Transition to secondary starts very early on in Year 6. Not only do you need to get to terms with your child being in their last year of primary but also think about the next academic year ahead. This can be a daunting decision for some parents to make on behalf of their child, so here at St. Joseph’s we want to help in anyway we can as we know that success at school can bring many rewards in adulthood.
Choosing the right secondary school
Choosing a secondary school might be the most important decision you ever have to make for your child. your child is unique, and so is every school. Your job, as a parent, is to find the school that suits your child.
Here are some top tips for choosing a secondary school:
- Visit all the schools you are thinking for your child; go together so your child can get a first impression too. Open evenings are held by many schools to go around each subject department and speak to teachers and pupils. This will show you what is available to your child. Ask lots of questions and if you come away thinking of others, get back in touch with the school and they will help.
- Look at the criteria for getting in to the school: catchment area, religion, testing days etc are all very important when applying.
- Look at the school’s website – look at what is going on at the school and how they celebrate their pupils. Social media is also a good way of seeing what the school has been doing.
- Look at key reports – these can provide a good indicator of how the school takes on criticism, actively listens and puts plans in place to strive for better.
- Think about the size of the school – smaller schools may be able to provide continuous support one-to-one support to a child, while bigger schools could have a better community spirit and group learning. Weigh up all the pros and cons for your child.
- Ask about extra-curricular activities. Out of school activities are a good indicator of the enjoyment and experiences available to all students.
Through Class Dojo and the weekly newsletter, we will remind you of the 3 key dates required for applying for secondary school.
- You must apply for your child’s secondary school place by the END of OCTOBER. Application forms are active from beginning of September. This can be done by post or an online form. They are easy to complete. We can help in school with you but are unable to make the application on your behalf. If you require help to complete the application form, please get in touch and we can support you. This is extremely important as late application forms can see your child not getting in the school you want!
- The National Offer Day for on-time applications is usually the BEGINNING of MARCH. On the date, you will receive an email if applications were done online or you can log onto the local authority website to see their school offer. If you completed a paper application form and posted it; letter will be sent out to you.
- If you didn’t complete a form or your application was late, the local authority will offer your child an offer at a local school that has space; this many not have even been on your list of choices. If this happens you can APPEAL and MUST get in touch with the local authority to do so. Appeals can only happen within the dates provided and change each year.
Lancashire County Council website, includes support in your choices, the application form, appeal information:
For more support on how to make your decision visit:
Schools to consider in the local area:
Our Lady’s: https://www.olcc.lancs.sch.uk/
Central Lancaster High: https://www.lancasterhigh.lancs.sch.uk/
Ripley Saint Thomas: https://ripleystthomas.com/
Morecambe High: https://morecambebayacademy.co.uk/
Carnforth High: https://www.carnforthhigh.co.uk/
Lancaster Girl’s Grammar: https://www.lggs.org.uk/
Lancaster Boy’s Grammar: https://www.lrgs.org.uk/
This really is a very exciting time and we will support you in anyway we can.
Once we know which school your child is going to, we will then begin the transition process. This is where we will meet with teachers to discuss your child’s attainment and behaviour, where the teachers come in to meet the children and organise the day visit for the children. We can have tailored transition programmes for children we feel may need extra support in the changes ahead. We will discuss this with you.