We invest a huge amount of time in ensuring that each child has a smooth transition to secondary school. Once they have been allocated a place with us, we work on the principle of finding out as much about a pupil as possible before they start with us so that when they do start we know them well.
We have a well-established programme designed to support the transition from primary school into secondary school. We work closely with our ‘feeder’ primary schools to ensure that their Year 6 pupils are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities presented by secondary education, so that they can make a confident beginning at the Academy.
We provide a number of taster sessions throughout the year, a Summer Academy and a range of other introductory activities designed to support pupils making the move into Year 7. We also have ‘buddying’ schemes available designed to team new pupils with supportive older pupils who understand how it feels to be entering a new environment.
All Year 6 pupils who are allocated a place at the Academy attend an ‘Induction Day’ in the summer term. This day gives the pupils an opportunity to spend a day with their new tutor group, meet new friends and, most importantly, start to meet some of the staff with whom they will be spending the next 5-7 years.
There is also a Parent Induction evening for all Year 6 parents in the summer term to give them key information about the Academy. The Induction gives parents the opportunity to learn more about the Academy’s ethos, routines and expectations and meet the Principal and Senior Leadership Team.
Our Summer Academy gives pupils an exciting opportunity to help smooth the path of transition from primary to secondary school. The programme focuses on improving literacy and numeracy through a planned curriculum and enrichment activities to boost creativity and confidence. Summer Academy pupils are able to meet new friends and teachers, navigate the Academy building and try lots of new and fun activities including trips and events.
We also implement a peer based mentoring scheme to ease the transition from primary to secondary school. The Peer Mentoring Programme aims to provide support for our new Year 7 pupils – individually and as a group, to help them settle in, make progress and to achieve their full potential within our Academy.
The programme allows younger pupils who wish to talk about their expectations of high school to speak to Academy pupils who have recently gone through the experience rather than to teachers / adults. Our peer mentors are approachable, compassionate and patient, with good listening and communication skills. Our youngest pupils enjoy drawing on the experience of the older pupils and our Peer Mentors provide Year 7 pupils with an initial, accessible point of contact from which to seek information and support during their early experiences at the Academy.
Transition Through the Year Groups
All key stakeholders work together to support transition through the Key Stages. There are six Heads of Year that make up the Pastoral Team. Heads of Year remain with their Year Group to ensure consistency while pupils transition through the Academy, nurturing strong relationships with pupils and their families.