Where relationships are at the heart of the school and
the school is at the heart of the community

Transition: Welcome to The Swanage School!

Hello new Year 7s! These strange and uncertain times have been a challenge for all of us over the past few months, but we want to welcome you to The Swanage School!

It was lovely to meet some of you at our recent transition evenings, but please don't worry if you weren't able to come. You will soon feel right at home.

So that you can get a feel for the school we have uploaded a video (below) that shows you some of the areas around school.

There are also some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below that might answer any questions you currently have and we will be sending home a comprehensive information pack over the summer. If you have any other questions please ask your parents to fill in this question form and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. 

Parents of children who have SEND can email Mr Dawson to discuss any enhanced transition needs.

We are working hard to support your transition and behind the scenes have been talking to your primary school to identify your needs, to get to know you and learn how to support you all. Our Transition Passport will allow you to let us know who your friends are and will help us learn all about you.

Our Heads of House send the following messages:

"Hello Year 7! My name is Miss Morris and I am the head of Halsewell House. I'm so excited to meet you all properly in September. I will be the head of Year 7 until school life is back to how we know it, so you will be seeing lots of me! I also run The Swanage School Student Council - applications will open for you in September, so please start to have a think about how you would like to shape our school when you arrive. We really value student voice at TSS and I'm looking forward to hearing all of your wonderful ideas. In September you will find me in my science lab, where I will be teaching you all Chemistry (the very best subject), but in the meantime do not hesitate to send me an email if you have any concerns or worries over the summer."

"Hi Year 7, I am Mr Ringrow, the Head of House for Victory. This September I will primarily be looking after Year 9's as we are unable to have our usual tutor groups (which usually span Years 7-10). I teach both Maths and Science so hope to have you in one of my classes. I have already met some of you but am looking forward to getting to know you all better in September. I hope you have a fun and safe summer holiday."

 "Hi, I'm Mrs Humby, Head of Challenger, but from September I'll mostly be looking after Year 10 whilst we settle into some new post-lockdown routines. I teach PRE so mostly work with Year 9,10 and 11, but if you see me around school please come and say hello! I'm really looking forward to meeting you all in September and getting to know all about you. I hope you all have a fun summer holiday and don't forget you can email if you have any questions or worries."

"Welcome to The Swanage School, I am Mr Duke - Head of Challenger House and teacher of Design and Technology. You may be nervous about starting but you have nothing to worry about as you are coming to a great school! you will have lots of support and guidance in the first few weeks and after a few days it will seem like you have been at the school for ages. I look forward to seeing you all in September!"


Take a virtual tour

A virtual tour of The Swanage School


During the summer we send all parents / carers a comprehensive parent pack. This will include updates in relation to adaptations we are having to make to our usual routines to be able to safely re-open to all pupils, following all the guidance in relation to Covid-19. Therefore, this year you may find that some things differ slightly from the norm, and from the information below. This year's parent pack is here. Please take the time to read it carefully as it contains our "Covid updates". 

What will happen on my first day of school?

On your first day of school you will begin with a Year 7 assembly. You will be welcomed into the school, learn about your tutor group and about what will happen for the rest of the day. It is likely that after the assembly you will meet your tutor and you will be shown around school if we have not been able to do this already. You will get your timetable on your first day which will tell you who your teachers are and when you have your lessons. We will talk to you about what is expected in school and what happens during the school day.

What will I need to bring with me on my first day of school?

You will need to be in your school uniform, and you will need to bring in any equipment you have to help you learn such as a pencil, pen and ruler. You will not need all your PE kit for the first day but it may be a good idea to have some trainers in your bag in case you need them.

Information on school uniform and equipment can be found here.

You will also need a packed lunch if you bring one, or money for lunch from the school canteen. If you have free school meals you will be able to get lunch from the canteen.

Covid-update: packed lunches only for the first few weeks!

What are the times of the day?

Covid-update: please see the parent pack for the 2020 timings!

8.30 to 8.40 Registration in your tutor group
8.40 to 9.40 Period 1
9.40 to 10.40 Period 2
10.40 to 11.00 Breaktime
11.00 to 12.00 Period 3
12.00 to 1.00 Period 4
1.00 to 1.40 Lunchtime
1.40 to 2.20 Tutor time
2.20 to 3.20 Period 5

School finishes at 3.20 unless you are staying for a club or are waiting for the school bus.

Who do I speak to if I am worried about something?

Your tutor is the person who is responsible for supporting you through all aspects of being at school and they are normally the person to speak to first. All teachers understand though that starting a new school is a big thing and they will be approachable if you need to speak to them about something. You can also talk to your Head of House, Ms Sands or Mr Dawson. If you are very anxious, we have a school counsellor we can refer you to. 

Where are the toilets and when can I use them?

There are two block of toilets, one downstairs and one upstairs. The downstairs toilets are between the atrium and the DT area. The upstairs toilets are between the Hub and the Science area. You can use the toilets during breaktime and lunchtime. If you need to use them during lesson time, then just ask your teacher. We will want you to normally use the toilet during break and lunch, but we will not stop you from using the toilet during a lesson if you need to.

