Starting life at Hazelwick – Questions and Answers
Making the transition from primary to Hazelwick School is an exciting and significant time for your son or daughter. We are really looking forward to them getting started and know they will have a great time. However, it can also be a little daunting, for both students and for parent/carers. Hopefully, these pages can help ease some of those anxieties and answer some of the questions that you may have.
Getting ready to start at Hazelwick
The most important thing you can do over the summer before starting at Hazelwick is to enjoy the break and relax so you can start the term refreshed and invigorated. Every child will have their worries and anxieties. It is important to remind them that all students will feel this way and it is very natural. Hopefully they will be equally excited and looking forward to the fresh start. However, some organisation will be needed.
What does a typical day look like at Hazelwick?
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Who are the points of contact?
For most issues your first point of contact will be your child’s Head of Year team. For subject specific questions, you can contact your child’s subject teacher or Head of Department. All staff email addresses can be found on the website – https://www.hazelwick.org/parents/carers/staff-directory
If you wish to meet with the Heads of Year, it needs to be pre-arranged via phone or email. Please bear in mind that there are times when there may not be a relevant member of staff available for an immediate meeting or phone call, unless it is an emergency, due to teaching commitments.
How will I be informed of my child’s progress?
Year 7 parents/carers will be invited to a Student Review Day in December where the Form Teacher will discuss how your son or daughter has settled into the Hazelwick and the progress being made. A further Parents/Carers’ Consultation Evening will be held in March, where parents/carers will have the opportunity to meet with each of their child’s teachers.
If parents/carers have concerns, they can of course contact the Head of Year office and arrange further discussions.
What if my child is absent from school?
We encourage all students to attend school 100% of the time. If your child is too unwell to come to school please contact the school (01293 403344) as soon as possible every day of absence. If you are unsure whether to send your child in, please do so and we will contact you if they are too unwell to be in school.
- We understand that children sometimes need to attend medical or dental appointments and we would ask that these are scheduled outside of school times where possible. If this is not possible, please fill in the Late to School or Leaving School Exeat form in the student planner for your child to give to their Form Tutor prior to the appointment. The Planner, full of important information and advice, is given to your son/daughter when they join Hazelwick.
What equipment will my child need?
A list of stationery is on the website and there will be a section on this is the Transition Workbook that will be sent to every child in July. The main items will be a pencil case (preferably clear) with 2 or 3 blue or black pens, pencils, colouring pencils, sharpener, rubber, ruler, glue stick, calculator (scientific if possible), basic Maths Geometry set and highlighters.
Students will need a bag for all their PE kit, and a separate bag that will comfortably hold A4 books and a pencil case, as well as a drink and a packed lunch if required. It is always useful to remind your son/daughter to pack their bag the night before as it will save time in the morning.
All bags, all of your clothes and large pencil case items should all have a name in. This can be written in with a marker pen, or sewn in labels. It is not unusual for Year 7 students to misplace equipment and labelling allows us to know who to return it to.
Students will not need their PE kit for their Induction Day or their first timetabled day.
How is homework set?
This is set regularly by all subjects and is an essential part of a student’s learning. It is important parents/carers establish a routine which allows students time and space to complete homework. Parents/carers are not expected to complete the homework themselves, but help by being there for support. Students are expected to be doing about 40 minutes each evening on average. If they are doing significantly less or more please contact the Head of Year 7 team.
A homework timetable will be in place to ensure homework is spread evenly across the week.
What happens if my child has Special Educational Needs or a disability?
We collect details regarding SEND from primary schools during transition meetings prior to the start of each new school year. This is used to allocate support where appropriate. If we suspect that a child has a special educational need, we will liaise with parents / carers and arrange for interventions and/or shared LSA support in lessons. Further assessment may be required. There is more information in the Extra Help section on the Transition Page of the school website.
How will I receive information from the school?
Hazelwick now primarily uses email communication with parents/carers through a service called ‘SIMS InTouch’, which allows for swift and environmentally friendly communication between school and home. Letters, newsletters, news, reminders and other information are all sent routinely and reliably by this means, to one or more email address per family. The email details you provide in the Transition Administration Pack will automatically be used to register you with ‘SIMS InTouch’ unless you specifically ask us not to. You will also need to let us know of any subsequent changes to your email address.
We still issue information on paper to parents/carers who do not have an email address. We are all very aware that ‘pupil post’ is notoriously unreliable and we are, in addition, increasingly keen for environmental reasons to reduce the amount of paper the school uses unnecessarily.
The INSIGHT portal gives parents/carers the chance to see their child’s timetable, reports and positive achievement points online.
Please remember to inform the school if you have any changes to your contact details.
What happens if my child is ill in school?
The school’s medical room is situated at reception. If your child feels unwell they need to ask their class teacher or tutor for note before going to reception. Here, a trained first aider will assess whether your child needs to be sent home. If this is the case, we will call you to either obtain permission to send them home alone or request that someone collects them. In some circumstances we can give paracetamol or hay fever medication, but only if we have your permission.
