Transition from Primary to Secondary School

Transition from Primary to Secondary School

Welcome to PACA!

If you have received confirmation of a place at the academy to join us in September 2021, I would like to welcome you to our school!  

We are very pleased that you have chosen our Academy for the next step in your child’s education.

Parent and Carer Handbook

Please find a copy of the parent and carer handbook here. It contains information about how we manage the school and key information when you arrive. I hope you find this useful.



Transition Update June 2021 - A Letter from the Head of Year

Dear Parent/Carer,

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Head of Year 7, and communicate some important information before the start of the academic year.  I look forward to getting to know the year group and helping your child settle into life at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy.

To give you some brief information about myself, I have worked at PACA for 5 years as a Maths Teacher and Head of Mathematics.  I also have experience of teaching in primary schools where I have worked with Year 6 classes, so I understand the importance of the transition from Year 6 into Year 7.  My experience of transition has made me aware of how difficult it can be at times to move to a new school and I want you to know that we are here to help and ensure your child achieves and excels at PACA.  My role is to support your child to achieve their very best, along with the support of their form tutor, the teaching staff, and with you as parents and carers.  There will be an opportunity for us to meet in person at the Meet the Tutor Evening, outlined below.

I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed to this role and very much look forward to supporting each and every pupil as they aim to achieve their full potential with us over the next five years.

Miss Anna Coady

Tutor Groups

We have tried our best to place children in Tutor Groups with at least one person that they know, however, please be assured that where this is not the case, tutor time is only 30 minutes at the start of the day and students will be in different classes for their other subjects.

Virtual Transition

Below, you will find messages from each of the tutors introducing themselves and explaining the role of the tutor.  In addition to the tutor messages, you will also find information on a number of different aspects of the school that you will otherwise have received at transition evening.  This includes messages from Mr Poston (Principal), myself (Head of Year), Mrs McBrien (SENCo) and a number of other key members of staff. 

Optional transition work can be found here: Transition Work

This is aimed at helping the students reflect on the journey they have taken so far and how those experiences might give them the confidence to approach the new challenges of secondary school.

Our handbook is also available at the top of this page and is essentially the instruction manual for a PACA parent!  You will find information on homework, the school day, contacting us, curriculum and much more.


We have been able to offer those students with additional needs the opportunity to visit the Academy and would like to extend that offer to those who may be feeling anxious about starting secondary school by way of a tour.   We have limited spaces, so please do consider whether this is something that applies to your child.

These can be booked by emailing

-  5 July from 4.00pm-5.00pm

-  7 July from 4.00pm-5.00pm

The Start of Term

We look forward to welcoming all of our new year 7’s on Friday 3rd September.  This day has been set aside purely for year 7 to give them the opportunity to explore the school and get used to their surroundings without any older students.  Please note that we are offering a free lunch on this day.   Although this is free, you are still welcome to send your child in with a packed lunch if they prefer and we recommend still sending in a few snacks and a drink for the first break.

When students start PACA they will be in their tutor groups each morning but will be assigned to classes randomly for at least the first two weeks.  During these weeks we will take the opportunity to use the CAT4 assessment to arrange our groupings thereafter.

First Day Back

8:15 – 8:30 Pupils arrive via student entrance to the hub

8:30 – 8:45 Tutor groups

8:45  Assembly in hall

9:15 – 11 Back to tutor rooms for team building, getting to know each other and a tour of the school

11 – 11:30 BREAK in Canteen/field

11:30 – 12:30 Timetabled lesson

12:30 – 13:30 Timetabled lesson

13:30 – 14:00 FREE LUNCH

14:00 – 15:00 Treasure Hunt – find your way around PACA!

15:00 End of the day

Meet the Tutor Evening

We look forward to inviting you into school for our Meet the Tutor Evening on Thursday 23rd September. The evening will consist of an opportunity to meet your child’s tutor to catch up on how they have been getting on in the first few weeks as well as an address from Mr Poston.   We will send out details on how to book this event nearer the time.

Summer School

We still have a handful of spaces for our popular Summer School. Please do get your reply slips and money to us as soon as you can to secure your place. If you are missing any information on this please email

For those of you who are already signed up, please look out for further communication from us as we will send out final details including an option slip for the afternoon activities.

Adult Education

As a community school we are proud that we also host Aldridge Adult learning.  AAL gives everyone in our community the opportunity to advance their career, achieve their dreams and love their hobby! More information on this is available at:

Uniform and equipment

In the Parent and Carer Handbook there is guidance on uniform and equipment.

Most uniform can be bought from Sussex Uniforms

Normally we would offer a chance to test for sizing at transition day, but of course this year we cannot, so Sussex Uniforms have kindly added downloadable tape measures via the above link so that you can measure your child and send in measurements for online orders. The deadline for ordering uniform is 31st July, however, we do advise ordering as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. Orders made after the 31st July will not arrive in time for the start of the school year.  As ever, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me via

Meet The Team

Mark Poston - Principal


Anna Coady - Head of Year

Paula Jenkins - Pastoral Manager


Frankie McBrien - SENCo


Emma Rudd - Enrichment and Wellbeing


Caroline Austin - After-school sports clubs and the ski trip


Rachael Wales - Duke of Edinburgh Award

Caroline Wheelhouse - The PACA Library

Billy Rothman - Maths at PACA

Rachael Wales - English at PACA

Meet your Year 7 Tutor

Mr Stephen Glasgow - Delta 1

Miss Gemma Merriott - Delta 2

Ms Beth Potter - Dragon 1

Ms Jennifer Drapans - Dragon 2


Ms Cora Hurley - Luna 1

Mr Oscar Cowan - Luna 1

Ms Sam Somerville - Victory 1

 Ms Patricia Macdonald & Mrs Ilham Trari-Samuel - Victory 2

This is an exciting time to be joining PACA.  We are absolutely passionate about making PACA the best it has ever been.  For us this means helping all our students develop their character ready for the 21st century, it means helping everyone at PACA contribute to making it a kind, positive and enjoyable place to live and grow, and it means building a school that is excited about learning every single day.  We’re a growing school with a great track record of results.

We are looking forward to you joining our community to get the most out of the years ahead. In the meantime we hope that everyone is staying safe and well.

You can see the advice we give all students joining the Academy on our New to PACA? page. 

If you have any further queries about transition that have not been answered here please do not hesitate to contact our head of Year 7, Miss Anna Coady at

Staff could not do more to make pupils’ transition from primary school happy, with a summer school, visits and lessons in advance, and activities to help pupils get to know each other. - Ofsted, 2016

We thought the transition was managed wonderfully and they really benefited from already knowing the campus and some of the staff and other pupils before they began last September. From our perspective it went very smoothly and they both had a very positive start to their time at PACA, which seems to have continued over the year. - PACA parent


I just wanted to express my thanks and appreciation for the parents evening this week. Every teacher knew who my child was, had a specific reference either to the targets she is working towards, or a recent piece of work completed or test result. And they were able to shed some light on how choices for GCSE will work and what the content of some of those GCSEs would involve.

I’m fortunate to have a child who engages well with her education - but rather than hear the usual - that she is hard working and nice - (which is nice to hear) I received meaningful feedback which included how she is being perceived and how she could improve things - this was really valuable and surpassed my expectations.

I’d like to say a well done to all involved and the evening was really reassuring on the level of teaching which PACA is providing for us. - PACA parent

This school has helped me improve my skills in every lesson. - PACA student