How to apply to Samuel Ward Academy

All applications must be made using the appropriate form as there is no automatic right to a place at a local school so a form must be completed otherwise you will not get a place. For the normal year of entry admission (year 6 transfer from Primary school) the local authority will provide information through the Primary school which gives details of the process, the form, dates and deadlines for application, however you can get all this information from www.suffolk.gov.uk/admissions. You can also contact them on 0345 600 0981 or at admmissions@suffolk.gov.uk. You must submit forms to Suffolk County Council (SCC) admissions not to Samuel Ward Academy directly.

If your child lives outside Suffolk you must contact the local authority where they live for details on how to apply.

If you are making an in-year application (not a year 6 transfer from Primary school) then you will need a different form (ADM1) which is also available from Suffolk County Council. However, you are still able to apply for a school place’. If a parent does not apply and receive a refusal letter, they then have no grounds to make an appeal and then may feel discouraged in applying in the first instance.

Document Download
Admission Policy 2019/2020 Download
SCC Normal Application Download
SCC In-Year Application Download

Transition from Primary School

We know that transferring to “big school” can be both a daunting and exciting time for Students and we try to make this experience as positive as we possibly can.

Once you have been given a place at Samuel Ward students and parents will be invited to a meeting with senior members of staff. This will explain how the school runs, how the transition process operates and give families the chance to meet some of the adults who will play an important role in your child’s first year at secondary school. We can explain what will change for them, answer any questions and address any worries as well as get to know them a little.  We believe in working in partnership with families and feel we want to understand the big picture of each individual.

We also work closely with our feeder primary schools. We meet all the year 6 teachers as a group to discuss how we will transfer information and to book appointments for some of our specialist staff to visit some pupils in the primary setting to ensure we best meet their individual needs. Our Special needs co-ordinator visits each school to ensure our staff can be as prepared as possible to help make a smooth transition.

During April each primary school transfers information on achievement to us to ensure lessons are appropriately pitched and groupings are productive.  We use this and other information to create tutor groups with our team of form tutors who will support pupils as they transfer to Samuel Ward.  We take a great deal of time and care to ensure that the student mix within classes and tutor groups will enable students to thrive.  In 2019-20 we had one student (out of 230) who requested a move in the first month of secondary school: all others were happy.  We’ve not perfected this process but we can reassure you that for the vast majority of students the transition process goes very, very smoothly.  We recognise that this is a big change and also recognise that parental anxiety is normally much greater than student anxiety. 

Some pupils who are especially anxious about the change will be offered the opportunity to experience some taster sessions at Samuel Ward with key staff whom they will come across in their time here.

We review groupings at key points in the curriculum and classes in most subjects will change in Year 8.  This fluidity and flexibility is important to us: we know that students are individuals who mature and develop at different rates. Many of our students have great potential that may or may not have been evident during their primary years and we make every effort to ensure that they are always appropriately stretched and challenged.   

To further the smooth transition we always induct pupils in the last week of the summer term so that they meet teachers, experience a secondary school timetable new timetable and start making new friends. During these transition days, there is also a parents meeting where parents can meet the key staff and discuss any worries.

We look forward to working with you over the next five to seven years to guide your child as they develop into a mature, considerate, hard-working and high-achieving young adult.