Effective transition from Year 6 to Year 7 – It’s all about continuity, sharing and challenging.
Creating a continuum of learning that builds on prior knowledge and skills, creates independent and enthusiastic learners and ensures every child can progress and achieve their full potential is what anyone who is in the education profession would agree with. So why is it that we still have a well-researched and continuing dip in performance of anything up to 39% for pupils at the end of year 7.
The process of transition is critical to ensuring learning continues over the transition bridge between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. This is even more so with the new accountability measures that now mean a pupil will arrive in year 7 with a score based on their SATs results and that score will be used to calculate the progress they make by the time they are sitting their GCSEs in year 11. No secondary school can dispute the score neither can they test the child in a different way and then use that data instead.
We run a very popular event called Crossing the Bridge Transition from Key Stage 2 to 3 where we ask delegates to focus on how we can turn the dip in performance into higher achievement because they are creating strategies that build on the learning that has taken place already, recognised that pupils need time to adjust and build on their skills and focus on how to make the most of the new and innovative approaches to subject specific teaching delivered by experts that they have not had in the primary phase. It is amazing how often we ask the questions ‘How do you share schemes of work across the transition bridge?’, how do you know what has been taught in Year 5 and Year 6? and receive the answer, ‘we don’t’.
We have a real opportunity to make a difference with some simple changes to policy and practice and ensure that all our pupils are enthused by the learning that takes place throughout their year 7 experience and beyond.