Welcoming students from Primary to Secondary Education
Springwell Community College takes an active role in hosting the Staveley Brimington Learning Community (SBLC) where Headteachers of local primary and secondary schools work collegiately to improve the educational provision for young people in the community. Initiatives undertaken by SBLC include ‘One World One Challenge’, and the ‘Take One Picture’, Springwell’s Primary Music Festival, inter-school sporting fixtures and the sharing of good teaching and learning practices all go towards consistent approaches both within and outside the classroom for our children as they move from Nursery through to Secondary education.
Due to these close links many local school children have visited Springwell during their early junior school years. Taking part in such activities marks the beginning of a smooth and nurturing transition programme.
Throughout the year Springwell also holds community events which allows younger children to visit in a social capacity which helps them to familiarise themselves with the surrounding so when they take part in formal visits from their own schools they are less daunted by the experience.
In the summer term all Year 5 students of local feeder primary schools are invited to Springwell to allow them to experience secondary school. They are initially welcomed to the College by the Headteacher, given a guided tour of the College site and all its facilities whilst Springwell students are learning, allowing them to see Springwell in action! They are then invited to take part in a Year 7-type lesson in order to reassure them of the secondary curriculum. These visits are recognised to ease the minds of Year 5 students about the pending secondary school move and initiate in them a ‘secondary ready’ mind set and answer burning questions they have about transition.
All Year 5 and 6 students in the local area are invited to attend Springwell’s annual Open Evening which showcases the College’s outstanding facilities and allows both students and parents/carers to ask questions of current students, staff and the senior leadership team.
Once secondary school places have been allocated by the local authority the Year 6 to Year 7 transition begins. Year 6 children bound for Springwell are welcomed personally in a letter at the beginning of Term 5. The Deputy Headteacher, Student Progress Leader for Year 7 and the SENCO all visit every primary school in which a child is destined for Springwell. The staff speak to the class teacher to gain an indepth knowledge of the child so as to aid the transition process. The students themselves meet with their prospective teachers and are able to discuss any worries or concerns they have about moving to secondary school. Usually these discussion with the Year 6 student take place in a classroom setting with their peers so they are able to fully articulate their worries and concerns and we are then able to answer some of their queries and hopefully put their minds at ease!
Springwell holds two consecutive transition days in July. On these two days prospective students attend Springwell in the same way any current student would. They will meet their Student Progress Leader, tutor and some class teachers and experience two ‘days in the life’ of a Springwell student. Emphasis is placed on pastoral care, anti-bullying workshops and familiarising themselves with the College site. The majority of students do not wish to leave once these two days are over!
An additional transition visit is reserved for the parents/carers of Year 6 children who are welcomed to the College during an evening in which they are able to purchase uniform and meet the team charged with ensuring their son/daughter is safe, happy and achieving whilst at Springwell. This evening is exceptionally well attended and is reported to reassure parents/carers in the lead up to their son/daughters transition to secondary education.
Students joining Springwell once the academic year is under way are welcomed into the Springwell family. An initial visit is undertaken by the relevant Student Progress Leader and information from the previous school is gathered. In-year admission students are aided in their transition by spending a period of time in our Learning Support Centre and by being allocated tutor group ‘buddies’ who help them to settle quickly into College life.
Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4
GCSE courses at Springwell begin in Year 10 . During Years 8 and 9 both students and parents/carers are provided with information, advice and guidance in order to ensure they choose the best GCSE pathways. The transition to GCSE course is generally very smooth with all faculties building challenge throughout Key Stage 3. The biggest transition to Key Stage 4 comes in the form of independent learning. Students are supported in this transition with the help of their subject teachers, tutors and dedicated homework provisions.
Year 11 and Beyond
Similarly to Key Stage 4, students are thoroughly prepared for the end of their education at Springwell. Our impartial Information, Advice and Guidance curriculum allows students to make the best post-16 choices for them. Students attend a Post-16 event at the College that sees a variety of Post-16 providers showcasing their available courses and requirements. Students are also encourage to attend relevant open days/evenings that they feel will be of benefit to them as individuals. An impartial careers adviser is available for all students throughout their time at Springwell.
Students are often reluctant to leave the ‘Springwell family’ but are encouraged to keep in touch with the College so that we can help celebrate their future achievements.