The school has multiple qualified first aiders including staff who are trained to operate the school’s defibrillator should this be required.
If your child has any regular medication they need to take, such as a course of antibiotics or insulin, we can look after this in a lockbox or a refrigerator. Students will need to administer their own medication, but can do so in the privacy of the school’s medical room. If your child requires an asthma pump or Epi-Pen, please ensure they carry these will them at all times. We also ask that a spare inhaler is kept in the Medical Room.
It is vital that we have up to date medical information so please advise us of any changes.
How are students praised?
Praising students and recognising their achievements is a hugely important part of Hazelwick life. Verbal praise takes place constantly right across the site as staff identify and praise the excellent work, behaviours and attitudes of our students. Achievement points are given by staff for a wide range of things, and these can be tracked by parents/carers at home. There are also congratulatory letters, gold, silver and bronze badges, celebration breakfasts with the Headteacher, awards evening and rewards trips – all of which are used to praise, celebrate and reward the excellent work that students complete to help their learning, the learning of others and the success of the school community as a whole.
What happens if my child gets a detention?
At Hazelwick we focus on the positives with students wherever possible, with a range of praise structures in place to recognise and reward positive behaviour and effort. We are also aware that some students worry about detentions as they come up to secondary school. Therefore detentions are not used as students settle into the school. Once they are settled and aware of the expectations, detentions can be given if students do not meet those expectations. Detentions may be set at break, lunch or after school.
What are the meal arrangements at school?
There are a range of options offered at every point by the school canteen. The catering is provided by Harrisons and meals meet all dietary requirements and are Halal.
The opening times for the canteen are:
Breakfast – 8.00am - 8.30am
Break – 11.00am - 11.20am
Lunch – 1.25pm – 2.00pm
The current cost of the daily main meal is £2.35
If your child has any food allergies or intolerances please ensure that you inform the school.
More details, including sample menus, can be found here: https://www.hazelwick.org/parents/catering
Free school meal provision
Full details of Free School Meals can be found in the Useful Forms section of the website here: https://www.hazelwick.org/useful-forms
How does the Cashless system work in school?
When students start at Hazelwick, we will scan their fingerprint for use in the cashless catering system. This is used to create a unique ID number and the fingerprint image is then deleted and destroyed. Parents/carers have also been provided with the log in details for WisePay. This can be topped up by logging into WisePay under the Useful Links section of the school website. There are machines in the South Foyer and Canteen that allow students to check how much money is on their account. Parents/carers can top up their accounts using WisePay or cash in an envelope can be handed into the Canteen for putting on the student’s account. There is a £5 daily spend limit in place.
Can I get a locker for my child?
Students will have the chance of getting a locker to keep their belongings in. This can include their PE kit, as long as they remember to take it home to wash!
Lockers will cost £5.00 for the whole year but £2 will be given back at the end of the when you return the key. Lockers can be purchased at the main reception desk. There is no contract, we just ask that them look after it!
What extra-curricular activities are there?
A wide range of extra-curricular activities are offered across the year. There are a variety of sports clubs that run at lunchtime and after school. There are also clubs in Drama, Music, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) as well as a variety of others including cooking, Equalities club and Maths club. Full details can be found here: https://www.hazelwick.org/teaching-and-learning/clubs
If I need to request Leave of Absence, how do I do this?
Parents/carers should be aware that they do not have the right to take their child out of school during term time. They must always request permission in advance for their child to miss school. Holidays during school time will not be authorised.
The application form can be found at www.hazelwick.org/useful-forms
Are mobile phones allowed?
Students can have a mobile phone for their journeys to and from school. However, they must remain switched off and put away whilst at school. Phones being used at school lead to them being confiscated.
What support is there to help students early in Year 7?
We are very experienced at helping new students settle into secondary school life. Staff understand the nerves some students feel, as well as the challenges that some face, and all of this informs how we help, support and welcome them to Hazelwick.
Form Teachers work very closely with their new forms to ensure that they are happy and comfortable in school. A large number of Sixth Formers always volunteer to help out in September, and they are used for the first few weeks to guide students to and from their lessons, ensuring no-one can get lost or worry about being late.
What do we need to do ahead of September?
The Transition Administration Pack needs to be completed and returned to Hazelwick as soon as possible if it hasn’t already been done, so that we have all the important information about each student.
Students also need to get their uniform, details of which have been sent out and can be found in the Transition section of the school website. Learning how to tie a tie is always an important summer job ahead of starting at Hazelwick in September too!
Students have a Transition Workbook to look through and complete. This will be posted out to all students at the beginning of July, and contains lots of useful information, as well as a range of activities to complete to help familiarise students with Hazelwick and get them excited about starting their secondary school career here.
What if I have other questions not mentioned here?
If parents/carers have other questions that are not answered here, they should email email@example.com