Secondary, here we come;Reviews

25th June 1999 at 01:00
The Bridge (video): Key Stage 2-3 Transition. Wolverhampton CouncilBBC pound;27.50 (incl post amp; VAT) What do you have to do to get to heaven?" "Be dead." (Thomas, age five).

Understanding some transitions is clearly more difficult than others. Take the move from primary to secondary education. At this time of year, 11-year-olds everywhere are trying to come to terms with leaving the security of their primary schools and entering the largely unknown and intimidating world of the "big school".

In my experience their main fears are:

* Getting lost ("Will I be able to find my way to the classroom?").

* Being bullied ("Ivan Oakhead says they flush your head down the toilet, Miss").

* Not being allowed to go to the lavatory when they want to ("I might wet myself").

* Not being able to cope with the work ("Lizzie Flapper says you have 10 hours' homework every night, Sir!").

How can we help our Y6 children to cope? The answer could lie in Wolverhampton, whence comes this video. The camera follows three children through the entire process of transfer, including the first days at secondary school. By using voice-over as well as straight-to-camera interviews, the video gives a child's-eye view of transition.

It will be possible to draw on this video to support general discussion of the issues and, to some extent, to allow your class to live vicariously through the process. But I was struck by how unique the experience is.

Your children will want to know about their school, their friends, their individual concerns. Perhaps each school should make its own video? This one may not travel too well beyond the frontiers of Wolverhampton.

Paul Noble

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