Our Approach

Our Approach


Our Secondary school is alive with activity from dawn ‘til dusk – as students pursue their ambitions in the classroom and beyond.  

We ensure that students have a smooth transition from Primary to Secondary School in order to succeed in the next phase of their academic journey. 

Seamless Transition

Sunmarke Secondary School has a thorough and comprehensive transition programme for all children moving up from primary school. We understand that starting secondary school can be very exciting yet, a little daunting experience for many students. Our staff understand this and work closely with families to try to make students transition into Sunmarke Secondary School as easy as possible. Our transition programme aims to support them as they approach this large change in their lives, and to ensure that they start Year 7 full of excitement and with minimal nervousness.

You will also find under this section important and up-to-date information about our transition programme.

In the meantime, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Kelly, Miss Brown, or Miss Norton (Head of Year 7).

Mr. Paul Kelly

Head of Secondary

Miss. Lianne Brown

Deputy Head of Secondary

Miss. Katherine Norton

Head of Year 7

It has been a delight to be back in school with our pupils this year and to watch them thrive adapting to our blended learning approach. Technology has brought us together more than ever and we have been so impressed with the enthusiasm and independence that we have seen from the children. We’re delighted that you have chosen Sunmarke Secondary School as the next stage of your child’s education. We strive to do our utmost to ensure that the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 is as smooth and as welcoming as possible.

• Q&A sessions with each Year 6 class
• A ‘Step into Year 7’ Transition Workbook. This workbook has lots of activities to help introduce your child to some of the new aspects of Secondary, such as the timetable. Your child can work through this in their own time.
• A ‘Tips Video’ with views and tips on a range of topics from the current Year 7 students
• An in-person transition day where students will have the chance to meet Secondary school staff and complete activities which will enable your child to be more confident and eager to start Year 7 in September
• A Parent In-Person Information Session which will be a chance for you to meet with Miss Norton (Head of Year 7) and other senior members of staff virtually

Dates for Your Diary

  • Step into Year 7 Day: Tuesday 5th July – The day will provide an opportunity for your child to meet either virtually or in person (if already in Sunmarke School) other new students, some of their subject teachers, their Head of Year, and members of the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Year 7 Parents Information Event: Wednesday 15th June, 5 pm – An invitation is extended to parents to join us after school to hear about the wealth of learning opportunities that we provide our Year 7 students and our pastoral care, guidance and support, and extensive enrichment programme.

More information and timings for the above events will be available soon.

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Approach to Learning in Secondary

Our approach encourages students to build the skills and learning habits to become independent thinkers – preparing them for life way beyond Year 11. 

How do we get our young people thinking? How do we keep them thinking? How do we create an environment which encourages independent and critical thinking?

At Sunmarke through our ‘Positive Education’ inclusive approach students are enabled to flourish in a safe, happy and nurturing learning environment. All students are stretched and challenged to ask and develop their own questions to reach their potential and beyond.

Opportunities are provided for all through the numerous activities undertaken in the classroom, on the sports field, performing on stage, educational visits abroad, organising charity events for the community, or representing the school as outstanding ambassadors.

Our priority continues to be on the whole child and creating a warm, enthusiastic, inspirational and exciting environment in which young people can think, learn, create and innovate and take risks in order to succeed.

We set ourselves high standards, with high expectations enabling an environment of creativity without limits. There are numerous opportunities for leadership from informal roles within the classroom to formal roles outside of the classroom e.g. Prefects, School and Community Ambassadors.

Students can aspire to leadership roles within their year groups as well as taking on responsibilities beyond this. Leadership opportunities are designed to promote excellence, success, confidence, self-esteem whilst fostering an opportunity for our student leaders to have a pivotal role in the future development of the school and the community that we serve.

Sunmarke is completely technology enabled enabling students to become fully conversant with using technology through online lesson planning and delivery; online class assignment and quizzes; online homework submission; online assessments; online collaboration and communication between students and teachers; online tracking of student progress and behaviour; and online student access to school resources, library books and information.

We promote and sustain a culture that encourages the integration of digital technologies into all areas of the curriculum and students engage and collaborate with their peers using a wide variety of digital environments and tools.

Cyber-safety is an integral part of how the school community works with everyone having an awareness of their digital responsibilities, modelling ethical and appropriate use of digital resources.

Please view our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy here.

Our principled, creative and innovative learning environment encourages our students’ to have a responsibility ‘for’ and ‘to’ the community.

Students are enabled to be solution-focused to solve conflicts, discuss controversial topics, have a say in what and how they learn, ask questions and engage in dialogue.

Sustainability is a key agenda at Sunmarke School. We believe that we have a shared responsibility as citizens of the world to choose sustainable practices and we empower our students to do the same.

Below are just some of the ways we incorporate the environment and sustainability within our subjects.

Photography – Sunmarke’s Media students focus on projects related to sustainable transportation, the effects of pollution and draw upon the beauty of nature and landscapes when building their portfolios.

Economics – Our Business and Economics courses cover topics such as Economic Growth vs Development and look deeper into factors beyond money and Gross Domestic Products when looking at the success of a nation, these include – carbon emissions, standards of living and the sustainability of improving a country. Students also delve into the effects of Trade and Globalisation, the impact of deforestation and other environmental damaging actions that consumers and producers take. Students are encouraged to research policies to solve issues such as pollution permits, farming restrictions and production quota’s to help offset any damage already caused. We teach our students to think like economists so they consider more than their own personal costs and benefits but encourage them to consider the wider effects to a third parties.

The Sciences: A Level and IB Biology – Both courses include the study of ecosystems, ecology and biodiversity. Secondary students also look into the sustainability of using earth’s resources and assess the impact of extracting, using and recycling.

Ultimately, our young learners today will become tomorrow’s leaders, so we equip them with the knowledge and confidence they need to make sustainable choices.

Our excellent, holistic education and a team of dedicated teachers working with our student body, see values such as honesty, responsibility, tolerance and respect for the right of others, irrespective of nationality, gender, culture or religion at the foundation of their learning.

This has provided our students with the skills and knowledge that will be needed to meet the challenges of the future in continuing their learning. Our commitment to providing a high-quality education and multi-pathway model with bespoke career pathways leads to students being able to find the most appropriate route to study the subject of their choice at the university or college of their choice.

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