Year 6 Transition
Dear New Year 7 Parent / Carer
Please see below the Aston Academy welcome pack.
This pack is aimed at providing you with some further information ahead of your son / daughter starting with us in September.
In this pack you will find:
Communication information – We understand that moving from a small primary school setting to a large Academy can seem daunting when knowing who to communicate with and how you can access information. To support with this, we will share Year Team information and contact details which can be your first communication point and information about the school gateway app that will give you daily feedback throughout your child’s time at Aston.
For further information you can contact the school direct on 0114 2872171 and follow us on
- Twitter: @academyaston
- Facebook: @astonacademy.acet
This page will be open to share news across the academy and keep you up to date with all the events taking place across school.
Term Dates – Enclosed in this pack are term dates including first day of Year 7. We encourage all parents / carers to make appointments and book holidays out of term time to minimise impact of learning time being missed.
Uniform Information – In the pack we share information about the correct uniform required and where it can be purchased from. Further information will be shared on this at our Parents / Carers information evening on Tuesday 27th June.
Free School Meal Information – If you access free school meals please find information about how to access these as you move to the Academy.
Biometric Information – At Aston Academy we operate a cashless system on the tills in the canteen. Biometric data is used in this process and further information included.
General School Information – Finally, we have included some general school information which should help you and your child as you prepare for Academy life in September.
Should you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspects of the pack, please don’t hesitate to contact via firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone on 0114 287 2171.
Attendance & Punctuality
We want all students to thrive at Aston Academy. We know good attendance is vital for students to gain the most from their time at school. We want all students to be in school as much as possible, making the most of learning time.
The vast majority of our students attend regularly, and we would like to thank you for working with us. Most students at Aston Academy have an excellent attendance record, and we will continue to work with you to ensure these standards are maintained.
We will be discussing individual attendance regularly with students and reinforcing the importance of being here. There is a reward system in place to recognise and reward good and improving attendance to show students how much we value this.
The rights of your child and the law
The law states that every child has an entitlement to full-time education and it is the legal responsibility of each parent and carer to make sure their child receives that education. As your child is registered to attend Aston Academy, you have a legal duty to ensure your child attends Aston Academy regularly.
The impact of poor attendance
95% attendance is equivalent to 9 days off each academic year, more than one a half term. This equates to 45 missed lessons. 90% attendance is the equivalent of one day missed every fortnight.
As expected, children who attend school regularly achieve better grades. School is also a protective factor for mental health.
Timings and routines
Please actively ensure that your child arrives on time each morning at 8.30 am. Lessons begin promptly at 8.40 am. Should your child arrive late, after 9.40, they will receive a U code for the morning session which counts as an unauthorised absence.
Genuine illness and exceptional circumstances are the only acceptable reasons for absence. Please see our attendance policy on the website for further information. In all cases of absence, we operate a policy of daily contact. A telephone call indicating the reason for absence is required daily to ensure safeguarding of students. If we do not receive a message, parents/carers will be contacted to establish the reason for any absence. If we are unable to secure a reason for any particular absence, it will be recorded as unauthorised. This will lead to further contact with our Educational Welfare Officer which may include home visits to ensure students are accounted for and safe.
Please ensure medical and dental appointments are made out of academy hours wherever possible. Any taking place in school hours will be unauthorised unless medical evidence is provided and the appointment time was unavoidable.
School holidays during term time will not be authorised. Please see our Leave of Absence policy available on the website. Learning takes place every day of the academic year. There are no periods of time when students will not be affected by an absence. Important work will be missed and this will disadvantage your child.
Under no circumstances should any student leave the academy premises during session times without the permission of their Learning Progress Manager or a senior member of staff. All students should remain on the site during lunchtime.
Please ensure your child attends school if they can. If your child says they feel unwell in a morning, unless the illness is severe, we recommend they attend school as they will often feel better during the day. We have First Aid provision should they continue to feel unwell and need to go home.
There is no need for a child to stay off with either covid-19, unless very unwell, or suspected covid-19. This is in line with government guidance. As such this will be unauthorised.
If your child vomits they can come back to school once vomiting has stopped. There is no need for children to stay off for 48 hours after vomiting has stopped.
We want to continue to work with you and your child to help them achieve their very best. We believe this begins by working together to ensure excellent attendance and punctuality.
Welcome to Aston Academy – An 11-18 school in the ACET trust which sits at the heart of a friendly, hardworking and proud community.
At Aston Academy, we believe that education has the power to transform lives and improve the life chances of our young people.
‘Be Exceptional’ is our vision.
We want to bring this vision to life by raising the bar and adopting a growth mindset, which allows every student to feel empowered through acquiring a passport of skills, experiences and qualifications which allows them to lead successful lives, and have the confidence to compete at a world-class level.
As a parent myself, I fully appreciate the wishes of parents and carers to have happy, healthy children who get the ‘best deal’ in terms of secondary education – expert teaching; academic support; positive discipline; cultural capital; careers education; character education; enrichment opportunities; all underpinned by high quality pastoral support.
