Transition from primary to secondary school is a very exciting and challenging time for any child, and also for their parents and carers. To help our prospective Year 7 pupils to feel comfortable and secure, and to welcome them and their families as part of our school community, an extensive transition programme is planned starting in Year 5.
During Year 5 pupils are offered three taster days at St Thomas More, where they get the opportunity to meet key staff, use the school facilities and experience what learning feels like for our pupils. In addition we offer parents the opportunity to visit the school both during the school day and on a set evening to meet key staff and ask any questions. This is typically towards the end of the summer term.
Once you have received confirmation of your place at St Thomas More, you will hear from us very quickly with details of our Year 6 Welcome Evening. At this meeting parents will learn more about our school expectations and ethos and will be introduced to key senior staff. The Welcome Evening is an invaluable opportunity to clarify any concerns parents may have regarding Year 7.
Our Year 6 transition programme begins with a pastoral ‘Welcome Day’ at Gibside Estate. This is an opportunity to make new friends and to learn about our school expectation and ethos at St Thomas More.
The Welcome Day is followed by 2 Transition Days At St Thomas More. During these days pupils will follow a normal timetable, taking breaks and lunchtime with St Thomas More pupils, and taking part in a range of lessons across the school. On these visit days, pupils will become more familiar with the school building, our routine and our expectations..
Prior to leaving Primary School, Year 6 teachers provide us with a piece of literacy and numeracy work which reflects the standards that each pupil is working at. This work is used by staff at St Thomas More in pupils’ first lessons to create a link in terms of curriculum content. It is also used throughout Key Stage 3 to work with pupils on progress and to track where they were compared to where they are at a set point in time.
In addition to the key transition events, we dedicate a significant amount of time to working with our cluster schools to focus on academic standards across the cluster. As part of our work we hold three cross phase developmental days throughout the academic year, where staff focus on curriculum mapping from Key Stage 2 to 3, assessment strategies and sharing best practice linked to teaching and learning.
As a school we are very proud of our transition programme and the strong links we have with our primary schools. If you have any queries regarding your child’s transition please do not hesitate to contact us.