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From big fish to small fry

Who went?

Nick Leppard, primary liaison co-ordinator at Alderman Blaxill School in Colchester.

What was it?

KS2 to KS3 run by the Cambridge Consortium, a collaboration of five schools, the University of East Anglia and the Villiers Park Educational Trust.

What did it do?

It was about making the transfer of pupils from primary to secondary schools as trouble free as possible.

Why go?

This is the first year I've had this responsibility and I wanted to meet other teachers doing the same job.

Message, motto or mantra?

Liaison with your feeder schools should be an ongoing process. It's also a good idea for Year 7 pupils to go back and talk to the new Year 6 children.

Handouts or hands-on?

There was time for sharing ideas and we were encouraged to make friends. I have since visited the school of someone I met on the course and spent a day there seeing exactly what they do.

Something I liked The course was run by a teacher, who explained what happened at their school but stressed the need to adapt and be flexible.

Something I learned Children in Year 6 are big fish in small ponds. They have responsibilities, such as collecting the registers. Then they come to secondary school and are seen as the least important people in the school. That can be demotivating. So it's a good idea to give them responsibilities.

Has it made a difference?

We've fine-tuned our "transition unit" - a booklet of work which Year 6 pupils start in the summer term and finish in Year 7.

The verdict?

It's a great course. It looks at potential problems, such as the different structure of the school day, and comes up with solutions

Coming soon?

No dates yet. But details of other Cambridge Consortium courses can be seen at www.villierspark.org.uk

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