Year 6 to 7 Transition
Moving from primary to secondary school is an exciting and significant event. The Clarendon Academy recognises this is an important milestone and aims to make the transition as smooth and problem free as possible.
As part of the work undertaken by the Trowbridge Collaborative of schools, we work very closely with many local Primary schools in a range of activities, some of which are outlined in the newsletter found at the end of this section. This guide describes the specific transition opportunities offered to both Year 5 and Year 6 students.
Year 6 Transition
Our transition process starts in the early spring once we have identified students choosing the Clarendon Academy. Parents and carers will receive confirmation of their child`s place and information about the purchase of school uniform and other aspects of the school day. There will be an invitation to the Induction Day for new students usually held in the first week in July and the Information Evening for parents and carers. The Induction Day allows Year 6 students to experience a full school day and get to know the students from other Primaries who will part of their learning groups and tutor group. They will find out which House they are in and meet their tutor and the other students in their tutor group. They can also experience buying their own lunch in the Bistro.
In the evening on the same day, there is an a presentation for parents and carers and a chance to meet the Director of Student Progress in their child`s House and other key staff. This is an important part of the transition process and a chance to ask questions and gather information. Parents have commented that they find this information evening an extremely valuable part of the transition process.
In addition, all “new” students will be visited in their Primary school by a key member of staff from Clarendon. These visits are used to explain what will happen at the Induction day and allow the children to get to know a familiar face and to ask questions. Clarendon staff will also spend time with the Year 6 teacher, exchanging essential progress information and discussing particular issues that might affect the transition process.
Those students who have additional needs will also be invited to tour the school in small groups before the Induction Day and meet the staff and TAs who will support them when joining Clarendon. This is particularly important for students who might find the transition challenging. In addition, our SENDCo, will make individual visits to the Primaries to make sure we can support students as fully as possible and arrange to meet parents and carers where necessary.
Starting in September
On the first day of term for students, Year 7 will start with a short Assembly. They will then be collected and spend time with their tutor before the rest of the school arrive. They will have time to get to know their way around, to write their timetable in their journals and make sure they know where they are going in the first few days. The first lesson will be after break. The first few days will no doubt be exhausting and for some, a little bewildering, however, there is support from all angles; Tutors, teachers, Clarendon student ambassadors, members of the tutor group and other key staff such as the Pastoral Support leaders. Most students settle into their routine quickly and easily.
In the first two weeks tutors will keep a keen eye on their new tutees. Tutors in all three Houses, Eagles, Kestrels and Falcons will conduct individual one to one interviews with students as part of their regular academic mentoring. Tutors will also try to make contact with home and reassure parents and carers that all is going well, and in those cases where there are concerns, develop strategies for support.
Year 7 Settling In
A unique aspect of the Clarendon curriculum is “Understanding our World.” In Years 7 and 8, a combination of English, History, Geography and Beliefs and Values lessons are taught by a range of dedicated specialists through the delivery of 'thematic' modules. Students are challenged to improve and expand their literacy skills and to transfer these skills between English and Humanities lessons. Such rigorous emphasis on transferrable skills has been highly praised at both local and national level.
To mark the transition from the beginning of Term 1, a celebration evening is held and students are awarded certificates marking their progress so far; a fabulous night for our students, parents and teachers. At the same time the first progress report will be posted home in order that parents and carers have an early opportunity to talk to staff about their child`s progress.
Although staff will use the data from Primary schools to assess individual needs, further assessment in both numeracy and literacy in the first few weeks will identify those needing additional support. Reading, spelling and numeracy groups are quickly established alongside other groups which support students with communication and organisational skills. For more specific information please contact our SENDCo, general[at]clarendonacademy.com
Should you have any concerns about your child`s progress and feel you need to speak to staff about this, please contact the DSP for your child`s House by emailing general[at]clarendonacademy.com
The IL Faculty has a key role within the school by supporting all our students with additional needs to enable them to leave us as confident learners who are ready to embrace the challenges and opportunities which they are offered.
Staff regularly visit local primary schools for one or two years before children start with us, either by working with individual children on a weekly basis or by attending annual reviews and My Support Plan meetings in Year 6.
Once places have been allocated our SENDCo will visit each school and meet both the children with SEN and their teachers in order to ensure that their needs are fully catered for as they make the transition to Clarendon. In addition to the whole school Year 6 day, those children who need a longer period of transition are invited to spend time with us one morning a week for six weeks in June and July, so that they are happy and get to know key staff and some students who will work with them in September.
Once the children have arrived we constantly monitor their welfare and progress and adjust individual learning programmes as necessary. The expectation is that children work in their main learning groups as much as possible but, for those who need extra support some may be invited to join groups focusing on spelling, reading, comprehension, confidence and making good choices.
Parents are also kept up to date with their child's progress: the first Year 7 report is received before the end of Term 1 and we run groups such as our parents' group for the parents and carers of children who have Asperger syndrome and autism.
Year 5 Taster Days
The other significant part of our transition process is the Open Day or Taster Day in June.
Every Primary within the Collaborative has the opportunity to bring their Year 5 students to Clarendon. As the name implies, the aim of this day is to give Year 5 a “taste” of what “big school” is like. This is a fun day for all involved and even though we could host up to 180 students on one day it all seems to run like clockwork ! The children are accompanied by members of staff from their school but soon enjoy the opportunity to mix with children from other Primaries and with Clarendon students they know at lunchtime.
When they arrive the children will be put into groups representing our Houses, with an extra House, Swifts, just for the day. These are usually mixed so they make some friends with children from other schools.
The taster day consists of lots of varied activities in Science, PE, Art and Food, Humanities and ICT.
Can you spot Clarence?
The table below identifies the key parts of this transition and provides information which we hope you will find useful. However, please do not hesitate to contact the Academy directly should you have further queries. The contact details are given below.
Key Dates and Transition Events:
Y7 catch up funding
This year the academy received £17000 to use for Y7 catch up. This funding is used for a summer school for targeted students. In addition, it is used to subsidise smaller classes for students with literacy and numeracy issues. There is also a programme of small groups withdrawal throughout year 7. Current progress information indicates good progress of these groups.