Coordinating the transition
The transition from primary to secondary school is a very important phase in a child's education. Each child copes differently with change and this is where the transition co-ordinator is particularly important in ensuring all parties are happy, informed and confident in the process. Miss Nowak is the School’s transition coordinator and Mr MacBlain is our Year Leader for Year 7 and transition. Miss Nowak will work very closely with primary schools in acquiring information on every child in order to understand their individual needs. The information is gained through transition forms and meeting the Year 6 teacher. We discuss the child and any intervention or support they may require before they start with us in Year 7.
Primary School visits
Miss Nowak visits each child in their primary school to introduce herself and her role and to address any worries or concerns they may have.
Parents are invited in to Bristol Free School on planned Year 6 parents' evenings. Seeing children move from primary to secondary school can be a very anxious time for parents. Attending the Year 6 parents’ meetings will give parents an opportunity to gain information, talk to Mr Jones, Mr MacBlain and Miss Nowak, and meet other members of staff from Bristol Free School.
The Year 6 students will attend one of our induction days in late June/early July. This is a very exciting day as the students will meet members of their new year group and learning group, sample a variety of lessons around the school and find out which tutor group they will join in September.
In mid-September we have our parent/student activity evenings. The idea of these evenings is for parents/carers to join the new year 7 students and their learning group in ice-breaking activities. It will provide a fantastic opportunity to feel comfortable within your child's new school and to meet their new friends and other parents. This will be followed by a Friends of Bristol Free School (FOBFS) BBQ.
Through many years of experience, it always amazes me how quickly Year 7 students settle in to "big school". The worries of "Will I get lost?", "Will I make new friends?" become questions of the past and soon the students are attending extracurricular clubs and are fully integrated into the school community. Of course, some students do find the transition harder than others, but a positive consistent approach between home and school ensures that strategies and support are always on hand to make it easier for any individual.