Transition to St Aidan’s 2020
Transition to St Aidan’s
I feel immensely proud to welcome you to St Aidan’s Catholic Academy, a school within the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust.
Our school has a rich history and like all Catholic schools we provide a nurturing, caring and loving environment where spirituality and Catholic ethos and faith permeate everything we do.
As a learning community we provide all individuals with the opportunity to flourish in a way that is rooted firmly in the values of the Gospel. By placing Christ at the centre of all that we do and recognising learning as the fundamental focus of all our work we are achieving our mission objective to ensure that each child can ‘Celebrate life to the full’, opening as many doors as possible to allow our students to reach the top of their respective mountains.
As a Catholic school we are proud to worship, and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. At St Aidan’s you will ‘witness’ our underpinning Catholic ethos in all that you experience – the way we talk to one another, the way we support and trust each other and the way we are driven to succeed in our mission.
Transition from primary to secondary school is a very exciting time, but I also recognise that it is a challenging time for any child, parents or carers, especially in these unprecedented circumstances.
My promise to you is that St Aidan’s Catholic Academy will always offer a safe place for boys to take chances, express their emotions and discover and thrive in all subjects. Staff are committed to ensuring you and your families feel loved, comfortable, secure and welcome as part of our school community.
I look forward to serving you all in the coming years, getting to know each and every one of you as individuals and helping to develop fully your God given talents.
What is transition?
A transition is a time in your life when something changes. For you it is a change of school. Some of us might find change exciting; some might find it nerve-wracking; some might feel a bit of both! We understand this at St Aidan’s and all our staff are here to help you settle in.
As you know because of the Coronavirus, our transition programme will not run how it has in the past. Therefore, we thought it best to let you know exactly what St Aidan’s will offer you.
In normal circumstances Mrs Hogg would have been to visit you all in your primary school to introduce our academy, our ethos, our core values and our expectations. She would have also answered any questions that you had about the move to secondary school and tried to reduce any of your worries. You have already been informed about and introduced to your form tutor and Head of House.
As a reminder our tutors are shown below. Click on their names to read their ‘About Me’s’ again.
|Tutor Group||Code||Tutor||House||Head of House|
|7 Aquin||7A||Ashbrooke||Mrs Gill – Head of Ashbrooke House – About Me|
|7 Bede||7B||Mrs Armsrong 7B – About Me||Ashbrooke||Mrs Gill – Head of Ashbrooke House – About Me|
|7 Corby||7C||Mr Rathore 7C – About Me||Corby||Ms Jackson – Head of Corby House – About Me|
|7 Fisher||7F||Miss Hodgson 7F – About Me||Corby||Ms Jackson – Head of Corby House – About Me|
|7 More||7M||Mr Hamilton 7M – About Me||Brookfield||Mrs Halliday – Head of Brookfield House – About Me|
|7 Rice||7R||Miss Dawson 7M – About Me||Brookfield||Mrs Halliday – Head of Brookfield House – About Me|
We are all very impressed with your ‘About Me’s’ that you have sent into school already. These have allowed us to get to know you a little bit before you arrive. Our students have kindly put together this video to answer some questions that you might have.
Also take a look at a leaflet which may help you prepare for your first day:
You have also received a pack of information including our family handbook. This is a very important document that you should all read. Your parents must also send back all of the data forms included in the pack. You can read all about our core values, learning habits and the journey up your mountain here.
We want and will give you the opportunity to strive for the best both academically and as a whole person.
Before reading any further take a tour of St Aidan’s:
In Year 7 we teach you a range of subjects including English Literature and Language, Maths, Science, RE, Spanish, ICT, DT, Music and Art. You will also take part in some physical education each week. To have a look at the structure of each subject click here.
When you arrive in school each morning you will go to a Morning Meeting in the Sports Hall. You will enter the hall holding your pencil case and 100% file. You will sit in rows and a member of staff will lead you through retrieval practice and Examen.
At 11am day you will spend time with your form group taking part in DEAR, assembly or debate. Your assembly will take place in the Upper room. DEAR and debate in your form room.To keep the corridors orderly we ask that you walk sensibly on the left hand side and use the allocated staircases for going up and down the stairs. We have two staircases for going up and two staircases for going down.You will have a 20 minute break time 9.40am until 10.00am.
