Top Tip - Talk to your child about the school they will attend, once you know for definite which school your child is going to. This will help him/her to get ready for secondary school. Secondary schools are very experienced in welcoming and settling new children. They will value you as the expert about your own child.
All secondary schools have ‘new starter’ procedures for all young people. Pastoral staff and perhaps the SENCo will visit teachers in feeder primary schools to gather information and, at this time, may meet the students. After this, the induction day offers an opportunity for year 6 students to trial lessons in their secondary school. There will be a parents’ evening which offers an opportunity for parents to meet form tutors, heads of year/house and the headteacher. You will learn more about the school day and you may have the opportunity to order school uniform. Most schools will offer young people additional visits if needed. Some secondary schools will run transition groups to provide extra support for young people with additional needs. All primary schools prepare young people for the move to secondary school. In the final term of year 6, young people may prepare a sheet or leaflet called a pupil passport that contains important information about their likes, dislikes and support needs, or complete a special project that will be shared with the secondary school.
Top Tip - If your child has mobility or stamina issues to take into consideration, be sure to arrange to have a walk around the school of your choice and imagine how your child would manage either independently and/or with support.
Secondary schools can be based on a large or split site. If your child has access issues, they will try and ensure that timetabling supports your child to access all activities.
Schools may draw up risk assessment plans to ensure your child’s needs are met. They will ask you and your child to contribute to this. Other professionals will also support schools to do this. For example the specialist teachers for physical disability and medical needs advise and support schools on the development of Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for individual pupils.
‘Transition has been really positive. Now he has had so many doors opened for him. It has transformed him. He is really confident. We couldn’t have anticipated it to be anywhere near so good. I expected the first few months to be quite traumatic, but everything was really successful, the staff, the environment, the taxi driver. We were so terrified in case we got it wrong and it didn’t meet his needs’. Parent