We are looking forward to meeting all of our new year 7 students on Thursday 3rd September at 8:30am
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the transition from primary school to PCS will look different from previous years. However, we would like to reassure Year 6 parents and carers that we are committed to supporting our new students and their families with a positive transition to our school.
Unfortunately, many of our traditional Year 6 Transition events are currently on hold pending further government guidance. As we are unable to run these events in their usual format, we have been working on an alternative provision. The list below outlines what has taken place so far, current and future plans.
What we’ve done so far:
• Primary schools have returned information about each Year 6 student.
• Year 7 team have had online meetings with Year 6 teachers and discussed all students.
• The SEND Team has had online meetings with primary school SENCOs to discuss students with additional needs.
• Mr Warner-Swan has made contact with all primary school Head Teachers.
• Students allocated to tutor groups.
• Weekly newsletter ‘Countdown to PCS’ sent to all parents and primary schools. Each newsletter is primarily for the students to get to know key staff but it also has FAQs answered by transition leaders. Additionally, there's a 'parents corner' with key info and dates for them and a SEND area. Each faculty has set a summer challenge for students to do.
• Year 6 email address has been set up so that parents and students can email the Year 7 team directly with questions and enquiries.
• Virtual tour has been created and is available to access on the school website.
• Peacehaven staff have arranged visits to some primary schools.
• All transition information can be found on the school website.
What we have planned in the next few weeks:
• Key staff visit some primary schools.
• Students informed about which tutor group they will be in.
• Face-to-face meetings arranged for all students with a key member of the Year Team.
• Students will receive a welcome transition booklet.
When they start their first term:
• The first term will be a Transition term. Lessons will be skilled based- helping students to learn how to learn rather than overwhelm them with
a knowledge based curriculum.
• Reduced homework timetable.
• Year 7 has their own playground.
• Early lunch.
• Extensive tutor time activities based around resilience and getting to know other members of the school community.
• Parents induction meeting as soon as guidelines permit.
We will update with arrangements for the new school year as soon as we have the appropriate government guidance regarding schools re-opening and COVID-19.
Our school gates open at 8:00am; students can come in at this time and meet with friends, go to breakfast club, use the library, access IT rooms to complete homework or to speak with their tutors or a member of the Year 7 team.
The school day ends at 3:00pm, however all students are encouraged to participate in any extra-curricular activities on offer.
How long is the school day?
All students should be in school at 8:40am so that they are ready to start their first lesson at 8:50am. The school day ends at 3:00pm.
Can I come to school before 8:40?
Students can start to arrive at school from 8:00am. We have a free breakfast club that students can use from 8:00am and our library and IT rooms are available for study purposes.
Which way do I come into school?
Students must use the entrance that is next to the leisure centre. This will be open at 8:00am and 3:00pm. Students must not use the reception entrance to go into or out of school; this is only for visitors to the school.
* Some of our students come to school by taxi; these students are allowed to leave through our reception entrance.
What lessons will I have?
You will have a whole range of lessons. Many of them will be lessons that you’ve done before such as English, Maths and Science. You’ll also do Humanities, which is History and Geography. You’ll do lots of practical lessons such as Design and Technology, Art, Food Technology, Music, IT, Drama and PE. Finally, all of you will do Languages and SPHERE (You might know this as PSHE.).
How will I find my way around school?
When you start you’ll be given a tour of the school. You’ll have a map and all corridors are labelled and classrooms are numbered. Additionally, we now have a one way system which will make finding your way around even easier.
What if I get lost on my way to my lessons?
There will be lots of staff and students around the corridors in between lessons so just ask someone. Everyone will be happy to help you out and guide you to your classroom.
How long will I have at lunchtime?
Lunchtime for all students is 30 minutes but Year 7 always starts the year by going to lunch 10 minutes early. This means that you can get to the front of the queue in the food hall.
When will I find out who my tutor is?
Organising the groups is a very complex job but we hope to let you know at the start of July.
What kind of food is there in the food hall?