You will then have your lunch 12.50pm until 13.20pm. At lunch time we do ‘family dining’, this means we sit around the table to eat lunch as we would at home with our families. If you bring a packed lunch or want to buy a cold dinner you go to the Main School Hall. If you want a hot dinner you go to the Dining Halls. We have a cashless payment system in place so when you start we will scan your fingerprints, then to pay for your lunch you will put your finger on a small device. Your parents will top this account up online and the amount you spend will be deducted from your account. A meal deal is the most cost effective lunch. This is a hot dinner and dessert or sandwich and dessert. Remember to bring your water bottle with you every day, we have water stations around the school to refill them.
You can access the toilet before school, at breaktime, at lunch or after school.
During Year 7 you will have many opportunities to take part in activities outside of your normal lessons. We call this ‘ Enrichment’.As you have already heard in the video, each day after school we have a range of exciting activities to get involved in. You must sign up to take part in at least one activity each week. Some students do something every day! They change slightly each term but if you would like to start thinking about which you would like to do then have a look at the current programme here.
We also have a very active student council called ‘One Voice’. We know from your ‘About Me’s’ that some of you have been very active members of your primary school council. We would love you to get involved? Click here to find out more.
Meet our current KS3 Head Boy – Nayan.
Nayan said, ‘If I had to sum St Aidan’s up in one word I would say it is perfect‘.
We want to see you reach your full potential both academically and to develop as a whole person. You have been asked to write your ‘what’s My sentence’. This is to help you focus on your aspirations – allowing you to be the very best version of yourself. We will talk to you about climbing your mountain every single day. To help with this analogy we will take you to climb your very first mountain in September. All of you will take part. We will travel to the Lake District, climb a mountain and travel home the same day. In Year 8, you will again travel to the Lake District but this time for 2 days, staying overnight allowing you challenge yourself that little bit more.In Year 9 you will have the opportunity to climb Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England
There are pictures of a group of Year 8s at the top of a mountain in February 2020.
In addition to the many expeditions and enrichment activities you have access to, in years 7 & 8, as part of CLIMB, you will have many opportunities to make positive contributions to the wider community. For example, each year we team up with ‘friends of Backhouse park’; a charitable group that organises events within Backhouse Park. So far, we have helped the team with tree planting, litter picking and path clearing to ensure the park remains a welcoming and safe place to visit. Additionally, you will have the chance to volunteer your own time to helping out in our St Aidan’s food bank. This work might include unpacking the many donations that we receive, making up food parcels for the most vulnerable in our community or even helping out with the deliveries of food parcels to St Mary’s open house. More information can be found here.
In year 9, you will have the opportunity to join our Duke of Edinburgh programme and work towards your bronze award. You can continue this through years 10, 11 and 6th form to eventually be awarded your gold award! Throughout DofE you will have fun, make friends, improve your self-esteem and build confidence. You will gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem solving, team working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and university and job applications. Top employers recognise the work-ready skills award holders bring to their business. More information can be found here.
As a Catholic community we believe it is important that our daily lives focus on much more than what we do, also who we are. We are not just developing our brains or our social skills when we come to school, we are also developing our spirituality. Here at St. Aidan’s we believe in putting Christ at the centre of all we do, therefore we will give you lots of opportunities to learn about your faith and the faith of others, we will give you opportunities to share your beliefs and listen to people talking about their own and we have many opportunities for you to self reflect, at school and on residential retreats.
Our Chaplaincy Team include Ms Szczepanksa who is our Chaplain and Mrs Whitten who is our Head of RE. They are very well supported by our IMPACT group, who are part of One Voice.
We believe this is so central to everything we do that we start each day with reflection as a year group. For this prayer, we follow the Examen of the Jesuits.
We also have a school prayer which was written by our students. You will say this prayer each day.
‘St Aidan, bright flame of our school. Help us to trust one another and bring fairness to our community. Let us strive to work hard to ensure we can live life to the full. Let there be peace in our school and let it begin with me. Amen’
Homework is something that we get a lot a questions about. You will be studying many subjects and so will get more homework. Being in secondary school is a time for you to become more independent and organised. You will be given a planner on the first day – your form tutors will teach you how to use it effectively and will help you whenever you need it. We also have a homework club every night after school -this is to help you keep on top of it all!
We will be hosting a group of Questions and Answer session via Zoom over the coming weeks. You will receive information about this in the post very soon.