Independent Thinking on Transition: Fostering better collaboration between primary and secondary schools£9.99*
- The 7-step plan offered in the book provide guiding principles and considerations for the transition process for all schools and teachers.
- With experience in both the primary and secondary sectors, Dave is able to offer a mixed perspective understanding the challenges and opportunities for all settings.
- The book offers reflective questions throughout, along with offering checklists to support improvement.
- A great mix of activities to support transition is offered in the appendices allowing for induction events and joint school activities.
- This is a truly accessible book. Easy to read. Easy to dip into. Suitable for primary and secondary teachers and school-leaders.
The transition from primary to secondary school is often fraught with danger for individual children. Moving from the familiar surroundings, friends and close-knit communities that primary schools offer to the long corridors, new faces and different approaches to learning that many secondary schools dispense can lead to unintended drops in behavioural standards, achievement and confidence whilst young people navigate into this new world.
Having experienced and seen the impact that transition has (positively and negatively), Dave Harris (@bravehead) has written a book that wishes to bridge the chasm between primary and secondary schools, so that the transition process is less of a bumpy academic and emotional journey for young people. In his opening chapter, Dave points to many research studies that continue to show that the transition from primary to secondary continues to cause damage to many children, with a decline in educational outcomes, motivation and increase in absences. Six important factors are identified in differences in how primary and secondary school generally are including the buildings, decor, arrival in school, lessons, learning and trust, all having a cumulative effect. In fact, Harris points out the main difference is in attitude and that primary school is ‘fun’, whereas secondary school is ‘serious’.
With the chasm well and truly identified, Dave starts to explore ideas and strategies to bridge the gap between primary and secondary schools that can all ease the transition process. By proposing a 7-step approach to transition, the book offers teachers and school-leaders a reflective opportunity to start reducing the gap. The book then proceeds to explore each step individually asking questions that need honest reflection in all schools to ensure the transition journey can go smoothly for young people. Additionally, the book offers resources and checklists to help focus attention on daily practices that could help inform hidden obvious barriers that are ignored and taken for granted.
In the final chapter, the book explores potential success factors, including the involvement of parents, supporting young people who have additional needs, and gender differences in the school transition process. The book then concludes with a comprehensive set of appendices, offering a range of practical activities and ideas on how to manage and support the transition process including joint activities and induction events.
This book is not a quick fix, and Dave advocates for the transition process to start much earlier in the primary school and conclude towards the end of the secondary school stage. For many, it is clear that the transition process is broken and the reality of what schools think happens when young people move from primary to secondary can be a similarly big chasm to how the experience is encountered by young people – on the surface, the plans and actions may look great, but what about the reality for the pupils? Young people go through significant cognitive and developmental changes as they go through secondary school, in particular, and – at the end of the day – they are still trying to find their place in the world. Get the transition programme right, and you are able to give them confidence, guidance and the belief that they can achieve anything they put their minds to.