FAQs for Parents

Answers to frequently asked questions from parents and carers of students moving from Year 6 to Year 7 at NHGS.

Here is a list of questions addressed in this section. Please click on the question to be taken to the answer.

>>How can I contact my child during the school day?

>>What advice do you offer to monitor my child's mobile phone usage at home?

>>What should I do if I need to report my child's absence?

>>How do I support my child with the transition from primary to secondary school?

>>What contact will I have with NHGS when my child starts?

>>How do I pay for my child’s school dinners?

>>How is the school day made up? Where does my child need to be and at what time?


How can I contact my child during the school day?

We operate an 'on site out of sight' policy at NHGS. Phones should be switched off and in bags prior to entering the school building. 

If you need to speak with your child urgently you should ring the school office and not your child. If your child needs to speak to you they should speak to a member of staff and not ring you directly. 

Students do not need to have a mobile phone - if they need to access the internet in lessons laptops or chrome books will be provided. There is no expectation that students should have a mobile phone to use in class. 

Please ensure that your child is aware of their after school routine prior to leaving for school each day.


What advice do you offer to monitor my child's mobile phone usage at home?

Lots of students get a phone for the first time as they move up to secondary school and many students will start to engage with social media. It is strongly advised that you monitor your child's social media closely, put rules of use in place and enforce them consistently. Ensure you know passwords to all sites and apps your children use and check what they are viewing or posting on these sites daily. Enforce age restrictions on sites and apps so that students are only accessing age appropriate social media. Many families put time restrictions in place for mobile usage. 

There are a number of parental control applications available on Android and iPhone devices such as; Qustodio and Family Link. These applications allow you to be the administrator for your child's phone so their phone activity is then linked to yours. Such applications allow you to see what applications your child is using, how long for, as well as giving you access to how much screen time they can have and when. You are also able to monitor or even stop applications being downloaded by your child.

We suggest a family ‘mobile tin’ where all members of the family deposit their mobiles on arrival home. Then for a specified time period (perhaps 30 minutes?) each day, family members may remove their mobile and use it before returning it to the tin until they leave the house the next day. This ensures your child has time to switch off from school and social interactions with their peers, giving them time to relax and recuperate ready for the next day. It also enables them to focus fully on any homework and to get a good night's sleep.  We strongly recommend that mobiles are not allowed to remain with students overnight as we find students will continue to use social media long into the night instead of sleeping. 

At school, students may use phones to search online. 

Here is a link with useful downloads to keep your child safe online:

https://www.nhgs.co.uk/students/living-to-learn/online-safety


What should I do if I need to report my child's absence?

You can either: 

  • Use our Edulink One parental app (details of this will be issued to you before September) 
  • Ring 01422 244625 
  • Email absence@nhgs.co.uk

How do I support my child with the transition from primary to secondary school?

The transition from primary school to secondary school is a big one for all students, no matter which secondary school they are moving up to. However, moving up to a grammar school has some additional challenges. 

The transition to NHGS was fantastic, even though we didn't have the normal transition we would have had, the staff members made it extra special too! To help me settle in I used the VLE website, which is a welcoming website where you can talk to students that will be in your form (which is a really nice way to make friends, even if you haven't met them in person) and also you can ask questions and students in Y8 can answer them. The VLE website is such a great way of settling you in for your Y7 transition and it should make you feel like you already know the school and your peers in your form!

Amelia, Year 7 Student 2022/23


Developing Friendships

For a start, your children may not know any other children starting at NHGS - they may be the only one from their primary school. Please be reassured that this is not at all uncommon. With 91 primary schools sending students to NHGS this year, there will be many children who do not know anyone at all. And just think, those who do come with someone from their primary school may not actually be friends with the others coming from their school. NHGS is a very friendly place and all students are keen to develop new friendships. Students will find they feel much better about making friends once they have met the others in their form. If they do struggle to make friends, please do let their Student Progress Tutor (SPT) or Lower School Leader (LSL) know and we will support them. Please discuss these points with your child. If your child is lucky enough to be coming with a close friend or a group of friends from primary school, encourage them to look out for those who don't know anyone and to make the first move to approach them.  

