Year 7 - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What will happen between now and my child starting in September?
A: For our main feeder schools, our Transition Team will aim to visit your child in their Primary School during May and June. As well as talking to the children, our staff will talk with their Year 6 teachers to gain more information about your child.
If your child is joining us from a smaller feeder school, you will be offered the opportunity to attend a pre-induction morning with your child.
Our Year 6 Induction days will take place on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 July - 9am-2.30pm. Please arrange to drop off and pick up your child at these times allowing plenty of time to park and walk to the school as there will be no parking available on the site.
There will also be a Parents Information Evening on 4 July at 6.30pm.
Q: What paperwork do I need to complete?
A: Our admission paperwork is on line and can be found here. You will be emailed a link to our electronic admissions form, please complete the admissions form by 9am, Monday 5 June 2023 to confirm your child’s place. Without the correct paperwork in place we are unable to accept your child on their induction days.
Q: What should my child bring with them on the induction days?
A: Your child should attend the induction days on the 4 and 5 July in their primary school uniform. They will need to bring a notebook and pen as well as lunch (containing no nut products) and a water bottle. PE kit is not required.
Q: When will my child find out what form they are in and who their form tutors is?
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. Your child will find out during the induction days which group they are in. They will find out who their form tutor will be in September. While we appreciate that both parents and children might like to know this earlier, we apologise that this is not possible due to the timing of staffing allocations.
Q: What type of school shoes and trousers are acceptable ?
A: Please refer to our uniform web page for information on the school uniform. The Uniform Policy gives specific guidance and photos of acceptable shoes and trouser types.
Q: Do I have to book to get uniform?
A: Our uniform supplier, PLSchoolwear will be holding a sales day, in the school hall, on Saturday 24 June between 10am and 3pm. Please book a slot directly with PLSchoolwear. If you are unable to attend on the day, please visit PLSchoolwear website for information on how to purchase uniform.
Q: Are you expecting that all Year 7s 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: When we order PE kits, is there an option for it being embroidered?
A: PLschoolwear will embroider the kit, as part of their service. Please allow time for this to happen when ordering.
TOP TIP: If you would like to pass on PE kit to younger siblings, just ask PL Schoolwear to embroider the surname only.
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: What stationary / books are required to be purchased?
A: Students require the following equipment:
- 2x black/blue pens
- scientific calculator
- 1x red pen
- pair of compasses
- 30cm ruler
- earphones for music lessons (with jack connector, not bluetooth)
- a reading book for tutor period
- coloured pens or pencils are also useful, but not essential.
- a French/English dictionary for use at home.
Textbooks and exercise books are provided by the school. The only subject in which you will be asked to provide equipment is 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: Is locker hire compulsory?
A: No, it is entirely up to you if you wish to hire a locker.
Q: What is the best location for the locker?
A: You will get a choice of location when hiring the locker. All our lockers are arranged into year group sections that are easily accessible across the school; therefore, all locations are equally good for access during the school day.
Q: Does the brand of calculator have to be the one offered by the School Shop?
A: No, it does not have to be the same. However, your child may find it easier in their lessons if they have the same calculator as then the settings and keys will be the same as those demonstrated by the teacher.
1:1 Chromebook Scheme
Q: Why is this scheme specifically for chromebooks?
This scheme is a dedicated chromebook scheme, rather than a generic Bring Your Own Device scheme. Students will not be able to bring their own laptops or tablets to school. There are several reasons for this. There are greater security issues with introducing laptops to the school IT infrastructure. There is also more potential for peer pressure and pressure on parents to purchase more expensive laptops due to the variation in specifications available. Also, with the myriad of different laptops available, it would be far more difficult for teachers to coordinate these in the classroom.
Q: My child already owns a chromebook, can they bring this to school instead?
Our preference is for students to use chromebooks purchased through this scheme in school. This allows the school to ensure that the specification of the chromebooks is most suitable for the educational environment. It also ensures greater cyber security for the school. Lastly, it eliminates issues between students of peer pressure about the specification, look, branding etc of new technology.
However, given the context of the current situation, we understand that some parents have recently purchased chromebooks specifically for their child’s use. We will allow these to be enrolled on our school system for a cost of £35 which covers the management licence and administration costs of this process. Whilst the chromebook is logged in through the John Colet email account it will be managed by the Google Management Suite for John Colet School and also will be protected by our e-safety software. The chromebook can still be accessed at home using a different google account which is not subject to the John Colet School management.
Q: If my child used their own Chromebook, how do we go about having the management licence installed?
Once your child has started with us in September, they will be given a day to bring their Chromebook into our IT department who will install the software. Payment of the fee will be via ParentMail. You will be sent further details about this process at the start of term.
Q: How is e-safety managed?
When a child uses their school email account to log on to their chromebook they are automatically covered by the school e-safety monitoring system. When in school the device must be used through the school email system.
Q: I would like more information about the payments options offered by Freedom Tech
Please see the Freedom Tech leaflet.
Q: I am concerned about struggling to meet the cost of a new chromebook
For students who are eligible for pupil premium funding we offer a 40% contribution to the cost of the payment. If you believe your child is eligible for pupil premium funding please ensure you have completed the Pupil Premium application form.
Q: I would like to know more about the specification of the chromebook offered and does it offer value for money?
The chromebooks offered are supplied through organisations which specialise in sourcing value for money options for school, whilst ensuring that the devices have the appropriate specification for an educational environment, including the wear and tear that comes with life in a teenager’s backpack! Having consistent devices also eliminates issues between students of peer pressure about the specification, look, branding etc of new technology.
