SOME children may be leaving primary school without the foundation skills in place and may be poorer than their peers in areas such as reading and writing.
This may result in them arriving at the new school at a disadvantage even before they have settled into their new surroundings.
Transition to secondary school can be one of the greatest changes in a child’s life. He or she may have been supported and coped well in a smaller setting and it may be only when they leave this and have to manage in a larger setting, with more responsibility that some children start not to cope. This may become a “tipping point” for the child.
Ormiston Park Academy’s Assistant Deputy Head, Collette Hunnisett has designed a programme to cater to these challenges and works in partnership with Purfleet and Bonnygate Primary school and is looking to eventually extend to Aveley and Dilkes Primary School.
Mrs Hunnisett is a specialist in Science and has put together a cross-curricular project with the primary school staff of these schools. Collette brings the future OPA Y6 students into the science lab at OPA and runs invigorating science lessons,that have a cross-curricular angle with other subjects, such as literacy etc.
The programme is monitored and maintained together with the primary school staff to ensure that the programme is consistent in terms of how it rewards the students for taking part. The programme also ensures that the transfer from primary to secondary not only means the movement of the child is efficient but also the movement of information between schools, from the old and new school to the parents and the child, and benefits Ormiston Park Academy, in the fact that they are fully prepared and informed of every need their new Y7 child may need.
Year 6 is the final year at Primary schools and a very important one too! The children learn to become more independent in preparation for secondary school. It is during this year that children sit their Key Stage 2 SATs, so the children need to prepare to work very hard and this introduction to secondary school goes hand in hand with the level of responsibility that is expected of the students in Y6.
In Y6, they are the oldest members of their school community and they have the responsibility of being role models for the rest of the school. The transition programme by OPA has proved to be a great success and something of which they hope to expand upon. The benefit being is that their future Y7 students will be fully prepared for the rigours and routines of secondary school.