Introduction to Year 8

We recognise that whilst the transition from primary school can be exciting, it can be stressful for both pupils and parents. The welfare, care and support of our First Year pupils are of paramount importance to us, therefore we have a carefully structured Induction Programme led by a specialist Head of First Year.

All parents of First Year pupils are invited to the College in June before their child starts. This is an excellent opportunity for parents to familiarise themselves with school policies, subjects which their child will study, and provides parents with an opportunity to share information with us at Sperrin. A Parent Handbook will provide parents with all the information they require.

The first ‘official’ school day starts in late August for First Year pupils and is organised solely for their needs. First Year pupils will work with their Form Teacher who will support and familiarise them by addressing things such as timetables and use of the refectory. They will also be given a tour of the College.

Early in September First Year pupils will be introduced to their Class Mentor. Their Class Mentor is an older student who will meet with the First Year pupil several times in the first term – providing help and guidance. Class Mentors and Senior Prefects will also be on duty on school buses to assist First Year pupils.

We recognise that some pupils need a ‘helping hand’ when it comes to studying. All First Year pupils participate in our ‘Learning to Learn’ programme. First Year pupils are taught how to recognise their preferred learning style and are given top tips on how to become an independent learner.

A highlight of the Induction Programme is our Outdoor Activity Day late September /early October. First Year pupils, their Form Teacher and Year Head go to an Outdoor Pursuits Centre and do all kinds of team building activities including ‘Segway Body Zorbing and archery (to name but a few). This is an excellent opportunity to establish firm, supportive friendships and helps to bond the year group.

The Welcome Service marks the end of the Induction Programme for First Year pupils. Pupils showcase their work and perform music and drama pieces. Parents, grandparents and the whole family enjoy this wonderful evening of celebration.

Pupils are assessed regularly during the school year and receive two reports annually. Formal assessments take place at four points of each year, this allows for monitoring of pupil progress and facilities learning and teaching planning. All parents are invited to the College for a Parent Teacher Meeting each year and individual meetings are arranged as necessary to monitor progress.

One of the many End of Year highlights for First Year pupils is the Enterprise Fair. Every pupil is placed in a team and has the opportunity to start their own business. The fair is open to the whole school and the team which makes the most profit on the day receives the Young Enterprise Award.