Year 7 Open Evening

We are delighted to invite you to the St John the Baptist open evening on Thursday 5 October.

Guided tours will begin at 6.30pm which will give you an opportunity to see the school and all the departments. The school will be open to all, there is no need to book.

At 8pm you can make your way to the main hall where our Head Teacher, Mr Granville Hamshar, will give a presentation.

Transition Programme

We understand that the transition to secondary school is more challenging for some children than for others. For that reason, we offer a Transition Programme that operates a much smaller class size of around 15 to 18 students throughout Year 7. The programme is available to all Year 7 learners who we deem appropriate, not just those with special educational needs. In Transition, the students study exactly the same curriculum as the rest of Year 7, just in a more calm, consistent and nurturing environment. Core subjects (Maths, English, RE, Geography and History) are taught by one teacher in the same classroom. Science, Languages, Computing, Drama, Music and Art are taught by subject specialist teachers in specialist rooms. For Design Technology, Food and Physical Education, the students are taught amongst the rest of Year 7. The students will also belong to a form group where they will be able to mix socially with other students; PSHE is also delivered in form groups. Breaktime, lunchtime, trips and other extra-curricular activities also provide opportunities to mix with the wider Year 7 cohort.

This programme is proven to reduce the anxiety of multiple teachers, rooms and environments, which in turn significantly aids the learning and settling in process. By having one teacher for a large chunk of literary based subjects, we are able to provide additional literacy support where needed. Specific SEND support can also be deployed in the same environment where relevant.

Through Transition, the students become quickly familiar with the expectations of the school and receive the best possible support, whilst accessing the full curriculum in an inclusive environment; overall having a better transition into secondary education. Spending a significant time with one teacher allows us to better understand their needs and provide a better learning experience when they move out of Transition.

We select students for Transition based on their KS2 data, discussions with their primary school teacher, the primary SENCO if relevant as well as further assessments that we conduct on the Year 6 into 7 day in June and on the Induction Day in September. Students will be placed in the programme from the very start of September and parents will be notified once the children are settled into the group.

The aim of the programme is to ensure that all students thrive and are ready to access the full curriculum independently in Year 8. Some students will spend the whole year in Transition, others will move out and into wider population sooner; when and how this works is tailored to the individual students needs and is managed by our Head of Transition, Mr S Rowan.

Assessment & Monitoring

Providing high-quality feedback to students is integral to effective teaching. Equally, gathering feedback on how well students have learned a topic is important in enabling teachers to address any misunderstanding and provide the right level of challenge in future lessons. At SJB assessment is both formative and summative. Periodically we monitor the students and send home a report to parents; the monitoring provides parents, students and a Head of Year with an overview of how the students are getting on. Below we have answered a few key questions that we hope will help you to better understand the system at SJB.

What is summative assessment?

Summative assessment is an assessment done at the end of a specified period of time. It is to assess a learner’s understanding or attainment. Summative assessment may take the form of a formal test or exam, or it may be an essay or project piece of work. Summative assessment usually involves a ‘score’ or ‘grade’ and potentially a qualification. GCSEs and ‘A’ levels are examples of very final summative assessment. But many end of year, or even end of term, tests are also classed as summative assessment.

What is formative assessment?

Formative assessment takes many forms. It is part of a process of evaluating student understanding and adapting teaching to respond to this. Formative assessment can be very informal. It can be asking specific questions during a class, or observing a partner talk or taking a quick poll during a lesson. Formative assessment can be more formal, though. For example, interviewing a student to assess understanding, listening to them read, marking homework. The element which makes assessment formative is the part when the results are used. This may be to adapt teaching or make decisions regarding support for students.

Is feedback part of formative or summative assessment?

Feedback is a vital part of formative assessment, as well as the teacher adapting their teaching or lesson plans. They may pass on the feedback which allows the learner to adapt their approach. This may aim to encourage them to revise, to offer more support, or to remind them of learning. Summative assessment will often include feedback in the form of a result. It does not usually feed back into the teaching and learning cycle if it is a final exam.

