This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
What actually is 'transition' for Year 6?(72 Posts)
Everyone keeps saying that the reason Year 6 are being sent back is for the 'transition'. I don't get it. Please someone tell me what I'm missing about this ever so important 'transition' business. In real terms - what does it involve? What do they actually DO in these last 6 weeks or so that will mean that after the 6 - 7 weeks of summer holiday, they're ready to start secondary school?
(Obviously they will not be visiting their secondary schools as those are still closed. And obviously no proms - not that I think they're in any way relevant.)
Full disclosure: I have a Year 6 and have no intention of sending them back.
Mine did fun stuff like a play, water fights and no work at all.
The 'transition' bit was 2 days in high school in July with their new form and year group- not sure whether that would be possible if high schools still closed by then??
I totally get the point of going to the new school and having a tour. Make it seem more familiar in September. But that's not going to happen.
Thinking back to my own transition, we maybe talked a bit about secondary? And yeah, lots of messing around and not working.
There's very little in the way of transition that takes place within primary schools. It's usually done by visits to the secondary school, which presumably aren't happening.
I suppose primaries can do some more of the PSHE based things to prepare them for moving on but that could have been done in about a week so it's a bit puzzling why they have been considered one of the most important year groups to return.
This is a very low number of responses for something that's been shouted about over and over again on here. I genuinely felt I must be missing something. No?
I have a Y6. He's been ready to go to secondary school for months tbh. They've learnt almost nothing this year, as their exams were all over in November (obviously that's not the case for those Y6s that had KS2 to sit). This year was supposed to be the fun stuff- the drama, music, sports, volunteering, SRE (yes- he's moaned about missing that!), the residential, etc etc.
The only bit of transition he wants is the spending a day in his new school.
I seriously doubt we'll be sending him back this term, despite paying the fees. We do not believe social distancing is at all possible in his school.
I read on a thread yesterday that only 1/5 mners would send their child back intto school this term.
Y 6 was when they had exams and setting for Y7. I don't recall it being an easy year at all - they were gearing up for tougher schooling in y7. But I don't think it's nearly an essential a year group as 10 or 12. They are really going to suffer if they don't get back to school soon. There's already a petition about exams next year.
Secondary schools do their own setting- in Y7.
I agree that Y10 and Y12 are utterly crucial. However, I imagine it would be nigh on impossible for 6th form-only institutions to reopen for Y12- they will not have the space or staffing to socially distance (though hopefully, Y12s could manage to keep themselves 2m apart independently, unlike R and Y1!).
DD1 was yr.6 last year. She spent 3 days at her new Secondary but over the course of a few weeks, they did a number of other activities like a camping trip and bowling with their new school. My daughter really enjoyed hers. It’s a big step moving to Secondary so I think transition is important. I had a transition week back in 1990 so it’s not a new concept!
My daughter also had a lovely Yr.6 prom and a spectacular graduation ceremony that I’m sure she will remember for a good while. When they first announced they were closing schools, my first thought was what a shame this year’s yr.6 wouldn’t get the same experience my daughter did, it made me really sad and I saw a lot of them in tears the last day before the lockdown began. If they go back, I really hope schools still find a way to mark the occasion.
In some schools transition for year 6 includes doing things like looking at timetables and practising where they are supposed to be and when, and what might they need to put in their school bag.
They might discuss how they feel about moving to a new school, and then realise most of them will have some anxieties about it. They might discuss the type of issues that come up - not knowing anyone, not knowing their way around, travelling further than they are used to. The sort of thing that can be dealt with in Google Classroom or whatever way they are being taught at present.
This is what I don't get as to why they are talking about sending Yr6s back in.
Once SATS are over, they catch up on all the fun they missed in Yr6 - from plays they put on to trips out and residentials. None of which will happen.
The 'transition' is about going into secondaries - looking round - meeting their new peers - meeting staff - hearing about routines - hearing about their first day or week - parents hearing about uniform and other things to buy - parents also hearing about rules and routines - being able to ask about important worries to do with dinners or homework or even where to go on the first morning.
All of that is importnat, but all of that is done at the new secondary they are going to.
There is no reason why Yr 6s need to be back in Primary for 6 weeks.
Yes, it makes sense for arrangements to be put in place for the transition days to happen - but that is one or two days, at their new schools not 6 weeks at the one they are leaving.
Y 6 was when they had exams and setting for Y7.
Year 6 is a SATS year but SATS have been cancelled so they aren't taking them.
I think you are missing the bit about closure, ending, finishing.
The psychological bit.
I teach year 6.
I don't see 'transition' as a valid reason, unless you get secondaries on board to play their part too.
The 'fun' stuff, called 'rights of passage' by Mark Drakeford, largely cannot happen under the circumstances.
End of year play - no time. Won't have whole class in necessarily. Can't congregate in large numbers to allow for the whole year to do it or parents to see it.
Leavers' service - see above.
Visitors like Bikeability may not be happening even if we open.
