Joining the school in 2019
We are very excited that you will be joining our founding cohort of ‘cygnets’ in September and we can’t wait to meet you! We have collected together some essential information for you as you need to prepare for life at The Swan. Please do feel free to get in touch with the school office if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
The transition from primary to secondary school can be daunting. In some ways it will be an easier process for the first cohort of Swan students, but there will be an element of the unknown about it for children and families.
This is why we are investing a lot of time into making the experience as positive and supported as possible for all concerned. Immediately below you will find details of events that are designed to make that sure this happens.
Kay Wood will be visiting primary schools to meet with students who will be coming to The Swan and their parents in late May/early June. This will be a great chance to ask any specific questions about what it will really be like to be a Swan student in year 1, and to get to know others who will be part of our new community.
We will email you after 8th May to let you know when we will be visiting your primary school. Families joining us from schools with a very small number of pupils joining us are invited to a welcome meeting at Cutteslowe Primary School on Wednesday 22nd May.
Our transition morning will be held on Thursday 11th July at St Catherine’s College, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UJ. Our students will have the chance to meet their new classmates and teachers. They will do some activities in their classes as well as enjoying their first family lunch in the college’s dining hall.
This will be an informal chance for students, parents, and staff to get to know each other better with games for the children and some refreshments for the adults. We have yet to confirm the exact date but please pencil in Tuesday 16th July for now.
- Uniform sizing event on Wednesday 19th June at Cutteslowe Primary School
- Enrollment interviews TBC
Other important information
These have yet to be confirmed but our terms will be slightly shorter than other Oxfordshire schools due to the additional length of our school day – this is in line with what other schools that have a longer day do.
Our holiday dates will be broadly in line with other local secondary schools, however we will add a day or two on to the end of some of our holidays, for example October half term.
We have chosen to organise the year in this way to reduce any additional child-care burden for parents and will consult with parents later in the year to find out if this is the best approach going forward.
In September 2019, the first day for year 7 students will be Monday 9th September. This is to allow sufficient time to welcome and induct new staff so that we can get off to the very best possible start.
|8.15-9.15am||School opens. Breakfast club (including free porridge for all) is available for all students. (Staff meetings and professional development 8.30-9am)
|1.10-1.50pm||Family lunch and break
(Wednesday – electives)
(Monday and Wednesday – electives)
(Tuesday and Thursday – prep/independent study)
*On Friday, school will end earlier. **Most detentions will be held at lunchtime, after students have eaten their family lunch. After-school detentions will only be held for students who have been withdrawn from lessons.
The Swan School will have a uniform to embed our professional learning environment. It also helps to create an ‘even playing field’ amongst our students and reduces the risk of discrimination and bullying. Details of how to buy the uniform will be available shortly.
Our school uniform is designed to be smart, practical, durable, and affordable. All of our uniform must be bought from our uniform supplier, Price and Buckland. We will be holding a sizing event on Wednesday 19th June from 4pm to 7pm at Cutteslowe Primary School when students can be measured for their uniform to make sure you get the right size.
Our curriculum will be rigorously academic and knowledge-rich because we believe that this is the best way for students to gain the qualifications, skills, and confidence they need to achieve more than they ever believed possible. Our curriculum for year 1 will be broad and balanced right from the start, though we have altered the balance of curriculum time in some subject areas to accommodate the facilities that we will have available in our temporary building.
|Subject||Hours per fortnight|
|Art and design*||2|
|Pastoral (tutor time)**||40 Minutes per day|
*Reduced time for the first year given the limited specialist facilities available for core lessons. These hours have been distributed to other curriculum areas, for example music and electives. **This will include assembly, guided reading and a pastoral curriculum on social and personal development.
Interventions and catch-up support will be delivered by teachers and accelerated learning champions (ALCs) who are trained to deliver specific programmes and monitor their impact. Where possible, we will try to ensure that students are not withdrawn from core curriculum lessons for this.
For the first year we will be based in temporary accommodation on Marston Ferry Road, close to The Cherwell School South Site. This will be a two-storey modular building containing four classrooms, a science lab, small group rooms, office spaces, and reception. The refurbished rugby clubhouse next to our temporary buildings will be used as a dining and assembly space. There will also be a secure playground area for students to use at break-times. We plan to move into our brand new buildings in Marston in September 2020. More details can be found here.
The Swan School is committed to making travel to and from school safe, healthy and environmentally sustainable. Marshals will be available at the start and end of the school day to improve safety at the road junctions into the school.
Cycling to school
The Swan is located on the Marston Ferry Cycle Track and is an easy cycle from most parts of the city. We would encourage as many staff and students as possible to cycle to and from school. Why not use this interactive planner to help you plan your route?
Students will be regularly reminded about cycle safety and to show consideration to pedestrians and other cyclists. All students will be strongly urged to wear a helmet and high-visibility clothing, as well as to check that their bike is in good working order, with a working light and bell. The Sustrans Checklist and Sustrans Video are good tools to support with this.
We are keen to help students improve their cycling skills and are always looking into cycle training options. The Think campaign offers information and videos on cycle safety as does Sustrans. Bikeability is a national cycling proficiency scheme and training will be offered through our electives programme.
Summertown Cycles (200–202 Banbury Road), has kindly agreed to provide members of The Swan School community with a discount on selected cycling safety accessories. Details to follow.
Cycle storage for up to 100 bicycles is available in year 1. This is located within the secure line of the school, which will be locked during the school day. Swan students are strongly advised to purchase and use a solid lock and to register their bicycles.
Travelling by car
We strongly discourage dropping students off by car, unless there are exceptional circumstances. In these cases, parents must apply to the school for a permit to drive into school. We recognise that some students have no alternative but to come by car, but many others may do so because of lack of information about, or lack of confidence in, the available alternatives.
School driveways or car parks must not be used under any circumstances during the school day. If, on occasion, it is absolutely essential to drop off or collect your child by car, we urge you to use the Ferry Leisure Centre car park and walk the short distance to school.
We are keen to promote the alternatives and to help students choose more sustainable forms of transport.
Travelling by bus
The timetables of buses serving The Swan School can be found on the local bus company websites: Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach. The Key Card is a pre-paid travel card that can be topped up at any time and can be cancelled and replaced if it is lost, stolen or damaged. Go to one of the Oxford Bus Company’s travel shops (at 89 Gloucester Green or 44–45 High Street) or go online.
We liaise regularly with providers of bus services. If students are experiencing difficulties with bus timetables/routes, do get in touch.