‘Success at Seven’ – A Positive Start for Our Year 7

The way we imagine things is often very different to the way they turn out.  So, with this truism in mind, we decided to talk to a group of Year 7 students who are in their seventh week at Coombe Dean School and joined us from – you guessed it – seven different primary schools. 

We wanted to know why they chose Coombe Dean and whether it has lived up to expectations.

When we asked Jack, Indy, Ruby A, Ruby C, Thomas, William, Dan, Isla, and Finn why they chose Coombe Dean, they each had a different story.  But they did agree on a number of things.  They liked the size of the school and felt they would quickly get to know other students and find their way around the site.  They experienced a welcoming atmosphere at Coombe Dean and felt comfortable with the students they met.  Several of them had enjoyed a visit to or a trip with Coombe Dean staff and students.

But – has Coombe Dean lived up to expectations? Our students agreed that Coombe Dean has indeed been a welcoming place; they have been able to make friends and there is help available if they need it.  It was especially good to hear that they feel they are not being judged here – we work hard to make this an inclusive school – and they were keen not to judge others. (What a mature attitude from our new recruits!). They also gave a big thumbs up to their tutors, Inclusion, the canteen and our Post-16 helpers.

Finally, we asked them what it means to them when we talk about ‘success built around positive relationships” at Coombe Dean. All of our Year 7s had something interesting to say.  They talked about how important it is for everyone to “get along” and to be able to go to tutors and teachers for help if they need it.  They said that friends were really important – friends who will stand up for you when you need it.

We especially liked these words from a student;

“When you feel more positive about other people and yourself, you feel more confident about the work and you feel ready to go off and find out things for yourself.” – Ruby A, Year 7

Just what we think!

We know that these new members of the Coombe Dean family were kind and thoughtful even before they arrived here.  It’s lovely to see those important qualities blossoming seven weeks into their time at Coombe Dean.

We’re very glad they have had such a positive and successful start.


R Woodland


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