We consulted our current Year 7 students about some of their concerns prior to starting at the Academy to gain an idea of the type of worries you may have.
'What if I am not with all my friends for some lessons?'
In the first few weeks of term you will get to meet many students, a number of whom will have similar interests and sense of humour as you. It does not take long at all for friendship groups to join up and circles of friends to get bigger. Everyone is in the same position and keen to make friends.
'What if I get lost? Will I be told off if I am late to lessons?'
It does not take long at all to find your way around the site – probably about 2-3 weeks to know where all the different classrooms are and to familiarise yourself with your timetable. There will be lots of people to help you if you do get lost, including the older students in Year 8. Remember: they have been in your shoes and understand how you may be feeling. There are always people around the site who can advise you: members of staff, the reception team, the custodians, as well as other students. The most important thing is to keep calm and ask when you are not sure about something. No one will be annoyed if you are late to lessons – just explain what has happened and the teacher will make sure you catch up with what you may have missed.
'What happens if I do not understand some of the work?'
All your teachers will be more than happy to help you if you require further explanation about something you are learning. It is very important that you speak to your subject teacher or your House tutor if you are worried about any aspect of your learning. If it is homework that is worrying you, ask your parents / carers to contact your subject teacher and leave a message either by telephone, or writing a note in your Student Planner asking the teacher to contact them – you must remember to show the note to your teacher. As staff have a teaching role, they may not be able to call parents / carers back immediately, but will try to respond as soon as they can.
'What if I miss my bus home?'
If you do miss the bus home, do not worry or get upset. There will always be members of staff on bus duty. Tell them what has happened and they will take you to the Student Office so you can contact parents / carers and organise alternative transport home.
'What do I do if I feel upset'
Speak to one of your teachers, your House tutor or your Head of House as soon as you can and let one of them know what is troubling you. Talking issues through and sharing a problem will always help. If you start worrying about an issue when you are at home, talk to a parent / carer; they may contact your House Tutor or Head of House on your behalf the next day. Do not bottle problems up as this rarely solves anything. The teaching and support staff will help you as much as they can.
What do I do if I lose something, like my PE kit?'
The first thing to do is retrace your steps. Check in the PE changing rooms as well as asking members of PE staff if they have seen it. It could be that you left it in another classroom that day, so check all the rooms you have been in as well as the dining hall. If cleaning staff have located it at the end of the Academy day, they will take items to the Student Office. Check with reception staff at the Student Office. This is why it is vital that all uniform items, even shoes/trainers, are labelled so they can be easily identifiable as yours.
'Can my parents help me with homework?'
We encourage all students to talk about all aspects of their learning with their parents / carers. However, it is important that the work you produce is done by yourself, so your teachers know what you have understood and what may need to be discussed further. By all means show your homework to your parents / carers after you have completed it, so they can see what you have done and tell you how good it is!
'I have brought ingredients for Food Preparation classes and they need to be in the fridge! What do I do?'
On the day you have your Food Preparation lesson, 5 minutes before you go to your House tutor to register, go to your Food Preparation classroom. Your Food Preparation teacher will be expecting students to drop off ingredients and will be ready to receive your items.
When are the extra-curricular activities on and how do I sign up for these?'
All House tutors will display the extra-curricular activities timetable on House notice boards. These will detail what clubs and activities will take place at lunch-time and after 3.15pm. Try to get involved in as many things as you can. This is a great way to make friends and widen your social circle, as well as trying different sporting, musical, artistic and creative pursuits.
If I am worried about anything, who I do speak to?'
If you are worried about something in a particular subject, speak to the subject teacher after the lesson; they will arrange to talk to you further later in the day at break/lunch-time. If the issue is something personal, talk to your House tutor at registration. They see you every day and will be more than happy to listen and help. It is really important that you talk about any anxieties you have so we can support you.
'I don't feel very well. What do I do?'
If you don't feel well in a lesson, tell your subject teacher. It may be that you need to sit by the window to get some air and they can organise this. If symptoms persist, there is a Medical Room in the Academy. The Medical Assistant will contact parents / carers if they feel this is necessary.