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Hungerhill School Hungerhill
School

Frequently Asked Transition Questions

How many Tutor groups are there in Year 7 and what is meant by a sector?

There are nine tutor groups in Year 7, three in each sector. We have three sectors (A, B and C) in a year group; Sector A is made up of forms H, U and N, sector B is forms G, E and R and sector C is forms I, L and S. The tutor groups are all mixed ability groups, this also applies to each sector, they are carefully designed to be of equal ability levels based on students’ Key Stage 2 assessments. There is sometimes a misconception that your child’s tutor group and sector affect their social time and there is a fear that they may not see their friends at break or lunch. We can put your minds at rest about this as all students have the same break time and lunchtime. Lunchtime is split into sittings, but all of Year 7 are on the same sitting so your child will always be able to arrange to meet their friends at break and lunch.

How are the Tutor groups put together? Can I make requests about who my child is placed with?

We work really hard at Hungerhill to ensure that we get our Tutor groups as balanced as possible. We obtain extensive information from every Primary School about each child in the year group and engage in regular conversations with our primary colleagues (Headteachers and Year 6 teachers) when we are formulating our tutor groups. We try to ensure a balance of ability levels, sexes, primary schools, personalities and interests; it is a very carefully thought out and finely balance process. We have been made aware by our primary colleagues of any potential problems between students and have acted on this to ensure that they are kept apart. Our tutor groups are always checked over by Year 6 teachers and Headteachers before we finalise them to ensure that there are no potential issues. We are not able to accommodate friendship groups and will never ask our primary colleagues about this, we do however give a guarantee that students from our feeder primary schools will be placed in a tutor group that has a minimum of 2 boys and 2 girls from the same primary school to ensure some familiar faces. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee this for students from out of catchment schools due to the numbers coming from each. We are not able to accommodate parental requests about which tutor group your child is placed in or who they are placed with/away from. We cannot change the tutor group of an individual once we have finalised them with our primary colleagues due to the finely balanced nature of the groups. We do believe that secondary school is an opportunity to spread their wings and form new friendships. It is also a time when some friendships naturally drift apart and we have found that this can actually be more problematic if the children are in the same tutor group. We will do everything that we can to help your child settle in and form new friendships as quickly as possible, usually the new friendships that children form at secondary school go on to become the strongest friendships they have. They will of course only be away from their primary school friends during lesson time; they will still be able to travel to and from school together, see each other at breaks and lunchtimes and attend extra-curricular clubs with them. If they are in the same sector, they may even have lessons such as maths, English and PE with them too.

What support will my child receive to help them settle in?

On their first day, your child will have a welcome assembly. During this they will be introduced to some key members of staff, including their Head of Year and their Form Tutor. They will then spend the full morning with their Form Tutor. Their Form Tutor will talk them through everything they need to know about their first few days and what they can expect. They will receive a planner (which includes lots of information and a map of the school) and their timetable and go on a tour of the school to help familiarise themselves with their surroundings. They will also be introduced to the Peer Mentors (Y10 students) for their tutor group. These are older students who have chosen to give their time to help our new Year 7s settle in - they will become a familiar friendly face and an avenue of support for your child, particularly in their first few weeks here. They will also be introduced to our Y11 Student Leaders who they can go to should they need any help or information. Our student leaders are easily recognisable by their blue ties.

What do I do if my child becomes upset or thinks they are being bullied?

We want your child to be as happy as possible at school and will do all we can to support them. If your child either becomes upset about anything or feels that they are being bullied, please encourage your child to speak to their Form Tutor, Head of Year or any other member of staff who they may feel most comfortable speaking to. If they feel more comfortable talking to another student, they may like to speak to a friend, a peer mentor or student leader (identifiable by their blue tie) who can speak to a member of staff on their behalf. Part of the journey through secondary school includes building the confidence of students to deal with issues directly, however if they don't feel confident to speak to either an adult or a peer, please contact your child's Form Tutor or Head of Year directly. Children will inevitably fall out and argue, so to help your child determine whether their experience is classified as bullying, we use the word ‘STOP’, which stands for 'several times on purpose'. If an issue can't be resolved at this level it will be referred to the Senior Leadership Team. Bullying is defined as “the repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.” Bullying is, therefore, deliberately hurtful, repeated over a period of time and difficult to defend against.

How early can my child arrive at school and where can they go?

