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Next Steps

Supporting young people's transition from primary to secondary school

Next Steps supports young people to prepare for their transition to secondary school and think about the situations they might face and positive ways to deal with new experiences.

Age 11-12 is a time where change and transitioning can impact a young person’s life in a multitude of ways. Next Steps aims to address these challenges head-on and give young people a safe space to explore their worries through drama.

Participants learn to better express themselves, build their confidence and develop soft skills, such as effective communication, presentation, decision-making, taking responsibility and making a commitment.

They play an active role in having the ‘power to change’ negative outcomes in a safe environment, acting as observers and critical thinkers with their peers. Themes addressed in the sessions include bullying, online safety, friendships, identity and responsibilities.

How can my child/student get involved?

Do you have a child who is finishing Year 6 and will be going to secondary school in September 2024? If yes, Half Moon is offering a FREE After School clubs in June and July and a FREE Summer School in August.

To express interest in a place, please contact Malachi:

Call: 020 7709 8905
Email: nextsteps@halfmoon.org.uk
Text: 07502 279 650

June/July After School Clubs

In June and July there are four different After School Clubs, which take place over five weeks. You can choose one for your child to attend:


Bernie Cameron Community Centre
32 Merchant Street, Bow, E3 4LX
10 June-15 July 2024 


The Reach Community Hub
11 Oliphant Street, Poplar, E14 0GB
11 June-9 July 2024


The Sundial Centre
11 Shipton Street, E2 7RU
12 June-10 July 2024


Half Moon Theatre
43 White Horse Road, Limehouse, E1 0ND
13 June-11 July 2024

August Summer School

Our summer schools run over three different weeks and you can choose one for your child to attend Monday-Friday of that week. All of those who went to the After School Clubs will be invited to summer school, and we also welcome anyone else who would like to attend.

Week 1

Monday 5- Friday 9 August 2024

Week 2

Monday 12- Friday 16 August 2024

Week 3

Monday 19- Friday 23 August 2024

All the August Summer School sessions take place at:

Half Moon Theatre
43 White Horse Road, Limehouse, E1 0ND

Click here to read more about Summer Schools in August
To express interest in a place in one of our Summer Schools, please contact Malachi:

Call: 020 7709 8905
Email: nextsteps@halfmoon.org.uk
Text: 07502 279 650

After School Drama

Following on from Next Steps, we continue to support young people into their first three years of Secondary School.

We provide free after school drama clubs to young people from Tower Hamlets who are in Year 7, 8 and 9 – in these clubs, we use drama to discuss and explore themes and situations from secondary school as well as continue to build confidence and friendships.

Find out more

The Next Steps Programme

Since 2018, Half Moon have delivered Next Steps, a drama-based transition programme, commissioned by Tower Hamlets Youth Service (THYS), for young people transitioning from primary to secondary school.

Half Moon engages with schools and external agencies throughout the borough to refer young people to the programme who are deemed at risk of disengagement and vulnerable through their transition.

Next Steps offers young people free after school sessions in the second half of their summer term of Year 6, a free week-long summer school and after school sessions in the first half of their autumn term of Year 7. The programme also offers one-to-one tailored support once young people are in Year 7.

Participants can move on to take part in our year-long After School Drama programme for Year 7s-Year 9s once their involvement in Next Steps has finished.

If you work in a school in Tower Hamlets, or you are a parent who would like to discuss this further, please contact Malachi.

Call: 020 7709 8905
Email: nextsteps@halfmoon.org.uk

Download the Information Pack for Schools
During the uncertainty of the pandemic, work around transitions was critical. Unprecedented numbers of young people had missed large amounts of formal school. Perhaps most importantly, in 2022, Next Steps offered fun and engaging sessions, reconnecting young people in real life, offering structure for young people in a nurturing environment at an unprecedented time in their lives.
In the 2021/22 academic year, 150 young people attended from over 50 primary and secondary schools across Tower Hamlets.
Since 2018, 915 young people have taken part in Next Steps.

In the News

Next Steps has featured in the Docklands and East London Advertiser. In our Community View column previous Head of Creative Learning Beccy explained how Half Moon wants to help young people as they make one of the most challenging transitions in their lives.

Red the article

Young People’s Comments

“[Next Steps] has helped me in secondary school. I had some Year 8s trying to bully me, but I have felt more confident about how to handle this. I know its best to talk to someone.”

“I have met people who I will be going to secondary school with. That’s really exciting.”

“I feel less stressed and happy.”

“I learnt about bullying and social media – I didn’t expect that.“

“It made me think about the way I talk to people.”

“I really enjoyed the session where we explored how our decisions and actions can have an impact on our future. I do not feel as nervous about some of the changes ahead.”

“I know how I can be more calm and make better decisions.”

Parents’ Comments

“X gained a lot of confidence and self-esteem from this programme. It’s a brilliant way to bring shy, unsure worried children out of their shell and battle any anxiety.”

“This has boosted X’s  confidence massively, and pushed her to speak up, make new friends and really brought out her character and helped her to look towards her future.”

“It’s allowed X to experience a version of what secondary school may be like socially. She has been exposed to the fact that she isn’t the only one with the same concerns of the unknown she has been talking about it and she feels she knows what to do now.”

“You inform! Thank you for moving forward X, and giving him much needed information to evolve.”

“X has been very reflective this week!

Teachers’ Comments

“The project has helped young people who found it difficult to speak up to express themselves with far more confidence!”
John Scurr Primary School

“This is such a great opportunity for year 6s to be able to express their anxieties and their hopes regarding secondary school…thank you very much for giving them then a chance to think about how they really feel and be able to express themselves in a creative way instead of a harming way.”
St Matthias Primary School

“The project was very affirming for the young people. At a time when they were saying goodbye to friends of seven years they realised that meeting new young people could be fun and that they would be able to make new friends in secondary school. The young people from our year 6 are going to 11 different schools so this project helped them prepare for the changes.”
Marion Richardson Primary School

“We have referred pupils to the Half Moon Next Steps programme as we have seen their workshops firsthand and seen the enjoyment and confidence that children gain in them. The workshops are tailored to address the fears and worries primary pupils have about secondary school as stated by them. They are presented in familiar language to the pupils, which makes them feel understood and comfortable. I have seen children gain independence, responsibility and confidence through the Half Moon Theatre workshops.”
Old Ford Primary School

Previous Transitions projects

More at Half Moon