Moving to a new school can be daunting, especially when all of the other students are older than you. In year 6 we are the top dogs and everyone looks up to us. We then make that large leap to secondary schools and it all immediately flips around. Now we are the young ones and we have the most to learn.
What can we, as English Teachers, do to help make this transition easier for new students?
How can we begin?
We can begin by setting the expectations and explaining what they should expect from the next few years. Whilst it is important that we don’t scare them off, we still want to instil into them how important it is that they work hard.
Making the transition as gradual as possible may be tricky to obtain, especially as many of the students in the class will have come from different schools initially.
What else can we do?
Take some time to get to know your students. Ask them what their favourite part of English was in their previous school and take notes. You can also use resources shared by teachers across the country on a site called Teachit English. You can find resources for all of your classes, from KS3 all the way up to A Level English.
Making your students feel comfortable and welcome will allow them to open up and find their potential in the classroom. It is important to remember that not everyone will enjoy the subject, and not to let them ruin it for everyone else.
It can be easy to focus on the students that are misbehaving and lose focus on the classmates that really enjoy English. If we can create the perfect balance, our students should transition well.