Title: Moving to Secondary School - Advice and Activities to Support Transition
Author: Linda Measor with Mike Fleetham
Publisher: Network Educational Press 2005
Format: Paperback, A4 Size, 176 Pages
"This is an excellent, step-by-step guide to helping children with their transition from primary to secondary school"
Transfer from primary to secondary school is one of the most significant and difficult steps in a child's life. This educational transition coincides with physical and emotional changes, as well as significant 'rewiring' within the brain. Evidence suggests that this time is one of both profound anxiety and optimistic expectation.
Such strong feelings and daunting changes inevitably affect children's emotional well-being and sense of self. Successful transition is crucial to a child's secondary school career. Pupils who fail to settle are more likely to become alienated and disruptive and suffer the well-known academic 'dip'.
Moving to Secondary School helps teachers to understand and ease children's anxieties and to focus on the positive. The book tackles worries about organisational aspects of secondary school life, such as school size, timetable and workload, and personal concerns about making friends, being bullied and getting on with teachers. It also considers how teaching differs between primary and secondary, and how special programmes can offer continuity in students' learning, while allowing for the discontinuity that signals children becoming more grown up.
Working from careful background research and case studies, the book suggests short activities and longer-term programmes including:
- taster day and fun day visits to secondary schools
- teacher exchanges between primary and secondary schools
- special parents' evenings
- summer holiday projects and induction activities
- utilizing peer mentors
- creative writing, role play, discussion and games
- transition passports and diaries
- learning style and multiple intelligences profiles
- thinking skills activities for induction
- exercises to promote self-confidence and improve social skills
Sample Activity 1
Sample Activity 2
Sample Activity 3
Review by the Trust for the Study of Adolescence, January 2006
"This is a great book which I would have no hesitation in recommending to others. It is an excellent resource for anyone working with children and young people making the move to secondary school. It draws on techniques and skills that are grounded in both theory and practice, offering practical resources and activities for use with children and young people.
It is 180 pages long and is designed like a workbook. It is spiral bound and contains lots of illustrations and activities, as well as photocopiable resources.
The book is aimed at those involved in working with children during the transition from primary to secondary school. This includes teachers, support staff, and a range of project workers. The book has been put together in consultation with teachers, researchers and other practitioners working in the field, so is therefore firmly rooted in practice.
It focuses equally on the two key aspects of transition support: Social and emotional aspects of transition & Learning and curriculum continuity across the transition
Within 5 key sections there are a number of activities, tips, suggestions and photocopiable resources on many topics including making friends, bullying, homework worries and learning styles. The views and experiences of children and young people are featured throughout the book through the use of quotes and case studies. Numerous examples of good practice from other countries as well as local UK based projects are provided.
As well as being deeply rooted in practice, it refers to theory and draws on current international research literature. This focuses on topics such as the 'dip' in children's results, learning environments, curriculum continuity and the range of different learning styles. The reader is therefore provided with highly relevant information in this important area of children's lives.
There are chapters on supporting disengaged students, managing feelings, school organisation and teachers, the curriculum, friends and bullying and primary and secondary liaison. There is also a chapter on helping parents with transitions, which gives suggestions for Year 6 parents' evenings.
In general this book is written in an accessible, user-friendly style, however, on occasions is unnecessarily complex, for example, using phrases such as concentric circles and acrostic poems.
Having said this, I think this is an incredibly valuable resource for anyone working with children and young people during their transition to secondary school, including teachers, support staff, youth workers and project workers. I would have no hesitation in recommending this brilliant book. "