This page is especially for families with children joining Thorpe Hall School’s Year 7 in September 2021.
Welcome to all our new families! On this page, you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, along with information about specific subjects and some links to useful parent resources and calendars.
Our induction plans always ensure there are lots of opportunities for everyone to meet and get to know one another properly and include a team-building trip for all to enjoy. You will receive further information about this and more during our Induction Evening.
Please note: All induction plans and details are subject to change in line with government guidance and the school’s Covid-safety protocols.
The first day of term is Wednesday 8th September 2021. This will be the first day of our three-day induction activity programme. The first ‘on timetable’ day for pupils will therefore be on Monday 13th September.
Please note: Our induction programme may change. We will provide parents with all the relevant information and confirm details in due course.
There is no need to wear the school uniform for the first three days of term. Please bring a PE Kit and your pencil case. Pupils should also bring a water bottle and a snack with them. If you are not having a school lunch, you will need to bring a packed lunch. We are a nut-free school and snacks/lunch should not contain nuts.
From Monday 13th September 2021 onwards, the full school uniform should be worn.
School starts at 8:45 am and finishes at 3:45 pm
Pupils walk into school by themselves. For those travelling to school by car, there is a one-way traffic flow system in operation at drop off and pick up times. Cars enter the site at the South Entrance near DW Fitness and should drive slowly to the drop-off point at the crossing near the Exit Gate.
Pupils should alight cars at the crossing as quickly as possible. Drop-off and pick-up times can be very busy and so extra caution should be taken.
Alternatively, parents may prefer to park in the main car park – at the South Entrance as you come in – leaving pupils to walk up to school. Pupils should enter the school by going through the gate next to the Nursery. These areas are marked on this map.
Please note that some elements of our induction programme may change. We will provide parents with all the relevant information and confirm all details at a later date to ensure our new Year 7s are well-prepared and know what to expect, what they’ll need to wear and what they’ll need to bring to school.
As a guide, here is an outline of what the first three days of term looked like for our new students last year:
On Wednesday – the day started at 8.45 am. We asked students to be on-site by 8.35 am. Some parents arranged for their child to meet up with others in the car park beforehand so that they had someone to come through the gate with.
Once through the school gate, students were directed to the Year 7 recreational area. The Year 7 tutors were there to greet them from 8.40 am ready to take them to where they needed to be at the start of the day. All year groups started back at the same time and each year group had their own separate recreational area.
The programme for Wednesday was assembly and form time, followed by a number of taster Upper School lessons until lunchtime. After lunch, the year group took part in team-building activities led by the PE department. Then, after registration at the end of the day, students made their way out of the Upper School gate and were met by their parents in the car park
On Thursday – school started again at 8.45 am with pupils moving on the bell from their recreational area to their registration room in which they had spent time the previous day. From there they went to The Seaglass Conference Room and completed 3 baseline tests in English, Maths and Science. These tests took until lunchtime and were carried out purely for our assessments. No preparation beforehand was necessary.
After lunch, there was a period of additional form time where timetables, planners, and house badges were given out. The rest of the afternoon was devoted to another session with the PE teachers, before registration and dismissal at the end of the school day.
On Friday – Everyone enjoyed a team-building trip to Mersea Island. This day of fun and trying out new activities is always very popular with our new Year 7 students. See the information on the next tabbed section below about the Mersea Island trip but please note that details are subject to change and will be confirmed.
On Monday – Normal ‘on timetable’ Year 7 schooling began the following Monday when students attended in full school uniform complete with their house badge (provided) and school bag with equipment and PE kit to hand, ready to start their first full week as a Thorpe Hall Upper School student.
A trip to the Mersea Outdoor Education Centre will be arranged for all Year 7 pupils. It is planned for Friday 10th September 2021.
Please note: We will confirm the date and all arrangements before the end of the current term in July.
The purpose of this trip is for all pupils in the year group to get to know each other, to begin working together as a team, and for staff to learn more about the children’s individual characters in a safe, outdoor and fun environment.
Pupils will be participating in numerous activities, which will include high ropes, archery, an adventure course and an ‘It’s a Knockout’ type competition.
What to wear and bring – Pupils should wear old clothes and shoes – they may get dirty and wet during the course of the day. They will also need a couple of sets of additional clothes, a towel and spare shoes for a change during the day (should they get muddy in the adventure course pit), and for the journey home.
Please also bring a packed lunch and enough snacks and drinks to last the day. Pupils will be outside for the entire day and very active so they are likely to eat more than usual. In addition, pupils will also require a waterproof jacket, sun cream and hat as the weather can be very unpredictable in September, and we will need to be prepared for all eventualities.
Dropping off/picking up arrangements – We will be leaving school at 07:15 and will return to school, traffic permitting, at approximately 19:30. Please ensure that your child is present at the school’s reception for 07:00 so that we can leave on time.
Are mobile phones permitted? – Mobile phones can be brought for use during the journey to and from the venue, and to alert parents of any change to our return time.
The cost of the trip – there is a cost for this trip and it will be charged in September via ParentPay. We will confirm the cost for 2021 in due course – last year it was £55.
We will ask you to confirm that you want your child to attend and will provide a consent form to complete – to follow
Please note, this trip will go ahead if the Government’s COVID 19 guidance and restrictions at the time allow it. The trip may be postponed or cancelled, either by the school or by the venue, at short notice.
There are lots of different extra-curricular clubs to appeal to everyone, and taking part is a great way to make new friends and try new things. We will provide you with a full list of before-school, after-school and lunchtime clubs at the beginning of term.
At Thorpe Hall, we provide individual music tuition in the following disciplines:
Details of how to register for individual music tuition and confirmation of the costs for 2021 will follow.
Lunch is paid for on a termly basis. The cost is £3.00 per day.
Termly lunch charges for September 2021 through to January 2022 are as follows:
- Autumn Term: £189
- Spring Term: £156
- Summer Term: £177
You can bring a packed lunch from home or choose to have a cooked school lunch. We are an Enhanced Healthy School and our catering team provides a nutritious menu that changes every week offering lots of variety and choice.
The way in which we will ask you to confirm lunch choices and the degree of flexibility we can offer will change as Covid restrictions are eased. We will therefore provide further information in due course.
The school gates are open from 7:30 am. Our #BestStart Breakfast Club is from 8:15 am in the Dining Hall. Please be aware that staff are not on duty until 8:30 am.
Several sports and activity clubs take place before school and we will supply details of our extracurricular choices at the start of term.
The iPads issued by the school to Year 7 pupils are 10.2 inches.
Our IT department recommends that parents purchase a good quality BlueTooth keyboard to accompany the iPad. These often come complete with cover, but the cover is not essential as the school provides a suitable iPad cover. If the keyboard you buy does come with a cover , please ensure it offers adequate protection for the iPad. The cost of a new screen is now almost as much as the cost of a new device, so we ask that iPads are well-protected at all times – in and around the school and at home.
The first term’s invoice will be mailed out to parents during August, for payment by the 31st August. This will include all tuition fees and school lunch charges, if applicable.