Guides published for pupils, parents and teachers to help smooth the transition from primary to secondary school

primary school

Making the move from primary to secondary school can be stressful for all involved and if you are a young person with a learning disabilities or other special educational needs these stresses can be magnified.

Moving to secondary school often means lots of change at once –  new building, new routes to learn, new classmates, new teachers, new subjects, bigger campuses… the list goes on.

Earlier this year, the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities published a series of guides to help with this potentially stressful move. Unfortunately, we missed it at the time, but they are a great source of information, so we thought we would still like to bring them to attention of Elf readers, with apologies for being so late!

The guides were developed as a result of a partnership between the Foundation, the University of Northampton and University of Cambridge. The project team met pupils, staff and parents in three Peterborough schools, to find out about their experiences of this transition.

As a result of the conversations, the team produced three guides:

  1. Top tips for pupils moving on to secondary school: An easy-read guide with top tips like how to get organised, getting the most from visiting a new school, things to practice before the move and a ‘timeline’ showing the key steps in the move from primary to secondary education.
  2. Useful information for parents who have a son or daughter with special educational needs (SEN) moving from primary to secondary school:
    A guide is for parents or family members with information to help ease the period of transition and guidance to help parents plan for the change
  3. Moving on – good practice in facilitating primary to secondary transitions for pupils with special educational needs (SEN): A guide for teachers to support careful planning and effective liaison between schools, including both quick tips and longer term strategies The guide aim to help teachers ensure that the change is as smooth as possible.

The team also produced  posters, one for pupils and one for teachers which you can also download here

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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