We’re really lucky at PCS because we have two large food halls which serve really lovely hot and cold food. Favourites are pizza, pasta and curry pots, fish and chips Friday, waffle Wednesday amongst other delicious things. You’ll also be able to get our meal of the day, healthy salads and fruit pots.
Am I allowed to bring a packed lunch to school?
Yes you can! If your friends are having a meal from the food hall you can take your lunch and sit with them.
What do I do if I forget my lunch or I haven’t got any money in my account?
In these situations you can go to our main office, the students reception desk. If you explain the situation to our staff they’ll help you to resolve the situation.
How do I pay for my food?
We use a cashless foodhall. In previous years students have used thumb prints to buy their food. But this year, because of the COVID-19 situation, we’ll use payment cards which you’ll be given on your first day. To put money onto the cards your parents/carers will need to transfer money to your account using ParentPay.
Will I be with my friends in my tutor group?
In Year 7 we will have 180 students and we have to divide these between 8 tutor groups. It’s really important that we make sure that the groups are equal in terms of gender, SEND, academic ability and prior schooling. We have to ensure that we don’t have a group that has too many students from one primary school because this makes it very difficult for other students in the group. Especially as we have lots of students who come from primary school completely on their own. So, we can’t promise that you’ll be with your best friend but it’s very likely that you’ll be with people that you know.
If I’m not in the same tutor group as my friends when will I be able to see them?
The good news is that Year 7 has areas in the school which are just for them eg: Year 7 only playground. This is a place where you can meet your friends at both break and lunchtime.
Also, usually groups are mixed for Maths, English and Humanities so you might get to be with your friends in one of those subjects.
However, I think it’s important to remember that lessons are for learning and so if you’re focussed on the lessons you shouldn’t even notice whether your friend is in your group or not!
What are the older students like at PCS?
Just remember that all of our older students were just like you a few years ago so they know what you’re going through. Many of them will be only too happy to help you out. Also, we have lots of students who are Transition Leaders and their job is to look out for Year 7. So, if you need help look out for students who have lanyards on, these are our Transition Leaders.
What should I do if I get bullied in school?
The most important thing to do if someone from our school community is being unkind to you is to tell somebody. The best person to tell is your tutor or the Year 7 Team. If you tell someone they can help to resolve the situation but we can’t stop it if we don’t know.
What equipment do I need?
For every lesson you need your ‘Golden 5’, this includes the following items:
An A4 box file
A reading book
You will also need a sketch book,an art set, PE kit and a calculator.
What do I do if I’m feeling unwell?
If you’re feeling poorly during a lesson you must tell your teacher. They will then inform the medical room. The staff in the medical room will then make a decision on whether they need to send you home or not.
It is really important that you do not contact your parents yourself because this will just worry them. Let our well trained staff make the decisions for you.
What do I do if I forget my PE kit?
This sometimes happens. The most important thing to do is to try and speak to your PE teacher before your lesson to explain the situation. They’ll be much more understanding if you do that. Then they’ll lend you some PE kit. But it’s really important that you try to find ways to remember your kit. A good routine to get into is to leave your kit in your locker all week and then take it home to wash at the weekends.
Where do I go if I need help or I’m worried about something?
In either of these two situations you should speak firstly to your tutor. However, if you can’t find them you can go to the Head of Year office which is in the year 7 zone. You can go there to speak with either Mrs McCaughan or Mrs Fernee but only at the following times:
You must not go to the office during lesson times.
Will I get Homework?
When you first start at PCS you will only get homework in 2 subjects, this will gradually increase. You should spend no longer than half an hour on each piece of homework.
How do I know if I’ve been set for homework?
Firstly, the teacher will tell you that you’ve got homework. They will then put it onto two learning platforms which we use; Show My Homework and Google Classroom. You will be shown how to access these when you join us.
Who do I speak to if I can’t do my homework?