The school gates open at 8am and your child is welcome to arrive any time after that. They can go to the Breakfast Club in the dining hall where a variety of breakfasts are available to buy. The Library runs a home learning club from 8am until 8.30am where students may go to complete their work or to use ICT facilities, including printers, should they not have access at home. Students can also meet up with friends outdoors. Your child will need to be aiming to be at their form room for 8.35am ready for the official start time of 8.40am. Students will be considered late for school if they arrive at their form room after the 8.40am bell has rung (even if they were in the school ground on time).

What uniform will my child need and where can I buy it from?

Looking smart and ready for learning is really important to us at Hungerhill. We feel that looking and feeling a part of the Hungerhill team helps to promote a positive, inclusive environment for learning. Please see the video and uniform page in the ‘Parents’ section of the school website for the specific uniform requirements. Our uniform can be purchased from Cliffs in Doncaster Town Centre or online at www.schoolwearsolutions.com - there is a link to this on the uniform page on our website. We highly recommend that you label all uniform and PE kit. It is almost impossible to return lost items to students if they are not labelled and this can also help solve disputes between students about what belongs to who.

Are there any special washing instructions for the school uniform?

Follow the washing instructions that are printed on the garment labels, or adhere to any instructions as given by the supplier.

What PE Kit will my child need? Do they need different kit for different times in the year?

Your child will require an indoor and outdoor PE kit throughout the Autumn and Spring terms but will usually just require their indoor kit for the summer term as the weather is usually warm enough not to require the outdoor kit. Trainers will be required for every PE lesson and football boots may be required at certain times when they are doing football and rugby in the curriculum. Your child’s PE teacher will inform them of when boots are required. For full details of the Hungerhill School PE kit, including how to order, please visit the PE Kit section on our website at www.hungerhillschool.com - you will find this within the ‘Parents’ section.

Where do we get bus passes from?

Please visit the ‘Year 6 Transition’ page in the ‘Parents’ section of our website and look for the link in the menu called, 'Apply for a bus pass'. This will take you directly to the page where you can apply for the MegaTravel Pass online - you will find step by step instructions once you are on that page.

What should I do if my child is unable to access their home learning due to issues with a computer, printer or internet at home?

Students will usually be given several days to complete home learning and we strongly advise them to complete this on the day it is set. One reason for this is that it gives them time to solve any of these sorts of issues. Students can use the IT facilities in the library before and after school to complete their home learning. If the issue is the printer, students can do their work at home and print it at school, it may also be good practice to email their work to their teacher in this circumstance. The key is to attempt their home learning early enough to be able to find a solution or talk to their teacher about any issues they may have with meeting the deadline - teachers are here to help. If all else fails, we ask that you write a note in your child’s planner to explain the situation to their teacher. If the issue is not temporary, please talk to your child’s Form Tutor or Head of Year who may be able to help find a solution.

What should I do if my child is too ill to attend school?

Call the school reception on 01302 885811 and inform our receptionists, giving the reason for the absence. If the number is busy when you call, please leave a voicemail. If your child is ill for more than one day, please ensure that you call on each day of absence so that we remain fully informed. What happens if my child feels ill or has an accident? Please don't worry. If your child has an accident whilst they are at school, they will be seen by a designated First Aider who will deal with each situation appropriately, following their First Aid training. If your child feels ill, they should be assessed by our pastoral team who will call you to discuss, if it is necessary. On rare occasions, you may wish us to administer a pain killer, such as paracetamol. Please be aware that, following the Government's statutory guidance, we now require both written and verbal consent to do this so please make sure that you complete this section’s permissions form on the electronic registration form. If we have your written permission in this way, we will always call for verbal permission before we issue any. We ask that, under no circumstances, your child contact parents and carers directly. It is essential that we are fully aware of children who are unwell within school so please encourage your child to come to a member of staff if they feel unwell.

What should I do if my child has an existing health condition or needs to take medicine?

In most cases your child's primary school will have informed us about any previous healthcare plans that are in place, however you will still be required to complete a Health Care Plan form.  You will find the form on our website in the Parents Section under 'Parents Information' and then 'Medicine forms'. Alternatively, you can request one via email, please email admin@hungerhillschool.com and we will email a form out to you. Once complete you can return via email to the same address.

 It may be necessary for you to meet with a member of our staff to discuss your child's needs in more detail - we will contact you if this is necessary. What should I do if my child needs to carry medication with them e.g an Inhaler or Epi-pen?

Please ensure that you have completed a Health Care Plan for your child using the electronic form on our website (full instructions about our Health Care Plan can be found in the question above).

