A FALL in the birth rate for the year 2000 has had a knock-on effect for many secondary schools, affecting the intake of pupils from primary schools for the next academic year.
Tadcaster Grammar School is one such school. Usually with an oversubscription for new starters and a waiting list, the school now finds itself with a small number of places available for a September 2011 start.
“This is an unusual scenario at Tadcaster Grammar School,” said Sue Western, Transition Manager at the School. “We find ourselves in a unique position in the fact we still have places available following our initial allocation,” she said.
“Usually places are taken immediately and there is a waiting list with many parents going to appeal, but this year with the lower birth rate for 2000 we have places to fill. One example is Copmanthorpe Primary School; one of many primary schools with fewer leavers this year.
“Usually they have two Year 6 classes coming to us, but this year there is only one class of 32 pupils.”
Sue has just completed her first year as Transition Manager, a role which was created to help new starters integrate more easily into life at Tadcaster Grammar School.
She is looking forward to her second year and is at present busy visiting the Year 6 children at their primary schools. On her travels Sue will visit schools in an area covering Tadcaster, York, Selby and Leeds. She will not only speak to the class as a whole, but have one-to-one conversations with each pupil to ascertain their every need. Where timetabling allows, Sue has been accompanied by Gavin Kumar, who will be Head of Year 7 in September.
As well as visiting the various primary schools, Sue is also focussed on this year’s Induction Days which will take place for Year 6 pupils on 7 and 8 July. “This affords the pupils a greater opportunity to see first hand what Tadcaster Grammar School has to offer them, meet the staff who will be teaching them next year and to meet their new tutor groups,” said Sue. “We also hold extra transition days for children who may find the move particularly difficult and summer holiday activities for all to promote new friendships ahead of the September start.”
“Every child matters at Tadcaster Grammar School and there are so many structures in place to make sure all children, irrespective of their abilities, gain the best possible experience from their years with us,” stressed Sue.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year as Transition Manager and have found it both challenging and rewarding,” said Sue. “I do feel I have made a difference for the students in the current Year 7 at Tadcaster Grammar School. I have learned a lot and grown with this new role and hope our new starters will benefit in the same way, ensuring their happiness, welfare and academic success in the future,” she added.
l Sue can be contacted at school for further information regarding places for September via her email address email@example.com