Year 7 - Frequently Asked Questions

Following on from our successful Parents Information Evening and live question and answer session, here are answers to some of your questions.

Transition Information

Q: When do we receive the induction packs Mrs Gould spoke about?
A: In previous years, we have produced a paper version of the induction pack. This year, all information is on our website.

Q: Will students have any transition booklet?
A: There is no transition information booklet for students. However, we have produced two videos. Firstly, two of our current students have made a short introduction to life at John Colet School. Secondly, Dr Myatt, Head of Year 7, has made a short introduction video about the things he would normally discuss during primary school visits.

Q: What form of activities will be carried out to support students getting to know their new classmates.
A: Students will have tutor time for 2 hours on the first two days of term. These sessions will include ice-breaker activities and games to help them get to know each other.

Equipment

Q: What stationary / books are required to be purchased in advance of the first week of term?
A: Students require the following equipment:

  • 2x black/blue pens
  • scientific calculator
  • 1x red pen
  • protractor
  • pencils
  • pair of compasses
  • rubber
  • dictionary
  • sharpener
  • notebook
  • 30cm ruler
  • earphones for music lessons
  • highlighter
  • a reading book for tutor period
  • coloured pens or pencils are also useful, but not essential.
  • a French/English dictionary for use at home.

Q: What way will students have their learning set, including school books, learning books, additional equipment, etc.? Will they be provided by the school or by the parents based on a specific list or instructions to be sent later?
A: If you have ordered items from the school shop, these will be given to your child during the first few days of term. Textbooks and exercise books are provided by school. The only subject in which you will be asked to provide equipment is for Food Technology. Details of ingredients required will be provided by the class teacher, in advance of the lesson. Please note that technology subjects are taken on rotation and so your child may not have food technology at the start of Year 7.

Q: Are you expecting that all year 7's should have football boots, shin pads etc. - or is this just for children in a team? Can they be any colour?
A: All students will require football boots, mouth guards and shin pads. Plain colours are preferred, but there are no specific requirements. Please note that PE lessons are subject to timetable rotations. In the first two weeks, pupils will only require their core PE kit (jersey, polo shirt, shorts/skorts/leggings, socks and trainers). You will be given advanced notice, via the PE department, as to when swimming kits and football/rugby boots and gum shields will be required.

Q: Can students bring their own laptop if it is helpful to their learning?
A: No, in order to monitor activity only school chromebooks are permitted in school.

Q: Will children need a laptop with any specific features or just access to any computer/laptop?
A: The school uses RM Unify which is a Launch Pad to the Cloud. Therefore, students are able to access their work on any device with internet access.

Uniform

Q: When we order PE kits, is there an option for it being embroidered?
A: PL schoolwear will embroider the kit, with first name and surname as part of their service. Please allow time for this to happen when ordering.

Q:Do girls have to wear hair up?
A: No, girls generally do not have to wear their hair up. However, they will need to for practical lessons such as Science, PE and technology subjects.

Q: Are there any rules about boys hairstyles?
A: Our general guidance is that extreme hairstyles are not permitted. Please see below for specific guidance.
Our policy specifically states: Unnatural hair colouring is not permitted; the interpretation of “unnatural” is as follows:

  • A colour that is not found within the natural colour spectrum, i.e. a bright, extreme or vivid colour
  • A combination of colours that is easily visible or stark in contrast 

If hair extensions are worn, no beading is permitted. Extensions must also be in a colour that naturally blends with the hair.

Q: Do I have to book to get uniform?
A: Our uniform supplier, PLSchoolwear are using a booking system for all visits to the shop. Please book via their website.

Parent Mail

Q: When will parent mail be set up and can we link the account to our older children’s parent mall account?
A: Our finance team are working on setting all students up with an account and you will receive an email once your account has been set up. All accounts will be in place by September.

Q: I’m keen to set up Parent Mail so I can place an order for equipment. Also will this cover the top up for school food, would you advise children in year 7 bring in a pack lunch to start?
A: Please do order your equipment via the school shop anyway. Once your Parentmail account has been set up a payment item will be on your account for the items. Parentmail is used for the cashless catering system, but it is advisable to send pack lunches on the first few days, until the catering system is set up.

Q: Do you still accept cash payments for trips?
A: Only if agreed in advance. Our preferred method of payment is via parentmail.

First Few Days

Q: Is the school year 2020/2021 still going to start on Thursday 3rd September?
A: The first day of term for the new Year 7 students will be Thursday 3 September at 8.30am (the normal school time). This will be an induction day - your child will not need their PE kit on this day. They will need all items from the equipment list. We recommend that your child brings in a packed lunch and water bottle for the first few days (no nuts or nut products, please).
Years 8-11 and 13 will return on Friday 4 September.

