Guide to starting secondary school

The Journey to Sawtry Village Academy

Walking & Cycling

If you live in Sawtry this may be no different from how you went to primary school. If you choose to cycle to Academy you must inform your tutor. Arrangements will need to be made to store the bicycle during the day. If you are going home on your bicycle at lunchtime then the site officer will need to know so he can make sure the garage is unlocked for you. Whether you are walking or cycling you must make sure you are here by 8.45 at the latest, whatever the weather.

By Car

If you are going to arrive by car you must not be dropped off or picked up within the yellow markings on Fen Lane. Using the main drive in a car at the end of the day is very difficult due to the number of buses that arrive and is not advisable.

By Bus

It normally takes very little time for most of you to get into the swing of catching the bus to and from Academy. The most important thing is to be at the bus stop on time in the morning.   You should arrive at least ten minutes before the designated pick-up time.   A ‘dry run’ may be required to work out what time you need to get up to get to the bus stop on time. It is very important to have a “plan B” in case the bus does not turn up for some reason.

At the end of each day a team of teachers are on bus duty to make sure you catch the correct bus. If for some reason you do miss your bus do not panic; instead report to a member of staff on bus duty who will help you to call home and make alternative transport arrangements.

If you are travelling on the service bus you must make sure you keep your ticket safe, if it is a return, or have enough money if you need to pay for a return fare.

Keep bus passes safe as you will need them; avoid behaviour that could distract the driver and do not leave anything on the bus when you get off.

Note to Parents / Carers

There are a number of session 6 clubs / sports fixtures that run after hours. Please make sure you know which of these your child is attending to ensure travels plans are in place on the appropriate days. A session 6 bus is available for £1.50 that leaves the Academy at 4.00pm. Further details can be attained by contacting your child’s tutor


Unlike at primary school you will move from one classroom to the next for lessons and could be taught by six different teachers per day. It normally takes a few weeks to remember teachers’ names and which subjects are taught where but this is normal when you start secondary school.

You will need to bring the correct books and equipment every day, arrive promptly, unpack what you need for the lesson, settle down quickly and be ready to work.

Note to Parents / Carers

Learning is affected if books and equipment are forgotten. It is important that your child has writing pens (and spares), pencils, colouring pens / pencils and specialist equipment for lessons such as Maths. Your child will be told by the Maths teachers in the first couple of lessons exactly what this includes.

Failure to be appropriately equipped will not only lead to sub-standard work but also detentions.

PE kit should only be brought into Academy on days when PE takes place. Unlike in many primary schools kit cannot be left in Academy all week.

TOP TIP: Have a copy of your child’s timetable displayed where they do their homework. Until they are used to the new routine it may help to unpack your child’s school bag each night with them and pack only what they need for the following day.

The Academy Day  

A bell will sound at 8.40am each morning to indicate that you must start to go to registration with your tutor. Registration time is between 8.45am and 9.00am. Any student arriving to registration after 8.45 will be marked late.

All lessons are one hour long and split up as follows;

Lesson 1       09.00 – 10.00

Lesson 2     10.00- 11.00

Breaktime   11.00 -11.20

Lesson 3     11.20 – 12.20

Lesson 4       12.20 – 1.20

Lunchtime   1.20 – 2pm

Lesson 5       2.00 – 3.00

Session 6 (optional) 3.00 – 4.00


If you consistently work hard in lessons or produce outstanding work you will be rewarded with credits. Credits will lead to either a Bronze, Silver or a Gold award. You will also gain points for your House. If you work hard throughout the year and consistently show pride in your work, you could be nominated for special recognition at the end of the academic year.


Homework is an important part of learning. You should make sure that your homework is written down clearly, showing exactly what has to be done. If you are not sure then ask. Take pride in your homework and complete it to the best of your ability. Do not try to do it whilst doing other things. Make sure it is handed in on time.

Sawtry Homework Online

Homework set by teachers is also displayed on the Academy’s website which you can access from home if you have internet connection. It shows what the homework tasks are, when they are due and sometimes may include resources that you need to complete the tasks. Each teaching class has a code and this is how you identify the homework set for your class.

Note to Parents / Carers

If you have any concerns about homework content please contact the subject teacher concerned as soon as possible.


The first impression you make is how you look in the Academy uniform. Always try to be smart in your appearance and wear only the approved items of uniform and not the latest fashion alternative.

Note to Parents / Carers

Name absolutely everything, even shoes. Have spares just in case your son/daughter misplaces an item of uniform or PE kit. This should avoid early morning panics.


You may wear a watch to make sure you are not arriving late to lessons. The Academy also allows a pair of plain stud earrings (2 in each ear maximum). No other piercings, necklaces, bracelets or rings are allowed. These will be confiscated if a teacher sees you wearing them and a letter sent home.

Note to Parents / Carers.

The ‘No Jewellery’ rule avoids items being lost, damaged or stolen. It also avoids potential health and safety issues in practical subjects.

Make Up

Make up should not be worn at Academy. If you wear make-up, including nail varnish, to school you will be sent to the House office and asked to remove it. Names are recorded of students who fail to comply with this rule and sanctions are implemented to regular offenders.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones are not allowed at the Academy. If you have a mobile phone and it is seen or heard by a member of staff it will be confiscated and a letter sent home. You must produce the tear off slip from this letter to get your phone back. Parents/carers will be asked to make an appointment to collect your phone if it is confiscated more than once.

Note to Parents / Carers

The Academy is particularly strict with confiscating mobile phones. Not only do they affect lessons if they go off in class, but could also lead to distress if damaged or lost. The Academy accepts no responsibility for a phone which is lost, stolen or damaged on site.

Lunch Arrangements

Lunchtime is 40 minutes – 1.20pm-2.00pm.

If you bring a packed lunch you can eat it in the main Hall or Refectory. If you use the canteen you may have to be patient when you queue up for your food. The vending machines in the canteen area take cash and contain snacks and drinks. These must not be used between lessons.

The Academy canteen uses a cashless system. Parents / carers can pay money into an account for you, either by cheques or through an on-line system (Parent Pay). You can also pay cash into your account at the finance office between 8.30 and 8.45 and at break time,

Note to Parents / Carers

There is a Parent Pay application form in the induction pack. PARENT PAY

Parents Evenings

Year 7 Parents’ Evening is in summer term. The exact date is published at the start of the academic year on the Academy website. Appointment schedules are in the student’s organisers to ensure parents / carers are able to see all of your subject teachers. It is a good idea to accompany your parents / carers so that you can hear, and respond to, comments made by teachers.

Note to Parents / Carers

Although Parents Evenings are an important way to check your child’s progress, don’t wait until then if you have any immediate concerns.