The Governing Body is responsible for all admissions to the school with a statutory agreed number of 220 for first year admissions each year. Parents should normally apply for admission of their child to Year 7 in the Autumn Term of their child’s last year in primary education.
The Local Authority distributes a booklet and preference form to all parents through the primary schools. The instructions in that booklet should be followed and the closing date adhered to. Parents living outside the Durham boundary should contact the school directly and should check with the Local Authority to ascertain the closing date. Please note that early application does not result in preferential treatment.
Admission criteria documents are available from the school or Durham County Council.
In year transfers
If you wish to transfer your child from one secondary school to another secondary school, within County Durham you need to contact Durham County Council Admissions Department school firstname.lastname@example.org and request a secondary school transfer form. It is important that all sections are complete, including the section by the parent explaining the full reason for the transfer and also the section by the current school. Completed forms should be returned to the admissions team and they will contact you to inform you of whether there is a place available at your preferred school. You may need to go onto a waiting list until a space is made available. If a space is available, you will be contacted by the school to arrange a visit and an initial meeting to make sure that the school is the correct choice for your child.
Changing school during the academic year is not a decision to be taken lightly. If a child is transferring to/from another school in County Durham then a transfer meeting will be organised, which will include representatives from both secondary schools, parents/carers and a member of the Local Authority. This is to ensure that a school transfer is in the best interest of the child and to also ensure that the transfer is smooth and successful.
Year 6 to 7 transition
The move from primary to secondary school is a big step and parents frequently worry that their child will be lost and overlooked in a new, large and unfamiliar establishment. As soon as your child has been allocated a place at Woodham Academy, we do everything possible to ensure that they are known and cared for as an individual and that their transfer to the school is smooth and free from problems.
We have close relationships with our partner primary schools and before children come to us, their Year 6 teachers will provide us with information about their progress and individual needs. If your child has special needs, our Special Needs Coordinator will visit the primary school and talk to your child’s teacher. We are aware that some students may find the transition to secondary school difficult and will require additional visits to Woodham, prior to them starting with us. In these cases, additional days and activities are planned, following consultation with primary teachers and other agencies.
At Woodham Academy we have a strong Year 7 team including a Head of Learning, a Behaviour Worker and a Welfare Worker. These members of staff will visit the primary schools and will get to know your child as much as possible prior to them starting with us.
Students will be placed in a mixed ability tutor group. We aim to place every child in a group where they will already know some children from the same primary school but where they will also have the opportunity to make new friends. Our Year 7 tutors are specially trained in primary transition and are responsible for Year 7 each year.
At the end of June, all of the incoming Year 7 students will have the opportunity to spend a day at Woodham Academy where they will meet their tutor and will have lessons with their tutor group. This day allays children’s anxieties and means that, by the time they start in September, they already know some staff and students. In addition, Woodham hosts a Summer School for Year 6 students, which is usually held the last week in August. This provides another opportunity for students to get to find their way around the school and make new friends, prior to the term starting.