It’s Your Move is a programme that our Schools team have been running for the last 3 years to support year 6 students with their transition from primary to secondary school. The aim is to dispel fears and get the pupils to think positively about the changes they will face and how they will tackle some of the challenges of secondary school.
This year we wanted to refresh the material to enable more interaction between pupils. We start by asking the pupils to reflect on what they have enjoyed about primary school and what they are looking forward to in their new school. We then look at the top 5 fears students identify about moving to secondary school and get them to discuss ways of overcoming these fears. We want pupils to realise that by talking about their fears they can come up with solutions to tackle them.
Using a re-enactment of the Bible story of Joseph, we highlight some of the problems Joseph and his brothers got into when facing change. The story allows us to talk about God and, as Christians we believe that, God is with us in all situations and can help us with positive and negative changes. We facilitate the pupils in designing a self-esteem shield to encourage them to feel confident about their own abilities, skills, and talents, which they can use to defend themselves against lies that make them feel insecure about change.
We finish our sessions with a series of dilemmas that students in year 7 are likely to face. The pupils have the opportunity to choose how they would respond. We encourage them to explain their decisions to enable them to think about the consequences of reacting in certain ways. This is the most popular activity and pupils are always keen to share their opinions and thoughts.
Pupils in year 6 have either forgotten what is like to be the new kids and can be over confident or are really fearful of moving to secondary school. We feel our role is to make pupils aware that it is a big change that they are facing, however it is not one that they need to be fearful of. Responses from the pupils across the schools have been so different. It is interesting to hear the teachers talk with the pupils. They are best placed to know how to challenge and support each student in their class.