Questions and Answers for New Starters
If you have a question, please read through the questions and answers to see if it has been answered already as this page contains a lot of information.
How will I know where to go when I get to the Academy in September?
- Our Trentham Academy Prefects will meet you at the main entrances and make sure you know where to go.
When will I get my iPad?
- We expect iPads to be delivered towards the end of September.
Will I be with my friends?
- We have grouped friends together in tutor groups where possible but you will make many new friends and be able to see them during break times even if you are not in their tutor group or lesson.
There is only me coming from my Primary school. Is it just me in this position?
- Although two thirds of our new Year 7 students come from 3 primary schools this year, the other third come from 22 different primary schools! Many Year 7s are coming by themselves or with just one other person from their primary school. Form tutors will make sure everyone has chance to make new friends quickly.
Why do I have to have natural hair colour?
- We have created an ethos and culture that is built around high expectations and this includes a smart uniform. The uniform extends to the expectations of natural hair colours.
Do you meet the religious dietary needs of different faiths?
- Yes, our dining hall provides halal and vegetarian options daily
Do you offer Spanish?
- We will offer French and Spanish to Year 7 this year
Do you have an official school bus system?
- Unfortunately, we do not operate a school bus.
How do you ensure a cohesive curriculum and opportunities to excel exist for all within the school, particularly any minority communities at Trentham Academy? How do you address subconscious bias in adults and children?
- We have a culturally diverse curriculum and our SPARK curriculum specifically teaches all students to respect other cultures, faiths and beliefs. Within our academy community we actively support community cohesion and work with Stoke City Council to educate our students to respect and promote cohesion between all communities through workshops, assemblies and PSHE activities, often led by visitors. Our PSHE and British Values pages contain more information. We celebrate iconic individuals from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds across the curriculum and our high expectations and opportunities are in place for all students.
What plans do you put in place to ensure the youngest year 7 students are not disadvantaged academically or in extra curricular activities due to the ‘Relative Age Effect’?
- We are fully inclusive of all our children. We respond to the needs of our students on a case by case basis. Our curriculum is differentiated appropriately in all year groups for maximum progression and to ensure students are not disadvantaged by their relative age in a year group. In addition, some students benefit from additional literacy and numeracy on arrival.
How will you ensure setting into ability groups is fair? Which subjects will you be setting Y7 in and when do you begin to place them into these ability sets?
- We have received detailed information about the current academic performance in English, Mathematics and Science from all primary schools. We have used this information to put the students into teaching groups. These groups are not static and adjustments are made throughout the year. For Mathematics and Science, students are taught in groups based on prior attainment. In English and all other subjects, many of the classes have students of mixed prior attainment.
How can I find out who else is in my tutor group?
- We cannot share information about other students so we would suggest contacting other parents and friends.
How will tutor groups work in September?
- If the government plans go ahead as expected, we expect the vertical tutor groups to return in September. This means your child will be in a tutor group with 7 or 8 other Year 7s and some Year 8 and Year 9 students.
How many children are there in a tutor group?
- Year 7 teaching groups will have between 20 and 30 students in them. Usually, vertical tutor groups contain a similar number of students
Will we have PE in the Autumn term?
- We are working hard to enable a PE curriculum to take place for all students in line with new government guidelines.
Will the children stay in one classroom during the Autumn term?
- No – we hope to return to a fully operational secondary school where students are taught in specialist areas
Will the children be taught Year 6 or Year 7 Maths and English during the Autumn term?
- Our Maths and English teams will combine Year 6 and Year 7 curricula for the year group ensuring that individual students receive the teaching at the level they need. Spelling and Reading ages will be assessed when the students arrive.
My child needs extra learning support for Maths, at what point will he have access to this?
- Our learning support team will be in place to support teaching from September. Please contact the academy using firstname.lastname@example.org for full details of this support
Can my child have a locker?
- We have taken the decision to phase lockers out from the academy. We have found that although the lockers were allocated to students, only a very small percentage were used regularly by students. Removing them has allowed us to create additional social space for the students and to reduce congestion on the corridors. Students are able to leave PE kits and coats in their tutor rooms if needed.
How can we purchase a tie as these were normally available at the open evenings?
- You will be able to purchase a tie during our summer induction days or when students return to school in September
How do you ensure iPads are stored safely?
- Students are expected to look after their iPads and keep them with them. Every student has an iPad and they generally do this very well. In September, movement around the academy will be restricted with far fewer opportunities to mislay an iPad. We recommend naming the iPad or having a recognisable home screen so that iPads are very quickly returned should this happen.
There is a very long gap between the start of the school day and lunch time. How will you monitor children who are not eating or missing out on their lunch?
- The SchoolPay system allows you to see what has been purchased from the dining room each day and we would ask you to discuss the importance of eating well with your child
Do you allow water in lessons?
- Students are allowed to drink water (no juice or other drinks) during lessons. We have water dispensing units located in the dining room and by the Sports Hall
Where are we allowed/advised to park to pick up and drop off our children?
- We ask parents to use the Man in Space car park to drop off children arriving by car. This improves safety and reduces congestion on Allerton Road. A member of the senior team is present there each afternoon. In particular, we remind parents that the yellow lines outside the academy gates prevent any drop off and are there for the safety of all children. Parents cannot drive onto the academy site (except where medical needs require this). Again this is to maintain a safe environment for all students.