Primary to secondary transition: features of an effective programme

Understand the key ingredients for a successful transition programme and see how other primary and secondary schools have helped pupils get ready for the jump to year 7.

Last reviewed on 21 March 2024See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: Primary, SecondaryRef: 11923
  1. Why you need an effective transition process
  2. Primary schools: Prepare year 6 pupils for the secondary curriculum
  3. Primary schools: Build familiarity and excitement
  4. Primary schools: Practise new routines ahead of the school year
  5. Both phases: Support pupils' mental health
  6. Both phases: Reassure anxious parents/carers
  7. Both phases: Share pastoral and academic information
  8. Secondary schools: Help year 7 pupils get to know each other

Why you need an effective transition process

The transition from primary to secondary school can be daunting for many pupils, as it's a significant change, often from a smaller setting with a few trusted adults to a much bigger school with far more staff.

An effective transition process will help you:

  • Support pupils to maintain their attainment and engagement in lessons
  • Provide a supportive environment that encourages friendships and discourages bullying
  • Reduce poor behaviour

For pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), the transition process is more complex. Find further guidance in our other article

Transition is a complex process involving input from primary (feeder) and secondary (receiver) schools. We've marked whether sections of this article will be useful for you

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