Considering and starting at a new school is an exciting time for young people and their parents. Transfer from primary to secondary school is an important time for all children; some students take it in their stride, others are less certain. Transfer from primary school can be a nervous time. We understand this and many supportive measures are in place to help families adapt quickly and comfortably to Penair. At Penair we invest a considerable amount of time and effort in an induction programme which will help students adjust socially, emotionally and academically. This applies equally to those children from our partner primary schools and to the increasing number of pupils who are joining Penair from further afield. Primary children visit our site to use facilities on a regular basis so that the start to Penair in Year 7 isn’t a ‘new’ experience.
Visits are also made to primary schools as often as possible by Senior staff, the Pastoral Development Leader and our Director of Inclusion (Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)), to establish links with future students. Members of staff teach lessons in our Partner Primaries and we have an exciting Year 5 curriculum project during the summer term with a special day of activities as the focal point. This is followed by two Intake days in July for Year 6 pupils that are spent with Year 7 tutors in new form groups. The aim of the two Intake days is to ensure that pupils feel confident, eager and enthusiastic to start at Penair in September. Immediately after the Intake days a ‘New Parents’ Evening’ is held to exchange valuable information and meet form tutors, the Personal Development Leader, the Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team. In recent years, Year 6 students have also taken part in a highly successful ‘summer challenge’ activity. This takes place in the summer vacation period with the intention of enabling students to establish and build new friendships before starting at Penair in September. The demand for places on the ‘summer challenge’ always outstrips the supply of places!
The Year group is looked after by a Personal Development Leader along with a Student Welfare Officer, an Attendance Intervention Mentor and a team of tutors. In practice, Year 7 students love their new environment and within a few weeks they feel like ‘old hands’ at the school.