The aim of the Transition Curriculum has always been to accelerate progress to meet age related expectations where possible. A high quality educational experienced is offered to increase engagement, confidence and academic resilience.
By working closely with the primary schools, together we identify students who we feel would benefit from the Transition Curriculum.
Close monitoring of students takes place during the first six weeks and followed by a review to ensure each individual is in the correct place; if students need to move out of the Transition Curriculum we make sure this happens as seamlessly as possible ensuring parents/carers are communicated with throughout.
What does the Year 7 Transition Curriculum look like?
The students and their needs are different every year, therefore the Transition Curriculum is modified year on year to suit the needs of the next cohort of students. In September 2021, we are altering our approach slightly, whereby we have a two tier Transition Curriculum for Year 7.
The ‘Y Transition’ class will access five hours of English and Maths each week as opposed to three. To enable this to happen, students will receive Music and Drama on a rotation rather than one lesson of each per week. PD/RE will combine as one lesson and students will receive three rather than four hours of humanities. A further change to this is students will receive one hour of Language/Cultural Studies, which has not been the case in previous years.
In addition, this year there will be an ‘X Transition’ class, which will allow students to access four rather than three Maths and English lessons per week. Students will receive Music and Drama on a rotation rather than one lesson of each per week, and PD and RE will combine as one lesson. Students will still receive two hours of Languages.
Content of the Transition Curriculum
In English, we aim to cover the same skills as the rest of Year 7, but we alter texts to make sure they are accessible to students. For example, we may begin the year with a novel; either Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Emma Carroll’s Letters from the Lighthouse. This does not mean we are working at a lower level; we are simply scaffolding and structuring the lessons to ensure the ultimate goals are achieved. The advantage of the Transition Curriculum is that we are able to dedicate more time if certain concepts are taking longer to embed. We believe in taking time to secure knowledge and understanding, and moving forward once students are ready.
In Maths, students will follow the same curriculum as the rest of Year 7, again taking more time to embed understanding. Students will still access the same topics, but additional stepping-stones may be added to trickier topics.
In the Y Transition class, three hours are dedicated each week to humanities. During this time, we aim to cover many of the same topics and skills in History and Geography as the rest of Year 7, but one week we many spend two hours on History and vice versa the following week for Geography. Due to having one lesson hour a week, we may not cover a topic that the rest of Year 7 do.
How does the Transition Curriculum develop into Years 8 and 9?
Every year, the needs of the students within the Transition Curriculum are reviewed and therefore the Transition Curriculum tweaks and changes year on year. We are also developing the skills of other teachers across the school and broadening our approach to the Transition Curriculum. The Transition Curriculum Leader will ensure a clear transition takes place to provide staff with information on the cohort and how best to approach their learning.
In year 9, all subjects return to respective departments but there is still input and collaboration with the Transition Team. Interventions remain and are overseen by the Learning Provision Department.
How we decide who would benefit from the Transition Curriculum
Frequency Asked Questions
Does the Transition Curriculum limit my child’s options in the future?
No. The Transition Curriculum allows students to access all of the same opportunities as everyone else. Students who have followed the Transition Curriculum have gone onto college, 6th form, university, apprenticeships.
Is my child in Transition for their entire time at William Howard?
We monitor each student closely and review regularly to ensure each student is following the curriculum most suitable.
Is my child part of a different form group if they follow the Transition Curriculum?
No. Form groups are mixed and often students are with at least one person that they have identified as a friend from primary school.
Can my child attend trips linked to the wider school?
Absolutely! Students are able to apply for any trips e.g. abroad or to the theatre. They apply in the same manner as the rest of their year group.
Download the Transition Curriculum Summary leaflet here: Transition Curriculum leaflet 2021