This page is especially for families with children joining Thorpe Hall School’s Year 7 in September 2020.

Here you’ll 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.

There is a form for you to complete to request Individual Music Tuition for those wanting to learn an instrument or receive singing lessons in Year 7. Please see the relevant section below.

Due to the current situation and social distancing restrictions, our usual induction plans need to be a little different this year. We have increased our programme at the beginning of the term with three full days of activities, to make sure there are still lots of opportunities for everyone to meet and get to know one another properly.  You will have received further information about this and more during our Online Induction Evening.

The first day of term is Wednesday 9th September 2020. 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 14th September.

There is no need to wear school uniform for the first three days of term. Please bring a PE Kit with you 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.

From Monday 14th September 2020 onwards, full school uniform should be worn.

School starts at 8:45 am and finishes at 3:45 pm

Pupils are expected to 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 entrance near to DW Fitness and should drive slowly to the drop-off point at the crossing near to 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 always be taken.

Alternatively, parents may prefer to park in the main car park, leaving pupils to walk up to school. Pupils should enter the school by going through the gate next to the Nursery.  These key points can be found on the map.

On Wednesday 9th September, the day will start at 8.45am and I recommend students to be on-site by 8.35am. In order to maintain a social distance, students should not congregate outside the gate designated for use by Upper School students (to be confirmed by Mr Hampton next week) but should instead come straight through. You may wish to arrange for your child to meet up with others in the car park beforehand so that they have someone to come through the gate with. Parents are asked to remain in the car park and not follow their child to the gate in order for us to remain COVID-safe. Once through the gate, students will be directed to the Year 7 recreational area. My tutors and I will be there to greet them from 8.40am ready to take them to where they need to be at the start of the day. All year groups will be starting back at the same time and each year group will have their own separate recreational area.

The programme for Wednesday is assembly and form time followed by a number of taster Upper school lessons until lunchtime. After lunch, the year group will be doing team-building activities led by the PE department. For this day, your child will need snacks and a water bottle (please be aware we are a nut-free school), a pencil case and a set of kit for PE (does not have to be the THS kit this week but if so, please ensure that your child is familiar with all of their named items). After registration at the end of the day, students will make their way out of the designated Upper School gate and walk towards the car park to be met there.

On Thursday 10th September, school will start again at 8.45am with your child moving on the bell from their recreational area to their registration room which they will have spent time in on the previous day. From there they will move to the Seaglass Conference Room to undertake 3 baseline tests in English, Maths and Science. These tests are purely to establish their current level and do not require preparation beforehand. These tests will take them up to lunch and the equipment required for the day is as for Wednesday. After lunch, there will be additional form time where timetables, planners, and house badges will be given out and the rest of the afternoon is devoted to another session with the PE teachers before registration and dismissal.

Friday 11th September is our team-building trip to Mersea Island and I have recently had confirmation that, with a few modifications to the activities, the outdoor centre can still deliver our day. In addition to the previous information given, your child will need to bring a mask with them to use when asked to by the coach driver and when receiving tuition from the instructors at the centre. I am delighted to say that we are the only school booked into the centre that day and as we are the first school group in, all procedures will be comprehensive. As mentioned on the trip information, our return is anticipated at around 7.30pm.

Please note, Monday 14th September will then be the start of normal Year 7 schooling when students attend in full school uniform complete with house badge (given out on Thursday) and have their school bag with equipment and PE kit to hand. Lockers will be operational from then.

 

A trip has been arranged for all Year 7 pupils on Friday 11th September 2020, to the Mersea Outdoor Education Centre.

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, 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 – is £55 and this amount will be charged in September via ParentPay. Please do not bring any money into school.

To confirm your child’s place –  Please complete this Form and submit it by Wednesday 9th September.

