How is the Secondary School different to Primary School?
The main differences relate to the school day, the number of different subjects you will do in a day (5 and a tutor time), the number of different teachers/tutors you will see (6 a day) and the number of students you will be surrounded by in the school (1200-1300 approximately). The College building too will be different in two main buildings and over 3 floors.
How is the day structured at High Tunstall?
Students are required to be in College by 8:35 at the latest, however a Breakfast Club is available to all from 8am. The school day for most students ends at 3pm with 5 periods during the day, a 20-minute break, 40-minute lunch and 20-minute Tutor period.
How do we contact teachers for information or if we have issues that need addressing?
All teachers are contactable via e-mail and will aim to respond within a 24hour period dependent on when the e-mail was sent. You can also contact the College via phone and speak to the Head of Year about pastoral issues and Faculty Leaders about any issues in particular subjects areas. The names of these leaders are available on the College website.
What if my child is anxious about joining HTCS?
At HTCS we have a co-ordinated approach to support students who may be anxious about joining Secondary school. We usually offer extended periods of transition including a 2 week period for all to ease anxieties and to ‘ease’ students into secondary life, getting around, making friends, learning routines and so on. In these times much of this will not occur therefore we have developed virtual and paper-based resources that will be sent in due course which will allow your child to understand life and HTCS and to discover all they need to know as best we can, remotely. We will also monitor this once back in school and work with students around anxieties and what we can work together on to support this.
How will my tutor group and house be chosen?
We aim to place students in a tutor group with a friend but please be advised that this is not always possible. Please do not worry! Your tutors will be there to support you and help you make many new friends at HTCS.
How much homework are we given?
Homework at HTCS is also known as Independent Learning Opportunities or ILOS. Students in Year 7 should be completing one hour of English, Mathematics and Science plus 30 minutes for each non-core subject. One further hour of non-subject specific independent reading should also be completed as a minimum.
What extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities are available?
Students will receive an extra-curricular timetable at the start of the academic year and what they can access and when. This will also be posted on the HTCS website. However, please let us know if there is anything you would like the College to offer if it is not available and we can see if this is viable for the future.
HTCS also offers a vast array of enrichment opportunities. Dependent on the year group they will also be offered trips and educational visits/guest-speakers which parents will receive letters about and further text messages where relevant.
What essential equipment will my child need?
An essential equipment list can be found in the parent planner but this will include, a planner (provided by the College), a pencil case, pen (x2), pencil(x2), ruler, eraser, sharpener, a scientific calculator and green biro pen. They will also need to bring PE kit on the correct days according to their timetable once provided.
How can my child pay for food and drink?
Paying for breaktime and lunchtime meals, drink and snacks is by a cashless system. This can be topped up at special machines in school using cash or alternatively via Parent Pay. The cashless system utilises fingerprint technology. If details have not been taken at the start of the year, meals can be payed for in cash until the situation is resolved.
What do I need to do about a tie?
Ties do not need to be purchased. Within the students first few days in College they will receive their HTCS tie which is specially presented to them, welcoming them to the College.
Are there any recent changes in uniform that I need to know about?
There have been minor adaptations to the school tie but the main issue in the present climate will be Blazers. Blazers are available to buy and the College has a stock of some, but due to the present situation it will not be possible to try Blazers to try before you buy. Therefore, students will not be penalised for not having bought a Blazer prior to joining us, pleased be reassured of that.
What happens if the uniform or PE kit doesn’t arrive in time?
The PE kit was altered last year and we have a new supplier. Again, due to the current climate, students will not be able to try and purchase. Therefore, whilst orders go in once we return students will not be required to wear the HTCS PE Kit until their order arrives and will be able to wear their own suitable kit until that point. Further guidance will be given on what is appropriate but this should not be football tops or kits.
Where can students store equipment and coats at HTCS?
All students gain a locker when they join HTCS. This will be located in the North building. This is large enough to store bags and coats. Outdoor coats must be placed in lockers prior to the school day and should only be removed at breaks and lunchtimes in inclement weather if they wish to go outside.
Mobile phones are not allowed to be present on a student at HTCS during the College Day and therefore must be stored in lockers at all times and not accessed until the end of the day once students have left site if they do chose to bring them in.
Padlocks should be purchased by students for their lockers and they should be 38/40 mm locks (no larger and not very much smaller). If students lose keys or forget codes we do have bolt cutters to gain access and temporary locks available until a new lock is purchased.
All valuable items are brought into College at the owners risk.