Portsmouth Grammar School taking extra steps to ensure pupils feel at home

Freshers-style fair for pupils to join school clubs
Freshers-style fair for pupils to join school clubs
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Many pupils across the city will be about to finish their first half term in a new school.

Getting to know your way around, learning new subjects and making friends can be a stressful time for children whether they are starting school for the very first time, beginning their secondary education or embarking on Sixth Form study.

Making sure we look after every child that comes through our door and that they make the most of their educational journey is at the heart of what we do.

If a child isn’t happy at school then they won’t be inspired to learn and we aren’t doing our job as teachers.

For the 34 children starting school for the first time in Reception at The Portsmouth Grammar Junior School, the last few months have marked a big step change in their lives. 

Nurturing and developing a love of learning is at the heart of our Early Years provision,’ says Peter Hopkinson, headmaster of the Junior School. 

‘If the start to school life isn’t positive then it can have a massive impact on a child’s personal development. 

‘Every school in the city will have been working hard the last few months to ensure a caring and supportive beginning at school for their reception pupils.’ 

It’s not only young children who have faced the challenge of starting a new school this autumn, as hundreds of pupils across Portsmouth made the transition from junior to senior school. 

Starting senior school is a big step for pupils.  It’s the time that the grounding they’ve had at junior school, whether here or elsewhere, really starts to show through. 

To help make the move as smooth as we can, we make sure there are plenty of opportunities for the pupils to get to know each other. 

At the end of the summer term, all the pupils starting Year 7 in September come in to get to know each other a little, maybe arranging to see each other during the summer holidays so that day one of the autumn term isn’t too daunting. 

Around half of our Year 7 starters each year are from other schools throughout Portsmouth and the wider region, so these events are essential 
to welcome them in to the school.  

In the first week pupils have the opportunity to join school clubs at a freshers fair event and have a ‘getting to know you’ activities day, which is fun and informal and helps to develop friendships that we hope will last throughout senior school.