The transition from primary school to secondary school can be an anxious time for both the student and their parents/carers. It is our aim to ensure that this is as positive an experience as possible for all concerned.
The process begins very soon into Year 6 where we, along with every other secondary school in the city, hold an Open Evening to provide the opportunity for an exploration of the school - its facilities, curriculum, enrichment opportunities - and a chance to talk to staff and students. These are important events to help clarify the best educational environment for each individual.
Once applications have been made to Leicester City Council Admissions Department at the end of October, the long and eager wait occurs until March, when students receive news of their allocated school. It is then that our designated transition team springs into action. There are many aspects of the transition process:
It is our determination to visit every student (where geographically possible) in their primary school to introduce ourselves, discuss the transition process and answer any questions they may have. This is a major undertaking as we receive students from approximately 30 primary schools every year. It is also, for the transition team, the most informative aspect of the process as we can also spend time discussing students with their primary teachers. The schools also complete our Primary Visit Forms which provide us with lots of information that we find useful for creating form groups and informing tutors for the first few weeks.
Parents and students who are allocated a place at Judgemeadow in March are invited to our special evening introducing the French Immersion Programme and explaining the process and procedure for application.
As we approach the end of the summer term, but in advance of our main Intake Day, our Support for Learning Team invites all students who have a Statement, or appear as School Action Plus on the primary schools' SEN register to a special half day workshop. Here they will meet the Teaching Assistants and support staff who will be working with them during their time at Judgemeadow.
A major concern for some students at the point of transition is that they know very few others students or, in some cases, no-one at all. This is because a number of our students are transferring from their primary with perhaps just one or two other people. As a result, we have introduced another half day workshop for students who will be joining us from Primaries as one of 3, or 2 or the only student. This is a fun half day of team building and ‘getting to know each other’ exercises – this can help inform us when placing students together in the form groups.
Towards the end of the Summer Term a day is set for every secondary school to hold an Intake Day where Year 6 students spend a day at their secondary school. At Judgemeadow we use this time to introduce students to their form tutor and fellow tutees; to spend some time doing some ‘getting to know you activities’; to do some general administration; to familiarise themselves with the building through a tour; to experience a sample lesson; to complete a simple literacy test. At the end of the Intake Day students will have gained insight into the life of our school and had many questions and concerns answered.
Shortly after the Intake Day we hold an evening for parents to come and meet with their child’s new tutor and have the college systems explained and any questions addressed.
We have also introduced a more targeted approach for additional transition support for students. This is usually based on information gleaned from the primary schools and has the aim of supporting individual or small groups of students who might find the transition to secondary school particularly challenging.
All of the above is aimed at reducing anxiety and promoting a positive transition from the primary to secondary phase of education. We welcome any communication during the transition process. Please contact the school reception who will put you in contact with the Vice Principal who deals with transition processes, who will try to answer any questions raised by parents/carers and students.