Stepping into secondary life is a significant transition for any student and their family and that is why here at St Francis we very purposely design the transition process.
Communication is frequent with parents, all students are visited at their primary school, and we ask probing questions because we want as much detail about students as possible. That way we can target any necessary support long before students join us in September. If attendance has been a barrier, if there is a Special Educational Need, if there are Well-being concerns, then we can put in intervention before September.
Academic transition is very important so that students are appropriately set once they join us, so we do test early in the year so we know accurate reading ages and can measure how students perform in the first term. Equally important is the non-academic transition and this is led by our Welfare Team who will support students whom may be anxious about taking the step to secondary school.
Our goal is to leave no stone unturned and we are proud of our transition process. We have honed our practice over many years and get frequent compliments from primary schools and families about how thorough we are.
Once part of the family at SFA, Year 7 students have a day at school before other year groups return after the Summer break. Form tutors and the Head of Achievement and Learning are introduced and we do a week of targeted support so that students know their way around the building, understand break and lunch routines and know all of the day to day processes which help make them successful SFA students. Quickly students will be rewarded for their work and behaviours and we focus on the positives from Day 1, praising good manners and interactions as well as excellent work and effort.