How can I support pupils with transition?

Transition is a key area for all children. It can be a highly stressful time for them, and the resulting stress can have significant effects on children’s emotional wellbeing and academic achievements.

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When pupils are supported well through transition (be that from one key stage to another within the same school or from one phase of education to another across different schools), they adjust and settle well and are quickly able to focus on learning rather than surviving. Charlotte Alford describes developing one-page profiles with year 6 pupils in her blog.

The best transition planning and support focuses on individual strengths and needs. A one-page profile allows the gathering of specific information about individual pupils to support the provision of personalised transition planning. A one-page profile provides a summary of what people like and admire about the pupil, what is important to them and how best to support them. Essentially, in one page, rich, invaluable information is gathered which enables you to really get to know the pupils in your new class and allows you to plan well to support each pupil as an individual.

The knowledge gained from one-page profiles supports you to provide the right support at the right time in the right way. This is important if we want to negate the traditional ‘transition dips’ in attainment, and support pupils to make optimum progress by planning for transition based on a balance of what matters to each pupil and what is important for them to be healthy and safe, to feel valued and to be able to make best use of the opportunities to learn. This short film explains how one-page profiles are used in personalising education.

During the transition process, it can be helpful to support pupils to understand themselves better as learners, so that they feel empowered to take responsibility for their own learning and progress. Good day/Bad day is a useful person-centred thinking tool to facilitate this. It involves supporting pupils to gather information about what makes a good day and what makes a bad day for them. This information can be used to start or update a one-page profile, but is also a powerful way to increase pupils’ sense of belonging within the school, especially in a period of change, and reassure them that teachers and staff are listening to them and supporting them to have more good days in school. By asking ‘What will it take to have more good days and less bad days?’, pupils can be supported to manage the transition well themselves by ensuring that, wherever possible, the right conditions to have really good days are created.

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