Sir Graham Balfour School

A member of Insight Multi-Academy Trust

Year 07

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How does secondary school differ to the expectations of primary school?

Year 7 is a time of transition to secondary school life, adjusting to the new expectations of students and the breadth of the curriculum and opportunities open to them.  Secondly schools are vastly different to primary schools with respect to the size of the school, the number of subjects they will be studying, the number of teachers they have and the sudden change in the peer group around them. 

In primary school my child had the same teacher all the time who knew them really well. Is there anyone in secondary school who will know them as well?

All children have a Form Tutor who will see them every morning and help them settle into school and prepare for the day ahead.  Form Tutors provide support and advice to help students manage their time, equipment, friendships, emotional wellbeing, behaviour and attitude.

Our Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) programme is designed to help students understand the changes they are experiencing at this point in their life and offers signposting and advice in dealing with the situations that may arise around them.

We have established systems of mentoring by older peers and staff to support those students who find the transition to secondary a little more challenging.

Where can I go for help to support my child?

Year 7s who are struggling initially can have access to a Sixth form mentor who can help with organisation, making friends. If any year 7s need that extra help they can have access to a Teaching Assistant mentor from the Personal Development and Welfare Team.

Are there any year specific issues I need to be aware of?

Y7 is a time of social change.  Some students will leave primary school and come to secondary with none of their previous friends and some students may find they drift apart from their old friendship groups as they meet new, likeminded young people.  Students begin to mix with a wider range of young people from a variety of backgrounds, developing tolerance, appreciation, respect, understanding and new supportive relationships.  They will encounter the issues that can arise within new social dynamics but ultimately find that they widen their friendship circle.

A second challenge facing our Y7 students is the increase in responsibility with regards to personal organisation.  Having to remember certain books, pieces of homework and other items of equipment needed on specific days (e.g PE kit and Food tech ingredients). 

What else can I do to help support my child in Y7?

Talk to your child about their friendships and support them to navigate the ups and downs of their social interactions, their developing communication skills and learning to handle the turbulent nature of young and early relationships, which is part of the learning process and one they will require supportive advice with as their emotional maturity continues to develop.

Help your child to get into good routines with their organisation.  Encourage independence but teach them how to be organised by displaying their timetable for them somewhere in the home, encouraging them to pack their bag the night before and ensuring they are checking their homework timetable regularly.

What wider school opportunities are available for my child to support their personal development?

There is a wide variety of opportunities for personal enrichment that your child will have the opportunity to get involved in.  From School Council to sporting teams, drama club, music lessons and many more.  The timetable of enrichment opportunities is available on the school website and is updated every term.

What will my child be studying in Year 7?

Curriculum - Sir Graham Balfour School

You can find details of the subject content that all Year 7 students will follow at the link above.  Information regarding the number of lessons that your child will have in each subject can be found in the Curriculum Overview section.

How much homework will my child get and how can I help with homework?

Year 7 Homework Timetable - Sir Graham Balfour School

Year 7 follow a Homework Schedule which can be found at the link above.  They will receive homework which will take them approximately 3 hours per week to complete.  We have arranged the schedule so that if students complete their homework on the night it is set, they will have no homework to complete over the weekend.  Homework is organised in this way for Year 7 to Year 11, so it will really help with homework if your child can get into a regular routine of doing homework each night and completing their homework away from distractions such as mobile phones, the TV, games consoles etc. 

Student Support and Help - Sir Graham Balfour School

If your child is struggling with the subject content in a piece of homework, then please see the link above for details of the various ways we can provide additional help and support to your child so they complete the work and hand it in on time.






Sir Graham Balfour School
North Avenue
ST16 1NR

For Sat Nav directions:

ST16 1NJ


01785 223490