Butterflies and class cocoon

2nd September 2005 at 01:00
Next week, half a million 11-year-olds start secondary school. Some will find the transition overwhelming and struggle outside the single-teacher, single-classroom cocoon. Such vulnerable pupils are lucky if their new secondary is like Corby community college in Northamptonshire (page 12), where they will be taught for a time in a primary-style classroom by a Year 6 teacher.

But what about the rest? Year 6s, ready for some fun after national tests, are given special transition units. Secondary schools are admonished to treat new entrants more like the primary children they were six weeks ago.

Let's not forget that secondary transfer is a rite of passage. Most children will soon overcome their butterflies, revel in new subjects, moving from room to room, and the grown-up atmosphere which offers excitement and the chance to evolve.

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