Welcome to Year 7

 What parents say...

“It is just the most fantastic school and Mr Cunningham is an inspiration to the school and students.”

“The open evening was incredibly informative and we were treated with so much respect by all the pupils and the teachers we spoke to. Our son is very much looking forward to joining the school should he get selected.”

“We were so impressed with Longdean. The teachers and students were so attentive and informative. My son who suffers with anxiety was in awe and totally at ease. He is absolutely desperate to go to Longdean school!”


Meet the Head

Headteacher - Mr Cunningham


Mr Cunningham has been the Headteacher of Longdean School since Easter 2012.  During that time, he and the staff have worked hard to ensure that Longdean is a very good school where students feel safe, enjoy being at school, work hard and learn.  

Please click here to view a speech from the Head. This speech was recorded at the Open Evening on 2nd October 2023.

Meet the Team

Meet the Year 7 team from September 2024 who are looking forward to welcoming our new students. 

Head of Year 7

The Head of Year 7 will be working together with form tutors and department leads to ensure that students have a smooth transition to secondary school. They will be supporting students with their behaviour, achievements and attendance in association with the pastoral team, teachers, support staff and crucially, families of our students.

Year 7 Pastoral Manager

The Year 7 Pastoral Manager plays a key role in helping children to settle in to secondary school and is the primary contact for all their pastoral needs. They are there to support, advise, guide and help parents and students with whatever concerns they may have – from sickness and absence to homework or anxiety. 



Admissions and Transition Lead - Mrs Lucy Eaton

As part of her role as Admissions and Transition Lead, Mrs Eaton is responsible for the successful transition of children from primary school to secondary school. Mrs Eaton works closely with primary schools throughout the year to coordinate events and opportunities for Year 5 and 6 students to find out about Longdean and to help prepare them for life as a secondary school student. After allocation in March, parents are welcome to contact Mrs Eaton with any questions or concerns about their child's transition to Longdean.



Matron - Mrs Debbie Wilkins

Our school matron has been at Longdean for nine years now and has previous experience in both nursing and childcare. Matron is responsible for the day to day treatment of any injuries caused at school and the ongoing management of medication for any students with a medical condition.  You are welcome to contact Matron with any questions or concerns you may have about your child.

Learning Champion

The Year 7 team also includes a Learning Champion. The Year 7 Learning Champion is the primary contact for all pupil premium (PPG) related matters and will be working with parents to ensure that the right support is in place for parents and students moving from primary to secondary school. Areas of support include, but are not limited to: academic intervention, support for enrichment activities, bursaries for trips, support with school supplies, applying for free school meals and much more! If parents are unsure if they qualify or require any further information then click here.

House System and Tutor Groups

The House System 

All children and staff are placed into one of four Houses:  Da Vinci, Franklin, Gates and Pascal. Each house has their own associated colour and students wear a school tie with the house colour stripe on it.  

There are a number of House events and competitions throughout the year, ranging from Speed Chess and a Longdean Bake-off through to House Cricket and Public Speaking. We believe that a strong House system supports students in challenging themselves, supporting others and helping to create a school and House identity. It also develops co-operation and team working, which we see as crucial skills for future success.  We encourage each student to participate in as many House events and competitions as they can throughout the school year. 

Tutor groups 

Each year group is organised into groups of thirty students across eight form tutor groups and each tutor group represents one of the four Houses. The tutor group meet for the first 20 minutes of each day, with regular year group assemblies and intra-house challenges. Tutor groups reconvene in the afternoon for DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) when they spend 20 minutes reading together.

We feel that this system supports student relationships within year groups and develops a strong whole-school ethos.

Form time is purposeful and productive in allowing all the students to have a calm and focused start to each day. New Year 7 students are made to feel welcome by their new form tutors and a team of Transition Ambassadors from year 8 are also on hand to help them settle in.

High Performers

At Longdean School, we believe that all students, whatever their abilities, are entitled to an education that will enable them to develop their full potential – intellectually, physically, creatively, emotionally, spiritually and socially. Each student has different learning needs and that’s why personalised learning is at the heart of our teaching and curriculum. In addition, we also provide opportunities to identify and, in turn, nurture those who are more or less able.

