2 August, 2019
At Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), we believe that creating a positive and smooth transition for pupils making the move from primary to secondary school is essential for ensuring that they can really embrace the many opportunities that secondary school presents.
Across our Trust, whether it’s our primary schools helping to boost pupils’ confidence and preparing them for their next steps, or our secondary schools making special arrangements to ensure newcomers feel welcome and included, we have hundreds of projects and initiatives which go above and beyond in helping pupils to feel settled when they start Year 7 in September.
Amongst the many initiatives championed across our schools this summer term, is Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy’s (OSSMA) “Ossmafication” programme, which provides an exciting “boot-camp” experience giving pupils, and their families, a taste of secondary school life. The programme begins with pupils and their families attending a tie-giving ceremony on the first transition day, which formally introduces them to the school. OSSMA then runs a week-long programme of workshops introducing them to the school’s strong values, vision and ethos. Amongst the various sessions are an Oracy lesson to discuss the school’s language and culture, and a “Kagan” session, introducing the different teaching and learning techniques fostered at the school.
Ormiston Six Villages Academy in Chichester offers an after-school enrichment programme in the run up to the official transition day for Year 6 pupils. To ensure that the pupils and their families feel included in the day, the school provides refreshments and encourages both children and their parents/carers to meet with one another and stay throughout the course of the day to really get a feel for the school, the year group and the opportunities available.
At Ormiston Denes Academy in Lowestoft, a range of learning workshops are hosted with everything from dance, history, maths, robotics and food being covered. In order to make Year 6 pupils feel welcome and valued, and as a school which has long been deeply rooted in its local community, Ormiston Denes also hosts a community awards ceremony in July. Each local primary school nominates pupils of excellence across all year groups at their schools, who then receive prizes from Ormiston Denes. It is a unique initiative which has generated hugely impactful results.
Finally, at Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy which is the Trust’s first all-through Special School in Ipswich, the team go the extra mile in ensuring that pupils feel confident about embarking on the next academic year ahead, every year. The school runs a residential trip for all secondary school students, with Year 6 pupils also attending with their fellow classmates and staff members for their new classes for the next academic year.
We have always sought to be the Trust that makes the biggest difference both inside and outside the classroom. Our main aim is to ensure that all our pupils, no matter where they are in their educational journey, have the opportunities, access and support required to fulfil their potential. Making the move from primary school to secondary school can often be a big jump for many, but it is one that with the right support and in a welcoming environment, will broaden horizons, raise aspirations and create endless opportunities to succeed.