Learner FAQ's


Year 6 Information and Frequently Asked Questions

A few clasroom basics to help you

  • Pen - using an appropriate pen for writing
  • Ruler - Underlining titles or using for drawings
  • Oops - looking for mistakes
  • Underline - underlining titles
  • Draw - using a pencil for drawing

SLANT is the acronym for high quality presentation of body language.  It stands for:

  • Sit up
  • Listen
  • Ask questions
  • Nod
  • Track the speaker


Students are not expected to put their hands up to answer questions, in fact we have a rule that they shouldn't do this.  Instead, the teacher will decide who answers questions by targeting a wide variety of students throughout the lesson.  This ensures that students remain focused and that they know they could be asked at any point, it also helps to stop certain students from always answering the questions lesson after lesson.  We often use random name generators which select students for us, therefore students won't feel like staff are specifically picking on them to answer questions.

Hands Up

Whilst students don't raise their hands to answer questions, they will raise their hands when they are expected to be silent and focused on the teacher.  When teachers require silence and focus from the whole class they will raise their arm.  All students should follow the teacher and copy them.  Once everybody has followed this the lesson will then resume.

Aspire & Challenge

In your lessons you will have an expected outcome which is what you need to do (Challenge) and a more complex, demanding outcome (Aspire).  These are what you are going to learn in terms of a knowledge or a skill and they allow both staff and you the opportunity to assess how much progress you have made in the lesson.In your lessons you will have an expected outcome which is what you need to do (Challenge) and a more complex, demanding outcome (Aspire).  These are what you are going to learn in terms of a knowledge or a skill and they allow both staff and you the opportunity to assess how much progress you have made in the lesson.

After School Clubs (Enrichment)

Click here for information about Enrichment

Student Leadership

Click here for information about Student Leadership


 Click here for infomration about our uniform

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Don Valley Academy fun?

Yes! You will meet lots of new people and learn so many new things.

Is it difficult in the first few weeks?

There are some differences between Primary and Secondary school when you first move up. However, you should not worry too much. You will quickly learn your way around and it won’t take long for you to become familiar with how Don Valley operates. There is a big team of people who will help to support you especially your Learning Manager Mrs Cadman.

How long will it take me to find my way around?

Don Valley Academy is much smaller than you think. It does not take a long time for you to find your way around. During the first week you will be given a map to help to guide you around the building. We have included a map below so you can have a look at where all of the departments are and start to familiarise yourself with the school.

What happens if I get lost in Don Valley Academy?

If you are lost you can firstly check the map to work out where you are. Following this if you are still unsure you can ask another learner or member of staff, who will be able to help you and show you where you need to be. If there is nobody nearby to ask, you can always go to our main reception area.

What happens if I am late to a lesson?

Punctuality and attendance are really important in helping you achieve at Don Valley. Senior Leadership will always be on the gate in the morning from 7.50 to welcome you into the Academy with a smile and a good morning! If you are late in the morning it will be a 1 hour C4 detention the following day.

How long does each lesson last?

Each lesson is one hour.

How long is break and lunchtime?

Morning break is 15 minutes and lunchtime is 30 minutes. Breaks and lunches are split so not every year group is in there at the same time. At lunch time there will only be other Y7 students so that you can get used to queuing and paying for your food.

Is it difficult to keep organised?

No. Make sure you have a copy of your timetable at home and pack your bag the night before to make sure that you have everything you need. Always aim to do your homework on the night that it is set so you do not allow too much work to mount up. Use your planner to help you organise what you need to bring to school on which day.

Do I have homework to complete every night and how much work?

The expectation is that you complete 1 hour of home learning each day. 20 minutes of Knowledge Organiser work that is checked on the gate each morning, 20 minutes Hegarty Maths checked by your maths teacher and 20 minutes reading for pleasure which is assessed through Accelerated Reader quizzing . Click here for more information 

What happens if I forget my homework?

Your form tutor will monitor your completion of your knowledge organiser during form period.  However, if you do forget you may receive a reminder, then warning, followed by a detention on the third time.  If you find it difficult to do your homework at home there are homework clubs available that you can attend to receive additional help and support

Is the food at Don Valley Academy good?

Yes – the food at Don Valley is fantastic! We have an amazing range of different foods on offer every day which all taste delicious.

Water is free all day from water fountains throughout the school.

Can I bring iPods or mobile phones into school?

You are not allowed to use iPods, phones or any other pieces of technology in school.  If you bring them they must stay switched off in your bag once you have crossed the blue line.  If they are seen by a member of staff, even at break or lunch, they will be confiscated and your parent/carer will have to collect them.

Will I need to bring my PE kit on the first day?

Yes. You will commence your timetable on your first day at Don Valley Academy therefore, you could have a PE lesson.

What clubs are there for Year 7?

There is a huge range of enrichment clubs for Year 7 to join. Different clubs run during different times of the year. Clubs may include: Football, Rugby, Basketball, Badminton, Athletics, Drama, Music, Science, Maths, Dance, Choir, and Homework. The current enrichment timetable can be found here:


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