In a Secondary School there are a lot more pupils to worry about than in a Primary School, also as you change classes each period you will meet a lot of different teachers. It is important that you have people who look after you and know you on a one to one basis.
We have in place a support system to help you settle into the school.
Your Class Teacher will see you everyday. Your Class Teacher will mark your attendance, answer any questions you have and collect in absent notes. We try to keep you with the same Class Teacher throughout your school life so you get to know them pretty well. You will also have your Class Teacher one period a week for Lifeskills. Your Class Teacher is the person your parents meet in Years 8 to 10 when they come into school to talk about your reports. This is completed after you and your Class Teacher have discussed your report in detail and looked at your strengths and weaknesses.
Each year group has two year heads, one male who looks after the boys and one female who looks after the girls. Your Year Heads are the leaders of the team. They will look after you during your time at the school. They can offer advice, support for yourself and parents. They are the people you will go to if you are sick or need out early for a day. They are also responsible for the discipline of the year group!
Mentors are students in years 13 and 14 who are studying A level examinations. These pupils have studied at Downshire for 5 years and have decided to come back for another 2 years. Each year 13 and 14 student is given 3 year 8 pupils to look after for the first year. They will meet you on your first day, show you around when you are lost, they will take you out of registration on days you don’t have assembly to check you are happy and complete some activities with you to help you settle into school or they will say hello to you every time you pass them in the corridor, it is always great to know someone further up the school. At Downshire we run a special event in year 8 called the Anti – Bullying Road show. It is lots of fun and your own Mentor takes part and works with you in completing the special activities organised.
These support groups are in place to make pupils time at Downshire a happy one.