28 February 2017

New transition programme supports families with the move to ‘big school’


In the week that secondary school places are allocated, the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP) has launched an innovative programme to support pupils (and parents) with the move from primary to secondary school.

The Transition Guarantee aspires to deliver high quality key stage 2-3 transition to year 6 and 7 children at ATLP schools: Brookvale, Hill West, Mere Green and Slade primaries, and Arthur Terry, Coleshill and Stockland Green secondaries.

The co-ordinated approach is the respected multi-academy trust’s commitment to pupils and families that all of its academies will run the same activities to give all children the same high level of quality transition.

The package will help all ATLP students to prepare for secondary school in the same way, including a range of activities such as taster days, drop-in sessions, Independence Weeks, and reunion events.

Steve Hale, senior learning mentor at Mere Green Primary School and project co-ordinator said:

We believe that making sure a child starts secondary school regardless of ability, background or need begin this next chapter in their lives feeling supported and listened to. It is so important to acknowledge these worries and fears and make sure that we as individual schools and as the ATLP are getting it right for each child and parent.

This is very much a collaborative approach with all our schools working together consistent providing the same transition package to help make the move to big school smoothly.”

As well as academic levels, the Transition Guarantee programme will include a strong focus on the pastoral side of transition, giving children their chance to have their say about their individual needs.

Primary schools will hand out three transition information forms: one for primary pastoral teams to complete about the child, one for parents/carers to fill in and one for children to complete.

Steve said: “This is the child’s chance to voice any concerns about transition, to describe what they are like – what they enjoy, what their pastimes are, what they may struggle with at school. All of which, will help to paint a 36-degree picture of that pupil.”

If a child from an ATLP primary is transitioning to a secondary school outside of the partnership, then that school will also receive that same information, and if a child is coming into a secondary school from a primary outside of the ATLP, then the secondary school will be sending out this same set of key information.

Richard Gill, CEO of the ATLP, said:

The pastoral layer is so important because it will provide secondary schools with an understanding of who the child is as a person and what makes them so particularly unique. Primaries and secondaries will be working really closely to ensure that this key information is given to the right person in the school, be it the year 7 form teacher or the pastoral team.”

The ATLP Transition Guarantee timetable will provide advice and support to pupils and parents all year round. Once pupils have started year 7, primary schools will team up with secondaries to ensure that the high-level transition experience continues.

Steve said: “These wonderful children have been in our care for such a long time that it’s our duty and privilege to ensure that they continue to flourish. Primary school staff are still on hand – in conjunction with new teachers – to offer support and familiarity as students progress through year 7.

“The best part is when our former pupils return to primary school to tell our current year 6s just how fantastic secondary school is!”

Richard Gill added:

We fully understand the challenges of moving from that comfortable family type setting at primary schools and the range of emotions that comes with this. We are committed to making sure that the Transition Guarantee will provide families with the best possible start to life at secondary school.”

For further information on the programme, please visit http://www.atlp.org.uk/transition-guarantee/    Twitter: @ATLPtransition