Frequently Asked Questions
Is it difficult in the first few weeks?
There will be some differences between primary and secondary school when you first move up, however you shouldn’t worry. You will quickly learn your way around and your new class will have a tour of the academy and a ‘getting to know you’ session before you start your secondary academic journey. Remember, everyone is in the same position and you will all have questions that you want to ask.
Who will look after me?
We have a large pastoral support team who will support you throughout your journey at Malcolm Arnold Academy.
You will find the Head of Year, office in the Learning Recovery Unit (LRU). They will be at the Main Student Entrance every day and is always easy to find!
Mrs Purse and Mrs Hull, are your Assistant Heads of Year- you will find them in the same office as your Head of Year. They do not teach and are available all day if you need support.
Your form tutor will be the member of staff at Malcolm Arnold Academy that you will see every day. They will monitor your attendance and academic progress and will be your first point of contact if you have any concerns that you would like help with.
How many students will be in my class?
Your tutor group will have a maximum of 32 students, with 240 students in Year 7. Your subject classes will vary and usually range between 25-30 students per class.
What subjects will I study?
At Malcolm Arnold Academy in Year 7 you will have the opportunity to study lots of different subjects and possibly take part in some that you have not experienced at your primary school. Your lessons will include:
- History, Geography, Religion, Ethics and Philosophy
- Art, Technology, Drama and Music
- Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
- Physical Education (PE)
How long are lessons?
Lessons are 1 hour long and you have 5 lessons a day.
See example timetable to see how the day works.
Do we have to change classrooms?
Yes you do, you will move around the Academy to different subject areas
What House will I be in?
We have four houses at Malcolm Arnold Academy:
Attenborough, Murray, Rowling and Pankhurst
Each year group has two tutor groups one from A Side one from B Side who are in each house. Throughout the year you will have a number of house tournaments that will allow you to collect house points that will be added to the house competition table.
Will I be able to take part in after school clubs?
We have an extensive enrichment programme at Malcolm Arnold Academy that all students can attend. The clubs run before and after school and you are able to give anything a try. Some of the clubs include: Football, Netball, Dance, Art, ICT, STEM and Music.
How will I make new friends?
You will be able to make new friends easily at Malcolm Arnold Academy. Your tutor will spend time with you, introducing you to your new tutor group. We always try to put you in a class with at least two students from your Primary school. If you are not with your very best friend in your tutor group, you will have lots of opportunities throughout the day to catch up with them, so don’t worry. The Enrichment programme is also a great way to meet new people and it will allow you to meet people to whom you will share an interest with.
Where will I buy my uniform from?
Our main Uniform supplier is Stevensons Uniform Supplier.
You can find all of the information about purchasing uniform at https://www.stevensons.co.uk. Please see the uniform checklist to help you.
All items are available on the online shop.
NB: Please contact the school office (01604 778000) or use the transition email
MAA-Transition@malcolmarnoldacademy.co.uk if you have any concerns about uniform.
Can I use a mobile phone?
We understand that many of you will be commuting to school on your own for the first time and we want you to feel safe. Whilst you are in the academy, you are not able to use your mobile phones and they must be turned off in your bag. If you need to contact someone during the school day, you will be able to use a phone at Student Services. Parents are also able to get messages to students via Student Services.
If your mobile phone is seen on two separate occasions in school, Parents/Carers will be asked to come and collect it.
Can I wear Trainers?
We only allow polish able, black, leather, school shoes. No logo’s or any sports shoes.
What happens if I am late to class?
In the first few weeks of Secondary School, do not worry if you get lost and are late to a lesson. Teachers understand that the academy is a lot larger than most primary schools and will understand if you are late on the odd occasion. If you are late frequently, you form tutor will discuss with you the reasons why and work to support you in arriving on time. You will receive a tour of the academy and your tutor will discuss the best routes to move around quickly, so you can be sure to arrive on time. If you are late after the first couple of weeks, you will be placed ‘On Call’. ‘On Call’ is based in the LRU.
How much Homework will I get?
Subject homework is set on a schedule and you will receive homework either weekly or fortnightly depending on which subject it is. Other subjects such as Science produce termly booklets and will give you handing in dates. All homework is set on an online platform and you will be given a password at the start of term.
