Getting off to the right start: transition days help incoming pupils find their feet

Getting off to the right start: transition days help incoming pupils find their feet

Existing pupils and staff gave the incoming cohort of boys for September 2019 the warmest of welcomes as part of QE’s programme to facilitate the transition to senior school.

The new boys were afforded the opportunity to meet some of their future peers, to get to know their form tutors and to gain an insight into the practicalities of the School day – but also to learn just how exciting life as a young Elizabethan can be.

The boys and their parents, who are all considered to be joining the QE family, were welcomed by Headmaster Neil Enright. He congratulated the boys on their very considerable achievement in winning a place in the face of formidable competition: the School last year had more applicants than ever before.

“We are aware that this transition to secondary school is a milestone which is a substantial change and can present challenges,” said Mr Enright. “We recognise the importance of a well-planned programme of support and guidance, and are confident that this cohort of boys will be very successful and will make a strong contribution to the School throughout their time here.”

Three current Year 7 boys were part of the welcoming team and all made short speeches to the newcomers to reassure them about the QE experience and to introduce the Houses that form an important part of life at the School.

Broughton House’s Saim Khan greeted the visitors by saying: “Last year we were sitting exactly where you are now!” He recalled being excited, but also nervous. “I have made lots of new friends; there are House competitions which help each form become good teams. I was the first student in this year’s Year 7 to reach 100 merits and was awarded this silver badge I am wearing today,” he said.

The support offered for homework was the theme of the address given by Haris Shahid from Pearce House. “It took me a little while to get used to the homework, but the teachers here give lots of help and there are clinics in every subject. I’ve found the work really rewarding, as you have the chance to gain merits.” Among Haris’s achievements was taking first place in the Year 7 Photography Competition.

Andreas Angelopoulos, who is in Leicester House, talked about the extra-curricular activities on offer. “I was really pleased to be selected for the School’s chess team and am hoping to qualify for the English national team. I also play water polo, am learning clarinet and I am in the School’s concert band.” He said that whether the new boys were musical or sporting, there were many opportunities to make new friends while doing an activity they liked.

The incoming boys also heard from the current School Captain, Year 12’s Bhiramah Rammanohar, who urged them: “Above all else, get stuck in across all areas of School life!”

The visiting boys were then split into their form groups and met their tutors and senior prefects from their Houses. They enjoyed a tour of QE’s facilities and took part in some ‘ice-breakers’ to help them begin to get to know each other. The tours were led by prefects, who offered helpful advice and answered questions about life at the School.

Meanwhile, parents listened to presentations from: David Ryan, who will be Deputy Head, Pastoral, in September; Tom Harrison, who will be Head of Year 7, and Emi Aghdiran, who will be Deputy Head, Operations. The Headmaster rounded off the session: “We believe our School offers an experience like no other state school. It is very important, even before they arrive as pupils, that our boys feel part of this community and are alive to the many opportunities they will encounter here.”

Mr Enright went on to talk about the centrality of the support that parents give the School through the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s (FQE), in terms of achieving QE’s ambitious development plans.

The boys, parents, prefects and staff then came together to chat informally over coffee and soft drinks. Also in the diary for the new families before the start of term in September are uniform fittings, as well as bowling evening socials, organised by FQE.

  • For pupils who may be interested in joining the School in September 2020, there is an Open Evening on Thursday 4th July, starting at 3pm, with the last entry at 7.30pm.