Transition Arrangements Policy
CURRENTLY BEING UPDATED - MARCH 2014
Transition begins as early as Primary 5 for most of the Cluster Primaries and in the cases of the smaller schools primary 4/5 composite classes. All Primary pupils visit the High School and are taught swimming by the S5/S6 students. At various stages these pupils are also taught Games Skills and Dance by the same senior students.
As part of our S5 Working With Others Core Skills, S5 students visit various Primary Schools where various activities are taught (playground games, drugs and solvent abuse etc).
Between January and April, B Howard (Principal Teacher, Support for Learning) and his team visit the Primary Schools and hold transition meetings with the families of pupils with behaviour or learning difficulties.
On a parallel with this, the Depute Rector of Lower School and Principal Teacher Pastoral (S1), make the visits to each Primary School. At the first meeting both spend some time with the Primary 7 Teacher discussing their pupils and getting a feel for the class and its strengths and weaknesses.
At the second visit the Depute Rector speaks with the pupils whilst the Principal Teacher Pastoral discusses the individual pupils in the class with a view to making up the new S1 classes and practical sets. On this visit uniform samples are taken to the schools as are uniform order forms. Orders are collected by 30 April so that uniforms can be distributed before Induction Days in mid June.
New S1 classes are formulated in early May, sent to Primary Schools for final comment before being finalised, well before Induction Days. This job is completed by Principal Teacher Pastoral with responsibility for S1 by adding all placement requests to the classes (normally around 12 to 15 every year). Where possible sibling priority is given. We have moved away from the transfer card system, since it was felt by both Primaries and the High School that it was a duplication of work. The most recent Primary 7 Report is sent and in future all Personal Learning Plans will be transferred. Maths and English test results are sent. All information regarding House placement, classes and practical sets is then sent to the Primary Schools before Induction Days.
A final visit to the Primary School is made before the Induction Days, this time by one of the Pastoral Team. The purpose of this visit is to answer any questions on Induction and to help allay fears – real or imaginary.
These take place mid June and are usually held on Thursday/Friday. On the evening of the first Induction Day, there is a Parents’ Evening for all parents of Primary 7 pupils. During the 2 days, Primary 7 pupils will meet with their Buddies from S6 who will talk to them about their role and how they can be of help during the first year. All new S1 and S6 Buddies meet once per week during registration.
After the Induction Days, Pastoral staff will meet to discuss the composition and balance of classes and, in consultation with the relevant Primary School, make changes as necessary.
Primary pupils then arrive in August ready to become the new S1 at The Berwickshire High School.