SATs are over, we are about to start our final term of the year and the Year 6 children are feeling the ‘big fish little pond’ syndrome kick in with full force.

This year, the BBC have created a ‘Starting Secondary’ campaign to help children on their journey to the next educational station. We know how hard it can be sending children on, whether it’s to one feeder secondary or several.

You’ll always have children who feel ready to go: they’re excited to get to visit their next school. Then, there are the quiet children who we all worry about. They may get extra transition days, discussion between SENCOs or need more conversation and preparation from school staff about what to expect.

But sometimes, there are those children who say nothing. They’ve never had any explicit issues whilst at primary school, and haven’t voiced any concerns about secondary. So often, we assume they’re okay.

But if they aren’t, how can we help them?

First, we can ensure that the children we are sending to secondary have a wide range of skills. We aren’t thinking academic skills here: we are thinking of those key social and life skills which will help them be well-rounded students.

  • Organisation
  • Resilience
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Being a responsible citizen
  • Respect
  • Independence

“I created a series of lessons based around these characteristics in collaboration with our local secondary: their ‘Year 7 Ready’ Project.”

These lessons are designed to combat a number of initial issues children might have: following a timetable, solving friendship problems, respecting adult decisions or even basics like creating (and using!) a to-do list.

Often, we expect them to be able to do simple organisational or independent tasks and find it beyond them. But in fact, if you’ve never had to do them before then is it surprising it is initially challenging?

If you are interested in these lessons, please find the link to the Google Drive here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1MS3EymAHSw7Qyz6zBiFvMdropygRvOnD

Next, we are really lucky this year that BBC Bitesize has recognised the gap of resources aimed at Secondary Transition. Their new ‘Starting Secondary’ campaign includes a number of really helpful resources including videos, quizzes and information on how it works, including ‘through the eyes of a child’ which I think makes it all feel very accessible.

For those children who worry about going up, but are also reluctant to share this with an adult, then they have the information to help them at their fingertips! With tech becoming an ever-increasing source of knowledge among children, it is valuable to have a reliable source available to them.

If you think it would be useful to your class, click here: https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/tags/zh4wy9q/starting-secondary-school/1

Finally, and the transition activity I’m most excited about this year, is our ‘Secondary Week’ (that has extended out to nearly 2 weeks now!) we are holding within our primary school. All the other teachers, SLT, student teachers and TAs have generously got on board: children will move to different classrooms (having to remember their correct books and kit!) for their different subjects, by using their provided timetable.

We have people teaching: music, drama, RE, geography, languages, history, geography, science, PSHE, PE, DT, art, maths and English. For most lessons, I will be able to act as TA in class, for the others I’ll be covering, along with my PGCE student, in other year groups (from Reception – Y5!). I can’t wait to see what is going to be produced and covered during those lessons!

Transition is a time for children to learn and develop understanding for what the next stage of school has in store for them, and for us to assist that growth to happen.

Good luck in T6 everyone! Let’s give these children the best last term of the year – or primary school – that we can.

B & W x

@primaryteachew

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