Newcastle City Council operates the admissions procedure for applying to Walbottle. You can find out more about how to apply by visiting http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/school-admissions
To apply for Walbottle as your School of First Choice please register with the School Admissions Online service.
Tel 0191 267 8221
We are really keen to share with you the many reasons why we believe we are the School of First Choice in Newcastle. You will have many concerns and through consultation with our current Year 7 parents we have created these pages to try and allay some of the anxieties and hopefully answer some frequently asked questions.
If you have anything you feel is missing please use the email address at the bottom to ask your question and we will post your response as soon as we can.Our most recent Ofsted report
Below you will find the most popular questions asked by parents and students on our tour of local schools. However, if you have any further questions then feel free to email Mrs S Moody in regards to any further queries on transition firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also get in touch if you would like to arrange a visit either throughout the school day or after school. We will be happy to show you around and present our fantastic students.
We attract students from over 30 local primary schools but the majority come from 10 schools in the outer west of Newcastle. Students at Walbottle primary feeder schools will take part in a range of activities from Year 3 upwards at a range of venues. In the past twelve months we have had students at Discovery Museum science days, Great North Museum Outer Space sessions and Egyptian History days. We have a rising stars programme hosting Gifted and Talented students from across the outer west primaries, in subjects such as ICT, Modern Foreign Languages and Maths. Students in Year 3 have completed the CSI Murder investigation in the science department and other subject areas arrange links with primary schools. This year we are also working to create a Year 3 transition programme delivering Food Technology and Sports teaching to over one hundred students.
Our Open Evening had over 700 people in attendance and both parents and students were able to see department areas in more detail and quiz the staff about the things pupils are likely to see and be doing once they get here. Students also have the chance to take part in activities and see demonstrations in all kinds of subjects including Animal Care, Engineering, Chemistry, Performing Arts and many more.
Once you have decided to come and have been accepted we have a three day transition programme in the summer for all Year 7 students from all of our primary schools; this is when you will hopefully be introduced to your Progress Tutor and meet your class mates. This year we had a fun run, classroom sessions in PE and Science as well as the chance for students to make and star in their own backwards videos!
Finally, prior to the transition days, you will be invited up as a family to meet a member of the Senior Leadership Team to have a one to one discussion about what to expect in September 2017. You will have the chance to share any concerns, highlight strengths and areas for development as well as determine how the school can best support your son or daughter. As part of this evening we ask students and families to identify who they would like to be with in their form class.
Teaching for all subjects except Mathematics is done in mixed ability groups. Research shows that the best schools build on the excellent work done in primary schools and have mixed ability teaching; this system is a way of ensuring the best progress for most students. In Mathematics, students are taught in mixed ability groups for the first half term before being streamed. These streamed groups operate for the rest of the academic year.
Once students reach Year 9 they are streamed for Maths and English to ensure that they have the best possible preparation for exams. In Year 10 in core subjects and in options subjects, students will be taught in mixed ability groups.
We are constantly looking to evaluate our practice and improve as a school. One of the ways we do this is by looking at other schools in a similar demographic position to ourselves and see how the experience of students in these classes is different. We have looked at a number of schools including Emmanuel College, George Stephenson and others that have flourished and achieved GOOD and then OUTSTANDING judgements by Ofsted. These schools operate a mixed ability curriculum.
As the intake from local primary schools has increased there has been a notable change in the quality of student data. Increasingly we are seeing more and more students joining us with Level 5 grades in all three Key Stage 2 areas. There has been increasing pressure from parents for their child to be included in the top band in previous years; it was proving difficult to maintain our previous pathways because students placed in the middle band had data at a similar level to students in the top band. For example,
We have regular data collections for all year groups where staff indicate the progress of the students they teach. As part of this we concentrate on two particular grades. Staff are asked to enter the Predicted Final Grade (or level) that the student will achieve based on current performance and the Currently Working At Grade.
After each data collection the Progress Managers for each year group will scrutinise data and work out which students are off track and not likely to achieve their predicted outcomes. Intervention can then be targeted towards students at the greatest risk of underachieving.