Homework is one of the big expectations at PCS and all students are expected to complete their homework. If you are having difficulty understanding your homework you should speak with your subject teacher before or after school or you could email them using Google Classroom. But don’t leave it until the last minute! You must speak with them and still have enough time to complete the homework. If you go to speak with them on the deadline day it might seem like an excuse because you haven’t completed it!
Also, don’t forget that we run lots of clubs including homework clubs. Many students stay at school to complete homework before they go home.
What happens if I don’t do my homework?
If homework isn’t completed you will be set a detention.
What clubs are there at PCS?
There are many different clubs on offer at PCS, including a wide range of sports clubs such as football, netball, cricket, basketball and athletics. You can also attend music, drama, games and cooking club.
Can I wear trainers to school?
Absolutely not! You should wear proper school shoes. If you come to school in trainers you will be expected to change.
Can I wear make-up?
Students in Year 7 and 8 are not allowed to wear make up. If you arrive at school with make-up on you will be asked to remove it. (This includes false nails.)
Can I use my mobile phone at school?
We are aware that many students will have a mobile phone. However, you are not allowed to use them once you are in the school building. Mobile phones should be turned off and left in your locker.
If you use your phone in school it will be taken to the school office and you will have to collect it at the end of the school day. If you use it on a second occasion your parents will be contacted and they will have to collect it. Following that you would lose the right to leave your phone in your locker; instead your phone would have to remain in the office for an agreed timescale.
Charlotte Dowling - firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Southgate - email@example.com
Ellie Kenebel - firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Oborne - email@example.com
Olivia Broadbent-Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
James Attrill - email@example.com
Jenny Alborough - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Hamblin - email@example.com
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant member of staff:
• If your concern is specific to one subject:
Please contact the class teacher or the Head of Department for that subject.
All email addresses can be found in the meet the school staff section.
• If your child is having friendship issues:
Please contact your child’s tutor they will involve the Year Team if further intervention is required.
• If your child is struggling to settle in:
Please contact your child’s tutor or the Head of Year 7.
• If your child is having uniform or equipment issues:
Please contact your child’s tutor or the Assistant Head of Year 7.
• If your child is having problems organising or completing homework:
They can attend homework clubs either in specific subjects or general homework clubs.
• If your child has any medical issues:
Please contact Rayna Gunn, Medical Room Supervisor.
• If your child has any attendance issues:
Please contact the attendance team; Marie Wootten and Angie Williams.
• If you have any concerns around progress:
If it relates to one subject, please contact your child’s subject teacher.
If it relates to multiple subjects, please contact the Head of Year 7.
• If you have any concerns regarding bullying:
Please contact the Year Team.
Moving up from primary to secondary school can sometimes seem like a daunting and complicated experience. At PCS, we want to make the transition process run as smoothly as possible, but here are some top tips for parents on helping your children make the change smoothly.
• Reassure your child that their worries about transition are normal and that things will get easier.
• Read through the student transition booklet together to ensure that your child knows who to contact or where to go if there is a problem.
• Go through the ‘Frequently asked questions’ section of the website.
• Have a trial run of the route, especially if your child plans to walk or cycle.
• Get up earlier during the last week of the holidays so that early starts for school aren't a shock to the system.
• Help your child to get into good routines. Encourage them to pack their bag the night before. Help them to create a daily checklist for items they need for school. They should also look at their timetable to remind them about homework that they might need to hand in.
• Encourage your child to go to bed at a reasonable time and set an alarm to wake them up in the morning.
• Keep a copy of your child’s timetable to ensure that you know what they are doing each day; put on display somewhere visible in the house. Also, encourage them to have a copy of their timetable on their phone so if they lose their paper copy they will still have one to refer to.
• Support your child to stick to the uniform code. Your child will feel more comfortable from day one if they’re wearing the correct uniform. They will feel like they are part of the school community and it will prevent constant negative interactions with staff.
• Get in touch with us if something happens that may affect their day. (See who should I contact?)
• If possible provide a quiet area for them to complete their homework, and agree upon a routine for completing it. If there isn’t an appropriate area to work, encourage them to use the school homework clubs.
