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Moving to Secondary School: Advice and Activities to Support Transition

Moving to Secondary School: Advice and Activities to Support Transition (Spiral spine)

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Transfer from primary to secondary school is one of the most significant and difficult steps in a child's life. This educational transition coincides with physical and emotional changes, as well as significant 'rewiring' within the brain. Evidence suggests that this time is one of both profound anxiety and optimistic expectation. Such strong feelings and daunting changes inevitably affect children's emotional well-being and sense of self. Successful transition is crucial to a child's secondary school career. Pupils who fail to settle are more likely to become alienated and disruptive and suffer the well-known academic 'dip'. "Moving to Secondary School" helps teachers to understand and ease children's anxieties and to focus on the positive. The book tackles worries about organizational aspects of secondary school life, such as school size, timetable and workload, and personal concerns about making friends, being bullied and getting on with teachers. It also considers how teaching differs between primary and secondary, and how special programmes can offer continuity in students' learning, while allowing for the discontinuity that signals children becoming more grown up.

Working from careful background research and case studies, the book suggests short activities and longer-term programmes including: taster day and fun day visits to secondary schools, teacher exchanges between primary and secondary schools, special parents' evenings, summer holiday projects and induction activities, utilizing peer mentors, creative writing, role play, discussion and games, transition passports and diaries, learning style and multiple intelligence profiles, thinking skills activities for induction, and exercises to promote self-confidence and improve social skills.

Lynda Measor is a Reader in Applied Social Science at the University of Brighton with an interest in research that focuses on the way young people see the world and what their views are about it. The research project that this book is based on was completed at the Open University. Mike Fleetham is an educational trainer, author and consultant who specializes in the practical infusion of new teaching methods into real classrooms. He was a classroom teacher for 10 years and has been an assistant headteacher in a large inner-city primary school.

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