Making the Move: Primary to Secondary Transition Materials

It’s that time of year again when Year 6 pupils across the country start to get nervous and excited about moving up to a brand-new school!

We know that it is important to make incoming Year 7 students feel as welcome and comfortable as possible as they make the big step from primary to secondary school. Providing engaging transition materials is a great way to get current Year 6s excited about the prospect of moving up to your school.

Every year we collaborate with our partners to create a range of transition materials, assisting schools to support their incoming students at what can be a nerve-wracking (but exciting!) time.

A GIF flicking through the pages of Northallerton School's Moving Up Transition Guide.

Moving Up Guides

Year 6s can often feel nervous about not knowing who’s who in school, what uniform or equipment they need, or getting lost in their first few days. Moving Up Guides are a great way to provide all the key information incoming students need in one place, making it easier for them to understand the support they will receive as well as the school’s expectations of them. Moving Up Guides can be made interactive with quizzes and activities, encouraging children to engage with the content and have fun doing it!

A mockup of several short activities and postcard themed social media graphics.

Activities & Challenges

There are plenty of ways to present activities and challenges to incoming students, such as through a Moving Up Guide or as separate ‘Keeping Warm’ campaigns. Sending regular mini-challenges in the lead-up to students starting school can keep them interested and show that your school cares about getting them ready. Some examples that we have worked on in the past include taster activities from a range of subjects they will study at school, as well as challenges that require incoming students to use the school website to find out key information. It is important to keep current Year 6s engaged and excited about starting secondary school, and we love working on these fun and informative activities.

Students walking into school.

Transition Videos

One of the best ways to make incoming students feel more comfortable about moving up to secondary school is to invite them to experience the environment in person before they start school. Of course, particularly in the current climate, this is not always possible. Exciting, dynamic videos can be the next best thing! We have planned and filmed a number of transition videos over the years, showcasing school facilities and the student experience with interviews and tours. We find that these videos work best when current Year 7s are at the forefront, discussing their own recent move from primary to secondary school.

Transition postcard.

Postcards

Who doesn’t love getting a postcard? Sending messages from current Year 7s to Year 6 pupils is an exciting way to communicate key messages about the school they will be moving up to. They can also be used to offer advice and myth-busting from students who were getting ready to leave primary school themselves not long ago. In the past, we have included QR codes on these postcards to direct pupils (or, more likely, their parents) to a dedicated website with further information around moving up to their chosen secondary school.

Speaking of which…

Mockup of Brinsworth Academy's Transition site on a laptop.

Microsites

We understand that it is useful to have all information and resources in one place for incoming Year 7s and their families to easily access. Microsites offer a platform for just that. Directing families to a dedicated transition microsite ensures that they have a central hub to download misplaced Moving Up Guides, watch virtual tours and read more about moving up to your school. Microsites can also include other materials such as ‘Talking Head’ videos from teachers and current students, maps of the school environment, and an FAQ section. Using multimedia across the site brings key messages to life and can help current Year 6s get excited about moving to secondary school.