Can summative assessment be used formatively?

Yes. Summative assessment often can be used to inform formative assessment practices. Teachers may use a gap analysis to see which questions the group, or an individual, did particularly well on or where there was a weakness. This will then be used to plan some lessons, or to plan an intervention for an individual or small group. Where summative assessment is used termly, or for the end of a unit/topic, it can improve teaching and learning. Where this happens, this can be called a formative assessment process as well as summative.


For each year group there will be at least two points in the year when we send home a formal monitoring report for your child. When completing the monitoring teachers are asked to judge a students behaviour, homework, skills for learning and their progress towards a target/expectation. Below is a list of the various elements that are contained within your child’s report (not all reports contain all these elements):

Target Grade (KS4 & KS5 only)

This is the grade that your child is aiming to achieve at the end of Year 11 / 13. It is derived using their prior attainment (KS2 or KS4) and the projected national outcomes for each individual subjects. We aim for our target grades to be “realistically aspirational” – in other words, they are aspirational but we truly believe the student can achieve the grade if they work hard.

Current Predicted Grade (KS4 & KS5 only)

This is the grade that we believe they can achieve in if they continue working as they are until the end of Year 11 / 13.

KS3 Progress

At KS3 we monitor progress from one period of monitoring to the next; this is a wholistic teacher judgement based on both formative and summative assessments that have taken place. There are four possible options: Exceptional Progress; Good Progress; Expected Progress; and Less than Expected Progress.

Current Learning Path (KS3 only)

The Current Learning Path is an indicator of where your child is currently working given all they have done so far this year in classwork, homework and summative assessments; it is a holistic picture of their achievements. There are four learning paths: Mastering, Deepening, Secure, Emerging. The current learning path is only shared with parents and students following the year group exams to give an indication of their current trajectory and to support year 9 options choices.

Exam Learning Path (KS3 only)

Exam Learning Pathway shows what your child achieved in their written exam. These exams were low stakes assessments aimed at providing an indication on how well your child is progressing in each subject.

Skills for Learning (all years)

We have broken down the skills required for learning to help the students better understand how their actions can support learning.  The statements are available on the second page of the monitoring report and the image above (click here to download).

Behaviour for Learning (all years)

Behaviour for Learning is graded from 1 (excellent) to 4 (very poor); there will always be follow up from the Head of Year or Curriculum Leader for students with 3s and 4s in their monitoring report. The full descriptors can be found on the second page of the monitoring report and the image above (click here to download).

Homework (all years)

Homework is an important part of the learning process as it helps students to become more independent and build a routine of working outside school. Where subjects are setting homework, it will be reported on using the descriptors on the image above (click here to download).

Easter Liturgy

The Learning Support Department

A broad team of dedicated and hardworking Learning Support Assistants (LSAs), Specialist Staff, Teachers, Administrators & SENCO make up a team of over 20. By far the most extensive department in SJB it supports over 230 children with additional learning needs and disabilities.

Our primary focus is what goes on in the classroom. Throughout SJB, you will find a high number of students being closely supported via LSAs in class, fully included within a mainstream curriculum. The Learning Support department is currently supporting over 450 mainstream lessons per week!

LSAs have regular and continuous coaching to guarantee that the best possible methods are being used to support students. In addition, LSAs will overtly or discretely support a lesson with a range of tactics and methods, ensuring inclusion is paramount. Part of this inclusion is that students will build and learn resilience and independence as they develop up the school, no matter the severity of need.

The school’s Catholic ethos is integral to what we do and no doubt part of the school’s wider success of supporting all students. However, as a department, we go further and pride ourselves on the following values:

  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Sense of Humour
  • Kindness
  • Support
  • Sensitivity
  • Willingness
  • Adaptability
  • Versatility
  • Diplomacy

SEND Provision

SJB is a mainstream secondary school providing students with a curriculum that culminates in GCSEs at the end of Year 11 and GCE A Levels at the end of Year 13.