• Where possible, have a set of equipment at home to use for completing homework rather than taking equipment out of their bag. This will help to prevent issues with forgetting or losing equipment.
• Name and label everything, including shoes.
• Encourage your child to join lunchtime or after-school clubs. They are a great way to make friends.
• Ensure your child is “device-free” at least one hour before they go to sleep to enable them to have a calm end to their day.
• Visit the Starting Secondary School section of the BBC Bitesize website for tips, resources and advice: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/tags/zh4wy9q/starting-secondary-school/1
Dear Year 6
I know you may feel nervous and anxious about starting PCS. I know I did and that is totally ok.
One of my fears was that no one would know I was dyslexic and I would struggle to keep up, but it was fine because Miss Gould at Telscombe had spoken with PCS and all my teachers were made aware of it.
I know after my transition week, I thought I am never going to be able to find my way around the school, it seems massive compared to our lovely little primary schools, but it took 1 week for me to know my way around.
Another fear I had was not being able to make new friends. I can be quite shy, but I didn't need to worry. My tutor group is the best, even though it is made up of children from all different schools we get on so well and are great friends.
My main piece of advice would be if you are worried, upset or anxious about anything please ask for help. There are lots of people who can help and students who will point you in the right direction.
Firstly, I would like to assure you that the transition between year 6 and year 7 is not as hard as it may first seem. That is not to say that it is not nerve-racking, and I am sure that many of you, as everyone at PCS once was, are nervous. However, this is just natural, and I can promise you that everyone at our school is willing to help you, because we all know how you are feeling.
The only mistake you can make coming into Secondary School is not asking the questions you would like answered. If you think in your head now, there is most likely a question or worry you would like to be answered- if there is not, one will probably come to you when or before you arrive. No question is a silly question and I give you my word that every member of staff will be happy to help and reassure you. Just remember that every pupil has been through this transition, and I know from personal experience that it is better to talk about your emotions rather than bottle them up.
When you first come into PCS, you will receive your timetable and meet your tutor. They will explain to you everything you need to know, and this may be the best time to ask any questions you have. As you settle in, you may want to join just one of the many clubs on offer, or perhaps become part of the school football team. This is a great way to find people with similar interests to you, and I know first-hand that sport is the best way to make friends.
At first, PCS may seem like a huge building, but after a few days you will know its corridors like the back of your hand. If you need to ask for directions, just ask! Your Secondary school life is now fast approaching, and you will love it.
You have to wear a blazer and a tie according to your year group, this is good because the ties make you feel part of your year group and help you recognise people who are in your year, the blazer is also a good addition to the uniform as it looks smart and when you look smart and feel smart it improves how you conduct yourself.
The layout of the school is easy to find your way around, as there are many big vibrant posters guiding you to different subjects. The school is a nice size as it is not too small, making it less crowded for students, this can reduce risks of injuries. However. the school is not too big either, so students will not have any issues getting lost and being late to lessons, this also reduces anxiety in some children.
PCS provides a range of different out of school hour clubs for its students, for example; dance, football, rugby, drama, music, a revision/homework club and also a breakfast club for those who may need to arrive at school a bit earlier. Following on from this a select amount of the physical/sport clubs offer fixtures against other schools around the area. These clubs also boost children’s social skills, this can improve their mental health.
nlike primary schools every year group has their own head of year in which they can go to about worries or issues they may have. Each head of year is very friendly and easy to talk to and they communicate very well with other staff/students to suit your child’s needs and problems.
What can you do if you’ve got a problem?
“We (Transition Leaders) could talk to the year 6's in a more quiet area, instead of right outside the classroom maybe on the field or playground.” - Josh
What do I do if I get lost?
