Views and experiences from parents whose children joined the school in 2019
Starting secondary school is a nerve wracking time for not only the children but also for parents, especially if it is your only child or oldest of the siblings. I was in this situation last year and remember it well. Firstly you have picked and been accepted into a great school which I have found really supportive and communicate well with parents.
Between now and September you will have lots of friends and family trying to reassure you that your child will be fine, and really they will be, they will make new friends from different schools, they are likely to move around friendship groups to start with until they find where they fit, but I know my child was okay with this, and this was definitely an area I panicked about more than my daughter. If you have concerns then the pastoral staff are only at the end of the phone or email and are very good at helping in tricky situations and giving you feedback while situations are being dealt with.
Uniform - They look smart and the quality of the uniforms is great and will make you proud. My advice would be to order a bit at a time. The supplier is very good at sending replacements if you have the wrong size, I found my experience very efficient. (3 blazer sizes later!)
Lunches - The canteen offer a great variety of lunches and snacks and run on a 3 week menu. The children will pay for this via a thumbprint on parent pay, where parents can top up however frequently you wish. You will receive notifications if your child’s balance is low. This is a novelty to start with and they may spend more in the first few weeks. Limits can be put onto accounts if you feel this is needed.
Club - The school offer a great variety of clubs, both at lunch time and after school, The children who get the bus to school get a good range of clubs to enjoy at lunchtime so they don't miss out. My daughter has tried lots of clubs to see which ones she enjoys. Obviously friends can play a big part in some children's choices but it can also help to make new friends.
Will my child get lost? - I guess the real answer is that this will happen. Don’t worry about this as there are plenty of staff and older children around to help in the first few weeks. They soon get used to it.
Timetable - I guess one of the biggest changes for your children is changing rooms for subject, at 11 years old this seems strange. They will have 5 classes a day and change daily. The timetable will feel strange to start with but again by October they will be wondering how they managed in primary school doing the same thing in the same order every morning. They will have favourite days and other days they don't really look forward too. They do get homework and planners. My child hasn't felt overwhelmed by homework but has been organised. My biggest piece of advice is not to leave it until the last minute. All homework is posted on the school system "Bromcom / mychildatschool" so parents can see what they have. House points are also shown on this system. Planners must be signed every week by a parent.
In summary, my experience with SFX has been positive. Any issues have been dealt with promptly and positively. Secondary school is very different for our child but they are resilient and will blossom. Good luck to all your children for next year!
Rizz Sisson –parent
Whilst this year has not been the most normal year for any school it has been more interesting having a child who has moved up to secondary school, who is summer born and was not really ‘ready to move up’. However I have to say being at SFX has made this process much easier. The school is very friendly and helpful and the staff quickly get to know the children and understand what they need and any concerns / problems have been sorted out very easily by very dedicated staff. Pastoral support is also strong. Whilst the current home learning situation has been frustrating in even these current (digital) times, advice is readily available and staff take the time where it is needed. I would send my child again to SFX if I was to go back in time. The most difficult thing is learning how to navigate parents evening! Good luck to everyone. I know you will be fine. Welcome to SFX.
Nicola Scrafton - parent