We are committed to providing for students with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) including those without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). We are also committed to supporting colleagues in school to provide the initial wave of support in the classroom, Quality first teaching (QFT).

SEND Population (Students on the Learning Support Register) 2021/22

EHCP (E)37
SEN Support (K)87
Quality First Teaching (QT)126
Learning Support Register250

The school currently meets the needs of students with and without an EHCP with the following kinds of special educational need:

  • Autistic Spectrum Conditions
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs including ADHD and Anxiety
  • Speech and Language Needs
  • Specific Learning Difficulties relating to literacy or numeracy
  • Visual/Hearing Impairments
  • Sensory and Physical Needs

SJB has a huge wealth of experience working and providing for students with SEND. We run interventions to meet the need of the students proactively.

Below are some of the key provisions we currently offer. Many of these provisions are available to both students with and without an EHCP.

Before School Club

8.00am – 8.50am Learning Support Department opens first thing for students to have a good calm start to the day. Monitored by a small team of LSAs, students can study and complete homework. This is a great time for many of the students to organise themselves and prepare for the day ahead.

Breaktime Support

10.55am- 11.15am Learning Support offers a safe and calm environment for those who find the playground and canteen overwhelming. At break time students can interact inside, have a snack, play games and chat. As we want students to engage with each other openly during this time, we ask students not to use their iPad over the break.

Lunchtime Support

Learning Support offers a safe calm and supported environment for students who find the canteen overwhelming. At lunchtime, they can eat their packed lunch in Learning Support if they wish. As we want students to engage with each other during this time, we ask them not to use their iPad over lunchtime. Learning Support Assistants are on hand to offer support socially to help set up games, activities as well as having a good chat with anyone who needs it.

Homework Club

15.25pm – 16:30pm Homework club runs every day in The Hub. Supported by a large group of LSAs, it is an environment where students can feel supported in making a good start with their Homework. This club is open to all students not only those with special educational needs.

SEND Mentoring System

Every student with an EHCP (E) or on the Learning Support register as SEN Support (K) will have a Learning Mentor or Key LSA. The Learning Mentor / Key LSA is the students “go-to person”, they will also hold the administrative and communication responsibilities to gather and pass on feedback to relevant people. Effective mentoring can really be the glue that holds all the support together. Overseeing the students’ progress for a minimum of a year some mentors could oversee a student for up to 3 years. The mentor will create the ‘Student Passport’ and ‘SEND Learning Plan’.

Transition Programme (Year 7)

Transition is available to all Year 7 students not just those with special educational needs. It operates a much smaller class size of around 15 – 18 students. These are students who are most in need of support. They are provided with a calm, constant and nurturing environment on their transition to secondary school. Core subjects – Maths, English, RE, Geography and History are taught by one specialist teacher in the same classroom. Science, MFL, Computing, Drama, Music and Art are taught by subject specialist teachers in specialist rooms. For Design Technology, Food and Physical Education the students are taught amongst the rest of Year 7.

Removing the anxiety of multiple teachers, rooms and environments significantly aids the learning and settling in process. It also provides to opportunity for additional literacy and numeracy support where needed. Specific SEND support can also be deployed in the same environment making it more effective.

The students become quickly familiar with the expectations of the school, whilst being able to receive the best possible support from their teachers and the Learning Support department, whilst accessing the full curriculum in an inclusive environment. Overall having a better transition into mainstream secondary education. The school determines who will be placed in the transition programme each year based on the needs of the cohort; placement is not based solely on SEND needs.

Emotional Literacy Support Sessions (ELSA)

Carried out by trained and skilled Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs). These sessions are considered early intervention for emotional thinking and understanding. There is a variety of reasons why a student is referred to this support such as family issues, sickness or separation as well as school-related anxieties and concerns, however it is not always obvious.

