Understanding School Transition: What Happens to Children and how to Help Them

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Routledge, 2015 - Education - 216 pages
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Transition from primary to secondary school can be the beginning of a slippery slope towards educational disengagement that can continue throughout schooling. It is critical, therefore, that teachers understand how to manage transitions effectively to protect children's wellbeing and interest in school.

Understanding School Transition offerstraining primary and secondary teachers an introduction to what happens to children's academic, social and personal adaptation when they move between schools. It explores current school initiatives in the UK and internationally and introduces methods and strategies for designing developmentally appropriate transitions.

Beginning by establishing the ethos that school transition should be a positive experience for every child, key issues explored include:

  • Judging the level disengagement in school and recognising particularly vulnerable children.
  • Understanding children's adaptability - being sensitive versus resilient, adaptable versus fixed, and the influence of personal and environmental characteristics.
  • Managing unrealistic expectations and familiarising children with their new school.
  • The impact of teachers' behaviour, stereotyping and extreme strictness and work pressure on the experience of transition
  • Strategies for effectively bridging the divide in teaching styles and curriculum content between primary and secondary schools.
  • Involving children as collaborators in designing transitions initiatives
  • The role of the dedicated transitions manager and subject specialist teachers.

Illustrated by case studies of experiences in real schools, Understanding School Transition will be essential reading for all training and practising teachers, as well as transition and subject specialists, who want to better understand and influence what happens to children at this crucial stage.

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About the author (2015)

Jennifer Symonds was previously an experienced Key Stage Two and Three teacher and is now based in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK. She works as a consultant providing transitions advice to schools, is currently researching school transitions in England and Finland as part of an international consortium of developmental psychologists, and leads a UK national project into school transitions for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation in London.

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