Transition is a part of a school life. Whether it is transitioning into primary school, transitioning out of primary school or moving to a new year group or class - change is part of school life. For some children, transitioning is simple and something they do not give much thought to but for some children, it can be emotional and daunting. Therefore, we ensure there are plenty of processes incorporated into our daily life at school to try to minimise the situations as much as possible.
Transitioning into primary school
As we have a preschool, the transition into our reception is quite comfortable for our children. The majority of our reception children are already within our school; any children who aren't are offered settling in sessions before transition day in the summer term and their September start. Transitioning into preschool happens through settling in mornings, parent and child visits and tours, modified morning routines and communications between our staff and previous settings.
As a new reception, children and parents are also offered transition day and Parents' Information Evening.
Transitioning into new year groups or classes
Moving into a new year group or class can be as daunting as starting a new school for some children. Even though, our school community is very much a family, where all children are familiar with all members of teaching staff due to assemblies and specialist teaching, we still put lots of transitional activities into the summer term. P.E. is the subject we use for these opportunities. The year 2 children begin joining the key stage 2 children at Upper Wharfedale for swimming and P.E. This enables them to become familiar with routines which they will be part of the following year but also allows them to work alongside the children in their new class. This also allows the reception children and year 1 children, to come together to take part in P.E.. Again, this allows the children to work together, learn together and play together.
Year 4 and 5 children go on a three-day, two-night residential in Summer Two Term. This is a great bonding experience for them but also a developmental experience, as for many children it is their longest time away from home. This event develops a lot of confidence within the children and gives them opportunities to make new friends whilst taking part in new experiences.
Rev. Thomas comes into school in the Summer Term to deliver a whole school transition day. Through inspirational activities and thought provoking stories he offers support and guidance through the difficulties of change.
Transitioning to secondary education
Moving on to secondary education may be one of the most difficult parts of a child's early life. Leaving a safe, secure environment where you are confident and comfortable - knowing what is expected and knowing everyone - is daunting. They go from a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a very big pond. We therefore do all we can to prepare them. A lot of time and resources are used to ensure the children are as prepared as they can be.
We have a very good relationship with all of our local secondary school. Attending stem days, walkarounds during the Summer Term to familiarise the children with their school or the context of a secondary school. We welcome staff from the schools into ours, giving them opportunities to meet the children and providing essential information to ensure our children receive any support they need.
We organise a joint residential with another local primary school to forge more links for children transitioning to the same secondary school and to gain school in making new friends. We carefully plan our residential to provide experiences outside of the children's usual environment or comfortable zone; this builds resilience and confidence in the children.
Our year 6 children create a blog, to share their journey into secondary school. This can be accessed here:
As well as preparing our children for their move, we also want to make sure they know how much they are going to be missed.
We make sure our children leave with a bang!
Starting with our school production, the children have Leavers' Hoodies; Leavers' Books; a music video; radio shows; a Leavers' Service, a water fight and one heck of a party!
We want our children to know they are valued, will be missed and how very proud we are of each of them. They will always be graduates of Threshfield Primary School.