Transitioning to Secondary School
Assistant Head Teacher of I CAN’s Meath School, Sarah Billingham, writes about the support we provide our pupils as they become ‘secondary ready’.
The transition to secondary school is a big step in the lives of all children. It is a bittersweet time as we look back on progress and prepare to say goodbye.
All of the children at I CAN’s Meath School have severe / complex speech and language disorders. Due to their difficulties understanding and using language they need additional support to help them to prepare for transition. A variety of support systems are in place to support our Year 6s and their families. Within school, leavers groups are offered to children to help them to think about the changes ahead and the support strategies they might use during this time. Meath’s family support worker offers assistance to families in helping them to visit schools and make the best choice they can for their children.
During the Summer Term a few past pupils visit Meath, with their Speech and Language Therapists, to talk to the leavers about their own experiences of transitioning to secondary school. This gives the children the opportunity to ask questions about what they might expect and who may be able to help them.
The term rounds up with celebrations of achievements and successes for the pupils. These include a leavers assembly, an evening BBQ and a final presentation of photo books for the children to be able to look back on their time at Meath. These celebrations are always emotional for adults and children alike, proud of all of the successes and growth over the primary years.
During Sports Day, on the last day of term, we were able to capture thoughts from the leaving children, their families and staff that are moving on.
We wish all of our leavers the very best in their new schools!