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There are many transitions in life apart from those between schools.
We are born, grow, start school, make friends, change school, move school again, go to college, start work, form serious relationships, produce more humans, change jobs, move house, get promoted/sacked, form new serious relationships, buy fast cars, move country, come back again, bury our relatives, welcome new relatives, begin to wear out, slow down, move to hospital or care home and finally die.
Although very different, each transition has similar themes, and by understanding the significant changes in our own lives we are better placed to support our pupils through theirs.
When pupils move between classes and schools, they don’t suddenly and magically adapt to a new set of requirements and expectations. They need time to learn and time to acclimatise
There is evidence that children who fail to make a successful transition from primary to secondary school are more likely to become alienated, to truant or to create difficulties and disruptions when they are in school. Their concerns generally include:
1. The size and more complex organization of the new school
2. New forms of discipline and authority
3. New demands of work
4. Making new friends
5. The prospect of being bullied
Schools tend to pay greater attention to 1, 2 and 3. Transition can be even more effective when 4 and 5 are taken into account as well. For example, crossing the pedagogy bridge requires pupils to reflect on their learning preferences, how they learned in the school they are leaving, and how they will be learning in the one they are joining.
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