Abraham Guest Academy are hosting two transition days on the 9th and 10th of June 2016. We will also be holding our Transition evening on 15th June from 6.00pm to 8.00pm for parents and carers to attend. Please download the letter below for further information.
The transition from primary to secondary school is a major change in a child’s life and can be a worrying time, not only for the children but also for parents/carers. Preparation can help alleviate transfer difficulties. In Year 7 we have a specialist team of Learning Tutors who have been selected based on their specific nurturing qualities and ability to establish standards and routines early.
Click Play to view video of the 2015 Transition.
Each year there are three transition days. The aim of these days is to allow our new students to become familiar with the new environment and routines, as well as experiencing taster-lessons in a wide range of subjects. Our new students spend the first lesson of the transition day with their Learning Tutor, where they are given a timetable for the three days and carry out getting to know the names of their form peers.
Lunch is also provided each day and students make their own way to and from the Academy as a means of supporting this stage of growing independence. The transition days finish with an inter-form sports challenge, of which parents/carers are invited to attend.
During the three days the students are filmed in action and a video is produced to show parents/carers on the New Intake Evening.
Liaison with Partner Primary Schools
The Head of Year 7 and Pastoral Manager lead our transition work. This includes visits to primary schools from Year 7 students to describe their transition experience to prospective Year 6 students. Year 9 students also act as mentors for Year 6 students and support them becoming members of our community.
Over the years, we have built up an excellent relationship with our partner primary schools. Students in Years 4, 5 and 6 come to Abraham Guest Academy on a regular basis. They participate in mini lessons in a wide range of subjects, including Science, Performing Arts, Music, ICT and use of our Sports facilities. We also run Level 6 stretch and challenge clubs in English and Maths, to support our primaries in challenging their more able students.
These visits are crucial to ensure a smooth hand over from primary to secondary for both students and parents/carers.
New Intake Evening
The New Intake evening is an opportunity for the parent/carer and students to recieve important information about life at the Academy. They will meet their learning tutor; learn about the cashless catering system and discover the behaviour and expectations from the Assistant Principal. There are also opportunities to purchase school uniform and to sample the food in the dining room.
As a form of support and contact for our new intake students, we have introduced a Peer Mentor Programme. A number of Year 9 students have applied to become peer mentors. Once selected they are assigned to a primary school, where they visit on a regular basis and plan and lead their own session on bullying, getting lost, uniform, equipment etc.
The peer mentors will be the first port of call if the students have any problems when starting at Abraham Guest Academy.
Key Stage 2 to 3 Academic Transition Project
In addition to our extensive pastoral transition programme, we have worked with the senior leaders from our linked primary schools to develop an academic transition programme which starts this September. The aim of the programme is to create a continuous learning pathway from Year 6 onwards and to establish a shared system of assessing pupils’ performance. The team is made up of 5 Key Stage 2/3 English and maths specialists from the Academy, who work across the phases.
Every week our staff work in the primary schools supporting in Year 6 classrooms, exploring the different teaching styles which can be used to help students progress. In addition, staff find out what the students are learning at Key Stage 2 and feed this back to the staff at Key Stage 3, to ensure there is a continuous learning pathway. This helps to reflect and feed forward when planning for the Key Stage 3 curriculum, in order to accelerate progress in Year 7. Also, staff are developing systems for enhancing and assuring the quality of the assessment judgements through collaborative moderation processes, which will involve seeing examples of pupils’work and pupil discussions.
Although we are in the initial phases of the project, we are constantly looking at ways we can develop it further. It is our intention to invite our primary headteachers and Year 6 teachers into the Academy to visit pupils in their lessons, look at their work and have discussions with pupils about their work. We feel our primary colleagues are best placed to pick up any evidence of dip in progress, which can be quickly addressed.
Leaders across the partnership are committed to the joint work and recognise that this is work in progress, but that the important initial steps have been taken. Fundamentally, we have established a working link between staff in Key Stage 2 and 3 that promotes the importance of a clear understanding of the continuum of learning and assessment between primary and secondary phases of education.
Level 6 Stretch and Challenge Clubs in English and Maths
For three years now we have run Level 6 Clubs in English and Maths to stretch and challenge the more able pupils in our linked primaries. This is a twenty week after school programme which starts just after October half term and runs up until the children sit their SATs in May. The pupils experience topics which are only usually taught at Key Stage 3 and have enjoyed being challenged. This year the programme was delivered by Miss Hendricks, our Key Stage 2/3 English specialist, and Miss Speakman, our Key Stage 2/3 maths specialist.
Not only have the Year 6 students got a head start with the secondary mathematics and English curriculum, but they have also learnt how lessons run in the Academy and the routines of the classroom teachers. All which will aid a smooth transition into the Academy in September.
Numeracy Stretch and Challenge Club
Fourteen Year 6 pupils from Lamberhead Green Primary School and Westfield Community School were involved in the Level 6 Maths club. The keen mathematicians visited the Academy every Wednesday and thrived on the challenging work each and every session, ensuring that they had the best possible chance of achieving a Level 6 in their SATs. Some of the topics that we studied included: ratio, fractions, straight line graphs, algebra, sequences, corresponding and alternate angles, area, volume and we even investigated Pi so that we could work out the area and circumference of circles!
English Stretch and Challenge Club
Six Year 6 pupils from Westfield Community School were involved in the Level 6 English club. Students took part in reading activities using traditional fairy tales; focusing on developing their information retrieval skills and also higher order reading skills that involve evaluating texts. They developed their ability to support their ideas with evidence, using the PQA (point, quotation, analysis) structure which students use at Key Stage 3 when writing about a text.
The pupils also enjoyed using the fairly-tales as a basis for their own creative writing, producing back stories for their characters. This gave the pupils the opportunity to develop their vocabulary and use of figurative language techniques. Non-fiction writing was also developed and pupils developed skills that will support them in their approach to transactional writing.
To encourage focus and pride in their work Miss Hendricks used a ‘counters in the cup’ reward system with pupils receiving counters for meeting the success criteria of the session or demonstrating exceptional progress. At times Miss Hendricks ran out of counters! Miss Hendricks and the English Team were delighted with the attitude to learning presented by those who attended. The benefits of these clubs, in terms of transition, are early identification of our more able pupils and the stretch and challenge continues as soon as they come through the door in Year 7.