Progress for individual students will be monitored and parents will receive data collection updates to let them know how the student is performing in lessons. If there are concerns over progress you will be contracted by a member of the pastoral team or your student’s progress tutor. Equally, if you have concerns we would encourage you to get in touch to see how we can support further development.
See the timings of the school day here.
Your lessons will be all over the school building and you will travel between classrooms to get to your next teacher and lesson.
You will have a number of teachers and subjects across each day.
You will have 4 lessons per day and you will get a different teacher for each subject. The day is one lesson then break, two lessons then lunch and then one lesson in the afternoon (except for Wednesdays where there are only three lessons and a 2:15pm finish for students).
Your will be asked to give us a name of a couple of friends in your primary school and we will do our best to make sure that you are in the same form class. This means you will see them every morning in registration before you go to your lessons. We also work with Primary teachers to get the best mix we possibly can.
We have changed the way we register and organise students into groups during registration. This means students are placed into a group of 12 students from Year 8 through to Year 11. We have done this for a number of reasons.
Firstly, we are passionate that we maintain the best possible communication with parents and the expectation is that over a 10 – 15 day period the tutor will contact every parent in their 12. This means that you are better informed and up to date with any concerns or events that are coming up. You will receive an email or telephone update depending on which suits you best.
Additionally, it also means we have a much closer understanding of the progress that students are making. Working with fewer students makes it easier for tutors to see where we need to push a little harder and when students may need some extra care and attention. Our motto for Tutor 12 is "no child left unseen".
Although your form class will have at least one person you know in, lessons are taught in mixed ability groups for all lessons except Maths. This means you could have a number of people from your primary school or perhaps none at all. You will most likely however have someone from your form class in each of your lessons.
Most of our students get a bus to and from school, however, an increasing number cycle to school. Buses travel from all areas of the catchment for the school and are exclusively for students. Public buses also operate from outside the school gates and a number of students use these buses. Bus timetables are available on the main school website and details will be sent out to you over the summer holidays as well.
You can have a hot meal or cold meal every day and the school cafe is open for breakfast and break times every day.
School meals are very popular and the vast majority of students have a hot or cold meal every day. We operate a biometric fingerprint system to reduce the need for students to carry cash and to reduce waiting time at the till. This means a swipe of the finger is all that is needed to get your lunch. Students can bring cash in with them or parents can top up their balance online using our TUCASI system via the school website. View a guide on Tucasi here.
A number of students also bring a packed lunch and each year group has their own social space in the building where they can sit comfortably to eat.
At break and lunchtime, Year 7 will be on the yard with other Key Stage 3 students. The main yard at the front (south side) of the building is for the use of younger students only. Food is also served in the social areas for younger students and you can get a bacon sandwich or a biscuit and a drink each day if you like.
We operate mixed ability so that class sizes remain similar whichever group your child ends up in. This means that for most students the average class size is approximately 26. Our special curriculum classes have smaller class sizes of around 10-12 per group.
Our Inclusion Department is a real strength of the school and we have very focused care and attention for students with Special Educational Needs. If your child has a particular need that we should know about, you should contact the Primary School teacher in the first instance and we will arrange a visit with them to find out more. You can also email the school directly and we will be happy to help. We are anxious that for some students with additional needs the transition can be difficult. We often run specific transition activities over the summer term to get these students more acquainted with the school building and staff before they arrive.
We also operate an ARP (Additional Resource Provision) in the Inclusion Department that provides for students in the west of Newcastle.
Our gifted and talented provision is also vital to the success of the school and its G&T students. We have regular G&T themed activities and events as well as visits to Cambridge, Oxford and other prestigious universities which occur from Key Stage 3 upwards. We have also invested in the Teesside University G&T programme with students in Year 10 and 12, where students visit over a number of weeks to build skills and self-confidence.
Approximately 70% of our 6th form students go to university each year. The remainder leave us for foundation college programmes in Art or other area, apprenticeships or to go straight into the world of work. We have had some amazing success at Sixth Form level and we have seen students leave us to attend Durham, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool and dozens of other universities.