Leaver's disco - highly unlikely. The hotel we normally hold ours at isn't open at the moment and won't be until at least July.
We normally are teaching against the skills in the curriculum until the last few weeks, when the show then does take over, so I object to those who think that very little teaching goes on in year 6 post Sats.
But transition... apart from some PSHE discussions and thinking towards what high school will be like, the majority of it hangs on what the high school(s) will provide. The taster days have the biggest impact. And the visit to our school by high school staff to talk to the kids and to hold Q&A sessions, as well as a session speaking to us about them and their needs. And the pupils who need enhanced transition, who would have visited their high school for additional days will miss out more, but it's still a secondary provided service.
I have no objection to smaller groups being in for some time on a rota so they see their friends and get some sort of closure, but that does not need a whole half term.
The Y6s I teach tend to get a borough-wide transition day at their allocated secondary school. There will often be another afternoon/evening when they go to the secondary with a parent to find out about/get measured for uniform and have a talk from the headteacher. For most pupils, that's it. Those with additional needs will be discussed at a handover meeting with secondary SENCos but this isn't foolproof. Some pupils will be visited by a member of staff from their secondary because that's what the school does. Some will be visited because a worried primary teacher has begged the secondary to send someone to meet the child who runs the risk of not being on anyone's radar. Some schools run a summer school for a week or two in August. These may be open to everyone or by invitation only i.e. those children who've been identified as likely to find transition hard. That's about it that's targeted transition 'support'.
I'd really hoped that Y6 would have been given an opportunity to have a really different transition this year both in recognition of the weird time we're in and the lack of end of Y6 celebrations etc. but also because empty secondary schools would be ideal for helping Y6s feel prepared for Y7 if they'd been able to attend for some of the time to learn their way around, learn to read a timetable etc.
This transition thing seems to be all a nonsense then.
The secondary my Y6 is going to have already said there won't be transition days. They're sending out an info pack and will direct kids to the virtual tour on their website (we went round on open day anyway).
So what on earth is the point in Y6 being a targeted year to go back? I genuinely think that nobody making the decision has a Y6 child and someone has just shouted 'transition' at them a lot.
But is closure for year 6 more important than missed curriculum for Year 5? Closure could be achieved by letting them in school for a couple of days at the end of term to say goodbye to their friends. Learning should really take priority if only some children are allowed in. Rightly or wrongly, Year 6 do less new learning than other year groups on the summer term.
DD had more “complicated” transition in year 6 because of having EHCP. She visited her future secondary twice after school to have a look around. A leading TA from secondary came to see her at primary twice. DD also had one full transition day (as all children had) and additional transition morning for children who’re moving out of catchment. Primary school did talks about bullying and puberty. The rest of the time was practicing school play. I’m sure there were a lot of paperwork and communication between SENCOs and leading TAs but DD wasn’t involved in any of these.
Some children with additional needs do have more complicated transition but even so you don’t need to have a child at primary school for 6 weeks.
I'm suspicious of Y6 returning as being a transition thing. If it was, surely the Eton-educated ministers would have been able to recall that they went there aged 13 which is when many independent schools, especially for boys, change. It's also when middle schools tend to finish. If this was about transition then I would have expected the announcement to be about transition years, not specifically Y6. My concern is that there appears to be some suggestion that under 10s and over 10s are affected differently by Covid-19 and putting a cohort of 'over 10s' i.e. Y6 which is mostly age 11 by June, back into circulation, gives an opportunity to look at how vulnerable they are/how many school staff contract it before working out what to do with secondary schools.
My Yr6 is a 31st August baby and definitely not ready for secondary - if she goes up there blind in September she will struggle. She needs primary school closure and an inroduction to her next chapter.
Maybe Y6 will do a few weeks then swap with Y5. If social distancing is going to be tried with older children there won’t be room for all children to come in.
I think that if they are trying to limit numbers in school, the focus needs to be on kids who need to cover core educational content, like getting the younger kids to learn the basics of reading. I think Y6 and their "transitioning" is low priority.
Timetables can be sent out. Virtual school tours perhaps? And let the Y6 kids meet up in the playground for an open air meeting so that they can see their friends briefly and get some closure on school. As PPs have said, all the fun stuff is going to get canceled anyway.
DS's school did quite a lot of work. The children got used to changing classrooms more often, carrying report cards, stricter uniform standards, having lockers etc. etc. But that all happened gradually over the course of the year until they were finally allowed to let off steam after the residential trip in May.
TBH transition planning was non existent when I went to secondary school and we were all pretty much terrified as the only information we had us that our heads would be flushed down the loo. At least my children have had some positive information as part of their transition.
But prioritising Y6 over other year groups is a bit weird.
I have friends with DC in year 6, it's nothing to do with school work for them. It's to do with the fact that friends are moving on to different schools so last chance to be together, the children have a special ceremony to recognise their time at the school etc. I think they feel closure on this chapter is necessary.
Join the discussion
Please login first.