Latest News

Year 7 - first day reminders and information

30 August 2019

Dear Families

Firstly, may I take this opportunity to welcome you to Tewkesbury School.  I hope that your child is looking forward to their first day next week.  Here are a few useful reminders to help you to make the final preparations for the start of term.

On the first day, students in Year 7 will be the only year group in school and will follow an induction timetable.  This is to help them settle in before the other students return.  They will need to wear school uniform and arrive at school by 8.35am and should report to the central tennis courts and line up in their House group.  There will be staff and helpers there to meet them.

Please can I ask that students bring with them their ‘Moving up to Tewkesbury School Student Handbook’ which was issued in your welcome pack, as it contains lots of useful information to help them in their first few days.

Uniform and Equipment:

  • We're really looking forward to seeing our new students in their smart uniforms! 
  • Your child will need to bring their pencil case with them
  • Pencil cases filled with all stationery (costing £6) and individual items of stationery can be purchased from our Finance Office. These are on sale throughout the year, so items can be easily replaced.  Calculators are also available costing £8.
  • There is no need to send any PE kit or swimming kit with your child on the first day of term or on their first timetabled PE lesson. The first lesson is spent explaining what happens in PE and what they will need to bring for this term.  Please also take note of the uniform regulations in relation to hair style, hair colour and piercings. 
  • Meals: on the first day our Catering Team at Aramark are pleased to provide your child with a free hot meal.  The menu is:

Main

Sausage and mash

Tomato pasta

Jacket potato with choice of baked beans or cheese

Dessert

Chocolate mousse

Jelly

Sandwiches will be available to buy.

If your child would prefer not to have the free meal, then please ensure they have a packed lunch.  They will also need to bring food/snacks for morning break and enough to drink for the day (there are water fountains available to refill bottles).

Catering cards:  you may also like to add credit to your child's account or send in cash for your child to credit their cashless catering card to buy school meals.   The lanyards, cashless catering cards and individual timetables will be issued on Tuesday morning. Students will need to bring the lanyard and card to school every day as this is used to buy food from the canteens, door access into blocks and for printing.    The cards can be credited by students either using the cash top up stations located in the canteens or online by parents using ParentPay.   Please contact our Finance Office if you have not received details about setting up ParentPay.

School Photos: all Year 7 children will have a photo taken by Academy Portraits on the first day.  Proof cards to order photos will follow via your child in a few weeks.

Homework: we use the online platform Class Charts to set and manage homework and to record behaviour, rewards and sanctions for students.    It is used for all year groups by all teachers in all subjects.  Parents can monitor this at home by logging on to the website to view behaviour points, homework details and deadlines.   You will be issued with a log-in and password at the start of the new term. 

Timings of the day: the school day starts at 8.40am and will end at 3.25pm.  Lunchtime is 12.55-1.35pm.  Please ensure that your child knows their arrangements with friends and family about meeting places and how they will make their way home from school.  A reminder for parents who are new to the school - we finish at 2.30pm on Fridays.

Mobile phones at school: After considerable deliberation, it has been decided that from September we will move to the model adopted in the majority of the county’s secondary schools where mobile phones must not be seen out during the day on the school premises.

I fully recognise that there are arguments in favour of phones in schools and recognise that some would say we should be educating children to use phones responsibly.  I also recognise that they can be used as useful tools to support learning.  In addition, they provide a safety mechanism for children and parents whilst the youngsters commute to and from school. Knowing where your child is and having the opportunity for them to phone you is important in the 21st century.  By way of reassurance, young people, in an emergency, will still be able to contact home during the school day from Student Reception and, similarly, parents needing to get in touch with their child can do so by ringing the school.  Children will, of course, be able to have their phones on whilst travelling to and from school and we will also continue to educate them in relation to appropriate uses of mobile technologies and social media.

