How They Have Settled In...
In our latest blog, we hear what it has been like for our Year 7 students, who joined SGGS this year under circumstances never experienced before …
Attending school in person again, albeit under new restrictions, has created a sense of normality for all involved, which is very important during these times. SGGS is proud of its pastoral care and continues to offer the same level of support it always has, but it is undeniable that joining a new school remains a daunting process. This is especially true in 2020, when even returning students were unsure exactly how attending school would feel during a pandemic. But children are generally very resilient and this has been proven by the new Year 7, who have nearly completed their first term as SGGS students.
We recently asked each member of Year 7 to complete a short survey on their feelings and experience so far. We are thrilled to report a 4.61 Average Rating (out of five) for happiness and that none of the children who responded indicated they felt unsafe when they are at school. This is particularly pleasing feedback considering the measures and process we have had to implement in line with public health guidance, to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The ongoing well-being and safety of the students in our care remains our primary goal.
Before joining us in September, new students receive a letter from a current Year 7 SGGS student, designed to reassure them about stepping up to secondary school. Here are some of the responses Year 7 recently gave us about receiving these communications:
- “It made me feel even more excited than I already was. My older sister had told me so many great things about the school and the letter said it is ok to be nervous, which made me feel better about being shy.”
- “It answered some of my questions, and I felt more part of the family.”
- “It definitely made me feel a lot more confident and reassured, I think it is a really good idea.”
- “After reading the letter, I felt welcomed into the school and felt as if I already belonged to the school.”
- “It made me feel really good that I knew some things beforehand. I remember I planned to find the girl and I did! We are now friends.”
Now that Year 7 are approaching their first completed terms as SGGS students, we have surveyed them on how they feel it has gone so far. Here are some of the responses:
What has been your favourite thing about school since you joined?
- “I enjoyed meeting new, friendly students as well as trying out the lessons that were not in my primary school and finding out many intriguing facts I never knew before.”
- “It's hard to choose my favourite moment so far, but I've loved making new friends, also with a few in Year 8. I've also loved meeting the teachers!”
- “The encouragement and support that the teachers and staff give to the students and the way they try to make everything more fun and interesting when we learn.”
- “I enjoy everything about SGGS. My favourite thing was getting to learn French and Drama, which we did not do in Primary School.”
- “I love how the teachers at this school always make us laugh in lessons!”
Before you joined, what were you most worried or nervous about?
- “I was mainly worried about whether I would make any friends as most of my friends were going to a different school but also about how much homework I had and whether I could keep on top of it.”
- “Getting lost in school because of the amount of buildings and rooms there were, but because of covid it made it a lot easier to find my way around as I am normally in the same room.”
- “I was a little worried about meeting new people and how hard the lessons would be. However, everyone I have met has been really kind and welcoming and the teachers are really good at helping and answering my questions.”
- “I felt a tiny bit nervous about finding my way around school as we hadn’t been able to have the induction day in July. The welcome videos the school shared before we started were fantastic at giving an introduction.”
- “Forgetting homework, because I don’t have the best memory, but I think I’m actually on top of it so it’s no longer a concern.”
Do you still feel nervous or worried now?
- “No, I know that I can speak to any of the teachers as well the heads of house. It only took me a few days before my worries went away, the other students are really friendly.”
- “I feel very confident now. I can speak to my form tutor, my head of house or maybe my friends. It took me about a week to feel better about my worries and nerves so I could get more used to how everything is and the system.”
- “I don't feel nervous but all the teachers are amazing and I could always talk to them, especially my tutors.”
- “I don't feel worried or nervous anymore. The first two weeks without homework was a wonderful time when I made friends and settled in. Once I started getting homework, I realised that it wasn't as difficult as I had thought it would be and instantly felt more relaxed.”
- “I find schoolwork a lot harder than I did in primary school but I love the challenge. If I’m ever stuck on it or struggling with homework then I know I can ask (and have asked) teachers. I have almost missed the bus, but because it comes into the turning circle and someone tells you when it’s there, it Is hard to miss and that was an impressive feat on my part!”
What are you most looking forward to about the rest of your time at SGGS?
- “GCSE'S and A-levels and of course having fun at school in lesson's and with my friends.”
- “Well as soon as covid is controlled, I want to try some clubs and go on trips.”
- “I am looking forward to meeting new people as I have only been here for one term and I’m still meeting new people every day!”
- “I am looking forward to getting involved in some sport activities, especially Netball.”
- “I can’t wait to see how SGGS shapes me to become a better and more than achieving student.”