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 canceled, 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:

  • Piano/Keyboard
  • Violin
  • Guitar
  • Saxophone
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Trumpet
  • Drums
  • Singing

What are the charges?
Lessons are charged at a rate of £15.25 per 30 minutes for one-to-one lessons. You can expect to receive at least 30 lessons per academic year and will be invoiced for 10 lessons each term. Some Instrumental teachers may find that they can offer more lessons in the longer Autumn Term and will keep you informed of the number of lessons your child has received at the beginning of each term. Any shortfall at the end of the year will be refunded in September. Lesson missed due to the teacher’s absence or because of a school trip or activity will be made up in lieu or refunded. Lessons missed because of the pupil’s non-attendance will be made up at another time at the teacher’s discretion.

Instrumental Lesson Fees (Hourly Rate:  £30.50)

30 min lesson: £15.25
Charge for 10 lessons (30 min each): £152.50

20 min lesson: £10.20
Charge for 10 lessons (20 min each): £102.00

15 min lesson: £7.65
Charge for 10 lessons (15 min each):£76.50

How do I request Individual Music/Singing Lessons?
Please complete the Music & Singing Tuition Form which will be passed to the appropriate teacher. They will then contact you directly to arrange lessons.

You will be asked to enter into an agreement with the Instrumental Teacher to protect both parties. The contract asks for fees to be paid in advanced, and for notice to end lessons to be served at half term to cease at the end of that term. Please read the contract carefully when you receive it.

You can expect to receive 2 annual reports from your child’s Instrumental/Singing Teacher.

We know that reading is the key that unlocks knowledge and we maintain our focus on nurturing a love of reading, language and communication throughout Year 7.  Further information about the many creative ideas and methods to engage and inspire pupils in their English studies can be found here.

All pupils will start the September term studying French. The lessons will be taught in form groups, so, therefore, will be of mixed ability. There are two double lessons of French per week. It does not matter if your child has studied any French before at primary school, as the way that Modern Foreign Languages are taught in secondary school is very different.

Before October half-term, pupils will undertake an assessment that involves reading and listening comprehension, writing and speaking skills, as well as a vocabulary element. We will help pupils to prepare in the lessons leading up to this assessment, but they will also be expected to do some learning and revision as part of their French homework.

Based on the results of this assessment, and from what we have observed of pupils during lessons, we will then split the year into three separate groups based on ability and suitability:

  • Spanish and French (set 1)
  • Spanish only set
  • French only set

All classes will continue to have two double lessons per week. As well as learning French and/or Spanish languages, pupils will also learn about the life and culture of French and Spanish speaking countries.  These groups will remain in place until the end of Year 9.

If you have any questions about the way that we teach and organise Modern Foreign Languages at Thorpe Hall School, please do not hesitate to get in touch . Email jrojas@thorpehallschool.co.uk

 

Here are some other useful links to information or forms on our website that you may need.

The School Calendar

Term Dates

Request for Absence Form

Please be assured that we have undertaken a full programme of risk assessments and our plans are in accordance with government guidelines for safe attendance. Further details can be found here.

Lunch is paid for on a termly basis. The cost is £3.00 per day.

Termly lunch charges for 2020/21 are confirmed as follows:

  • Autumn Term: £186
  • Spring Term: £156
  • Summer  Term: £180

You will be emailed before the start of term and asked to confirm whether you want your child to have a cooked school lunch or a packed lunch from home during the first half term. This is so our kitchen staff can order the food required and make the appropriate preparations for lunch service, and so we can finalise our social distancing procedures for lunching in the school hall.

Due to the nature in which we need to arrange lunches during this time, it will not be possible to change to or from cooked and packed lunches on an ad-hoc/day-by-day basis.  We are not able to accept cash payments for cooked lunches or be able to provide them to children who have selected the packed lunch option on any day. Likewise, there will be no deduction to your lunch invoice should you provide a packed lunch on any given day or in the event of non-attendance. We will be asking you again before the second half term begins, and you will be able to make a new choice at that time.

Those who opt for cooked lunches will be invoiced each half term accordingly, and separately to fees.

We apologise for any inconvenience and hope that, as soon as restrictions have been lifted, we will be able to resume our usual, more flexible lunch service.

 

 

 

Breakfast Club: Breakfast Club will be available. More detail to follow later this week, however please be aware we will not be taking any cash payment. Instead, any items purchased will be recorded, collated and invoiced at the end of the half term per child.

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.