COLUMN: Preparing pupils for a new start

Many people might expect that we spend the end of the school year, with GCSEs over and the end in sight, whiling away the hours until we break up for the holidays.

But not a bit of it.

As I write this our atrium is currently echoing to the sounds of around 183 year six primary school pupils who have joined us for the final fortnight before they start here as year seven students in September.

So far, they have spent a day with their new form tutors and attended a residential field trip, and they will now have normal lessons until we all break up.

It’s very different to how I finished my time at primary school.

But more schools are paying closer attention to the transition from primary to secondary school and we have welcomed year sixes in for the last fortnight for a while now.

This year we have more than ever and it means that the majority of new our September starters will already feel at home when they return.

This is so important, because it means that they can get used to our students and vice versa, and we can address any concerns they might have now, rather than have them worry about it over summer.

They can also get used to the idea of having ten different teachers, rather than just one.

But it also means that we know what level we should be pitching at in September because we can use the live feedback we get now to tweak our lessons to fit their needs, rather than put something in place and have to change it further down the line.

We do get to let our hair down at the end of term – we have a Shirebrook’s Got Talent event on the last day – but the rest of the time is spent making the very best of the time available to us so that we can hit the ground running in September.