Chorlton High School students act as Peer Educators in our partner primaries in reading and sports activities through accredited programmes. The skills and experiences that both sets of students gain from these projects are invaluable.
‘Buddies’ are an important part of the induction process and can provide support for primary students as they make the transition. Buddies are taken to the primary schools for informal discussion groups with those who will be joining us in September. The aim of the meetings is to allow discussions about the transition process in a safe and friendly environment. The Buddies will also visit Year 7 form groups once a week in the first term to support the new pupils.
Arts Outreach Programme
Chorlton High School is a centre of excellence for the Arts and the school's Arts Outreach Programme allows 12 primary schools in the local area to benefit from this through the work of the Arts Outreach Team. Specialist teachers in Drama, Dance and Music work with Year 1 all the way through to Year 6 on a variety of projects from one-off workshops to three week block projects tailored to a primary school's individual topic needs.
In addition, the Arts Outreach Programme also enables the students to be involved in a Shakespeare production for the Chorlton Arts Festival during Year 4 and 5, to experience watching professional Arts companies, to perform in the school's professional theatre - The Blue Box - and have masterclasses with arts practitioners. These are all enriching experiences that develop pupils' confidence, performance and group skills and help to nurture a sense of community, as well as aiding them in the transition process.
In the Summer Term of Year 6, our Transition Team will visit students in their primary schools, listening to their teachers about their needs, talking to the children about what to expect and introducing a group of ‘buddies’ who will act as peer mentors to befriend and help support them in the following year. In June, all incoming students are invited to attend an Induction Day where they will enjoy lessons, be introduced to some of their teachers and make new friends.
Parents are also invited for an Induction Evening to meet staff, to hear about how parents can be involved with the school and to discuss any concerns about starting High School.
The Final Part of the Journey
The Transition process continues into Year 7. In September, the students follow a Transition Curriculum developed with our Partner Primary schools. This encourages students to transfer valuable skills from Year 6 to Year 7 through their work. Our exciting new ‘Year 7 Framework for Learning’ is linked with extended learning experiences building valuable social skills and personal learning skills.
For parents there is also a meeting in the first half term to enable them to speak to the form tutor.
Partnership with Parents
As a school, we maintain high levels of contact with parents. Members of staff will often write to parents, contact them by telephone or invite them in to discuss issues of importance about their child’s welfare and progress. Likewise, we encourage parents to contact us if they have any concerns they would like to discuss. There are regular Parents’ Evenings throughout the school year where parents can speak to their child’s subject teachers.
Year 7 Groupings
Year 7 students are divided into eleven tutor groups. These are mixed ability groups that reflect our comprehensive intake. Within each tutor group, we endeavour, where possible, to make sure that every child has at least one friend however, tutor groups are also an opportunity to make new friends with young people from different primary schools. Students spend registration period (8.30am – 8.45am every day) in these groups.
Year 7 teaching groups are set in ability bands according to the assessment data received from primary schools. Ability banding allows us to target additional support or extension accurately to ensure all students go further faster. In the core subjects, English, Maths and Science, students are more finely set according to ability. The core subjects have all of their classes taught at once allowing movement, for example to a higher set, to be possible following half termly assessments. All teaching groups and ability bands are reviewed on a termly basis to maintain effective intervention where necessary.