arrived they were so nice and gave us a map which would help us a lot as it’s a huge school!
Throughout the first term I was slowly beginning to call it home and my forever school, my friends and I were all in the same house which made us closer and more like sisters. My house at the moment is like one big family, we are all friends and we sometimes all hang out together.
Now I am in year 8 soon to be year 9 when you guys come! Now I have properly settled in and it’s my home I have advice: don’t be put off by older years because here at Furze Platt we are one big happy family and don’t try to fit in when you’re born to stand out because there are so many opportunities at Furze Platt so why not take them?
I hope you have an amazing start to Furze Platt and remember you will be fine no matter what!"
Scary- new faces and classes
Exciting- new challenges
Nervous- getting lost
Intriguing- fascinated by new things
Ready- ready to go forward
Surprised- how easy I settled in
Curious- unsure what to expect
Houses- which house will I be put in?
Openminded- accepting new routines
Overjoyed- how well it went
Lifechanging- preparing me for the future"
"All you have to do to have a great time in Year 7 is to be yourself!"
If parents, carers or students have any questions about the transition process from primary to secondary school, please email email@example.com.