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Sometimes it’s just the small things that need an answer.
Here are a few of the common questions we get from new students and the answers.
Arrive in school at around 8:20am on the first day. New Year 7 students will most likely be asked to go to the school hall when lessons start at 8:40am – there you will meet your tutors and be taken to your classrooms. The school hall is in the middle of the ground floor and can be easily found. In the morning listen out for announcements on the school tannoy system and there will be lots of staff on duty who will also tell you where to go. You can always ask a member of staff if you are unsure.
Although our school might seem bigger than many primary schools, it is easy to find your way around as the building is constructed as one large square over three floors. You will be given a map on your first day to help you navigate and you can always ask a member of staff or another student if you get lost.
Room numbers are helpful too; the letter at the beginning of the room number tells you which floor to go to.
Room G123 = Ground Floor
Room F104 = First Floor
Room S111 = Second Floor
There are student toilets located on every floor and more near the PE facilities. These will be marked on the map you will be given. You must make time to use the toilets before school, at break time and lunchtime as you are not allowed to go to the toilet in the middle of the lesson, unless there is a medical need. If you find that you do need the toilet in a lesson, speak to your teacher.
You can get food, drinks and refreshments in the dining hall at break time and lunchtime. You are also welcome to bring your own food, but fizzy drinks and energy drinks are not allowed. You should eat your food in the dining hall or outside, where you can find extra seating and tables. This will allow you to eat and socialise with your friends. Food is not allowed in classrooms or corridors, but you may have water with you at any time. There are water fountains outside the student toilets on all three floors, where you can fill up a bottle.
There are lots of things you can choose to do at break and lunch and most students like to spend time socialising with their friends as well as making new ones. There are indoor and outdoor areas for you to enjoy and we recommend you relax and get some fresh air during your breaks. Use this time to eat, drink and go to the toilet. Using your mobile phone is allowed during break and lunch. There are also lunchtime clubs you may wish to join.
We think technology is a great thing and understand that a mobile phone can be a really useful tool for learning – (we even have student Wi-Fi you can use). You are allowed to bring your phone to school and use it during the day but there are some rules to be aware of. You can use your phone before school, at break time, lunchtime and after school. Phones mustn’t be used in the classroom unless the teacher asks you to and you mustn’t walk around the corridors with your phone out, as this slows everyone down. Your phone may be taken away from you by a staff member if it is used inappropriately and you will have to collect it at the end of the day.
We don’t recommend that you bring valuable electrical items like this to school as they can be easily lost or damaged. It is best to leave these things at home and if we need any IT equipment during the school day, a teacher will organise this for you.
Yes. Year 7s will get a locker if they want one. These can be very useful for storing P.E Kits, coats and other equipment. You just need to pay a small deposit. Your form tutors will help you with lockers in the first week of school.
You will need to keep track of the time because you need to move between different classrooms throughout the day. Wearing a watch is a great idea and most of the classrooms have a clock on the wall. The school also has pips (little beeps) which tell you when lessons are about to start and finish. To make sure you leave enough time at the end of break and lunch to get to your classroom there are warning pips. When you hear the first set of beeps you really should make your way to your lesson.
For new Year 7s, we understand that finding your way around school in the first few weeks might be tricky. You may get muddled with your timetable or find it difficult to locate a certain classroom – we all make mistakes! You are unlikely to get in trouble for being late in the first few weeks, just explain to your teacher why you are late. However, as you get more used to the building and your timetable you will be expected to be punctual. Students who are late can have their conduct cards signed with a negative point, so it is best to avoid it.
There are lots of rewards available for good behaviour in our school. If a member of staff sees you behaving nicely around the school they will ask for your conduct card and give you a positive signature. Positive behaviour might be holding doors open, helping a friend or staff member or being a good role model to others. In a lesson, teachers will reward good work, good effort and good progress with a house point. They will add this to their register. There are also raffle tickets and house points available to students with excellent attendance. The raffle tickets are linked to weekly prizes.
Fortunately, we don’t see too much of this at Meopham School but occasionally people make bad choices with behaviour or break the rules. If the poor conduct is something minor like incorrect uniform or no equipment, you may have your conduct card signed with a negative signature. In lessons, consequence points are given for bad behaviour. These behaviour points can lead to detentions and conduct reports so it is best to avoid them.
If you know the name of your teacher then you should use that. If you need to speak to a member of staff but are unsure of their name, asking for “Sir” or “Miss” is fine.
We really hope this doesn’t happen, but if you feel unwell at school there are a few things you can do. Make sure you have had a drink of water, gone to the toilet and had a sit down during free time. This will often make people feel better straight away. If you still feel unwell you can tell your teacher who might suggest sitting quietly until you feel better. For students who are really poorly, the student services team are able to support with most medical issues.
The first thing you should do is talk to one of your friends during free time. Friends are brilliant at cheering people up and helping others with problems so share your worries and see if that will resolve them. If you need to talk to a member of staff, start with your form tutor as you see them every day at advisory. Your form tutor wants to make sure you are happy at school and they are great problem solvers. If your concerns are very urgent and it can’t wait, you can always talk to any member of staff, who will do their best to help.
We know there are times when you will want to contact home but this should only happen during break time or lunchtime. Speak to a teacher if you think you need to be in contact with home, outside of your free time. We ask that your family members do not call or text you during lesson time as this can disrupt your learning. If a family member needs to get an urgent message to you, they should phone the school reception.