What are Knowledge Organisers?
A Knowledge Organiser is an educational template on either a single or double sided A4 sheet, it contains all the information you will need about the topic you are studying in your subject at one time. It sets out the important, useful and powerful knowledge of a topic. Your Knowledge Organiser must be carried at all times around the academy.
What is your behaviour policy?
At Malcolm Arnold Academy we use a C1, C2, C3 system- C1 is a reminder that you are not following classroom expectations and you need to rectify your behaviour for e.g. not engaging in the class activity, talking to your friends when the teacher has set quiet study. If you do not correct your behaviour and are issued a C2 you are on your last warning and the teacher will not allow your behaviour or lack of engagement to continue. If a C3 is issued you will be placed ‘On Call’ and be asked to go to the ‘On Call’ room in the LRU. Your parents will be contacted and consequences given.
How long is break and lunchtime?
Break time is 20 minutes long and lunchtime is 45 minutes long.
How do I pay for my lunch?
We use a Cashless Catering System at Malcolm Arnold Academy. Students will be able to put money onto their accounts via Parent Pay or the cash machines found in Student Services and the Atrium. We will ask for permission for your biometrics to be taken (a finger print scan) which will allow you to pay for things at the canteen, without handing money over. Trips and other activities can also be paid via Parent Pay.
What equipment do I need to bring on the first day?
You need to make sure you turn up fully prepared for a day of learning at the academy. You will need a pencil case make sure you have a black/blue pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, calculator as a minimum. You will need to bring a packed lunch with you possibly for the first week, we will get your biometrics done as soon as possible. You will not need your PE kit on the first day, if you are timetabled for PE you will have an introductory lesson.
What happens if I am poorly at school?
Let your class teacher know, if you feel unwell at break and lunch find any teacher and they will direct you to Student Services. Depending on how poorly you are, we may see if you can last the day or Student Services will contact parents/carers to collect you. You do not need to contact home, we will do it for you.
Can I ride my bike to school?
Yes, you can, we encourage students to cycle or walk to school, it can get quite busy on Trinity Avenue and in the car park at drop off and pick up time. Please make sure you bring a lock with you to lock your bike up. There are points during the day where the bike sheds are left unlocked and we would hate for your bike to go missing. If you forget your lock, please speak to student services, do not leave your bike unlocked or locked up with a friends. You must not ride your bike on school property, make sure you get off and walk in from the gates.
What happens if I am late?
If you are late and have a valid reason, please bring a note from your Parent/Carer to explain why and sign in at Student Services. If you have no reason for being late, you still need to sign in at Student Services and your Head of Year will come to speak to you about the reason why.
What happens if I need to go on holiday?
We do not authorise holidays during term time, if it is a special occasion, you will need to speak to Mrs Evelyn our Attendance Officer who will talk you through the process.
What happens if I have a medical issue I need to discuss?
We have a designated member of staff Mrs Smith or Miss Potterton, who are responsible for medical concerns including medication at school, their school contacts are:
I get Free School Meals (FSM), will this continue?
If you are entitled to FSM you will be transferred across and your entitlement will continue. If you are unsure, please go to the Northamptonshire County Council Website to access the application form.
I am worried about moving to secondary school, is there anywhere online that I could look to for support?
There are a lot of websites available to support you at this time in your education careers. Here are just a few that you might find useful:
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/learning-disabilities/our-work/employment-education/moving-on-to-secondary-school and https://www.ndcs.org.uk/information-and-support/education-and-learning/secondary-years/preparing-for-the-move-to-secondary-school/
How will I find my way around the school?
We will make sure that you have a tour of the academy and a map you can use to help navigate around the school. We suggest that you stay in groups of two/three to begin with so you are never on your own. If you do get lost remember - just ask!! There are always teachers in the corridors during lesson change over to point you in the right direction and remember all of our students were Year 7’s once - ask a student, they will always help.
What happens if I get bullied?
We have a no tolerance policy to bullying at Malcolm Arnold Academy and take any reported cases very seriously. You must report any concerns to your form tutor, pastoral team or any other member of staff and we will act accordingly to eliminate any such cases.
Special Education Needs