Once students have been allocated a place at Laureate Academy, the transition process begins. All students and their parents attend a meeting with a member of the Senior Leadership Team. This is primarily so that the necessary paperwork can be completed, but also allows students and their families to raise any questions, ensuring that any particular concerns or issues are dealt with before the student starts at Laureate.
Any specific issues in relation to friendship groups, medical concerns, strengths, interests and areas for development can be made known to the school before arrival. Our team can then ensure that the appropriate support is put in place as early as possible.
The Head of Year 7 at Laureate will visit all students at their primary school. This gives them a chance to speak to their Year 6 teacher, see the student in their own environment, and to familiarise themselves with the student and their needs. The SENCO might also attend, to ensure that we are aware of any particular needs individual students may have, and to start preparations for their arrival at the school.
As with all other local Dacorum secondary schools, we have a transition day, dedicated to integrating our new students into the school community. Students spend the day at Laureate, and in doing so get an invaluable experience of what life is like at secondary school. They take part in taster lessons and various co-curricular activities, have the opportunity to experiment with the academy’s wide range different equipment, and are familiarised with the timings of the day, including break and lunchtime arrangements. Parents are also invited to attend the afternoon assembly, in order that they can too can be welcomed into the Laureate community, hear any important notices, and discover what their children have been doing that day.
We then have a second day where students return to Laureate to complete their CATs tests in the morning. For those wishing to do so, there is also the chance to stay for the afternoon and take part in a range of sporting activities, using our school’s excellent sports facilities.
In addition, we run a range of after-school taster sessions. Students can sign up for the sessions of their choice in the summer term, usually in July.
Once the students have officially started at Laureate in September, they enjoy the school to themselves on their first day. This is so that they can get used to the school’s systems, timings and layout, and also allows them to meet their Tutors, staff, and peers. We recognise that the transition to secondary school is a potentially daunting and turbulent period, and we hope that this day, in conjunction with the more formal transition days, will help students to feel settled and welcomed into the school.
Finally, later in September, we offer a ‘Come and Meet the Tutor’ event to parents. This helps us to involve them in the dialogue, and gives both parents and staff a chance to express their views on how the children have settled in, dealing with any concerns as necessary.