Moving to a new school can be a daunting prospect, whether at the usual time of transition from primary to secondary school or later, as a mid-year transfer. In education it is acknowledged that a thriving son may lose potential during transition periods. At The John Fisher School we pride ourselves on providing our new students and parents/carers with a smooth and successful transition from primary school to secondary school.
We run a well-established transition programme for our future Year 7 students, developed through strong links with our feeder primaries. Our Transition Team has carried out this role for many years and are best equipped to support the transition process.
Year 6 Induction Day
This annual event comprises a day at school for students and an evening presentation for parents/carers. Year 6 students start the day feeling nervous and excited and finish feeling reassured that everything will be fine in Year 7 at The John Fisher School.
They meet their Director of Learning and Form Tutor and enjoy the challenge of a series of typical lessons and enrichment activities. In the evening parents/carers find out more about activities on offer, uniform requirements, day to day issues and the role of the pastoral support and the school’s systems and processes. They also get the opportunity to meet their son's form tutor and begin to form a positive relationship. This information is collated and then used to help place students in mixed-ability tutor groups, containing some of their friends from primary school, ready for when they start at our school.
Visitors are invited to The John Fisher School to learn about our inspiring and engaging teaching and to take part in hands-on activities and exciting learning experiences. These support parents/carers as they choose an appropriate secondary school for their children. Tours of the school will be carried out throughout the event and staff and students will be on hand to answer any questions. Open days including tours of the school, talks by the Headteacher and meetings with other teachers and students are essential – ideally after their primary teacher has talked to students about the differences at a secondary school, including having more than one teacher, different students in each lesson, changing rooms between lessons and behaviour and discipline.
Primary visits and talks
Visits to the primary school by members of staff from The John Fisher School work with primary colleagues in a variety of ways as we believe it is vital to understand and build on the work of primary schools giving the children the benefits of continuity. The Transition Team visit students at their primary school to learn something about them, their friendship groups and their likes and dislikes. They also take this opportunity to speak in detail with the class teacher about every student who has been allocated a place. They meet with individual students/small groups/classes, and observation of the students working in class.
Bespoke Transition Programme
Even when supportive transition interventions are put into place, many sensitive, vulnerable students find secondary school difficult or scary and are at risk of failing; they find the size, structure, procedures and work overwhelming and threatening. Without support and guidance these vulnerable groups can quickly become demotivated and disaffected. The John Fisher School has the appropriate provision in place for a cohort of identified students as soon as their difficulties are identified, it is possible to encourage them to build up emotional resilience, develop their sense of self-worth and belief in themselves, reduce the difficulties they may experience, prepare them for adult life and make their time at secondary school an enjoyable, worthwhile experience.
Our aims and outcomes for this programme are:-
||Preparation for change
||Compliment their learning, social and intellectual development
||New working experiences and environments
||Working as a team
SEND Induction Morning Parents/Carers & Students
An information morning for parents/carers of students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is held at the beginning of the Autumn Term. Parents/carers will meet the SENDCO and Inclusion Team to discuss any concerns they have about their son’s needs.
This is a one week programme aiming to boost student confidence, creativity and competence in literacy and numeracy. Our programme focuses on improving literacy (reading, writing, and speaking) through a planned curriculum and enrichment activities to boost creativity and confidence. The programme will have a firm academic base delivering literacy content, including SPAG, focusing on different themes each day. The numeracy programme focuses on developing basic arithmetic, numerical reasoning, using number skills, using measuring skills, and using data skills. Learning objectives will be delivered in a creative and inspiring way, encouraging the students to use their imagination as well as connecting more deeply to develop a wide range of skills. Students will engage in learning using different methodologies, encouraging self expression, confidence, personal development and fun. The programme will be delivered by experienced teachers.
Effective help provided by the school at the start of the new term can play a significant role in the success of the transition process. Students who experience a successful transition typically greatly expand their friendships, and display higher levels of self-esteem and confidence once at secondary school. They also settle well into school life, demonstrate greater levels of interest in school and work.
Starting at a new school often raises lots of questions for both students and their parents/carers. To help make the whole process as easy and enjoyable as possible we have created a booklet, which collects together all the essential information:
Download the current 'New Year 7 Information Booklet' here. Much of this information can be found elsewhere on this website but it is all together in one booklet here to make it easier for those new to the school.