We run a variety of different programmes to suit the varying needs of our students. The sessions all run once a week for 4-6 weeks and are either small group or one-to-one depending on the programme and the needs of the individuals. These include:

  • Social Skills – The sessions focus on age-appropriate aspects of social skills regarding the thinking and understanding of how we communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. For many students especially those on the Autistic Spectrum, it is not automatic, and we need to provide a long-term understanding of our ability to understand why effective communication is so important.
  • Friendships and Relationships Skills – In this small group programme the students gain a better understanding of healthy friendships and relationships and explore different challenges that they may face. It also provides opportunity to for the students to build friendships within the group.
  • Building Self-esteem – These sessions will deliver an opportunity to reflect and build on the students’ self-esteem with a variety of practical activities.
  • Dealing with Low Level Anxiety – These sessions teach the students what anxiety is and provide them with the tools to work through it.

The impact of these programmes is reviewed by the ELSAs at 4-6 weeks and may be extended.

BEAT Sessions

Overseen and created by an Educational Psychologist, this 6-week workshop is delivered by an ELSA to a small group of Year 11, 12 and 13 students who might become anxious about exams. Students who access the group will have greater understanding and will be able to use strategies to help reduce anxieties with exams.

Lexia Power Up Literacy Programme

Lexia PowerUp Literacy is a computer-based programme that adapts instruction to the specific needs of adolescent learners. The activities in PowerUp support and build on English language focusing on developing reading skills in three areas: word study, grammar, and comprehension.

PowerUp uses a structured and systematic approach to filling in skill gaps for adolescent learners. The programme is broken up into three main skill areas since students may have different needs in each:

  • Word Study – Students develop reading accuracy and fluency by focusing on sound and syllable patterns in words.
  • Grammar – Students learn how written language works in order to improve their writing and reading comprehension. They learn how parts of speech function in sentences and how sentence parts convey meaning.
  • Comprehension – Students learn skills & strategies to become independent and strategic readers. Passages include original and authentic texts of multiple genres including informational texts, narratives, drama, and poetry.

Thinking Reading Programme

Thinking Reading is a bespoke one-to-one diagnostic literacy intervention programme offered by our highly trained specialists. All students with a reading age more than two years behind their peers will be assessed for their suitability for this programme.

Handwriting Group

Led by one of our experienced and trained Support Staff, this intervention delivers routine exercises in a quiet and calm space in school. It offers daily practice with fine motor & gross motor skills using a variety of every day and specific items. Students often find this time relaxing as well as an opportunity to have a chat before school. It can be delivered as a group or one-to-one.

Pathway 2

Pathway 2 is an invite-only alternative curriculum at KS4. Considerable time and care is invested into identifying those students who might benefit from this pathway prior to the Year 9 options process. Identified students and their parents are invited into school for a Pathway 2 meeting before the Year 9 options process begins and are given the choice as to which pathway model they would prefer to follow.

This provision provides greater flexibility in the school week by reducing the total number of GCSEs/BTECs taken by the student from ten to nine or eight. This allows us to create additional support lessons on their timetable. These lessons, run by specialist teachers, will focus on Maths/numeracy, English/literacy and Science.

This combination of additional support lessons and study outside the classroom compared to the main pathway, allows students greater time to focus on those subjects that they are following GCSE/BTEC examination courses in. The end result of this is that Pathway 2 typically leads to better academic outcomes at the end of KS4 and to a wider range of options and courses Post-16 for those students following it.

In addition, a small number of students in Year 10 are invited to undertake their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award as one of there option subjects.

Functional Skills English (Level 1 and 2)

Each year a very small number of students are disapplied from GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature and instead work towards the Functional Skills English qualification. Those who achieve a pass at Level 1 in Year 10 go on to study for Level 2 in Year 11.

English & Maths Boosters

Bespoke individual packages of English and/or Maths intervention delivered by a subject teachers or subject specific LSAs help students who find it hard to access the content of the GCSE curriculum. The support on offer will cater to the learning needs of the student, pre-teach and gap-fill in all areas of the subject.