Part of the cost of the scheme is an accidental, breakdown, and theft cover. This gives parents peace of mind that their child will have access to a chromebook for the full three years. It does add to the overall cost of the package.
Q: I am concerned about the excessive use of screens and loss of key skills like handwriting.
The use of chromebooks in the classroom is never going to be a replacement for high quality teacher to student learning. However, having access to the internet and learning apps immediately in the classroom gives more opportunities for enrichment and extension to learning with immediate feedback to students. There is no intention to replace exercise books and pens, or indeed paper reading books. However, textbooks are likely to be available online and therefore will be easily accessible at home as well as in the classroom.
Q: Can the Chromebooks available through Freedom Tech only be purchased by direct debit?
Freedom Tech will only collect payments through direct debits. It is not possible to make card payments for the Chromebook from Freedom Tech. This is due to the ordering, bulk buying and delivery process completed by Freedom Tech. You can choose to make a single direct debit payment if you wish to purchase the Chromebook in one payment or you can spread the direct debit payments over a longer period of time which makes each individual payment smaller but increases the total amount payable.
Q: Why is the total cost for Chromebook greater when the payments are spread over a period of time than when purchased by a one off payment?
The total cost of the Chromebook is greater when the payments are spread out over a period of time to cover the extra costs for the collection and administration of managing the monthly direct debits.
First Few Days
Q: Where does my child go on the first day of term and what do they need to bring?
A: The first day of Term for year 7 will be Wednesday 6 September starting at normal school time (8.30am). Staff will be available at the main school entrances to greet the students and give them information on where they need to go. Your child will need the items from the equipment list (pens, pencils, reading book etc), but will not need their PE kit. Your child will also require a lunch box and water bottle (no nuts or nut products, please).
Your child will not need to have their chromebook on the first day of term. Chromebooks which have been purchased through the school Freedom Tech scheme will be given to students in the first few days of term.
Q: Will they need PE kits on the first day?
A: No, PE kits are not required on the first day. Your child will be issued with their timetable on the first day and from here you will be able to tell which days kit is required. Please remember that students will only need their core PE kits initially. (jersey, polo shirt, shorts/skorts/leggings, socks and trainers).
Q: What form of activities will be carried out to support 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. Throughout “Settling in September” the focus of the pastoral team is on building new relationships and getting to know their new school.
Q: Will the children be given maps and printed timetables on day 1?
A: Students are given maps on their induction day. 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.
Q: When will parent mail be set up?
A: Our finance team is working on setting all students up with an account and you will receive an email once your account has been set up. We aim to have all accounts in place by September.
Q: Can we link the account to our older children’s parent mail account?
A: Yes, information on how to do this will be sent in the email once your account has been set up.
Q: I’m keen to set up Parent Mail to cover the top up for school food, would you advise children in year 7 bring in a pack lunch to start?
A: 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 in exceptional circumstances and if agreed in advance. Our preferred method of payment is via Parentmail.
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 2.45, with the exception of Tuesday when it is 1.45pm. Full details of the school day can be found on our website.
Q: What time does homework club run until?
A: Until 3.45pm every day, including Tuesdays.
Q: What happens on a Tuesday afternoon?
A: School finishes at 1.45pm 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 3.45pm.
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. If your child has a medical condition that may warrant more frequent visits, please contact the Student Welfare Officer 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 in Year 7 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.
Q: My child has forgotten something, can I drop it in to them?
A: If your child needs something dropping off during the school day, please bring it into reception and we will make arrangements to get it to them. Due to our ‘No See, No Hear’ mobile phone policy, please do not message your child.
Q: I need to pick my child up during the school day. How do I go about this?
A: Please ensure that the school is aware that your child will be collected by completing the absence form on our website. Your child will be expected to remember their appointment and to ask to be excused from class at the appointed time. Please come into reception to collect your child and ensure that they have signed out with the Student Welfare Officer before leaving.
In case of short notice appointments, we can send for your child to be collected from class, but this may take a while. Please ensure that you have time for this to happen before you make an appointment.
We can not allow a child to leave during the school day without a parent reporting to reception.
Q: What if my child becomes unwell during the school day?
A: If your child feels unwell they should advise their class teacher who will make arrangements for your child to go to the Medical Room. If they are unwell at break or lunch, they should report directly to the Medical Room. If your child needs to be collected from school due to illness, the Student Welfare Officer will make this decision and will contact you directly.
Q: When will after school clubs start?
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.
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 they start and their tutors will be informed of their 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 SENCo, email@example.com, if you have a particular concern.
Q: My child has dyslexia, should the SEN team be in touch before September to discuss?
A: Junior schools will share SEN information with us but it may not always be before September. When we have received this information a SEN Support Profile is created as near to the beginning of term as possible and you will be sent a copy of this. Please contact the SENCo, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have a particular concern.
Q: How do I apply for a bike permit?
A: Please apply for a bike permit once your child has started school using this form. Your child can cycle to school from day 1, while they await the issue of their permit. Please ensure that your child wears a helmet and that they have appropriate lights for darker days.
Q: Can I use the car parks to drop my child off?
A: No, there is no vehicular access to the school site for dropping off or collection. Where possible we encourage children to walk or cycle to school. If this is not possible, please park only in a safe area and be mindful of access for the school buses and the safety of children. Wendover Health Centre respectfully requests that you do not block their car park.
Q. How do I apply for a bus pass?
A: Bus passes are managed and issued by Buckinghamshire Council. Please visit School transport for further information.