“Transition – the process of changing from one state to another”
As the new term starts, change is afoot and transition is at the forefront of our minds. This will be an exciting, possibly challenging but definitely busy term ahead. Year 6 students are preparing for their SAT examinations followed by getting ready for secondary school; families are preparing for their children to leave one stage of their education and move onto the next and for me, as Head of School, I look forward to meeting the new staff team during their induction programme and also preparing for student transition.
So it is all change for all of us!
Primary to secondary transition is a really important and exciting phase in any student’s life. It can be an anxious time as children worry about leaving a familiar environment. Parents worry too about their children having more independence; getting the bus for the first time or walking to school. This time of year is also very busy. Students and teachers are getting ready for the exams which they have been preparing for and then there are all the events that happen after the exams to celebrate. As a parent of a year 6 student, I know how busy the family calendar is becoming!
This week I have written to every Headteacher at the primary schools where our first cohort is coming from. I wanted to introduce myself and start to build those important relationships which will support our transition process. In the letter, I outlined the variety of activities taking place over the next few months and asked for support with ensuring that our students are as prepared as they can be for starting at John Taylor Free School in September.
We start next week with an informal meeting for parents and students. I will be giving a brief update on recent progress and there are some fun activities designed for students to start to get to know others from their local area. This should help reduce some of the anxiety around travelling to and from school – probably more for the parents’ benefit!
As we can’t get onto the school site before the official handover in July, we have planned induction to ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for students to meet each other and the staff before term begins in September. Our Bonding Day at Lea Green in June will be a fun day, based in the outdoors which will allow friendships to be made come rain or shine. The Personal Tutor is the key point of contact for the students and our “Meet the Tutor Evening” on 9thJuly will be an opportunity to get to know each other and the rest of the personal tutorial group.
Throughout June and July, I am looking forward to visiting primary schools to meet the children in their own setting and have discussions with their class teachers. This will help me get to know the students and understand how we can meet their needs at John Taylor Free School.
Plans for the first 3 days of the new academic year are now in place. Wednesday 5th– Friday 7thSeptember will be spent on navigation (to explore the building and the outdoor space at the school), team building in different groups and learning opportunities to help students understand our STRIPE curriculum and the different lessons they will experience. This means that by the time Monday 10thSeptember arrives, the students will know their staff, each other and the building so the timetable can commence and lessons will start!
So it might be all change but it is an exciting change – the once in a lifetime opportunity we have to create a very special learning environment. And the only way we will to this is if we do it together; students, staff, parents and the local community.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead
Head of School
We have sent out an email to parents regarding next week’s meeting for parents and students. If you have not received this email please contact my PA, Sian Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org