Will I be with my friends?

We will try to place you into tutor groups and houses with people you know and your siblings. It is not always possible to place you with everyone  you know, and you will not necessarily be with your friends during lessons. You will see your friends during break and lunch time, and you will also make new friends.

What is I get lost?

Luckily, we are very small school, so it is very unlikely! You will quickly learn where everything is and if you are not sure than ask a teacher - they will understand that you are not sure where things are.

What if someone bullies me?

We are a kind and caring community so it is very unlikely that someone will bully you. If they do, or if they say something upsetting to you it is important that you inform your teachers so that we can deal with it quickly. Your tutor or Head of House will normally be the person to speak to but if it happens in a lesson make sure you tell your class teacher.

Will I get homework?

Yes - we set regular curriculum support activities. You should not worry about this, you will be set a manageable amount and if you have a problem with a CSA then it is important that you tell your teacher in advance or ask your parents to contact the class teacher.

What do I do if I lose something?

Most lost property is either taken to reception or placed on the lost property shelves. If you lose something go to these two places first to see if it is there.

Are the teachers strict? Will they shout at me and tell me off?

Your teachers will have high expectations of you, and this will not change. They will not shout at you but may need to raise their voice if they need to get your attention. If you are working hard in lessons and being polite to everyone then is is unlikely you will be told off. We have a restorative approach in school, and we want you to learn from any experience you may have if you do something wrong. Learning how to relate and be polite to one another is just as important as any work we do in lessons.

What do I do in lessons if I am not sure what to do or if I have a question?

This is a normal part of lessons and learning, we expect that you will want to ask questions. If you need to, then put your hand up and ask your teacher for help.

What do I do if I don't feel well?

If you are in a lesson tell your teacher, they will help you. If you feel ill during break or lunch then go to reception or find the member of staff on duty.

Is there somewhere quiet I can go at break or lunch?

Yes, we have a quiet area in the Hub for those of you who need it. If you want to access this support please speak to Mr Dawson or a member of the Hub team.

What food can I get from the canteen?

The canteen serves a wide variety of healthy food and there is usually something for everyone. As well as a different main course each day you will be able to buy jacket potatoes or baguettes. During break time you will be able to buy snacks. When you buy food and drink from the canteen you will be using a cashless system. Your parents can put money directly onto ParentPay for you to use in the canteen.

Covid-update: all students will need a packed lunch for the first few weeks at least (packed lunches will be provided for students entitled to free school meals)

Can I have my phone on me in school?

No, if you bring your phone to school you must store it in your locker or leave it in the school office as soon as your enter the school building. We do not allow students to use phones or other mobile devices, such as smart watches, during the school day. This is to keep you safe and also make sure you are not distracted during lessons. There is no need for you to keep your phone on you in lessons. If your parents need to speak to you then they can contact reception.

Covid-update: lockers won't be in use and you'll be keeping your bag with you, but phones must be switched off!

Where will my locker be?

Your locker will be as close to your tutor room as possible. These will be allocated in the first week of school. You will need a padlock for your locker.

Will we have to socially distance while at school?

At the minute we do not know for sure, however it is possible. If we do then we will work out a way that keeps everyone safe. We will keep you updated on this and let you know as soon as we know.

Covid-update: you'll find more information in the parent pack, and we will make sure you're well briefed on your first day about the changes we've had to make to usual school routines. 

What if I need a drink in lessons?

You are allowed to keep a bottle of water with you in lessons, but we expect that you fill these up during break or lunch times.

Will I need my PE kit every day?

No, you will only need your PE kit on the days you have PE lessons.

Covid-update: on PE days you'll come into school wearing your kit

School life

Curious about school life? You'll find more information about how we organise things at The Swanage School by reading our school life page.

The Swanage School Way

At The Swanage School we...

  • Respect each other and treat others as we would like to be treated
  • Help members of the wider community
  • Strive for academic excellence
  • Take pride in our appearance
  • Do the best we can

We try, we fail, we learn,

we succeed

Student leadership and the School Council

There are loads of opportunities for students to get involved - take a look at our student leadership and Student Council pages.

What's for lunch?

See a sample lunch menu here. We run a cashless canteen: your parents will pay in advance for your meals through our ParentPay system and you use your thumbprint at the till!

At Christmas your tutors and teachers will serve you lunch!

After school clubs

Lots of activities run after school and we hope you'll get involved! Clubs change on a frequent basis but you'll get a good idea of the sort of thing that will be on offer by taking a look at a sample timetable of clubs here.


Our Challenge Days and Challenge Weeks are one of the things that make The Swanage School unique and provide opportunities for all students to get involved in exciting activities and trips. You'll be given more information after you start at the school but if you want to find out more you could take a look at our challenge page, have a read what it's all about and take a look at the trips that would have been running this year.


At The Swanage School you'll be able to get involved in a wide range of sports whether you like playing just for fun or want to represent the school.

Get in touch!

We will be sending out information packs over the summer, but please remember you can contact us if you have any questions - the easiest way is with our online question form