Primary to secondary transition: features of an effective programme

Get inspiration from primary and secondary schools that have embedded the key ingredients of successful transition into their programme to help pupils get ready for the jump to year 7.

Last reviewed on 1 July 2022
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School types: All · School phases: Primary, Secondary
Ref: 11923
  1. Build familiarity and excitement ahead of the school year
  2. Help pupils get to know each other
  3. New routines and skills
  4. Reassure anxious parents
  5. Bridge gaps in learning
  6. Share pastoral and academic information

The transition from primary to secondary school can be a daunting time for many pupils, especially with the effects of the pandemic on children and their mental health.

A number of studies show that a poor transition process can lead to a dip in attainment, particularly in literacy and maths. Other key risk factors include pupil disengagement, behavioural problems, and issues around peer groups and bullying.

In this article, you'll find examples from schools of how you can provide the core components of an effective transition programme, that are recommended by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF).

Many children will have had less exposure to new environments and people during the pandemic, so may feel a little more anxious about starting secondary school. Provide opportunities for pupils to develop relationships and build familiarity with the secondary school environment. Here are some ideas