Parents praise school for settling new studentsPosted: 23rd October 2020
Parents of the newest cohort of children to join our school are praising the way they have been settled in during the pandemic.
Students joining Year 7 of Epping St John’s Church of England School in September made the transition during a unique time, with restrictions in place and the virtual world used as a new communication tool.
As parents of Year 6 pupils prepare to make their final selection of secondary schools before the November 1 deadline, Year 7 parents have spoken of their happiness at their school choice.
Jodie Newman’s son Ellis joined Year 7 this year. She said about the transition during the pandemic: “The school sent regular transition newsletters, introducing staff, showing photos of areas of the school along with other news, to give a flavour of life at Epping St John’s, along with a virtual form class meeting. I thought they did a great job in a challenging set of circumstances.
“We both felt pretty confident as there was such clear and regular communication. Previously visiting the school on the open evenings last year, and hearing positive stories about students already at the school, set us in good stead.
“From a parent’s perspective, it’s been great. Again, the communication from school has been excellent and in terms of the learning, there is an understandable focus on PSHE alongside the other subjects. Having participated in the parent forum this term and seen how open the school is to the parent and student voice, I was particularly impressed with the speed with which ideas that will benefit the children are thought through and introduced.
“My son has settled well and I think he has been made to feel really welcome and given time to get to know his form mates. What could have been a challenging time has been a smooth transition.
“I think the familiarity that we already felt with the school helped, with several online opportunities to hear from the senior staff, the parent forum and a real sense of welcome from all the staff to Year 7 has contributed positively to the settling in period.”
Kelly Goldie’s son Callum is another new Year 7 student. She said: “Epping St John’s prepared Callum well for joining Year 7. We had a couple of virtual calls with updates and he had a chance to meet his form teacher. We received weekly newsletters full of information and the teachers introduced themselves which was great and very useful for Callum to get familiar with teachers’ faces. Having a transition booklet to complete and tasks to do during the summer, made him feel he was part of Epping St John’s already.
“We feel we were kept well informed on Callum starting school, especially as they were not able to experience the usual transition process. Receiving weekly updates and being able to contact the school at any point with questions made us, as parents, feel reassured.
“Callum was nervous when he started, however after just his first day he came home with a smile on his face as he was made to feel comfortable and happy. After the first week, he said how lovely and friendly all of the teachers were.
“Having the first two days in school for Year 7 only, it was great for them to start and it gave him confidence.
“Callum is enjoying his timetable and new subjects and has embraced his learning. From the point of arriving in school to leaving school, we know that despite the set-up being different and not ideal, everything is in place to keep our son safe and happy going forward.”
Michael Yerosimou, head of school, said: “While school selection for next year’s Year 7 is having to be done in these unique and less than ideal circumstances, it is pleasing to hear our newest cohort of Year 7 students – who have joined the school in the same uncertain time – are thriving.”
The deadline for applying for a place at Epping St John’s Church of England School is November 1.
All Virtual Open Evening activities and videos, including the brand new Minecraft tour of the school, can be viewed here.