We advise that a spare medication is provided for Hungerhill to retain in case of an emergency.  This should be clearly labelled with your child’s full name and Form Tutor group.  Your child can also carry their own medication as required.  Please ensure that this is also clearly labelled with your child’s full name and Form Tutor group.

What happens if my child is feeling unwell, but I have still sent them into school?

Write a note in your child’s planner explaining this. If your child deteriorates throughout the day, your child may be referred to the Student Support Office.  They will contact you if they feel your child needs to be at home or in the event of an emergency.  Please ensure we have the correct details to contact someone in case of an emergency.

What are the school's rules on mobile phones?

We advise students to leave their mobile phone at home, however we understand that they may be useful on the journey to and from school. We are, therefore, happy for students to bring their mobile phone to school with them, however, from crossing the blue line at the gate in a morning, the phone must be switched off, and in their bag, until they cross the blue line again on their way out at the end of the day. Students are not permitted to use their phones whilst they are in school under any circumstances. They are all made aware that there are sanctions in place for taking advantage of these rules and are reminded regularly. It's also important that we let you know that if your child decides to bring their phone into school that they do so at their own risk, which means the school will not be able to take any responsibility for phones that are lost, stolen or broken.

What if I need to contact my child during the school day or they need to contact me?

We strongly advise that all general family arrangements are made before your child comes to school so that they can be focussed on school during the day. However, if you need to contact your child in an emergency, please contact the school reception who will ensure that the message is passed on if enough time is given for them to do so. If your child needs to contact you urgently during the school day they may go to the Student Support office where they will be able to contact home. If for any reason, no-one is available at that time in the student support office, then they may go to the main student reception.

What options does my child have for lunch and what are the arrangements for payment?

We have numerous hot and cold options available at lunchtime, from the sandwich and salad bars, to our hot ‘grab and go’ options and Pasta King, to the 'daily menu' hot meal options. Students are also free to bring their own packed lunch if they prefer. We operate a 'cashless catering' system at Hungerhill. You have the option of topping up your child's account online or by adding cash at the top-up points in the main reception. Your child will then pay for their food using either their fingerprint or a pin code once they have chosen their lunch. Please be sure to complete the necessary permissions on the electronic registration form to ensure that your child can purchase their lunch when they start with us in September. Please also ensure that your child’s account is topped up sufficiently either through the online payment method or by providing your child with cash so that they can top up using the machines in the main reception.

How do I ensure that my child’s details are kept up to date?

Parents/carers are required to complete the electronic student registration form which you should have been sent a link to by your primary school. The link can also be found on the ‘Year 6 Transition’ page of our website. This form contains lots of details about your child such as their address, emergency contacts, medical conditions etc as well as a number of permissions forms that we require. If your details change at any time (e.g. contact details or address etc), please contact reception to request a ‘change of details’ form. Once completed, we will update your details on our systems.

My child has had an item confiscated, why and what do I do?

The School does not allow phones out of bags or other technology items, these and any other inappropriate items will be confiscated and stored in Main Reception. Parents/carers can collect these daily between 15:10pm and 4.30pm. Please be aware that we may be required to hand certain banned items to the Police.

What happens if my child receives a Period 7/whole school detention?

You will be notified by stamp in your child’s planner of when your child is required to attend a Period 7. Failure to attend a Period 7 will result in further sanctions being applied, in accordance with our school policy.

My child is unsure of Period 7 or detentions, what do they need to do?

Students must check when they have a Period 7 or detention, they will not be reminded. If your child is unsure they can check initially with their Form Tutor who may be able to help as long as they have their planner and it is up to date. Period 7 detentions will be written in your child’s planner.

What should I do if I or my child has a problem with an instrument lesson?

Please don’t address problems to the instrumental teacher.  You should encourage your child to speak to Miss Crowder, Head of Music, to discuss the problem and any solutions.  If they are not confident to do this, you are welcome to contact Miss Crowder with your concerns either by leaving a telephone message or by emailing her at crowder.n@hungerhillschool.com

What do I do if I want to take my child out of school for a holiday?

Family holidays should be taken during school holidays. Please note as per the Government Guidelines: holidays in term time are only authorised in exceptional circumstances and you should seek authorisation before booking.  Ask your child to collect an application form from the Attendance Office/Reception. You should complete this and submit it no later than 4 weeks in advance of the proposed absence. You will receive a letter informing you whether your request has been authorised or not.  Unauthorised holidays will receive an Educational Penalty Notice (Fine) See Policy for further details.