Transition is a vital time in a young person’s education journey. As well as adjusting to a change in academic expectations, young people have to get used to a bigger school environment, different teachers for every subject, and having to make new friends.
A confident transition to secondary school not only paves the way to a successful journey through school – and ultimately achievement at the end of Year 11 – it also ensures that children build a strong and positive support network to help them through their teenage years and beyond. All of this cannot happen without the new Year 7 cohort being confident about their identity, their environment, the people they work with and how they interact with others.
That is why ASDAN developed its innovative Lift Off programme, the only course of its kind that supports students to make a successful transition. The programme develops learners’ soft skills and builds self-esteem, helping them thrive in secondary school.
New tool to track learners’ progress
We have built on the success of the Lift Off programme to develop a way of tracking learners’ development. ASDAN’s progression awareness tool for Lift Off, available for centres to purchase from the ASDAN website in September, will measure the progress students make in developing the key characteristics and qualities needed to thrive in secondary school. The tool includes a questionnaire asking students to rate themselves in a variety of areas including:
- personal skills
- problem solving ability
- teamwork skills
- aspirations for the future
The tool contains a worksheet aimed at helping learners develop their characteristics, gain a greater understanding of their strengths, and empower them to achieve their goals in life.
Free resources to support transition
ASDAN has created two free supplementary Lift Off resources focused on addressing key issues relating to young people around the time they are dealing with transition: using a phone responsibly; and travelling to school independently.
The ‘using a phone responsibly’ resource includes a starter activity and two challenges aimed at developing a greater understanding of the importance of self-control in relation to mobile phone use. The ‘out in the community’ resource helps learners gain route planning skills and stay safe when travelling alone. These resources can be delivered by schools as well as parents.
Lift Off is a big hit with learners
Sawtry Village Academy in Cambridge started delivering Lift Off after senior management identified the need to introduce a more structured and well resourced transition programme. Emma Gilbert, Head of Core Studies, said: “It’s a priority for Sawtry to get to know students well and Lift Off helps you gain a rounded knowledge of the learners. The programme helps staff build up a clearer picture of the student which helps us support their integration into secondary school.”