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  • Writer's pictureBeth Nunn

Time for Transition

Transition is definitely the word of the moment. In so many ways we are transitioning: be it into or out of work, into or out of a new class or into or out of a different level of lockdown.

At PIE, we ourselves are transitioning from a face to face to a blended/ online provider - leading by example that we can all change and move on to the next stage of our journey!

So many young people are moving on to a new life or a new phase and PIE are supporting them to do this. And they are doing it in more challenging circumstances than ever.

We have had to adapt the way we support transition, and wanted to share with you a few examples of what we’ve been up to:

Step Up , Stockport

One of our longest running programmes is the Step Up Transition programme that we run in collaboration with Stockport County Community Foundation and the Stockport Council Neighbourhood Inclusion Team. In our second year on the Step Up Team, we are working with 20 students from across Stockport, most of whom have been identified by primary schools as being vulnerable with regards to their transition to high school. We have been working with these young people since April, helping support them through their last months of primary school, and into their first few months of high school.

We wanted to ensure that we were still offering transition support at this ever more difficult time for young people. These students in particular lacked the normal formative experiences of the end of year 6, and the scaffolded support they usually get ahead of moving schools. This was then followed by a start at high school which is a 'new normal' to them and everyone else.

During the Step Up programme, we usually spend our sessions out bowling, orienteering, attending football matches, rock climbing and completing their bike-ability course, normally receiving their own bike to promote their independence as they move through high school. However, this year things have been a little different - and as a team we are ever changing our plan and the activities for young people!

So far we have run five Zoom sessions for learners, as well as delivering activity packs back in April when the programme was due to start. The Zoom sessions have included our usual course content, 'Getting to Know You', 'Role Model' sessions, 'Trying New Things' and ‘Problem Solving’, with some adjustments! We particularly enjoyed the virtual scavenger hunt we ran earlier this month… The young people have all been amazing and engaged fantastically with the programme despite not being able to come together in our usual format. We have supported with regular phone calls and home visits where needed, while the learners have also been supported by Peer Mentors from last year’s programme!

We have decided to extend the programme into 2021 to enable us to offer additional support during difficult transition period, and also to hopefully allow us to deliver some of our 'usual' active sessions. We can't wait to continue supporting these young people and hopefully bring them together as a group soon!

Unity Transition in Blackpool

Unity Academy is an all through setting, running through ages 4-17years, so their transition sessions run slightly differently. We usually run full day workshops to help young people transition from Year 6 into Year 7 as part of their taster week, working with groups of between 50 and 70 students. A proportion of students are already familiar with the ethos and setting of the school, yet they are joined by new learners from other primary schools in the area, so students aren’t selected to take part in this programme, rather we are tasked with working with the whole year group and to bring them together. This normally takes the form of energetic workshops based on teamwork, collaboration and often a performance or two! To ensure that students didn’t miss out on this experience, this year we adapted our Year Group Branding project into a home learning activity, with students submitting their work via email or social media! We sent out prizes and certificates to the best work and were so impressed with some of the work submitted to us! Check out some examples of their work below.

We’ll keep you updated on all elements of our transition work as it develops over the course of the year! For now, we hope that whatever transitions you and your family are going through are going smoothly. 😊

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