Written by Joe Lea – Year 9 Student Reporter
On Wednesday 5th July, 170 students from a range of different primary schools came to Whitley Academy for a transition day, so they could settle in to their new school. It was an exciting day for students and staff.
At the start of the day the (new) Year 7s gathered around signs on the wall, telling the students what class they are in. They were all very excitable but obviously nervous.
After 20 minutes of making sure that everyone is in the right class, the students are led by their new tutors into our auditorium where, Mr. Rex (our Principal) talks to them about the Whitley Academy school community as well as the school motto ‘Be the best you can be’. He then finishes his talk by sharing his first impression about the new Year 7, and the significant importance of the new Year 7’s roles in school life.
Mr. Steinhaus (our Vice Principal & Year 7 SLG Link) then talks to the students about how Whitley is their home, and will be for the next 5 - 7 years. This helps to put the students at ease. He also tells them about something the American rock band Kiss said before every gig. I reckon many of us in the audience (including myself) probably wouldn’t know who Kiss were!
For your information the quote is: “You want the best, you got the best!”
After the talks, all the students leave the hall and the day officially begins!
First of all the teachers do some ice-breaking activities with the students. An example of this is a character profile where students talk about themselves so that they can play a ‘Guess who?’ game later in the day.
Afterwards the students go on a treasure hunt with their teachers, around the school to places like Reception, The Base and Post 16. The ‘treasure hunt’ gives the teachers an opportunity to tell the students the various rules of the school and where they should and shouldn’t be.
Then students return to their classrooms for a brief time before heading to the Sports Hall for their break time (which would usually be spent in the quad).
The students head back to their classrooms for the second part of the day. They do the ‘egg-drop challenge’, where students have to build a container for an egg that will be dropped from approximately 3 metres high. Most of the drops are successful with the eggs landing on the newspaper and surviving or cracking, but still landing on the newspaper. However I am sure you know when dealing with fresh eggs, ‘accidents’ do happen unexpectedly!
After cleaning any egg residue, the students go to the canteen for their early lunch. In the canteen the students have an opportunity to chat to their mates as well as getting some fresh air before going back to the Sports Hall to take part in activities in the afternoon.
The afternoon ends with some more very funny activities including designing bunting based around the students themselves. Students write their names and ages as well as drawing a picture of themselves. They also write about their favourite subjects, sports and animals.
The day ends with some reminder from Mr Steinhaus about the evening time with their parents back in the Auditorium.
The students return, this time with their parents and carers. Mr. Rex and Mr. Steinhaus talk to the parents about similar topics to the Year 7s that morning. Afterwards, it is time for parents’ meeting with the Year 7 tutors, while the Year 7s stay in the hall for a quiz.
One of the rounds is ‘2 lies 1 truth’. It allows us to find out many interesting things about the Academy staff. For example did you know that Mr. Rex is related to King George III? ….