The Importance of Transition – Partner Post
Xporter are pleased to introduce the following blog written by our partners at SixIntoSeven.
Transition is a key time in the life of a child. Not only do they move schools, but they also move to institutions which are much bigger, and which are run in different ways, all at a time when they are experiencing accelerated personal development. Most children look forward to moving, and most children thrive when they get there. However, certain difficulties have been highlighted over the years.
In 2015, Ofsted published “Key stage 3: the wasted years?” It stated that in “too many schools the quality of teaching and the rate of pupils’ progress and achievement were not good enough.” For example, it noted, “the slow progress made in English and mathematics and the lack of challenge for the most able pupils” and that “Achievement was not good enough in just under half of the MFL [modern foreign languages] classes.” Although much has improved, there is still work to do. In 2021, Ofsted highlighted transition seventeen times as a limiter to acceptable progress within MFL in their subject report (Research review series: languages).
The logistics of primary to secondary transition are complex. Primary schools will often feed three or four secondary schools, and a secondary school can easily receive pupils from fifteen primary schools. The picture is further complicated when pupils move between local authorities as each organisation has its own way of managing the process.
Unfortunately, as so often is the case, when events do not go right, they are more likely to affect the more disadvantaged in society.
The report “Transition from Primary to Secondary School: findings from the Growing Up in Scotland study” (2021), noted that 30% of children in the lowest income group experienced a negative transition compared with 15% in the highest income group. Similarly, 44% of children whose parents had no qualifications experienced a negative transition compared with 16% whose parents were educated to degree level.
Our mission is to help the momentum generated in primary schools be carried over to the secondary schools through a personalised transition for all pupils. That is, transferring the information needed to challenge and support a pupil from day one of their time in secondary school to minimise the risk of a negative transition. In doing so we will support all pupils, but especially those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.