How do Music lessons work?
Some people have instrumental/voice music lessons, which are arranged between your family and the music teacher. They are usually half an hour long and during the school day. You have plenty of warning when the next lesson will be, and it moves around so you don’t keep missing the same class. There will be more information on this if you have lessons arranged.
How do I join the clubs?
Almost all of the clubs are open for anyone to come along and join if they have an interest. We have very few trials or auditions; even the choir and orchestra are just ‘turn up and join in’ each week. A few things have auditions and trials, there will be notices about these. But for most things, just come and join in! You will be sent a great long list of when and where the clubs are when we are.
Can I create a club if there isn’t one?
Yes! Every year the list of clubs changes, and we have new students with new interests who want to introduce something new. Come and see us if this is something you want to do, and we will do what we can to support you. Sometimes we find a teacher or 6th former with similar interests to help you get it up and running.
What if I find lessons hard?
Well, lessons will be a bit hard because we want you to feel challenged and to know you are learning new things. If the lesson is too hard, you would tell the teacher that you are not following things or managing with the work. They will help you. Very often there is a 6th former (a year 12 or 13 student) in the lesson and they would be able to explain things too if you need it.
What PE kit do I need for normal lessons?
There is a list of the PE kit that you need for normal PE lessons on pages 8 and 9 here. Some items are optional, those are listed separately. Some items are very precise and have to be from the school suppliers. But your trainers, socks and bag can come from any shop. Everything is explained in the booklet.
Will we have to wear uniform in September?
We know that some of you have never worn a uniform to school, and some haven’t for a number of months. We are really proud of our uniform, and how smart our students look when they wear it. We are looking forward to you looking like Owenians! But if for some reason it’s best to not wear the uniform for a month or so, we will let you know.
What if I get lost in my first few weeks?
The school is big but it’s very easy to find your way around. On your first day you will spend some time getting used to the layout of the school. If you do get a bit lost, ask for help – a teacher or sixth former would definitely know where you’re trying to go, and everyone in the school is supportive and helpful.
Will I be in trouble if I’m late to lessons?
You will only get in trouble if you are always late or late on purpose.
The teachers wouldn’t punish you for making a mistake, especially during your first weeks. But be polite and make sure to apologise if you are.
I’m the only one coming from my primary school
There are children coming from 90 primary schools, so lots of people are in this situation. Try not to worry about being the only one from your primary school – everybody is making a big leap from primary to secondary school and you will make lots of new friends even if you do join with others! Remember, everybody is in a new situation – you will be ok.
Will I have a locker and where will it be?
You will have a locker – it will be near your form room. If your form tutor teaches geography, for example, your locker will be near their geography classroom. If you ever forget where it is, don’t worry!
Reception can remind you if you which is your locker, but it’s helpful to write them down in your homework diary. You’ll do this on your first day.
Do I need to bring everything on my 1st day?
You will need to bring a bag, a pencil case and your lunch (if you have packed lunch) and that’s about it. It would be handy to have a key ring to put your locker key on. You will be given your homework diary, timetable, and locker key to take home.
Will my friends be in all my lessons?
We might have put you in the same tutor group as your friends, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have lessons with them.
And even if they are you might not be sitting near them. It’s best to be open minded and get to know whoever you’re sitting next to – everyone is friendly. That way you’ll make lots of new friends and eventually you’ll have friends in every lesson.
What are the school dinners like?
The school provides hot and cold food, and it’s great! There is a lot of choice, both at break and lunchtime.
It’s OK to make your own packed lunch though – that way you’re guaranteed to have something you like, and avoid the queues so you have more free time during your lunch break, especially when you have a club. You can eat this in the dining hall, or outside, just put your rubbish in the bins.
Do I need to bring in money for lunch?
You won’t need to bring physical money for your lunch, we have a cashless system. You will have your fingerprint scanned; this will be connected to a Wisepay account that your parent/guardian can top up with money. After that, you can just pay with your finger!
Lots of students have a free school meal, if you do then it tops up each day automatically for you to spend.
What if I forget my packed lunch one day?
That’s fine! So long as you have money on your ‘finger’ (your Wisepay account), you can buy lunch in the lunch hall before school, at break and at lunchtime.
If you don’t have money on your finger, don’t worry, they won’t let you go hungry! Just go to the pastoral office, or tell one of the lunch supervisors, who will make sure you have something. They will sort the payment out later!
Where do I catch the bus at the end of the day?
Buses leave from ‘the D’ outside the main reception – if you go there at the end of school you’ll see most of the buses (but the 610 to Hatfield and Luton sometimes parks outside the school). There are always teachers on bus duty, if you’re not sure just ask.
Make sure to just check the number on the front before getting on, and ask the driver or a sixth former if you’re not sure.
How do I pay for the bus that I catch?
Good question! And we can’t give one answer to this one. It depends on where you are going to. Some buses are normal ‘London’ buses, so you use a ZIP oyster card that you get from TFL.
Others that head to Hertfordshire have bus passes that you can buy for the term, or some you can pay on the bus. It’s best to check with the service that you need to get to your house.
What if I miss the bus home by mistake?
This sometimes happens, but not very often. If you do, just tell one of the teachers on bus duty or go in to the reception desk and tell someone there. They won’t make you sleep at school!
Once you’re settled in, it’s good to have a few alternative routes for getting home. If you learn how to walk to Potters Bar Railway Station, then there are many more buses and trains to take you home, even if the school buses have left.
How many people will be in my class?
Most of your lessons in Year 7 are taught in a ‘teaching group’ of around 30 people – the same people will be in all of these lessons. All of the classes are similar, there are no ‘top sets’, so don’t worry what your teaching group letter means – it’s random!
The exceptions are Art and Design subjects, which are taught in a slightly smaller class of 20 people, and PE which also has smaller groups.
Which languages will I learn in Year 7?
You will be studying two languages in Year 7, the language everyone does will be French. Then you will do one other, either Spanish or German. Your parents were asked if they had a preference on some forms a while ago, and the school will try to match that up but it wasn’t possible for everyone in our year.
So, you will end up taking French and either Spanish or German in Year 7 to 9.
Do I need my PE kit on the first day of school?
You won’t need your PE kit on your very first day of school as there are no lessons – you’ll just be meeting your form and teaching group.
On your first day you’ll be given your timetable which tells you which days you PE lessons are going to be on – these are the days you need a PE kit for, and if you have any clubs/training.