Cheshire primary school goes digital to get pupils ready for secondary school

A Cheshire primary school is using a special digital programme to help pupils get ready for secondary school and support their wellbeing as they prepare to move on.

This year, many Year 6 primary school pupils have been unable to visit their new secondary school in the usual way. Excalibur Primary School in Alsager is overcoming this challenge by using Discovery Education Health and Relationships, a new digital PSHE programme that prepares children for transition using videos, discussions and fun learning activities.

As Year 6 pupils get set to move up to the local high school in September, teachers at Excalibur are using health and relationships to get children ready for the move, by addressing some of their concerns about the impending change.

Excalibur assistant headteacher Daniel Hancock, said: “Due to the pandemic, things are a little bit different for our pupils this year. The children are able to visit their secondary school but won’t have the chance to meet new classmates. Making friends is worry for some Year 6 pupils, so it’s great to be able to address this using the digital resources.”

Currently being offered at no cost to schools, health and relationships includes special videos focused on secondary school transition, where real pupils offer advice on what to expect. From dealing with friendship worries to more practical concerns such as finding your way around a new school, the videos prompt classroom discussions to reassure children about the changes ahead.

The health and relationships videos are presented by children, making them easily relatable.

Daniel said: “The biggest concern kids have about transition is the uncertainty about moving to a bigger school and the issues that arise from that. Practical worries such as getting lost, forgetting homework or remembering to pack the right books. Health and relationships includes a film that deals with this. It’s reassured our pupils that there will be people on hand to help! This child-led approach has given his pupils confidence.

“The great thing about the videos is that they create a spark which children can have discussions about. They cover even the smallest things, like advice to pack your bag the night before your first day. There are some lovely activities and discussion points and the fact that the videos are presented by children makes them so much more engaging.

 “Moving up to secondary school is an important step for any child and sometimes the transition can come as a bit of a shock. Health and relationships has enabled us to prepare pupils throughout the year and not just at the last minute. It complements the existing transition with our local high school in a seamless and supportive way. We wish all of our Year 6 children the very best.”

With just a few weeks left of the summer term, preparation for the big move at Excalibur is well underway. The school will host a special leavers assembly for Year 6 children, where they’ll have the opportunity to look back at some of their favourite primary school memories.

The programme is available to schools at no cost until October 2021. Schools are encouraged to register at:

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