T is for Transition. T is for trying to tantalise the academic taste-buds of our year six students ready for year seven. T is for creating tenacity in transition and induction and creating a pleasant pathway into secondary school.
So many of us can’t remember our transition because we were of the generation who were told to ‘just get on with it!’. My ‘T for Transition’ was a ‘triadic cluster’ of trepidation, terror and trembling knees. We were not cushioned by a gentle whoosh into following a timetable and understanding the first lesson. It was more like a firm push or even kick by the class bully into anticipating a day of confusion, intimidation and boring ‘old-school’ teacher’s rhetoric.
But, now I lead on Transition for my academy, T really has to be for Transition.
I am currently working on a policy document whereby I can measure and mark the process of Transition and show a through-line from start to finish. My aim is to provide cohesion and align the process with our academy mantra: Consistent. Insistent. Persistent. I hope to have a full programme in place which takes the student from their ‘happy place’ amidst the fun projects that they learn from so well, to our ‘happy place’ in year seven.
This ‘transition’ involves: primary visits and familiarisation for the student of Key staff and who the ‘friendly faces’ are, induction days set within a project-based timetable of learning about their new subjects and themselves and each other, a nurture afternoon for those coming on their own from primary school, summer school and interacting with their new Academy via our ever-evolving visual learning environment. All of the aforementioned are in place and fulfilling their ‘theory of evolution’ and I hope to add more to ‘T for Transition’ and place it firmly within the fabric of our academy’s pedagogy and practice.
My Stanislavski-esq ‘super-objective’ will be to offer to other schools and academies to become part of their practice. Who knows? What I do know is that, from research and practice, attendance has improved, spirits are high and there are fewer students feeling likely to refuse themselves their education. Things seem ‘on the up’ and this can only mean good things for our students transitioning from Key Stage two to three and which will hopefully ‘pay dividends’ to staff who are about to welcome them into the small fold or community of their subject. “
@SarahLWilliam11 Great Barr, Birmingham – Head of Key Stage 3