Transition to Secondary
For many children (and parents), the transition to Secondary education can be a daunting one - never mind a child with additional needs. At Albrighton, we look to make the transition in your child's next stage of education as smooth as possible. This may take the form of additional visits; liaising with external agencies or other SENCo/Key Workers; working with our own Learning Mentor or SENCo; or speak to pupils who are already at the school to find out what experiences are like there.
On this page, you will find information and resources for both you and your child regarding transition to secondary school.
Some parents worry if they're making the right choice for their child. Don't worry - you're not alone. This is a common worry amongst parents who have children with additional need. Mr. Wheeler (SENCo) is always available to discuss transition and options which may be open to you.
You may also wish to consider:
- Whether the school has experience of children with similar needs.
- How you as a parent, the special educational needs co-ordinator, teaching and support staff will communicate about your child.
- How your child will be supported in class.
- How you’ll be involved in their learning and development.
Our commitment to you
We love seeing our pupils and former pupils thrive and we will work closely with the secondary setting in order to provide the best possible transition for your child. Strategies for transition can include:
- Your child’s particular difficulties, such as with mobility, communication, concentration, etc.
- The special measures that support their learning, like extra time for tasks, one-to-one support, visual timetables, handwriting aids.
- Current programmes in place and interventions which have been delivered.
- Strategies that help them cope with school life, such as movement breaks, time out, or a buddy system in the playground.
Here are some ideas which may help your child with the transition to a new setting:
- Have a map of the new school, showing them places they will need to know. Colour-coding can be helpful: you might highlight each subject’s classrooms in a different colour, and use clear symbols to mark important facilities like toilets and the cafeteria.
- Plan visits around the school to meet their new teachers and other students.
- Discuss the new expectations with the school and with your child (homework, transitions between lessons, etc).
- Make sure the student knows where the quiet areas are and who they can talk to when they need help.
- Support students to express their worries and anxieties as well as what the students are looking forward to.
- Talk through their timetable and discuss how to use it.
- Take the time to look at their homework diary/ organiser together and discuss how to use it.
- Introduce new vocabulary (head of year, SENCO etc).
- Create an ‘All about me’ book to support the student to communicate to their new teachers.
- Find out what your child already knows about their new school and find out if they know anybody else going there.
- Support your child to focus on the positive aspects of moving to a new school.
- Ask the school for a checklist of all the equipment your child will need. You can laminate this and stick it on your child’s wall, so they can tick off what they need each day. Label all of their uniform and equipment clearly, especially if they’re prone to being forgetful or disorganised.
- Teach your child the skills they’ll need for secondary school. Many of these, such as tying a tie, reading a timetable and ordering their own food in the cafeteria, may be new to them, so start early so they have time to practise. If your child will be getting to and from school independently, rehearse the route a few times, together at first, and then following them at a safe distance.
- Once your child has started school, encourage them to join lunchtime or after-school clubs. This will help them settle in and make new friends.
Above all, make sure you keep communicating – with your child, their teachers, and their SENCO – and be prepared to advocate for them.
Transition Information for Parents
Here are resources for parents which may be useful in helping with transition.
*Note: The final video is useful information about your statutory rights according to the SEND Code of Practice, however, some information about schools and what they offer may not be accurate for Shropshire and Wolverhampton.
Transition Information for Pupils
Here are some videos and activities that will help with transition.