At Sarah Bonnell, we believe that building strong working partnerships with our key feeder primary schools enables us to develop a smooth Transition programme for our Year 7 students. Where opportunities arise, we collaborate with Year 6 teachers through Continued Professional Development in order to ensure that when students join us in Year 7, lessons are challenging and engaging from the outset.
When students join Sarah Bonnell in Year 7, their learning over the first four weeks takes the form of a Transition Project across all Curriculum Areas. We feel that this allows students to transition to secondary education and to slowly build up the number of discrete subjects that they study.
Each year, the focus is on the theme of Exploration, and our staff work together in collaborative groupings in the following areas:
- English and Drama
- Modern Foreign Languages
- STEM (Science, Technology, English and Mathematics)
- Humanities (History, Geography, PHSRE and Learning for Life)
- Expressive Arts (Music, Drama, Art and PE)
The work our English and Drama colleagues do is supported by The Globe theatre, who work closely with us running a number of workshops for students. This culminates in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at our Celebration of Learning event in October. For this event., parents and carers are invited to Sarah Bonnell to visit the gallery of their daughter’s work, meet her teachers, and also meet her form tutor. The event was a fantastic success this year, with great conversations between staff, parents and students around their learning and their experience at Sarah Bonnell.
Students also study the subjects of History, Geography and RE on a carousel, meaning that they study one at a time, which helps to limit the number of new subjects and teachers that they have to get used to until they are more confident. We also run a scheme of learning for one hour a week in Year 7 known as ‘Learning for Life.’ These lessons are focused on developing a range of learning competencies that students can then transfer to their academic subjects. Lessons focus on Growth Mindset, resilience, workload management and independent learning. In this way, we teach students how to learn at secondary school.
We have close links with Elmhurst, Park and Colegrave Primary Schools to support the transition of students, both in terms of their academic learning and their pastoral care. We know how to ensure that students can build effective bridges as they cross from Year 6 to Year 7, and a key part of this is ensuring that they are well informed about the process, which happens through our one-to-one Enrolment Meetings in June, and our Transition Day in July.