Click here to learn more about how we support our high performing students.


Longdean has an excellent Inclusion department led by a team of specialist staff in roles that support students with additional needs. The team are well experienced in supporting students who have specific learning difficulties, such as, visual impairment and learning difficulties, as well as students who have speech, language, communication difficulties and autism. There is also a qualified counsellor who works within the department to support students with special educational needs and help them to cope with their social, emotional, and mental health difficulties.

Our Learning Support Unit is used to provide students with a safe space and learning environment that is tailored to their educational and emotional needs. The department also houses a sensory room that students can access if they are in need of sensory stimulation or a sensory break. There are several rooms within the department for 1:1 or small group interventions.

There is a newly opened (January 2024) Specialist Resource Provision (SRP) for up to 20 students across the school (years 7-11). It caters for students who have speech, language, communication needs and/or autism. There is an entrance and exit criteria for the SRP and students are agreed at Hertfordshire Specialist Provision Panel to gain entry. 

Specialist Pathways

At Longdean School, we want each student to be able to achieve their potential.  In order to facilitate this, the students follow a curriculum that equips them with the knowledge, skills and qualities that they need to achieve their goals. 

In addition to the strong foundation of learning across our core subjects within the curriculum, Longdean are proud to offer students the opportunity to apply for a specialist pathway in Year 7 which allows them to harness their interests in either Performing Arts or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and continues throughout year 8. This early opportunity to feed a passion in these subjects helps to prepare students for making their GCSE option choices as they progress in to KS4.

Please note, the pathway opportunities are optional and students can choose not to apply for either pathway. They will still benefit from the full KS3 curriculum that is made available to them in years 7 and 8.  

Performing Arts Pathway

Everybody in Year 7 studies Music and Drama as part of their curriculum but for some, we know that Performing Arts is a genuine passion. Many students will have been acting, singing, dancing or playing an instrument, or any combination of these for a number of years. Equally, we know there are those students in the school who might not have had a lot of experience but are very excited to learn more about these subjects and the new skills that they bring.

This pathway is open to students who are passionate about the Performing Arts and have a skill or talent in either Dance, Drama or Music (or more than one of these!). We seek to provide students with an enriched, integrated approach, with all three disciplines linking closely together, as they would in a real-life scenario. Students have the opportunity to study Dance, alongside their two fortnightly Drama and Music lessons and participate in a variety of workshops and masterclasses, supporting their specialisms.

Applications are invited from anyone in Year 7 who is keen to participate and perform and is dedicated to improving their Performing Arts skills.

Parents will receive a letter during the summer term inviting students to apply for the Performing Arts pathway. They apply by submitting a video audition piece that shows either a monologue; dramatic solo speech - either from a play or a film, but performed in character, a music performance; instrumental or vocal, or a dance routine.  Between 25 and 30 places are awarded on the Performing Arts pathway each year.

Students follow the Performing Arts pathway during Years 7 and 8, and after this, they would be expected to pursue at least one Performing Art subject during Key Stage 4.

STEM Pathway

The STEM Pathway provides a unique learning opportunity for students who have a real passion and aptitude to innovate, explore and excel in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); underpinned by Longdean School's core values of “Engage, Confidence and Aspiration”.

Students are taught as a group for Mathematics, Computing, Technology and Science (which they study as separate sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics). They are encouraged to make connections between these disciplines and explore them in greater depth; the study of robotics is a key feature. They are also offered the chance to go on educational trips and attend masterclasses as well as joining an extra-curricular STEM Club.

Parents will receive a letter during the summer term inviting students to apply for the STEM pathway. They are asked to prepare a presentation and attend a brief interview, and students’ maths abilities are also taken into consideration. Up to 30 STEM pathway places are awarded each year.

Students follow the STEM pathway during Years 7 and 8, and after this, are expected to choose Triple Science as an option, as well as at least one of Computer Science, Design Technology or Engineering during Key Stage 4.