Work Skills

Students will be given the opportunity to have some lessons from SJB Career Advisor, then to follow a plan to ensure they are prepared for life after education giving them the opportunity to complete CV writing, work related life skills, communications and finance.

Paired Reading

Peer-led reading intervention for students in Years 7 and 8 allows students to practice their reading skills with trained tutors from Years 10 & 12. This would take place periodically, usually over a single term.

Speech & Language Therapy

Our in-house Speech and Language Therapist provides treatment, support and care for children who have difficulties with communication. Provision is in small groups or one-to-one depending on need.

Learning Support Assistant

The Learning Support Assistant (LSA) works with students with SEND in and out of the classroom. Supporting academically, physically and mentally; the students wellbeing, social development and focus within the classroom are all supported. This could be in the form of gentle and occasional prompts within the lesson to correct focus to being seated next to a student to physically support them access the curriculum and work set by the teacher.

LSAs are much more nomadic than other support staff and will often support a range of students throughout the school, working across multiple classes and years over the week. LSAs at SJB are broadly linked to year groups and to subjects and will work in all types of lessons. It is extremely rare that LSAs work one-to-one with individuals or for individuals to have full-time support during the school day.

Joining SJB with SEND

SJB understands the journey all parents have when deciding their child’s next school. With so many factors and pressures on parents, it is understandable that the process and pathways can become overwhelming particularly at points of transition. However, we want to reassure all parents from the outset that we are here to help. We will guide parents and provide concise and easy to understand information that will help them to make the best and most informed decisions for their child.

If a child currently has an EHCP and is in Year 4 or 5, we recommend that parents book a SEND Tour to see all about the provision at SJB. The tour, lasting for about an hour will consist of all the significant parts of the school and the Learning Support Department. At the end of the tour, parents will get the opportunity to ask any questions relating to what the school does to support all students. Our SEND Tours start at 10.15am and 11.15am – please email if you would like to book onto one.

Whilst much of our work supports those students with an Educational Health & Care Plan (EHCP), we continue to provide support and expertise to those students with any additional needs throughout the school. More information about what we provide for non-EHCP students is on our Learning Support page.

Starting at SJB does not always mean day one of Year 7. Once a child’s place is confirmed, The SJB SEND team will be in touch to arrange the first visit whilst they are in Year 6. All students who need a supported transition will be offered a range of opportunities to get to know us before they start.

Yr 6 into 7 SEND Transition Morning (June)

The first morning will take place largely within the Learning Support Department a week or two before the main Year 6 into 7 Induction Day (see below). After a few introductions we will unpick the schools’ expectations on them as students. The students will then be split into a few groups and then, supported by our team of LSAs, embark on a tour of the school, several fun lesson-based activities and enjoy lunch together. This is an excellent opportunity for the children to get to know key members of the Learning Support Department and some of the other students joining SJB in September.

Yr 6 into 7 SEND Transition Afternoon (June)

The second visit will be to build on their experiences so far with the aim of increasing their independence. It is timed to fall after the main Year 6 into 7 Induction Day. They will spend the afternoon with the team, getting to know each other and the school a little better. This afternoon provides the students with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss concerns that they have in a safe and supportive environment. They will also do several fun activities to check their knowledge and understanding of some of the key information they have been given so far. The afternoon will culminate with a short and informal talk for parents about life at SJB. This also provides an important opportunity for parents to ask any questions regarding what to expect from the school.

Induction Day (July)

Open to all new starters to the school; their first whole day at SJB. The opportunity to start making lifelong friends and getting to know many of their new teachers and support staff who will be working with them for the next few years. This is a fun-packed day anchored around time spent getting to know each other in form groups.

Learning Support Summer Camp – (August)

This opportunity enables new students to ease into their new life at SJB before the school term begins. For 2 – 4 days, support staff and teaching staff will lead on several practical activities in many of our specialist facilities on-site. Previously, we have offered activities in Food, Art, Drama and Physical Education as well as a range of other core curriculum areas.

