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Transition into secondary school

It is our aim to ensure that every boy's transition from primary education to William Ellis School is as smooth and purposeful as possible.

We want families to make an informed choice when selecting their son's secondary school. We hope that our website, prospectus, annual open events at our school, and our presence at events at primary schools and across the borough, give parents and carers sufficient, useful, opportunities to find out about William Ellis School, not just from staff but from our students and parents too.

"A very positive start to secondary school, thank you" - Year 7 parent

"My first year at William Ellis has been fantastic...we have learnt to play rugby and softball.  In most lessons I have hit my end of year target...I have made more friends and I have a lot of praise points" - Year 7 student

William Ellis School typically has students from over 40 primary schools joining us in Year 7.  In some cases there may be only boy from one primary school and up to 18 from another.  In either case, we aim to make every boy welcome and feel secure about his transition to Ellis.

Our transition programme

From March each year we start a programme of support for Year 6 boys coming to William Ellis School to help them prepare for the move.

We hold two information evening events for parents and carers of our new Year 7 students. These events provide opportunities soon after offers day and nearer to the end of Summer Term for families to meet key staff - and each other - along with finding out more about how the school works.

Mr Altmann, the Head of Year 7 and Transition, visits every boy in his primary school during Sumer Term. This is an opportunity for boys to find out more about the school and for us to begin to get to know each student.  Mr Altmann will speak to Year 6 teachers to find out as much as he can about individuals learning and social needs to make sure the transition process is as effective as possible.

Every boy joining WES is invited to an induction day at the beginning of July to sample life at secondary school.  The day provides an opportunity for students to meet their new form group and form tutor as well as experience a number of lessons in different curriculum areas.  

There is a special programme for boys who may be particularly anxious or concerned about the move to secondary school.  This will involve small group work, mentoring, and additional visits to school.

We have strong student leadership at WES and one important strand is the work of our Year 7 transition mentors.  These boys are trained to support new students joining the school. Many of them make visits to primary schools, giving our forthcoming new students an invaluable opportunity to find out more about life at WES from a student's perspective.

Every new Year 7 student is encouraged to come to our summer school which takes place during the Summer Holiday.  Students take part in lots of fun and interactive activities ranging from sports and drama to arts and crafts, cooking and trips to London landmarks.  Summer School is a great opportunity for new students to make friends and to get to know their teachers and the school site before their first day in September.

Music Places for Year 7 Admission September 2024 

Music Place applications for 2024 admission have now closed.

Up to 10% of places are offered to boys with an aptitude for music as determined by a music aptitude test. 

Details of examination grades and performing experience will not be taken into account.

If you are interested in a music place for your son you are asked to come to the Open Evening on 28th September to discuss further with school staff.  The school has a separate online application form for music places that must be returned to the school (see link below). 

Please note that all music place applicants must still complete a secondary transfer application form through their local authority. 

For consideration of a music place in September 2024 your son will need to be available to attend a Music Aptitude Test on 12th October 2023 from 3.30pm.