We have a fantastic team of pastoral staff at Walbottle who are focused on the welfare and safety of your son / daughter. You will have a named contact and email address which will allow you to get in touch over particular issues you may have. Year Leaders are non-teaching staff and this means their main priority is dealing with student issues; this ensures you will have a much quicker response.
If you have progress concerns over what is happening in lessons you will be pleased to know that each year group has a dedicated Progress Manager. Progress Managers concentrate on making sure that students make the progress that they should. If students are in danger of not making the progress that is expected, an active intervention programme is put in place by teachers and support staff.
Students receive around 30 minutes of homework per subject per fortnight and more in Maths, Science and English. On average students will be completing between three and four hours of homework per week.
We have invested in a new Show My Homework system that allows parents to track the work that is set for students. You will be allocated a password and login specific to your child. You can also download an app which will allow you to receive alerts when homework is set each week. Have a look at our Show My Homework website here
We reward students based around our 6Rs. We focus on improving the learning, skills and attitudes of students by concentrating on their ability to use Reasoning, Resourcefulness, Responsibility, Resilience, Respect and Reflection. Staff will reward students during lessons and your points are accrued electronically so that you can keep track of how well you are doing. All students in Years 7-13 are rewarded in the same way, however, rewards are spent in different ways in particular year groups depending on student preferences.
We have an online rewards store for you to spend your reward points. You can save up for big items or cash in for a bar of chocolate, bacon sandwich, cake, drink etc. You can even donate your rewards points to charity.
Behaviour was highlighted as being good to outstanding in both of the last school Ofsted reports. Bearing in mind we have 1800 pupils on site every day, poor behaviour is rare. We have a series of behavioural tools and systems available to teachers and most low level disruption is dealt with very quickly by staff. If there are issues that remain we have a Foundation Partnership room where students will be isolated until correct learning attitude returns.
Students have a Learning Journal that they can use in lessons and they are expected to bring it with them to school every day. The Learning Journal gives students help, advice and resources to use in all of their subjects areas, as well as a place to record homework, deadlines and other information for sharing at home. Students also have the opportunity to hire a locker for their Key Stage. This locker is based in their social space and allows them to store items during the day or overnight if required.
We have a fantastic array of after school and extra-curricular activities. We have football, dance, basketball, voice, golf and performing arts academies. You can play a range of after school sports from football, badminton, trampolining, tennis, athletics and many others.
We also have after school clubs in cooking, photography, games and role playing games, maths, science and technology. If you can't find a club that interests you we would love to help you set one up that does!
Over the last few years we have had productions of Grease, Walbottle's Got Talent, Bugsy Malone and this year we are presenting We Will Rock You! – The Queen Musical. We also have regular smaller productions featuring performing arts students and the Dance Academy
Experiencing life outside the classroom is as much a part of Walbottle as what happens inside with your teacher. We run a range of trips every year and these include: The Opal Coast in France, an annual European Ski Trip, Washington DC, Auschwitz, The Battlefields Trip, Lightwater Valley, Flamingo Land and many others much closer to home. Students are encouraged to attend at least one trip by the time they reach Year 10. Curriculum areas also have trips as part of their exam or coursework needs such as Geography trips to The Lake District and Health & Social Care / Languages trips to Eurodisney.
Walbottle draws the majority of the 330 students in each year group from ten main feeder schools. These are Beech Hill, Knop Law, Lemington Riverside, Milecastle, Newburn Manor, Throckley, Walbottle Village, Waverley, Westerhope and West Denton Primary Schools. It is worth noting that the combined total of all 2015 Year 7 students in these feeder schools is around 320
In 2014 we received over 65 students in smaller numbers from schools including Atkinson Road, Bridgewater, Broadwood, Canning Street, English Martyr's, Farne, Richard Coates, St Bede's, St Cuthbert's, St George's, St John Vianney, St Mark's, Stocksfield, Simonside and Thomas Walling Primary Schools. Our current Year 7 and 8 are full, which means if you would like to ensure your place with us it is advisable to pick Walbottle as your School of First Choice.
Newcastle City Council operates the admissions procedure for applying to Walbottle.
You can find out more about how to apply by visiting
To apply for Walbottle as your School of First Choice please register for the School Admissions Online service.