We have recently put together a video for all new Year 7 students starting at St Aidan’s in September 2020.
Click here to view
Frequently Asked Questions
Your new Head of Year, Mr Taylor, answers some common questions for you below – if you have any other questions then ask your Form Tutor or Mrs Watson on Reception; they will be happy to help!
Will I get a map?
Yes. There is one in your planner, but you will get to know your way around pretty quickly.
What do I do if I get lost?
Ask someone. Our staff and students are all friendly. If you can’t find anyone go to Reception. In the first couple of weeks you won’t get told off for being late or getting lost.
Will I get told off if I am late for lessons?
Not in the first week or two, but after that we expect you to be on time to lessons. If you are regularly late you will probably get a warning from your teacher and after that you may get a detention.
Getting to school
How do buses work?
There is a list of the bus routes that students use on our website, please click here to find out more.
Will I get told off if I am late in the morning?
We expect you to get to school on time (in your form room at 8:45), however we know buses are sometimes late and it’s not your fault. If you are late in the morning, sign the late book at Reception especially if it’s because of a bus. If you are late regularly without a good reason a letter will be sent home and you may get a detention.
Where do we go on induction day?
Go to the Main Entrance where Reception is. I (Mr Taylor) will be there with some current Year 7 students to tell you where your form room is and take you there.
What do we do on induction day?
Lots of different things. You find out who is in your form, and usually get to meet your Form Tutor. You have a few lessons as a form group and have an opportunity to ask lots of questions to your Form Tutor; if for any reason your Form Tutor is unable to be there, another friendly tutor will look after you for the day. You get to try school lunches. The queue tends to be very busy on induction day, but don’t worry it’s a lot quicker normally.
Where do I go?
Go to the Main Entrance where Reception is. I (Mr Taylor) and some Year 8 students will be around to help you get to your form room if you have forgotten where that is.
What do we do on our first day?
You go to your form room like you would do on a normal day. Your Form Tutor will meet you there and spend Period 1 and 2 with you, handing out timetables, planners and dinner cards. You will have a tour of school, focusing on where your classrooms are so you know where to go. You will also have an assembly with the Headteacher, Mr Burt, to welcome you to the school. After break you start normal lessons. It’s a bit of a crazy day. It can be a bit nerve wracking, but try to enjoy it! You will soon get used to the routines and finding your way around.
Do I need my PE kit on the first day?
Who do I see if I am worried or upset?
The best people to speak to would be your Form Tutor or me (Mr Taylor) but there are lots of people in school you can talk to. You could talk to any of your class teachers. We have a school nurse called Mrs Powell who you can drop in and see. The school receptionist Mrs Watson is also always happy to help.
What is bullying and who should I see about it?
Bullying is when a person or a group of people are mean to you either physically (e.g. pushing or shoving), verbally (e.g. calling names) or socially (e.g. excluding on purpose) over a long time. Not everything is bullying; for example if two people fall out and are mean to each other that wouldn’t be bullying. We will talk about bullying in the first term of you being at school. If you’re worried about something or uncomfortable about the way people are treating you, tell someone as soon as possible and we will help you sort it out.
What if I don’t know anyone?
Firstly lots of people every year are in your position and there will be people in your form who don’t know anyone either. If you are coming on your own from a primary school you will be invited to a smaller induction day before the big one where you can meet other people in your situation. When you get to St Aidan’s you will get to know the people in your form pretty quick and your form tutor will be working hard to get you all mixing together. I would also encourage you join some of the clubs available as a way to meet new people.
What if I need to phone home?
We don’t allow the use of mobiles in school. If you need to phone home, go and see Mrs Watson at reception and she will let you use the school phone or she will give you permission to use your mobile.
What if I lose something?
Try and find it! It sounds obvious but you need to take responsibility for your things. Put your name in everything. This is really important because everybody’s stuff looks the same (especially boy’s shoes!!!!). We have a Lost Property Office open at lunch and sometimes things are handed in at Reception. The best piece of advice is to retrace your steps. Even if you can ‘definitely’ remember having your PE bag at break, check the classrooms you were in Period 1 and 2.
School rules and detentions
What is the mobile phone policy?
Phones should be switched off and out of sight during the school day. If you are seen with a mobile out it will be confiscated and handed in to Reception for you to pick up at the end of the school day. If you are a repeat offender a letter will be sent home and you will have to hand in your phone at Reception every morning.
What is the uniform policy?
A description of what you will need for your uniform is the handbook you have been sent out and is on the school website. The big things are; make sure you have your top button done up and your shirt tucked in. Hooded tops are not allowed in school so bring a proper coat and a school jumper if you are cold.
What is a detention?
