Chesterton Community Sports College has built up strong relationships with all of our partner Primary Schools within the Chesterton and wider Newcastle area. Children come to us from these schools as well as schools from outside the catchment area and these have included:
Good arrangements for managing transition are key factors in helping pupils achieve more. Chesterton Community Sports College has always valued the information given by primary staff and parents about the new intake and have developed a pastoral programme of visits, information packs and induction days that is valued by pupils and parents. However, it was felt that by working closer together on curriculum experiences, we could improve the continuity and progression of pupils between KS2 and KS3:
- Jointly plan the curriculum so that it builds on schemes of work that have been taught previously;
- Ensure pastoral links to meet pupils’ personal and social needs;
- Improve continuity in teaching and learning methods;
- Develop pupil’s skills in both the core and some foundation subjects.
The pastoral care of our Y6 pupils through to Y7 has always been of paramount importance. This transfer of information has exceeded the requirements of the Key Stage transfer form and enables Chesterton Community Sports College staff to have a comprehensive view of the intake by receiving information from primary colleagues, parents, and pupils about previous attainment, personality, health issues, behavioural and family information, thus enabling us to place children in various tutor and teaching groups.
However, it was always felt that the first-hand experience of the child in their familiar working environment of their primary school, with “known” teachers, would enhance the image we had of our future intake, and help them achieve more and at a faster pace. Therefore, we have regularly invited KS2 Primary pupils from both our partner and satellite Primaries to visit us for a variety of both curriculum-based and extra-curricular activities over the whole year. This has previously included Language theatres, Science in Action days, Gifted and Talented workshops, Owl experience shows, music and drama activities and performances of both pantomimes and school shows.
Additionally, during June and July, and after KS2 SATS, the primary partnership schools have taken part in transition or ‘welcome days’ working alongside KS3 pupils to experience High School lessons and procedures before they join us in September. These visits are a superb opportunity to mix socially with children from other schools and to experience learning opportunities with unfamiliar teaching staff outside their normal classroom environment.
The work which follows these visits has been planned to challenge and enthuse the pupils so that they look forward to continuing their work in their secondary school. Teachers in both primary and secondary school were able to share expertise and specialist facilities. Year 6 are able to experience work that they would have previously only experienced in Y7, across a number of subject areas, including English, Maths, Science, D&T, Music, Drama, History, Geography, and languages including French and Spanish, along with our Specialism Sport. The emphasis of the work planned is on skills and knowledge. This helps create an improved level of confidence amongst the pupils, about the imminent move.
Many positive issues have come from these ‘welcome days’:
- A recognisable, much improved seamless transition from KS2 to 3 by our intake children, coming from an increased familiarity of staff, facilities and “ways of working” in both key stages.
- Positive experiences from staff in both key stages as they “worked together” and shared skills and experiences.
- Positive preliminary contacts by parents of Y6s with unfamiliar “high school system”.
- KS2 becoming familiar with ChestertonCommunitySportsCollege a year earlier and allaying potential fears as they reach transition year.
- Parents expressing appreciation of their child’s experience of the transition project.
The Primary Transition Leader is Mr P Young.