Amongst other things, we are keen to promote more social interaction, develop oracy skills, see children speaking to one another rather than only engaging with a screen and, most of all, diminish the potential for harmful behaviours through misuse. I am equally aware that students can still engage in such behaviours outside of school time, so what I am proposing does have limitations. I remain minded, however, to limit that potential damage and encourage children to focus on their learning and forming relationships through face to face contact whilst in school.

Full details of our revised expectations can be found in our mobile phone policy.

In simple terms, students will still be able to bring a phone to school, but it will need to be in their bag and switched off, not on their person. It will need to be switched off from 8.00am, or as soon as a student arrives at the school site until they leave at the end of the day.  Phones out during the day will mean sanctions are employed in line with the policy.

Please discuss this with your child before term starts and ensure that they are clear on the rules.

Mr G M Watson, Headteacher

A few more top tips for parents:

  • Double-check that everything is labelled – PE kit especially!  Put the label in an obvious place where it can be easily seen. Make sure pencil cases, drinks bottles and shoes are labelled .  We have a lost property area located at the Student Reception.
  • Routine - Go over your new morning routine and check that your child is confident with their route to and from school. Get the bus pass/cash ready if you are using the bus.  For anyone cycling to school, a bike lock is a must.
  • School lunches – your child will get hungry!  We often see children eating their entire packed lunch during break time.  Be prepared for the extra food shopping you will need to keep them going!  We would suggest your child eats a hot meal in the main canteen at lunchtime, there is no need to pre-order meal - children have free choice at the time.  Sample menus were included in welcome packs and are on the website.  School meals are excellent value for money; a two-course meal is £1.75 per day.  Having a school meal is good idea if your child is staying after school for a club or sports fixture. Anyone already in receipt of Free School Meals will transfer over to us automatically. If you are not already in receipt but are entitled please do apply.  You can apply online here.  Please ensure your child brings a drink to school in a refillable bottle.
  • Lockers – try to encourage your child to get a locker as soon as they can at the start of term. Tutors will help with this.  Bring a padlock into school.
  • Clubs – encourage your child to join as many clubs as possible. Details are given out on the first day at the Freshers' Fayre.  Remember that there is a homework club where our Librarians will help with research and where work can be printed off.
  • Keep the next few weekends free of plans - your child will be tired! The new routine, earlier mornings, plus lots of walking around the campus takes a bit of getting used to. It might help to keep the next few weekends relatively quiet at home.
  • Sore feet!  At the start of term, all the extra walking in new shoes can result in blisters.  Pop a few plasters in your child's bag - just in case!
  • Cash – a stash of loose change at home will be essential!   You may find that your child will ask you for money to buy such things as ticket for non-uniform, a book cover, money for a cake sale, a charity event, a friend’s birthday gift….. the list goes on!
  • School App - we will be moving away from the current 'Gateway' app to a new school app called Edulink.  The app is available on the Apple app store and the Google Play store or can be accessed via a web browser at  https://www.edulinkone.com.  The following features will become available within the app during the academic year: Viewing your child's timetable, reporting absence, viewing attendance information, updating your personal information, completing consent forms, viewing documents (reports, newsletters etc), viewing spending in the canteen and account balances and booking parents' evening appointments.  Fuller information and instructions about the app will follow in the new term.

It's only natural for you to feel emotional about your child starting at secondary school but you'll be surprised at how quickly they will settle in and at their new found independence.  However, if you do have any other concerns, please get in touch.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: AUTUMN TERM 1 - 2019

2 September - INSET day

3 September - Start of Autumn Term for new Year 7s

4 September - Start of term for all other students, including Sixth Form

23 September - INSET DAY followed by Open Evening for Year 5 & 6 families 

26 Oct - 3 Nov - Half term

The full calendar of school events for next year, including Parents' Evenings, etc, can be viewed on the website along with term dates for 2019-2020 .

Thank you for your support.  If you should have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the school.   I look forward to meeting you again in the new term.

Yours faithfully

Clare de Glanville

Assistant Headteacher, Transition