Q: Will they need PE kits on the first two days?
A: A: We have confirmed with the PE department that students will not require their PE kit for their first PE lesson. For September 2020 students should come into school wearing their PE kit, with their school blazers, on days when they have PE lessons. Their timetables will indicate when they need to wear their PE kit. Please remember that students will only need their core PE kits initially. (jersey, polo shirt, shorts/skorts/leggings, socks and trainers).

Q: Will the children be given maps and printed timetables on day 1?
A: Students were given maps at their induction meeting. However, if your child has not received theirs, please email the school office and we shall arrange to send an electronic copy. Students will receive their timetables on the first day and will have the opportunity to discuss them with their form tutors.

Q: When do the children get set up on the cashless catering system?
A: We are unable to set students up on the catering system until they have been marked as being on roll on the first day. Therefore, it is recommended that your child brings a packed lunch for the first few days. Your child will initially be given a 4 digit code to use for the catering system and we aim to give them this within the first couple of days. If you have agreed for your child to be registered on the biometric system, we will aim for this to be completed by the end of the first week.

General School

Q: What time does school start and finish each day?
A: School starts with registration at 8.30 am every day. The end of the formal school day is 2.55, with the exception of Tuesday when it is 2pm. Full details of the school day can be found here.

Q: What time does homework club run until?
A: Until 4pm every day, including Tuesdays.

Q: What happens on a Tuesday afternoon?
A: School finishes at 2pm on Tuesdays for students; whilst teachers work in subject groups preparing learning resources for students across the school; however, students in Year 7 and 8 are able to access Homework club until 4pm.

Q: What will the class size be?
A: We aim to keep our classes within government guidelines of 30 students per tutor group.

Q: Are they allowed to go to the toilet during lessons?
A: Students are encouraged to only visit the toilet during break and lunchtimes. For September 2020 there will be a specific toilet area for Year 7 students. Please see the school website for further details. If your child has a medical condition that may warrant more frequent visits, please contact matron to discuss.

Q: Will children be ability set for any subjects?
A: Students are placed in mixed ability tutor groups, which are carefully arranged by our admissions team, who also take into consideration information provided by your child’s primary school. The only subjects which are set are English, Maths and PE.

Q: Do the children do both languages or just French?
A: In Year 7 students will study French. In Year 8 they will study both French and Spanish.

Extra Curricular

Q: Do you know when after school clubs start? Sport clubs etc? For year 7?
A: This is club dependent and we will publish full details early in the new school year. Please keep an eye on our website for updates, this will be dependent on government guidelines for covid-19.

SEN

Q: If your child already has a send support plan in place at the junior school can you confirm this will have been forwarded to John colet before he starts and his tutors informed of his needs.
A: Not all information is sent by junior schools before the end of term, but we do cascade all relevant information with tutors as soon as possible. Please contact the SEN Manager sendmanager@johncolet.co.uk if you have a particular concern.

Q: Do you help with testing of Dyslexia if suspected?
A: No, unfortunately we cannot help with this but the British Dyslexia Association has lots of information on their website.

Q: My child has dyslexia, should the SEN team be in touch before September to discuss?
A: Junior schools will share their information with us, unfortunately this year, it may not be before September. Please contact the SEN Manager sendmanager@johncolet.co.uk if you have a particular concern.

Travel

Q: How do I apply for a bike permit?
A: The bike permit link will open in September. Your child will still be able to cycle to school from day 1, while they await the issue of their permit.

Q: Will the buses be running from the 3rd sept?
A: The bus companies are aware of the term dates for John Colet School; however, Buckinghamshire Council are responsible for School transport and you may wish to check with them.

Covid19 Related

Q: Will the students be attending school Monday- Friday in September?
A: Yes, we are intending for all children to be attending school full time in September, following government guidance, assuming there are no further “lockdowns” introduced by the government.

Q: Will the children move around the school to class? How will this be carried out safely with the whole school on the premises?
A: We will be issuing information on how the school will function in September to all parents as soon as it is available.

Q: A school your size, how do you propose to maintain the social distancing?
A: We will be updating the parent and student FAQ on the main school website before the start of the new academic year.

Q: What is going to happen with regards to Uniform September?
A: Full school uniform will be required from September; although students will be asked to wear their PE kit, with their school blazer, into school, on days where they have timetabled PE lessons. They will not require their PE kit for their first PE lesson of term.

Q: I have concerns regarding school transport for my child, will you be supplying extra buses to address this?
A: Please contact school transport to raise your concerns with them.

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