It's that time of year! Lots of moving on, moving up, moving classes, moving jobs, in schools all over the country. Here at PIE we do a lot of work with students making that transition from Primary to High School, so we thought we'd give you a run down of our latest projects...
First up, our Into the Mix Programme, which trains young people as peer mentors to support new students and runs across a number of schools:
Our peer mentors planned a whole day of transition activities for 50 year 6 students joining from Discovery Academy, Arundale Primary, St James Catholic Primary, Mottram CofE Primary and Hollingworth Primary.
We started with wordsearches and getting to know you activities - all planned and run by the peer mentors.
We watched the homemade intro video to the school with interviews from key staff, created by Ben, Ethan and Euan.
There was a carousel of activities - involving Sports day games including tug of war/ pencil case and friendship bracelets/ transition games including ones based around learning how to read a timetable/ scavenger hunt around school picking up key items for school and meeting teachers whilst learning about the school map.
Dexter even prepared activities for young people who were feeling overwhelmed on the day and provided great support to a number of students during the day.
The students prepared and served snacks at break times and did a great job welcoming the year 6 students.
After lots of planning and preparation the group came up with some fantastic ideas for their Year 6 transition event. There were a number of things they wanted to include as they felt they were really important to know and were things they would have wanted to know – these included finding your way around school and the useful/important people to know. They were also including the SDG’s too. The event ended up looking as follows:
1. Welcome to Rayner and general introduction – they had the hall set out with tables which
created the groups for the day and then 2 mentors at each table to talk to the Yr 6s. They had also created a PowerPoint which they used in the hall.
2. As part of the introduction the young people were encouraged to design a name tag and
complete an all about me sheet which helped to break the ice and let the mentors know their names and something about them – the mentors completed the task too with them.
The mentors also chose to remain with their group all day so they really got to know the
Year 6’s and they hoped this would make them feel more comfortable to approach them in
September. The activities for the rest of the day were then set out and explained briefly.
3. They were then split into 4 main groups based on table numbers and took part in a carousel of 4 activities. These were:
Chinese whispers of staff names and job titles which ended in some hilarious results but also got them aware of those important staff.
A tour around school which included showing them where those important staff were based as well as looking at the main areas and classrooms in school.
A jigsaw challenge where they competed to see which group within the group could complete the jigsaw first without the picture which encourages teamwork and the students having to talk to each other – prizes for the winning team.
SDG Bingo – this involved an introduction to the SDG’s and they had picked out some which they felt were the most important and then played SDG bingo, again with prizes for the winners.
There was a break after 2 activities with lots of lovely breakfast items from the canteen which the peer mentors gave out and again sat with/mingled with the yr. 6’s. After all 4 activities had been completed they came back to the hall and took part in a quiz which included a few questions on everything they had been doing during the day. The peer mentors did amazingly well as we had to adapt on the spot as quite a lot more students
turned up than we had been told/planned for, but they dealt with this really well.
After lots of planning and preparation the group came up with some fantastic ideas for their Year 6 transition event. There were several things they wanted to include as they felt they were important to know and were things they would have wanted to know – these included finding your way around school and the useful/important people to know. They were also including the SDG’s too. The event ended up looking as follows:
1. The group arrived from Flowery Fields and were sat in their class groups (there are 3 forms) in the Activities suite. The Peer Mentors did a general introduction – explaining who they were and what the afternoon was going to look like. They then gave out stickers for name tags but the stickers had 4 different coloured outlines on them which created their groups they gave them out so that it would mix up the groups. They then taught the whole group a little bit about the SDG’s – they had decided as a group which ones they thought were most important to use.
2. The groups then took pa
rt in a carousel of 4 activities. These were:
A tour of the school which also further incorporated the SDG’s they had chosen as at important points around school they had created a mini-SDG quiz for them to take part in using the SDG goal icons and meanings.
An activity based on fixed/growth mindset which involved them being split into 2 teams and racing to complete a board of statements as to whether they were fixed or growth mindset. This became very competitive as well as getting them talking and learning about this.
There was a room which was split into sections with agree on one side disagree on the other side and neutral in the middle the students were then asked to position themselves in the room based on their feelings about a few statements about transition as well as some fun ones thrown in too – this generated some great discussion and allowed the Yr 6’s to share their fears.
Teamwork challenges where the group was again split into 2 and competed to see who could get into order of things but in sil
ence – e.g., height order, name alphabetical order and age order. This encourages teamwork and urges them to think about different ways of communicating and again became quite competitive.
The groups then came back to the activities suite
space and all took part in a 4 corners quiz which questioned them on everything they had been doing and they actually ran out of time and there were still lots in which we saw as showing they had all learnt lots during the afternoon!
These peer mentors also showed amazing skills of adaptation as they were told on the morning of the final planning session that they couldn’t have the activities space and would have to use a big classroom instead which meant some of the activities planned would be quite different and so they had to alter plans to adapt to this and then in the afternoon were told they could have it so we changed things back!!
We can't wait to welcome 40 new Year 7 students to the Into the mix project at our different schools in the new school year to complete social action projects.
Next, we recently launched our Step Up Programme, in collaboration with Stockport Council, which invites students from a range of Primary Schools to get involved in a monthly session and meet other students in the same boat, moving into Year 7. This year we have 18 students on the programme, and we'll be writing all about them in another blog soon - watch this space!
Finally we have our Unity Transition Project at Unity Academy, Blackpool:
It's our sixth annual transition day at Unity, where we run two days of sessions with the Year 6 cohort, supporting them to move into Year 7.
Day 1 - We completed getting to know you activities, where students were tasked with 'designing a new sport' challenge and coming up with a logo and name and a new brand for the year group. Students from Unity primary and all local feeder schools were involved. It was great to see students mixing with those from other schools, Unity Future ready students acting as Year 10 mentors and Unity Year 6 students supporting those from other schools.
Day 2 - Today was purely Unity students, where they designed and presented their brand identities, including making posters, songs, poems, stop motion and planning and presenting to the whole group the work they had completed.
We can't wait to work with these students in the new academic year as we launch our This Matters' programme at Unity to continue supporting their transition.
As you can see it's a busy time of year for PIE but we're so pleased to be supporting these students and schools in making changes and moving on up!