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Over five weeks in the summer term, this project uses drama to support Year 6 students with their transition to secondary school. Pupils and teachers work together to explore fears, expectations and aspirations as the students look ahead to secondary transfer. Improvisation, image theatre, storytelling and role-play are used to gather the young peoples’ stories and ‘playground myths’. These are then explored by viewing a forum theatre piece created by our team, which offers fictionalised scenarios and uses forum/discussion to explore the issues. Pupils are offered the chance to take on the role of the characters, offering alternative scenarios and resolutions, as well as time for further comments and questions. The programme ends on a positive note with the young people focusing on their aspirations for secondary school. The programme also addresses issues of online safety for young people as we navigate themes of online bullying.
In the summer term 2020, we delivered the programme online with four primary schools in Tower Hamlets and three in Southwark thanks to support from Action for Bow, THAMES, Newcomen Collett Foundation, St Olave’s Foundation Fund and BBC Children in Need.
If you are interested in this project for your school in the future, please contact us. You may also be interested in reading about our Next Steps programme which offers after-school provision for children who are transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7.
Our Transitions programme has been running in Tower Hamlets for many years. You can watch a video of the 2008 Programme, where it all began, here:
May-Jul 2011: Old Ford Primary School, Tower Hamlets
Year 6 Teacher: The Transitions project has allayed many of the children’s fears and made many of them view it as a positive next step, rather than a step into ‘the great unknown’. Most children understood the aspects of school life that would change as they made the move from primary to secondary education. It allowed many of our pupils, who would of otherwise been daunted, leave our school with a positive outlook about attending their chosen secondary school.
May-Jul 2013: Grange Primary School, Southwark
Drama Coordinator: Thank you for coming to us! We really enjoyed the project, particularly because it prompted lots of discussions for our leaving Year 6s and gave them plenty to think about on their departure for secondary school. The theatre practitioners worked professionally and came to our school with a good positive attitude. They were open to suggestions and dealt with behaviour issues very well. They treated the children fairly and listened to all their suggestions. We will suggest that the new Year 6 teachers for next year should use some of these activities and ideas… We could also adapt some of the ideas you gave us into our PSHE lessons with other year groups.
You can read more feedback on the programme and its results here: