successful transition from year 6 to year 7 – a guide from our teachers

Senior teachers in our cluster have discussed their thoughts on how to make transition from year 6 to year 7 successful. This is one of the biggest changes children face during their school career, which is so important to get right.
First they identified some of the challenges:

What are the barriers facing new year 7 students?

Everything is much larger scale

Children have to make new friends

There’s a new behaviour expectation

Children have to travel to school and around the building (can get lost)

Children have to organise themselves (bring the correct equipment to lessons)

Children have to get used to different teaching styles and to working with 10 teachers not just 1.

Children start new subjects or subjects approached in a different way (eg History not through topic, new modern foreign languages)

Our teachers then discussed how schools can prepare for the transition:

What do secondary schools need to know about new year 7 pupils

Information about childrens’ home lives, history and individual needs

SEN information and data

Useful to bring a portfolio of their work to a secondary.

Useful for year 6 and year 7 teachers to meet in the summer term and share expectations.

What kind of pastoral support needs to be in place for year 6/7 transition

Its worth secondary staff visiting their feeder primary year 6s.

Buddy children up with year 7/8 students

Arrange for secondary students to visit primaries or talk to new year 7s about their own experiences of transition.

Hold a special morning for SEN and vulnerable pupils to visit secondary school.

Make sure new year 7s know where to go to for pastoral support eg student services, the librarian – the people who they can go to and chat if they have a problem or feel vulnerable and get to know.

Hold Taster days at a secondary school for primary pupils.

What do primaries need to do to support their pupils academically in transition?

Enable more collaboration between year 6 and year 7 teachers

Make sure year 6s still keep up with their subject knowledge after SATS – maths problems, looking at texts, taster lessons at a secondary in humanities/languages/science

Make sure primaries take some samples of their work with them to show at secondary school.

Invite ex pupils back to primary schools to update on how they are getting on and what it was like

prepare year 6s for working independently and for homework

Give year 6s some activities in the summer term that include practical skills – eg getting round a building, bringing in the right equipment etc.

The teachers agreed that information sharing between primaries and secondaries is vital and that helping new year 7s to cope with the practical challenges of a new big school was very important.

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BLC teacher working party talks to children about how they learn best

This term, teachers from 4 of our primary schools are making visits to each other’s settings to see learning in the classroom and talk to children about how they learn, what helps them learn, what’s tricky, what’s good and what makes learning memorable. Today it was the turn of Hill Mead Primary year 2 to be interviewed. The children said that story maps and practical activities such as cooking, tile making, drama and a visit to the seaside helped them learn.Talking before writing helped them, and partner work ‘because I go slowly’.The children thought of a time they had used their imaginations to help them learn: ‘The dragon had 64 eggs, then he had another 64 – that’s doubling – we imagined we were in there counting’. We look forward to sharing the working parties experience and findings to our whole cluster and using it to progress the child-centred learning environments we foster.

what makes us cutting edge and creative – a new teacher working party

We have just started up a small working party of 4 teachers from our primary schools who met for the first time yesterday.

In the BLC we recognise that our schools are doing some fantastic creative work bringing lessons to life, making learning relevant and bringing about an excitement and understanding of learning in pupils. We want to capture this, examine how this is happening and build upon it.

Over the next term, our working party will visit each other’s schools and talk to children about their learning and their learning environment, sharing their thoughts in words and pictures.

Thanks to Hill Mead, Archbishop Sumner, St Saviour’s and St John Divine Primaries for taking part in this interesting piece of work.

Maths Leads meet to discuss planning and Using and Applying

On Monday evening, 4 of our primary maths leads from Archbishop Sumner, St Saviour’s, Loughborough and St John Divine schools met to share their thoughts on best planning and resources in maths in their schools and to look at children’s work. There was a wealth of expertise in the room! Here are some of the resources that they found particularly useful:NRich particularly for tasks for more able pupils, perhaps stage 2 level 2 or stage 3 level 1 for more able year 6s.
Target your Maths – which provides resources through to secondary.
Test base

Convince Me cards for challenge
Concept Cartoons which can provide good class discussion in preparation for using and applying.

Loughborough Primary has seen increased attainment through using the Big Maths programme.

Archbishop Sumner KS1 teachers are using Maths Mastery to support secure learning in number.

The group advocated giving pairs of teachers some time to plan maths lessons together, then try them out and support each other with feedback to encourage trying out new things.

The group agreed the importance of children showing their working out in their books, whether on the page of the task they are doing or at the back of books.

We hope some of these ideas are useful. Please get in touch for more information.

BLC Steering group meeting

The BLC steering group met today to discuss moderations, teacher working parties, peer to peer support projects and subject leader meetings planned for the next few months. All year groups in primary are scheduled to do writing and science evidencing moderations in the Spring. Maths leads, Science leads, IT co-ordinators and SEND co-ordinators all have meetings taking place in the next few weeks. Pupils from secondary schools are working with primary and nursery schools and next term we are planning primary/secondary science fairs. In addition there are a number of opportunities being taken up by our schools: work with National Theatre, London Wildlife Trust and Pegasus Opera company. Thanks to all our teachers who take time to attend cluster meetings and work together to support our schools.

Science leaders meet

This week Science leaders from St Gabriel’s College. Archibishop Sumner Primary, Evelyn Grace Academy, St John Divine Primary, Jessop Primary and St Saviour’s Primary met to share samples of children’s work, discuss Science teaching and learning in their schools and plan working together. The enthusiastic group of teachers had valuable exchange of how science is taught in primary compared to secondary. They discussed the value of children being familiar with ways of reading data eg through graphs when they get to secondary. Next term the group plan to set up some sessions where year 5 children can visit and participate in Science lessons in secondary schools, and we hope to run a Science Fair in the Spring.

IT co-ordinators meet

IT co-ordinators from Archbishop Sumner, Jessop and St Saviour’s met last night for a session facilitated by London CLC, to look at ways of assessing children’s progress in the new Computing curriculum and different ways of gathering evidence. This will be the first of 3 meetings supported by CLC. The group discussed the challenge of setting assessment targets in this ever changing and progressing subject area. CLC introduced the group to Creative Commons, a way for teachers and pupils to share their work publicly for free whilst having it acknowledged. They also looked at the lgfl tools available to support class blogging and ways in which blogging can be used as a child’s e-portfolio, to give a purpose for blogging. We look forward to the next meeting when teachers will look at the Computer Science aspect of the curriculum for all groups in more depth and work together on assessment.