Burnt Mill Academy’s new students welcomed virtually

CHILDREN moving to secondary school in September are meeting their teachers, buying their uniform and learning about their new subjects – all via the internet.

With schools closed to the majority of students until after the summer break, the transition of Year 6 children into their first year at secondary has had to be adapted.

Those due to join Year 7 in September are already in regular contact with Burnt Mill Academy, in Harlow.

To ease the transition, the school has also –

sent postcards to students to introduce their tutors, head of year and pastoral manager
called parents to ask how students are coping in lockdown
sent out new starter booklets outlining how the school runs and what new students can expect
enabled parents to order school uniform via the school’s website to ease the pressure of shopping during the crisis
produced an online presentation on all information usually covered during transition meetings and events, which are cancelled due to the crisis, including a welcome from the headteacher and head of year, the structure of the day, their tutors, the uniform and expectations
arranged virtual meetings with parents on Microsoft Teams to give them an opportunity to ask questions

Dan Bolt, assistant headteacher in charge of Key Stage 3, said: “One of the strengths of Burnt Mill Academy is our communication with parents. We always strive to ensure our paths of communication are always open and that we are providing regular updates and information.

“Myself and other heads of year are having conversations with each other every day and are in contact with our students every two weeks, at least. That has been going on for weeks to see how they are doing during the partial closure of school.

“We are trying to support our students as much as we can as so many things can be impacting their mental health right now. Sometimes, all they need is a conversation; other times, we can make referrals to support services.”

Mum Carla Berger said of her child’s transition to Burnt Mill: “I really appreciate the school doing all the extra things they can in these unprecedented times to help my child and the rest of the new Year 7 to transition as easily as possible.

“We are so grateful.”

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