We recognise that starting a new school can be daunting for lots of boys and all our experienced staff and tutors work together to ensure the transition to St Paul’s is as smooth and as welcoming as possible.
Pupils entering at 13+ will start in the ‘Fourth Form’ where they will join a mixture of other boys from a wide selection of schools including some from our own preparatory school, St Paul’s Juniors.
Before the start of term there is a voluntary residential ‘weekend away’ with outdoor team building activities and this is a more informal way for the pupils to start integrating into life at St Paul’s and make new friends. There is also an Induction Day before term starts which helps the pupils to see the school and learn the first day logistics before everyone else arrives.
On the first day of term, the pupils will meet their tutor who will introduce them to the rest of their tutor group. They will continue to meet with their tutor group daily, helping form bonds with pupils across year groups, which prove invaluable whilst settling in. The older pupils can often provide excellent advice to the new starters as they are the ones who have really lived the School experience!
The tutor will meet with each pupil on a regular basis to discuss any concerns and also maintain a close relationship with parents. After approximately six weeks, there is an informal social evening for tutors to meet with parents. It is important to note that the first set of grades around this time purely comment on work habits and not academic achievement.
Each week there is a year group assembly and this is overseen by the head of year, known as the Undermaster. In addition to this, there is a wealth of pastoral support on hand ranging from nurses, a visiting GP and external counsellors. The Learning Support department is also there to provide academic help with everything from occasional study skills through to one to one weekly support where needed.
The best ways for pupils to quickly feel part of the furniture is to take advantage of the abundance of opportunities available to them. For the first two terms, they participate in compulsory ‘Monday Activities’ during lunchtime – they choose both a sport and a non-sport from a wide range of activities and this provides a taster of new extracurricular activities. In addition, we hope that they will get involved with all the numerous societies on offer to them. Some immediately find their new passion, or continue to develop an existing one, whilst others may take a little longer to find their ‘thing’. This really does not matter and we stress that what is important is that they are getting involved, having fun, making new friends and broadening their minds.