You lose some of your free time either at break, lunch or after school. In most cases you would get a warning before you got a detention, so listen to your teachers. We don’t have a list that says what punishment you will get for breaking which rule. We rely on our staff using their professional judgement about what is appropriate. The behaviour at St Aidan’s is good because of the great relationship the students have with the staff not because of detentions.
What sort of things do you get detention for?
We don’t have a list. You will almost always get a warning before you get a detention. Listen to your form teachers and Mr Taylor they will tell you how we expect students to behave; that is a big part of being in Year 7. If you work hard and respect everybody else at the school you will never get a detention.
How does the catering card work?
You will have a catering card, which is also your library card and a key card to let you into certain doors. You can put money on your catering card by taking money to the Finance office near reception or using one of the machines around school. On your first day you will be shown where these things are. Your parents or guardians can also put money on your card online using a ParentPay account. When you pay for your food at the till, you will have to touch your catering card against a sensor.
What if I forget or lose my card?
Don’t worry. You will never be turned away and told you can’t have a meal. Even if you have no money or you have lost your card. The dinner ladies in the Year 7 Dining hall are really nice and they won’t tell you off for something like that. However you must try hard to remember your card. As the year goes on, we get stricter about it because it slows the whole process down. As well as a catering card you will be given a catering card number which we tell you to write down or remember; if you haven’t got your card you can use that instead. If you have definitely lost your card, you can buy a new one from the Finance office.
What food can I get at break time?
A snack such as a slice of pizza or a bread bun. You can also get a sandwich – which is useful if you want to go to a club at lunch and want to get something in advance.
Where do I go for lunch?
Year 7 have their own dining hall. It is in the Main Hall where we have assemblies on a Monday. It is the one straight in front of you as you go into Reception. We queue up around the sides. There is a serving area and some tables outside as well.
Are there vegan / vegetarian meals?
Yes. There should always be a vegetarian option. We can accommodate all dietary requirements; just contact school at the beginning of the year.
What happens if I am late for lessons?
Nothing in the first couple of weeks. Teachers understand it’s not always that easy to begin with, but we expect you to be able to find your way around pretty quickly after that. After a settling in period a teacher is likely to give you a warning and then next time a detention. You will be marked in the register as late. If this is happening in lots of different lessons your form tutor and Mr Taylor will be informed.
How many lessons do I have?
25 a week (5 a day). You are taught English, Maths, Science, French, RS, History, Geography, IT, Music, Art, Food Technology, Textiles, Design and Technology and PE.
What do you do in PE?
You do a wide range of different sports in PE and these change as the year goes on. You will be told what kit you need by your PE teacher.
Form and the Planner
Can I choose who I get to go into form with?
You get to choose one person you would like to go with and a reserve. Your parents can tell the school who these people are when they come in to talk with a member of staff in June. We will try our best to make sure you are with either the person you chose or your reserve.
When do we find out who is in my form?
On the transition day.
What is the planner. How do I use it?
It is a book which contains lots of useful information. Its main purpose is to help you to organise your homework. You write in what homework you have been given and when it is due in. Teachers might also write in your planner if they want to pass on some information to your form tutor or your parent or carer. We ask you to get your parent or carer to look through your planner and sign it once a week. Your Form Tutor will check it as well.
What do we do in form time?
Form time is from 8:45 to 9:10. We have assemblies in that time two mornings a week. On one of the other mornings your form tutor will check your planners (they will probably get you to do some silent reading in that time). On another morning you go through the ‘Thought for the Week’. This is a topic that the whole school discusses and learns about. On a Friday morning we might have a quiz or a challenge where you can earn points towards the Form Cup.
Clubs, Trips and Library
What types of clubs are there?
There are loads, ranging from Sports, Drama, Science, Art and History. Some happen at lunch time, others are afterschool. If a club is at a lunch time the teacher running that club can give you an early lunch pass so you can go to the front of the dinner queue.
Do we go on a trip in Year 7?
Usually, yes. This year sadly we are unable to go on our ‘Bushcraft’ trip*, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The aim of the trip is for you to get to know your form group a bit better. We also use this as an opportunity to tell you more about your new school, our ethos and about the story of St Aidan. Activities will be organised in school to make up for this, so don’t worry you won’t miss out on all of the fun. There will be loads of trips available to you whilst you are at St Aidan’s and we want you to get the most out of them, so we will also be explaining what we expect from our students when they are on a trip.
*Information for the Year 7 Bushcraft Trip can be found here
How do you use the Library?
The library is open before school, after school and at break and lunch. You can take out any of the books using your library card and Mrs Roth the librarian would be more than happy to recommend a book if you are not sure what to pick. You can also use the library as a quiet place to do some work after school. A reading list for Year 6 students preparing for Year 7 can be found here: Year 6, Becoming Year 7 Reading List