Transitioning from primary to secondary school is a landmark step in a child’s journey towards maturity and independence. In addition, moving from a smaller school, where everyone knows each other, to a larger environment in which children are taught by several different teachers and in several different rooms can also bring its challenges.
At Acre Heads, we believe that it is important to prepare children carefully for these changes, in order that they have the best chance of making a smooth and confident transition, by focusing both on the skills sets required and the opportunities that such a change presents. We start preparing the children in Year 5 – the children are encouraged to become much more self-reliant in their learning, to think about how to organise their learning and manage their time, how to research, how to evaluate their work and to identify the next steps in their learning journey. This helps them to prepare for the greater demands for independent learning and juggling their time that secondary school makes.
In addition, children in years 5 and 6 take on a variety of school monitor roles, helping with a range of tasks around the school, including Team Leaders, Head Boys and Girls, Play Ground Pals and a whole host of other responsibilities. As well as making a valuable contribution to school life, these roles help the children to develop commitment, organisational skills and a sense of personal responsibility that will stand them in good stead for secondary school.
Spending time at secondary school ahead of transition
Experience of the secondary school environment is also very helpful. At various points throughout Year 6, children gain experience of local secondary schools as we participate in activities such as the Sport, Science, Maths and Technology events at Wolfreton and Hessle High School – enabling pupils to become more familiar with the physical surroundings, as well as meeting pupils and children from other feeder schools.