At Aston Academy, we are on a journey driving consistently high standards across all areas and demanding the absolute best for our students, our staff and the wider community. Therefore, we have high expectations for student attendance, punctuality, uniform/presentation and conduct – these are the key characteristics for life long success and we value the importance of embedding these positive habits in all our students.
Through our partnership with the local and wider community we aim to support our students in successfully taking their place in society.
All staff in the academy have a responsibility to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children.
‘We look forward to working in partnership with you on this exciting journey ahead’.
All students are placed in a tutor group. Each year group is led by a team which comprises of: -
An Assistant Vice Principal
A Pastoral and Learning Lead
A Learning and Progress Manager
Learning Progress Managers do not have a teaching commitment and are available throughout the academy day to support students, resolving problems and concerns as they arise, as well as supporting and tracking students’ progress.
The role of the Learning Progress Manager is very important and they provide the first point of contact if you need to discuss a learning/pastoral issue regarding your child. Learning Progress Managers can be contacted by emailing email@example.com. We also encourage parents to use the student planner as a method of communicating with staff.
For students to become successful learners there needs to be close co-operation between the academy and home.
Our aim is to treat young people fairly and consistently at all times and to encourage a sense of belonging and community within our academy. We have a pro-active anti-bullying policy and if we become aware of any kind of bullying or deliberate intimidation we will take immediate action to deal with it.
- Attend every day and be punctual - to lessons and form period
- Mutual respect for all - Speak respectfully to all adults and students
- Be kind
- Take responsibility for your behaviour, your attitude to learning and your future – don’t limit yourself!
- Follow all reasonable requests
Behaviour for Learning
You should always attend lessons ready to learn by arriving on time, bringing with you all your equipment, and by showing respect to all other people in your classroom.
You must always give 100%, asking for help and support when you need it.
Make sure you enter the classroom promptly, taking out all your equipment and sitting in the correct place.
Make sure you know what your target is and work hard to achieve this.
High standards of behaviour and achievement are expected from EVERYONE.
Always show consideration towards others. Allow everyone to reach his or her full potential.
Make sure you leave the classroom ready for the next group of learners.
Everyone at Aston Academy has a responsibility to ensure that our corridors and communal areas are a safe and welcoming space.
In order to achieve this we all work together to:
- follow all instructions given.
- be considerate about noise levels on corridors.
- keep corridors safe and not run.
- keep our corridors litter free.
- not use phones and headphones on the way to lessons.
- arrive to lessons on time; in correct uniform and remove coats.
Academy Communication and Parent/Carer Payment System, Schoolcomms and School Gateway
Communication with subject teachers, pastoral staff or leadership
We welcome any questions you may have regarding your child and his/her progress or wellbeing whilst at Aston. Please send your query/question through firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be forwarded to the relevant member of staff.
We operate a system that makes communication between Aston Academy and home quicker and more efficient.
In order to help us to keep in regular contact with you, we use ‘Schoolcomms’. This is a system that enables us to send you key information via text messages and emails. We also email academy letters that are issued and praise and reward items including letters of commendation and certificates.
Schoolcomms allows you to make payments online for lunches, school trips and extra-curricular events that may require a monetary contribution. This means that cash and cheques do not need to be brought into school and payments can be automatically linked to students electronically, saving time for home and school.
In order for this system to be most effective we are asking that you provide us with current mobile telephone numbers and email addresses. Through gathering this information we can ensure that you receive information regularly and timely. Keeping up-to-date records of contact information is crucial in order for this system to be at its most effective, so it is very important that you contact us promptly should any of your contact details change.
School Gateway enables you to make online payments via the School Gateway smartphone app or website. You will also be able to view school meal balances and top them up at any time.
You are notified by text or email when new items such as school trips are available for payment on School Gateway. You will also be able to give online consent, where required, for your child to take part in activities.
School Gateway makes it much easier for parents/carers to pay at any time.
This system will not be available to parents/carers until your child is on roll in September when you will be able to download and activate the app.
For information on activating your School Gateway account please click here
Free School Meals
If your son/daughter was in receipt of free school meals at their primary school you WILL NEED TO SUBMIT ANOTHER APPLICATION TO ROTHERHAM COUNCIL before they join us in September. (please apply at least a month before)
If you live OUT OF THE CATCHMENT AREA and pay your council tax to Sheffield (or any other LA), YOU WILL NEED TO RE-APPLY FOR YOUR FREE MEALS to ROTHERHAM COUNCIL.
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided if not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit - if applied for on or after 1 April 2018 and household income is less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits received)
- Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
A child may also get free school meals if parent gets any of these benefits and is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
A child who is eligible for free school meals, remains eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2025
Infant free school meals in England
A child will be able to get free school meals if they’re in a government-funded school and in:
- Reception class
- Year 1
- Year 2
Parents should tell their local authority if they get any of the qualifying benefits, so their child’s school can get extra funding.