The advantage to running these taster days at this time is that new students can begin to get comfortable with the school surroundings without the added anxiety of moving around a busy school full of students, as will be the case the following week in the first week of term. The camp will also be offered to a select number of students in Years 8 and 9, who remember the tough transfer to secondary very well, but will also offer their help and support as a buddy.

Tackling sexual harassment amongst young people

It has been widely published that sexual harassment has become ‘normalised’ amongst teenagers within society. Sexual harassment is an example of peer-on-peer abuse. Incidents can include:

Verbal comments or comments made on social media:

  • Sexist name-calling
  • Unwanted or inappropriate sexual comments
  • Rumours about sexual activity

Physical contact:

  • Unwanted touching eg in school, on the bus, walking home, at parties
  • Sexual assault

Being pressured:

  • Feeling pressured to do sexual things they did not want to do
  • Being put under pressure to send sexual images of themselves

Social media incidents:

  • Being sent unwanted sexual pictures
  • Having pictures or nudes that they sent being shared more widely without their knowledge or consent
  • Being photographed or videoed without their knowledge or consent
  • Having pictures or videos taken without their consent circulated on social media

What parents/carers can do?

We ask parents/carers to be aware of these issues and encourage your children to talk to you about any worries. We would also encourage them to report to us these concerns too.

My advice to parents and carers is to create the culture before the crisis. Children have told us they want their mums and dads to create a safe, judgment free space for them to talk about these issues. It’s better to do that before you hit a problem rather than trying to create that mood while you’re dealing with one.

Helpful Links

Digital Parenting

Digital Parenting is a partnership between Parent Zone and Vodafone. The free annual magazine is an online safety guide for families, providing parents and carers with practical information and advice directly from teachers, other parents/carers and online safety experts on a range of subjects.

The latest issue features a number of articles including the topics of:

  • Digital resilience and how to nurture it in children
  • PSHE and it’s role in keeping children safe online
  • Body image and social media
  • Live streaming
  • Cybersecurity: A parent’s guide
  • Spotting harmful sexual behaviour online
  • Age ratings and what they mean
  • Tools and controls

Helpful Links

Staying Safe Online

At SJB we are committed to ensuring that students are safe when using the internet at School. Nonetheless, much of a child’s internet usage occurs outside of school, and we ask parents/carers to be interested, supportive and vigilant to their children’s usage. This page has been designed to give you information that will support you in this role.

What is my child doing online through social networking?

Children and young people go online to connect with friends, and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may:

  • Search for information or content on search engines like Google and Bing
  • Share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube and Whatsapp
  • Use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter
  • Write or reply to messages on forums and message boards
  • Play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles
  • Chat with other people through online games, webcams, social networks and tools like Whatsapp.
  • When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family. There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your child safe online.

What are the risks that my child could face?

Understanding the potential risks and encouraging safe and responsible use of the internet are crucial steps towards ensuring the safety of your child. Depending on the role that your child takes, whether the recipient, participant or actor, there are a number of potential risks.

Keeping your child safe online:
The internet is used every day in almost every home, we all know how useful it can be for research, gaming, keeping in touch with friends and even homework. But, as a parent, do you know what your child is researching, who they are playing games with and who their ‘online friends are.

A few tips to help keep them safe are:

  • Ensure you know who they are speaking to.
  • Do they know all their friends ‘online’ or are they “friends of friends”?
  • Do they have internet access all night in their bedrooms – do they need it?
  • Emphasise the danger of meeting someone they have only spoken to ‘online’.
  • Cyber-bullying is increasing – it is easier to type/text nasty things than say them face-to face.
  • Know how to report incidents and block unwanted contacts.

Parents and carers play a key role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. We know it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so we hope that the following advice helps.

  • Have ongoing conversations with your children about staying safe online
  • Carry out spot checks on the devices that your children use, looking at images, videos, and social media
  • Use safety tools on social networks and other online services.
  • Use parental controls on your home internet
  • Understand devices and the parental control tools they offer. A useful guide can be found on the UK Safer Internet Centre’s website.

Helpful Links