"Transition arrangements between primary and secondary school are particularly strong. This is no mean feat, considering that pupils join William Ellis from over 35 primary schools. The transition summer schools are well thought of by parents and pupils" Ofsted Feb 2017
This page contains information for the boys and their families joining the school in September 2020.
You have been offered a place for September 2020. What happens next?
We are sorry that in the current situation, with schools closed indefinitely during the Covid-19 crisis, we cannot be precise about the way your son’s transition to secondary school will proceed, as our usual schedule of events for Year 6 students and their families are unlikely to go ahead at their usual times and in their usual forms. Please be assured, however, that we will do all we can stay in touch over the coming weeks and are investigating ways we can provide support with the process between now and September, including:
- Ways of introducing your family to key members of transition staff, and of staff learning more about your family to aid your son’s move to secondary school
- Ways of completing necessary admission documents prior to your son starting Year 7 in September
- Ways of the Head of Transition and Year 7 – and our SENDCO where necessary – liaising with your son’s Year 6 teacher
The school will be in touch with you regularly between March and September to let you know about the forthcoming events for Year 6 students and their families:
Transition Interview (mid-May): Your son will be invited to an interview with a member of the school’s leadership team to complete the admissions process. You and your son will have a 10-15 minute meeting with a member of staff, during which your admissions forms and documents will be checked through. The staff member will enquire about your son’s school career to date and will want to know a little about his interests. You and your son will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you have about William Ellis School. In addition, you will be able to view samples of school uniform to assist you with placing your orders.
Primary School visit (April-June): Mr Altmann, Head of Year 7 & 8 and Transition, will visit your son at his primary school during the school day. This meeting will be arranged between Mr Altmann and a member of staff at your son’s school (this may be your son’s Year 6 teacher or a member of the Leadership Team) – parents do not need to do anything to facilitate arranging this meeting and are not asked to attend. If there are several boys coming to William Ellis from the same primary school a single meeting will be held for all the boys at once. This 15-20 minute meeting begins to build the relationship between the student and his Head of Year and allows the Head of Year to plan for each student’s transition to William Ellis School based on information from the Year 6 teacher and from interaction with the student and his peers.
Your son may also receive a visit from some of our Year 7 Transition mentors. These are boys in the current Year 7 at WES who are trained as mentors for the Year 6s. They visit a number of local primaries and deliver workshops on the transition from primary to secondary.
A short video about the mentoring programme can be viewed below.
Induction Day (Wednesday 1st July): A ‘taster’ day, during which your son will meet his Form Tutor and peers from his form, attend his first Secondary School Assembly, experience some lessons, begin to get a feel for the school and Secondary School life and have fun! This event takes place while some of the current Year 7 are away at Camp and Year 10 are out on work experience placements; with fewer students in school the secondary school experience is often less daunting for the new students. There will also be some Year 7 mentors helping out on the day. Your son is not expected to wear school uniform on this day.
Parents’ Information Evening (Wednesday 1st July): An event just for parents during which Mr Altmann, Head of Year 7, will speak about the school, the expectations and the key school-parent partnership in the transition to Secondary School. This is a chance for you to get informed and to ask any questions that you may have and meet other parents, including those from WESPA (our Parents’ Association). You will also meet your son’s future form tutor.
Summer School (20th - 28th July, weekdays): A chance for boys to meet staff and make new friends before starting school in September. Typically, the Summer School offers daily on-site activities such as Drama, Science experiments, various sports, Music, Geography as well as art workshops, and at least one off-site trip.
First Day for Year 7 students: Your son’s first day in his William Ellis uniform. After a Welcome Assembly, boys will receive their timetable and student planner, register on the biometric system for their school dinner account, spend time with their new form group, and take part in activities designed to help them navigate the school and acquaint themselves with the Secondary School day.
Welcome Evening (mid-September): Another chance for parents to learn about the year ahead, meet staff and ask any questions arising from their sons’ first few weeks at school.
Your son’s blazer and PE kit (embroidered with the school logo) must be ordered directly from our uniform supplier, Sportswear International: www.swischoolwear.co.uk
When you come to your transition interview in May there will be uniform samples available for your son to try on before you place your order. There will also be opportunities for pre-owned uniform items to be purchased from WESPA. We advise that you wait until after this interview before placing orders for blazers and PE kit, but please ensure that items are ordered by August to allow plenty of time for delivery before your son's first day.
Shirts must be plain white or blue and trousers and jumpers must be plain black or grey – these items may be purchased from any high-street retailer as long as they do not feature any other colours or logos.
Shoes must be completely black – trainers are acceptable as long as they do not feature any other colour.
Year 7 ties will be available to buy when your family comes in for the transition interview in May.
Boys are expected to come to school with all the books and equipment they will need for the lessons they have timetabled each day:
- A fully stocked pencil case including blue and black ballpoint pens; pencil; pencil sharpener; ruler; eraser; protractor and colouring pencils. Gluestick and highlighter pens optional.
- Exercise books*
- Student Planner
- PE kit (this may include studs for football and/or gum shield for rugby)
* The school will provide exercise books for each subject and a student planner, which students are then responsible for keeping safe and bringing to school each day
Break and Lunchtimes
A designated outside area known as The Quad is open to Year 7 students only at break times and lunchtimes. This is a smaller area than the main playground where boys may play table-tennis or chess, or just sit chatting in the fresh air.
The Learning Resource Centre is open at break times and lunchtimes most days. This is a space for boys to read and use the computers to complete work or carry out independent learning.
During their first few weeks at William Ellis, Year 7 boys have an early lunchtime. This arrangement allows them time to familiarise themselves with the biometric system for topping-up and purchasing meals and allows greater opportunity for students to form friendships outside of their form groups before the canteen becomes busy.
Annual events for Year 7
Regular House events and competitions: Ranging from hockey to cake making and football to poetry!
Boulogne trip: The MFL (Modern Foreign Languages) department organises a day trip to Boulogne for all Year 7 students. This takes place during the student’s first term and often incorporates visits to a chocolate factory, snail farm and traditional French market.
Theatre trip: A chance for all Year 7 students to see a stage play at a central London theatre.
Volcano competition: Each January the Geography department runs a volcano making competition open to all Year 7 students. House points are available for the most impressive eruptions!
Year 7 Camp: To mark the end of Year 7, boys are taken for a week’s residential trip to The Mill, William Ellis’s centre for outdoor learning in Surrey. Here, the boys experience camping, a long-distance hike, games, competitions and a trip to Arundel Castle.