Academic Challenge

Secondly, the level of academic challenge and competition with their peers is going to be much greater at grammar school. At primary school, your child may have been one of the most able in their class. They may have found the work easy. They may have completed it quickly. They may have usually got full marks. Suddenly they move up to NHGS and are surrounded by other very able students. Now your child may not necessarily be at the top of the class. Their intelligence may now seem ordinary in comparison to their new peers. The work will feel challenging. It will take them longer. They may not get it all correct. Other students may appear to find the work easier than your child. This is to be expected and even desired. You have chosen a grammar school to enable your child to reach their full potential. However, how your child responds to the challenge will determine whether they do this. Please discuss the level of academic challenge with your child ahead of starting at NHGS. Explain to them that they will always have the same level of intelligence and ability. All that is going to happen is that they have moved up to the next division. The level of competition will be more intense. To come out on top all that is required is for them to accept the challenge and knuckle down, accepting help when it is offered and asking for it if it is needed. Keep a close eye on your child when they start at NHGS. We find students can go one of two ways - either they work too hard, spending far too long on homework and becoming perfectionists. Others give up, preferring to pretend they don’t care and haven’t tried rather than risking feeling inferior to their peers. In either case, if you notice these changes, please contact your child's SPT for advice and support. 

Travelling to School

If your child is going to catch a bus to school, walk to the bus stop and plan what time your child will need to wake in order to get there on time. Put a back up plan into place in case they miss the bus. 

Routine

Your child will be very tired at first when they start at NHGS. They may well be getting up much earlier than usual and their brain will be working very hard! Please encourage an early bedtime routine to enable them to get plenty of sleep. This will ensure they feel happy in themselves and will have the ability to learn. We advise at least 9 or 10 hours sleep a night. Many Year 7 students are tucked up in bed by 8pm or 8.30pm, which may seem early, but a good sleep is vital to enable children to function well in their learning. As your children will be learning so much, and growing up rapidly their sleep requirements are higher at this age than you would think. Perhaps incorporate a warm bath, a milky drink and a good book ahead of bedtime to induce a good sleep. We advise you to stick to the same bedtime and wake up time during weekends and holidays too. 

Ahead of starting at NHGS, please discuss and develop a routine for completing homework as soon as your child arrives home from school then packing their bag ready for the next day before relaxing for the evening. All homework should aim to be completed the day that it is set. Please assist your child with this by checking their homework is logged in their planner and signing it once a week. 


What contact will I have with NHGS when my child starts?

At NHGS we firmly believe that to ensure students reach their full potential at school we must work closely together with parents. Research shows that children of involved parents are; absent less frequently, behave better and perform better academically. Secondary is different from Primary school in that you may miss the day-to-day contact at the school gates, however there are various points of contact in school to keep you up to date. 

The student planner is valuable in terms of seeing what lessons your child has each day and any homework they may have. Checking their planner daily is advised and you will be asked to sign it each week. You will also have the opportunity to write any comments in the planner for the attention of your child’s tutor or teacher. 

The planner is a great way to communicate with PE staff - if your child is unable to take part in a PE lesson due to illness/injury for example you can write a note and sign it to make the PE teacher aware of the issue.

Mrs Williamson (Academy Administrator), your child’s Student Progress Tutor or Mrs Davis (Lower School Leader, Year Group Leader Year 7) can be contacted via telephone or email if you need to discuss anything. 

Each term there is a newsletter which provides you with up to date news which has happened over the course of that term. 

The school website has a lot of information on which you use to help answer any questions you may have. There is a dedicated ‘Parents’ tab. 

You will receive monitoring reports throughout the academic year which is a report whereby teachers have assessed your child’s attitude to work in class, attitude to homework and independent work and their attainment.   

You will have the opportunity to meet with individual teachers on the Parents and Carers Consultation Evening.


How do I pay for my child’s school dinners?

The school operates a cashless system and uses ParentPay. Any purchases need to be made using ParentPay whether this be for; school dinners, school trips, locker keys and so on. Your child will be issued with an Identification Card that will allow them to use the cashless system in school. As a Parent you will be issued with login details prior to September.


How is the school day made up? Where does my child need to be and at what time?

Punctuality is very important, especially at the beginning of the day and at the start of lessons, so that all the day’s activities may progress in an orderly manner.

Students must arrive in school and go to their Form room and be ready for morning registration at 8.20 am. The school day finishes at 3.00pm. If a student is ever late to school they must sign in at reception with a reason for being late. Detentions are issued for repeated lateness to school or lessons.

The full NHGS School Day is printed in the student planner.