We understand that the transition to secondary school is more challenging for some children than for others. For that reason, we offer a Transition Programme that operates a much smaller class size of around 15 to 18 students throughout Year 7. The programme is available to all Year 7 learners who we deem appropriate, not just those with special educational needs. In Transition, the students study exactly the same curriculum as the rest of Year 7, just in a more calm, consistent and nurturing environment. Core subjects (Maths, English, RE, Geography and History) are taught by one teacher in the same classroom. Science, Languages, Computing, Drama, Music and Art are taught by subject specialist teachers in specialist rooms. For Design Technology, Food and Physical Education, the students are taught amongst the rest of Year 7. The students will also belong to a form group where they will be able to mix socially with other students; PSHE is also delivered in form groups. Breaktime, lunchtime, trips and other extra-curricular activities also provide opportunities to mix with the wider Year 7 cohort.
This programme is proven to reduce the anxiety of multiple teachers, rooms and environments, which in turn significantly aids the learning and settling in process. By having one teacher for a large chunk of literary based subjects, we are able to provide additional literacy support where needed. Specific SEND support can also be deployed in the same environment where relevant.
Through Transition, the students become quickly familiar with the expectations of the school and receive the best possible support, whilst accessing the full curriculum in an inclusive environment; overall having a better transition into secondary education. Spending a significant time with one teacher allows us to better understand their needs and provide a better learning experience when they move out of Transition.
We select students for Transition based on their KS2 data, discussions with their primary school teacher, the primary SENCO if relevant as well as further assessments that we conduct on the Year 6 into 7 day in June and on the Induction Day in September. Students will be placed in the programme from the very start of September and parents will be notified once the children are settled into the group.
The aim of the programme is to ensure that all students thrive and are ready to access the full curriculum independently in Year 8. Some students will spend the whole year in Transition, others will move out and into wider population sooner; when and how this works is tailored to the individual students needs and is managed by our Head of Transition, Mr S Rowan.