Primary to Secondary Transition
Making a move to anywhere new is a daunting experience no matter how old you are. At this time of year schools across the country are working hard to try and make the transition between primary and secondary school as smooth as possible for students. At Thomas Alleyne’s we continually develop our approach to support our families through this change. We are grateful to other schools in the town who have been willing to share their excellent ideas with us and help develop our transition programme. This year we have carried out the following activities:
Met with local primary schools to see the students and speak to their class teachers.
Offered the opportunity for every family joining our school to have an individual meeting with a member of staff. We introduced this last year following really positive reports from a local secondary school and were really pleased with the results. These meetings have allowed us to welcome parents and children to our school on a more personal level. We have been able to find out about each child’s interests and alleviate any worries they had about their move.
Identified a group of students who required additional visits to our school. These have been done individually and in small groups to help build confidence about the transition to secondary school.
Held a parent information evening a few days before the transition day.
Led a varied transition day for year 6 students. This day was important in outlining our high expectations for students and helping them experience a day in our school.
Launched a reading project. This year every student has been given a copy of Beowulf, retold by Michael Morpurgo, to read over the summer break. Our English team have planned their curriculum around myths and legends so they can build on this reading when students arrive in September. We will then collapse the timetable for a few hours later in the term to allow students to create a display to show their parents after school.
Planned a summer school in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire. This will run for three days in August for invited students. As well as a number of school-based activities it will include a visit to the STEM Discovery Centre in Stevenage and an overnight stay at the University. We are looking forward to developing confidence in these students before they start in September.
Planned a year 7 only day at the start of term in September to allow students to get used to their new school without the hustle and bustle of 800 other people.
Whilst we know students will still be nervous, we hope that the above activities help them make a smooth transition to secondary school. I hope they are about to start their summer holidays feeling excited about the new challenges and opportunities that await them at Thomas Alleyne’s.