Students' Questions Answered
So, what is different about secondary school?
In general you are expected to be more independent, self reliant and self-organised, a welcome development for many of you but a challenge for most.
There will be lots of staff and students here at Carshalton Girls to help you through it all, so don’t worry too much.
- Often you will have to travel further to school (some of you making your way to and from school independently for the first time – some of you travelling by bus).
- You will have to follow a stricter school uniform code for the first time, and have a whole list of new rules and regulations to remember.
- Instead of one teacher, who has often known you since your early years, you will be taught by up to 20 teachers and have to get to know a whole range of adults in different roles within the school.
- The school site is much bigger and you will have to find your way around, moving from classroom to classroom between lessons, often carrying your belongings with them, although you will have their your own locker.
- You will have to use and interpret a two-weekly timetable and organise your own school ‘planner’.
- For the first time you will be fully responsible for ensuring that you have the correct books and equipment for five different lessons a day, your dinner money, bus fare, etc.
- You will be given full responsibility for recording homework, completing it by the correct day and giving it in on time.
- There will be new lessons (eg. French) and new variations on familiar ones (Science in a laboratory for example).
- Teaching and learning styles may be different. You may be expected to write more frequently and for longer, and you may be expected to select appropriate reference books from the LRC and use the Internet.
- Break-time and lunch-time will be organised differently with less adult supervision and you having a lot more independence in terms of getting back to lessons on time, buying your own snacks and lunches etc.
How do I sort myself out for a school day?
- Get up on time.
- Get dressed, washed and ready to walk out of the door with everything you need. (know which days on you require your PE kit or Food Tech ingredients)
- Leave the house to get to the bus-stop or to school on time.
- Be in the right place at the right time at the end of school.
- Go straight home
- Know what to do if you are delayed for any reason
How will I cope with all the homework?
This is another major change from primary school in that you will get homework on most days; the advice is that you should be completing at least 30 minutes of homework per day.
Here are some tips to help you:
Understand how your planner works – make sure you use the correct week to record your homework.
Write down your homework in lessons (write exactly what you have to do). If none is set write this down with the reason why, eg. Supply teacher.
Record when it has to be done for.
Ask if you are not sure what the task means and checking with the teacher if you are not sure what books you will need etc.
Make sure you bring home everything you need to do the homework.
When you get home, use your planner to remind you of what you have to do.
Work by yourself to complete tasks, spending the correct amount of time. Doing your best without someone standing over you.
Ask for help if it is difficult, or you don’t understand something.
Tick the ‘done’ column in your planner when completed.
Take your completed homework to school on the correct day.
Remember to give it in!
If you are having difficulties join homework club or work in the LRC which open before, during and after school.
Try to do homework on the night it is set – not the night before it is due in (you may get three other homeworks on that night!)
How will I find my way around?
You will soon learn your way around the school site. We provide you with a map and our Year 9 Ambassadors do an amazing job of whisking you on a school tour on your induction day. Our advice is to stay with a group and follow the map logically. Teachers understand that Year 7s are learning their way around so don’t worry too much if you are a little late in the first few days.
How will I make friends?
Always remember that you are not alone in this big jump from primary to secondary school; there will be many girls who feel exactly the same as you do. Therefore, the best thing to do is to be smiley and friendly right from the start. Our induction programme will ensure that you will be familiar with all members of your tutor groups and your tutor will always be on hand. Most girls make new friends easily on the first day of high school, so there is no need to be concerned.
What do I do if I have a problem?
In the first instance find your form tutor. This will be the teacher who knows you best and who will be able to help you. You will also have a Year Leader as well as an Assistant Year Leader, who will always be willing to listen and support you. We at Carshalton High School for Girls are also very lucky to have a Student Support Centre and the staff in there are always on hand to assist. If you are worried about anything, just ask!