Year 6 is a crucial year for students, both academically and socially.
It not only marks the end of primary school but is also the beginning of a series of physical and psychological changes that will come to dominate teenage years.
One of my main targets this year is to ensure a smooth transition between our primary and secondary school at NAIS Manila. This has taken the form of many subtle changes that have been introduced already in class and getting the children to further exercise their sense of personal responsibility.
Why is the transition so important this year?
Transition periods between nursery, primary, secondary and further education need to be handled delicately.
Moving from Year 6 to Year 7 is an important step for students as they go from being primary school students to secondary school ones. Whilst the students will not make a physical move to a new school, as is common in the UK, they will find the approach in the secondary part of our school to different (and not just in terms of uniform).
Rather than being with the same class teacher for most of the day, the students have a Form Tutor that plays an important pastoral role. This teacher may teach them for some lessons but the secondary timetable requires students to move from room to room.
Getting used to higher expectations regarding personal organisation is very important. Students need to be conscious of their own timetable and need to ensure they hand in homework on time to meet the requirements of different subjects.
A well-planned and coordinated approach to school life makes a significant difference to a student’s achievement, engagement and wellbeing.
What specific steps is the school taking to ensure a smooth transition?
Already this year, we have started to treat the Year 6 students as Secondary ones.
- Giving them permanent seats at tables (rather than having carpet time as is typical in other primary classes).
- Use of ‘planners’ that allow children to be more independent.
- Assigning more home learning projects.
- Getting a real taste for secondary level work through in-depth study and analysis of English texts and detailed historical research tasks.
- Introductions to many secondary-level mathematical and scientific concepts, with collaboration between Primary and KS3 teachers which should ‘bridge the gap’ for them next year.
Ultimately, having high expectations with regards to work and imbuing the children with emotional maturity are the biggest things being done to ensure they are ready to become secondary school students.
How will this benefit the children?
All of these steps will ensure a seamless transition between Key Stage 2 and 3, thus allowing for the security and comfort of the children who continue their educational journey at NAIS Manila.
This will enable them to worry less about their new setting and focus on achieving their best results. Learning continuity is very important in education so student engagement and wellbeing is kept high. Transitioning well is a crucial experience to ensure pupil wellbeing and allowing pupils to reach their full potential.
- Mr. Hickman
Primary Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator