This is very much a period of settling in. Students have a great opportunity to make new friends while at the same time having the security of old friends around them. Students also get to know their tutor who in turn gets to know them quickly and well. Activities in tutor time are designed to help the whole group to begin to forge an identity of their own.
Lists of after school and lunch time clubs are published and all students are encouraged to join at least one.
Each Tutor group elects two representatives from each Key Stage to the House Council where any relevant issue can be raised. These meetings are held each term and are chaired initially by the Head of House.
Towards the end of September the annual Sponsored Walk takes place. Students in all years are invited to take part in a walk of about 12 miles mostly on off-road paths to a barn above Chitterne. Each student is encouraged to collect sponsors and money raised goes to help to finance improvements within the school. Although some students are initially a little daunted at the prospect of this event it is usually considered one of the highlights of the school year. It is a good opportunity for students to have a day out with their friends.
Regular House assemblies take place throughout the year.
During the term Inter-House competitions begin and these cause great excitement and friendly rivalry. These cover a variety of sports and are organised by the PE Faculty.
At some stage during Term 3 or 4 each House will undertake a fund raising activity. Last year we completed a sponsored line dance in aid of LEPRA and raised over £2500.
The school Swimming Gala, part of the Inter House competitions, takes place during Term 3.
Public exams take place during Terms 5 and 6 for Years 11 and 13. There will be end of year tests for Year 7. Based on these results, plus teacher assessments and other results throughout the year, students are sorted into teaching groups for Year 8. In Year 8 there is more ‘setting’ than in Year 7 and it is important that students are placed in groups where they will learn best.
Another aspect of the Inter-House competitions, takes place during June. Groups compete in a range of field and track events, again competition is intense.