Transition to Secondary School
Guidance Document from LBHF for Parents of children in Year 5 & Year 6.
Moving from primary school to secondary school is an exciting time of life, but for many children it can also be a daunting and a worrying prospect.
A new, much bigger school can offer greater independence, such as travelling to school alone, being given their first smart phone, and a world of other opportunities.
However, it also means new teachers, new subjects and potentially a whole new set of friends.
Below are some websites and videos that you and your child can look at and discuss, how they will prepare for their transition to their new secondary school.
Transition in Hammersmith and Fulham
As the Summer holiday approaches, many Year 5 parents ( and their children) are starting to think about their last academic year in school and what the next school will be?
The window for secondary school transition applications and visits, is from; 1st September 2022 to 31st October 2022
Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) admissions site will have all the relevant information, for the parent/carer and child to look at regarding secondary transfer to secondary schools in LBHF.
The admissions team produce two booklets for you to download, with lots of useful information.
Book one: “Moving on Up”.
This brochure gives you a snap shot of all the secondary schools in LBHF, including Independent schools.
It will give you information if the school offer a specialism, (such as Sport, music etc), it will inform you of how many people applied to that school last year, how many places are available in year 7, if the school is mixed or not. If it is a faith school and if it had a post code boundary.
The brochure will offer you lots of helpful information about LBHF schools, so that you can narrow down your choices and then visit their websites, for more of an in-depth look at the school(s) you have chosen.
If you are interested in any other secondary schools out of the borough, then you must go to that borough’s admissions site and download their information brochure on their secondary schools.
The brochure will walk you through how to complete the CAF (Common Application Form) for your secondary school choices and guide you through what information you might need to add if you are applying for a faith school or want to add additional information, with your application.
Book 2: “Hints and Tip”
This little booklet will give you all the dates of school open mornings, afternoon and evenings (subject to Covid protocols).
If schools are not allowing visits, then the booklet will inform you of virtual tours and how to book on to Zoom /Team events with the school Senior Leadership Team, who will give you more information about the school. There will also be a Q/A session.
The booklet will who give you tips of what to look for in a school, what sort of questions to ask and guide you to the CAF application website, to complete the secondary school application.
Below is the link to the LBHF admissions information site.
Most Primary schools will invite an external secondary school transition coordinator, to come and speak to Year 5 & 6 Parents about the secondary school process, the do’s and don’ts and where to find out information about the schools, you may be interested in. This person is impartial and is only there to give you as much information, as possible on secondary schools in LBHF. The transition coordinator usually comes into the school, in September 2022.
All schools will give you plenty of notice, so you can put it in your diary. Due to Covid, most of these secondary transition sessions are now done online. However, it is up to the individual school, how they organise their sessions.
There is a lot of choice in LBHF, regarding secondary schools. You can choose, Single Sex schools, Faith schools, co - educational schools, Academies, Free Schools, Ark Schools, Independent schools and Special Schools (SEND)
Some mainstream schools will have Special schools, integrated into their school.
All secondary schools will have specialised staff (SENCO’s) to support any children who have additional needs.
Please read and be clear on each school’s admission criteria. They will be different from each other.
- Faith schools will ask the Parent/Carer proof of your commitment to the faith. (a certificate of catholic practice, or a letter from the place your worship, and a baptism certificate of the child, sometimes the school will want to see the Parent /Care’s baptism certificate).
- Academies and Free schools set their own admission criteria, which could include things like, distance from the school to the child’s house, a none sibling policy, an aptitude place, children of staff at the school, Governor’s children, some academies / Free school do not consider specific medical needs or social needs of a child.
- Some schools have a very small catchment area, from which you can apply, that is the area from your house /flat to the front door of the school. Hammersmith Academy, Holland Park, Fulham Boys School and Lady Margaret’s to name but a few. You must live within their catchment area. This information will be the “Moving on up” booklet and on school websites.
- Every Local Authority will produce a secondary school handbook, to give information on secondary schools in their borough, where you will find out all the information you need, to choose the right secondary school for your child. E.g. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have their own, as does Westminster Council and so on. LBHF brochure is called “Moving on Up”
- Some Secondary schools will offer “Aptitude” places. These aptitude places are specialist places in particular subjects, such as Music, Drama, Sport, Art, Computers and so on.
- If your child has any skills / talent in the aptitude places on offer, please apply for them, as it gives you an opportunity to apply twice, under different criteria rules. You will know the outcome of the aptitude place, before the deadline for submitting the CAF, 31st October, therefore giving you the opportunity to rethink your choice about this school, if your child was not going to be considered for an aptitude place.
- More will be explained in the transition meeting, that your Primary school will invite you too in September 2022.
- Some Secondary schools will require you child to sit a banding test usually in November 2021, if you apply for a place in that school. The tests are usually after you have submitted the CAF application form. The banding tests are to ensure that the schools take equal amounts of children from 3-4-5 ability bands, and they have a true academic representation of children across the borough.
- The banding tests are Verbal reasoning and none verbal reasoning tests. These tests can be purchased (so that you can familiarise your child, with what these tests look like), from Waterstone, Amazon, on line, WH Smiths and in Foyles.
- If you apply for a school with a banding test, then your child MUST attend the test, otherwise your child will be removed from the application process for that school.
You must read each secondary school’s admissions criteria very carefully, to ensure your child fits the criteria that the school is looking for.
- Independent schools (where parents pay fees for their children to attend) will have their own admissions criteria and application process. You will apply for an independent school through the school and not put it on the Pan London CAF application form.
- Independent schools offer bursaries. Bursaries will help parents pay for the school fees. They can range from a small bursaries, large bursaries to the full amount. Each school is different and each year they are looking for different specialisms from children, to enhance their school. All this information will be on the school websites for you to research. Independent schools will require your child to sit an exam or a set of exams ( such as Maths, English, verbal reasoning writing and so on). You can apply to as many Independent school you want to.
- Please remember many of them charge an administration fee of £100.00 plus to be entered into the exams. If you are from a low income household,(they will ask for proof) this fee will often be wavered.
- It is recommended that you start looking at Independent schools in Year 5 and please talk to your child’s class teacher about their academic ability for an independent school place. More information of local independent schools in LBHF, will be in the back of the “Moving on Up” secondary school brochure.
- We recommend that Parents / Carers apply for 6 secondary school places, in order of their first to last preference. You can nominate secondary schools in different boroughs, as long as your child meets the school’s admissions criteria. If you do not use all your six choices, and you do not meet the admissions criteria of the schools you put down. Then you are more likely to be offered a school, that you did not put down, where your child does meet the admissions criteria, but you did not necessarily want your child to go to that school.
- How places are allocated will be explained in the transition meeting held at the school in September 2022.
All websites for the secondary schools in LBHF will be found in the “Moving on Up” booklet.
The new brochure, “Moving on up” is usually available at the end of August 2022/ 1st week in September 2023. This brochure is only downloadable.
The “Hints and Tips” booklet will be available by the end of the summer term.
This booklet will give you some information of what to look for in secondary schools, what sort of questions to ask and it will give you all the dates of open mornings / afternoon and evenings, that you and your child can visit the secondary school and have a tour, (Depending on Covid Guidelines at the time).
This booklet is only downloadable and is in five languages. English, Spanish, Arabic, Polish and Somali.
Information and links on Secondary Transition in LBHF.
Distance cut-off maps for Secondary Schools LBHF
Where relevant, distance cut-off maps are available.
The CAF Application link is: Home | eAdmissions
Important Points to Remember!
You are encouraged to choose six secondary schools to put on the CAF
(Common Application Form)