Tips for a smooth transition
The upcoming academic year brings exciting opportunities for schools to welcome new students into their community. We’ve all been there before, not knowing which rooms to go to and which people to talk to. That’s why we think it’s really important to help students smoothly adapt to their new environment through a seamless pre-admission and intake process. Stay with us as we explore some useful tips and information to streamline pre-admissions and new intakes for the 23/24 academic year, emphasizing the importance of allowing students ample time to adapt.
To ensure a successful pre-admission process, it is crucial to start early. By initiating the process well in advance, schools can efficiently manage the application flow and provide students with sufficient time to complete the necessary requirements. Early planning allows for thorough review and consideration of each application, ensuring that students with specific requirements or Educational Health Care Plans (EHCPs) receive the care and attention they deserve.
Check, check and check again
For those who may be unaware, there are many ways in which new intakes can be added to an MIS system such as Bromcom. The common methods are listed below.
- A Common Transfer File (CTF) is obtained from the student’s previous school and contains key information such as their basic details, attendance and medical information, which is then Imported by the new school.
- An Admission Transfer File (ATF) is obtained from the Local Authority and contains the data that they have collated for the student, including basic details, school history and attendance, which is also then imported by the new school.
- There will be certain cases where a student does not have an ATF or CTF file and must therefore be added manually by the new school. This method requires obtaining and validating their key information, living arrangements and past education (if any).
CTF and ATF files are extremely accurate but given the number of different MIS systems on the market, there will be information and fields that sit in different locations when comparing systems, so it is very important to make sure new student’s data is correctly stored and can be easily found if needed.
Foster an inclusive and welcoming environment
Once new intakes are confirmed, it is about helping them to adapt as seamlessly as possible and making them feel valued. A common practice that schools implement for this is staggered start dates, which prevent new students being overwhelmed by higher pupil numbers, by phasing year groups back in on different dates. Other schools exclusively invite new intakes a day or two early, allowing them to form friendships and familiarise themselves with the school while there are less pupils. Ice-breaking games tend to be very popular amongst younger students and are great for starting conversations. The key is finding a solution that is realistic and practical for both the pupils and the school. By placing emphasis on creating a positive experience for new students, schools can help them adapt and feel comfortable from the very beginning.
Bonus tip: As someone who grew up in London with a non-British name, I can tell you from experience that registers can be a nervy time for some pupils hoping to avoid unwanted attention. I still remember the different attempts of my name growing up, Mekmek being a personal favourite spin on Mehmet.
So, to avoid innocently and unintentionally creating new nicknames for future generations, my recommendation is to paste any names you are unsure of into Google Translate. Not only will it detect the country/language of origin, it will provide you with an example pronunciation that you can listen to and practice. I assure you, this will go a long way with students and help to build rapport with them.
For additional information, Bromcom’s Pre-Admission guidance can be accessed by clicking here.