Name: Whitney Young-Beke
Role: Head of Year 7
Length of time at the school: 4 years
What does your role as Head of Year 7 involve?
My role as a Head of Year involves managing the logistics of the whole year. Checking and monitoring their progress, behaviour and their social interactions. This also involves liaising with parents, setting up interventions/ workshops for students and deal with a plethora of advanced needs of many students.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy celebrating wins with the students. It is nice to have a team, sticking together is important. I enjoy getting to know the students and establishing those relationships. I enjoy seeing the students in their elements in various different classes.
What kind of activities do you offer as part of the transition programme?
- Induction day, icebreakers, alphabet game
- Summer School - working in groups, presentations, raffles for prizes
- Summer homework booklet
Can you share some positive feedback you've had on the transition programme?
The Summer School was a great success. It allowed many of our anxious students to come in, warm up to their new environment and make friends.
Many of these students have come in to school this September with less anxiety and are assimilating into DGS very well.
The transition programme has also made the students quite familiar with the school. I rarely have to tell any student where they are meant to be! They also had an Induction day.
Many of our students have had some prior experience of the school, which has greatly helped the year to be at their best in the first half-term.
What kind of measures to you take to ensure that all Year 7s settle in once they start at Deptford Green?
We constantly check in on students. There will always be some who do struggle with transitioning. We may buddy them up with someone in their class, ensure there are no other immediate concerns affecting them and regularly check in with the students about how they are getting on.
Students are aware of the main members of staff they can go and speak to whenever there is a problem.
What common worries do you see / hear from new Year 7s?
The most common worries we experience are:
- Anxiety around big buildings
- Worries around the older students
- Timetables- not understanding them
- So many teachers- drastic difference from primary school
However - we find that students tend to settle really quickly and confidentially find they way around the building after the first couple of days.
The transition stage can actually be really enjoyable - especially when it is strategically planned and implemented as it is here at Deptford Green!