The Lower School is made up of years 7 and 8. Joining year 7 can be a daunting experience and we aim to make the transition as welcoming and easy as possible. Pupils come to City from a wide variety of schools, often being the only child to come from their primary school, so we are very experienced at helping pupils get to know each other! We have a full induction programme to ensure all pupils settle in well, including coming into school for a day before the older year groups and a day of team building activities in early September. In year 7, pupils are put into House forms, which are roughly based on location. This helps pupils get to know other children who live near them and also encourages integration across the years at wider House events. Pupils in year 7 are also linked with a year 8 ‘big sister’, who will write to them before they arrive and who is another source of support in the first year.
In year 8, the form groups are mixed up. This gives pupils the opportunity to build relationships with a greater number of their peers to ensure a truly integrated year group. It also helps pupils develop confidence in making new friends, an essential life skill and one we are keen for all the pupils to gain.
There are regular lower school assemblies on key topics such as kindness and bystanding, run by staff and sixth formers, which help foster the supportive and inclusive environment we are so proud of here at City. The lower school PSHCE curriculum also complements the hard work done in form time and assemblies, with its focus on some of the key challenges faced in the lower school.
There is a very strong pastoral support network at City, comprising form tutors and deputy form tutors, sixth form prefects, heads of year and heads of section. This is in addition to the support offered by the Study Centre, the school nurse and the school counsellors. Parents and pupils are encouraged to bring any concerns they may have, academic or pastoral, to the lower school team, so that we can work together to ensure the happiness of each individual pupil.