“When I was in year 6, I was worried about getting lost at secondary school, and I was worried about the older kids. The advice I would give to year 6's are: secondary school is a big step in life and yeah it can be scary, but once you get to know everything, you'll be just fine”. I think the transition programme the school has is really great and I wouldn't change it.” - Katie
“I was worried about getting lost but after a couple days it was so easy” - Isobel
“I would say, don't panic. Although the school is big, it is really easy to learn how to find your way around. There are staff and us current year 7 (will be year 8's) to ask. We were all nervous at first, so we know best how you are feeling.” - Megan
“I was worried about meeting new people and the older years in the corridors. I'd tell the year six's to not worry about getting lost because you'll soon find your way around. I enjoyed the whole transition period.” - Ben
What if my friends aren’t in my tutor group?
“I was worried about not having any friends because my Telscombe friends were going to different schools. But the good thing is that even if you don’t have friends in your group you’ll be able to meet them at break and lunchtime in the Year 7 zones.” - Jack
I’m worried about quite a lot of things. What advice can you give to me?
“When I was in year six I was worried about making friends, fitting in, the older years and what my teachers and pupils thought of me. I would tell the year six's to be calm and not to worry because it's not as scary as it looks. I would also tell them if they had any problems they could come talk to me or head of year. I think the way PCS transition students is the best way I could think of.” - Kara
What if I can’t do the work?
“I was worried about the school work and homework. My advice would be to just try your best and ask for help. All of the teachers are happy to help you. I was happy with my transition.” - Keagan
“I was worried about the work being harder but I was wrong, it's not hard but not easy either.” - Finn
How do I make friends?
“I was worried about making new friends. I would tell them that all the teachers are nice and it's very easy to make friends in every class. But it’s important to tell your tutor if you are finding it difficult. Going to clubs will help you to meet more people”. - Summer
I’m worried about the bigger children.
“I was worried about not being able to find my way around and all the older ones but that’s not a worry because it's not that bad and there’s people you can ask to find your way. My advice is don’t be worried or scared just be you and you’ll fit in and find your way around!” - Freya
We use a cashless foodhall. In previous years students have used thumb prints to buy their food. But this year, because of the COVID-19 situation, we’ll use payment cards which you’ll be given on your first day.
To put money onto the cards your parents/carers will need to transfer money to your account using ParentPay.
Our uniform policy and expectations for 2021/2022 are available to view via our http://www.phcs.org.uk/school/uniform page.
Uniform is one of the outward signs by which the local community recognises and makes judgements about our students and it is important that our students present themselves in a positive, professional way that conveys a disciplined and well-ordered learning environment. Smart uniforms ensure that all students are prepared for work both in school and beyond.
All students are required to wear full school uniform whilst inside and outside the school buildings. The uniform should be neat and clean, communicating that our students take pride in belonging to PCS.
• All homework can be found online via Google Classroom. Students will receive login details and further information will be communicated in due
• To begin with, Year 7 students will only be given homework in 2 subject areas, this will increase as we progress through the term.
• Homework is set to suit the needs of the students within the class.
• If you have a query or concern regarding homework, please contact the subject teacher. If your query or concern is not resolved, please contact the Head of Department.
• Each piece should take approximately 30 minutes.
• Students have access to homework clubs, computer rooms and the library during the day and after school.
• If homework is not handed in on time or completed not to a satisfactory standard, then a Department Detention will be issued.
• If a student is absent when the homework is set, they are still expected to complete the homework. The homework can be found on the website.
All students are expected to respect their learning environment and it is their responsibility to leave the space as they found it.
Students are required to have a school PE kit with PCS logos on.
Visit the http://www.phcs.org.uk/school/uniform page to view the full range of PE kit.
• Trainers - please note that trainers can be any colour.
• Students will be required to purchase an art book from the office for £3:50.
• Students will also need their ‘Golden 5’ which consists of a box file, a reading book, a pen, a pencil and a ruler.
• Additionally, they will need a calculator and an art set.
Students must not:
• Wear headphones in school or use mobile phones.
• Eat in the school corridors; we have allocated spaces where students can sit and eat in the food hall or outside on our many picnic tables.
All letters to parents and carers can be found on our letters page