Year 9 Transition to Upper School

To help Year 9 students prepare to move into the upper school and start their Key Stage 4 courses we have prepared this page with useful information and introduction work from departments that will make the transition to Year 10 much easier.

Transition Work to be completed before starting Year 10

Business Studies History
Music French
Health and Social Care Spanish
Design Technology OCR Sport
Engineering RE
Finance Drama
Food Preparation and Nutrition Hospitality and Catering

Please click here to download the notes from the Year 9 parents' information evening

For an introduction to GCSEPod, please watch the video below

Frequently Asked Questions about starting in the Upper School

What is the behaviour ethos of the Upper School?

We expect ALL students in the Upper School to act in the way a Year 13 student would, with Kindness towards everyone, Respect for staff, each other, the environment and Dedication towards their learning. We also operate slightly differently to the lower school in that once a student reaches 25 behaviour points (5th after-school detention), students will spend a day in the removal room in addition to their 4:30 detention. This is repeated at 35 and 45 behaviour points.

What eating and break facilities do the Upper School have?

Since May, students from all year groups have the ability to mix across the school. However, the Upper School have retained the Arena Café as a discrete area for them to eat. In addition, a further servery has been made available, located downstairs in LS Block. Both hot food and cold “Grab & Go” options are available from both locations.  

Students can eat outdoors at the picnic tables or inside the Arena Cafe. All rubbish MUST be placed in the allocated bins provided.

What equipment should my child bring into the Upper School?

Students will need a bag which will enable them to carry all their school books and equipment around in. Students should have a full set of equipment at all times - pens, pencils, ruler, maths set, calculator. Full details of our equipment expectations can be found here

Who is the main contact when my child moves to the Upper School?

In line with our Communications Policy, general enquiries should be directed to If you wish to discuss a welfare or well being issue about your child, please contact their Year Manager via the routes outlined on our Upper School page.

Is homework important in the Upper School?

Yes, as students start their GCSE’s, it is even more important that they complete their homework. Homework is an integral part of their GCSE course.

We believe that homework supports your child:

  • to encourage a positive attitude to learning
  • to improve attainment
  • to stimulate intellectual curiosity and encourage independent learning
  • to consolidate skills and knowledge
  • to reinforce and extend classwork
What role do parents play whilst students are in the Upper School?

Upper school and GCSEs can be a very challenging time for some of our students. As a parent your role is vital in ensuring your child has stability and reassurance over the next two years, until they build resilience in their learning and attitudes.

You can support your child by doing the following:

  • check that your child has a quiet place in which to work at home, without any distractions
  • ensure that there is a regular routine for the completion of homework - encourage the use of the school library (LRC).
    Students can be rewarded an achievement point for completing their homework, if this if of a good standard. This reflects our core value of Dedication
  • check their homework on Sachelone or Teams on a regular basis – encourage the use of resources like GCSEPod
  • contact the school if there are any problems or any personal details have changed
  • ensure that students attend school and are on time - 8:25am in their mentor room
  • support the school with any sanctions issued
Can attendance make a difference to GCSE performance?

Your child’s GCSE grade could be affected by their attendance in terms of them missing key lessons with their specialist teachers. For example, a student with a 95% attendance would miss the equivalent of 50 lessons.  

Poor attendance is also closely associated with some anxieties - the more the student misses the harder it is to catch up or understand their GCSEs.