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Positive attitudes to education ‘decline in secondary school’

Positive attitudes to education ‘decline in secondary school’

The transition from primary to secondary school leads to waning enthusiasm and boredom among many learners, says new research.

The proportion who ‘feel good about school’ falls 10 percentage points to 84% between Year 3 and Year 9, suggests a GL Assessment poll of 32,000 pupils.

The survey, carried out in the year to April 2016 among primary and secondary pupils in England and Wales, found most of the fall in positive attitudes happened after Year 7, the first year of secondary school.

"While a whole host of factors come into play at this point in a child's development – hormones, friendships, growing up, taking control – the transition to secondary school marks a significant change for students and it is at this point that we begin to see a change in their attitudes," say the authors.

The report suggests pupils' difficulties in coping with a larger school, up to 10 different subject teachers and a more complex curriculum, can last well into Year 9.

ASDAN is currently working on an innovative project that aims to build confidence and engagement for learners making the transition to secondary school.

'Building for progression: a foot on the ladder' is an 18-month scheme which also aims to raise learners' career and education aspirations.

It was piloted in three primary schools and a secondary school in Rugby with positive results. 

The findings will be used to create Lift Off, a new ASDAN course designed for primary school age learners at Key Stage 2 (Year 5/6) who are about to make the transition into Key Stage 3 (Year 7) at secondary school. Due for release in January 2017, the course develops a ‘whole person, whole journey’ approach to progression and achievement, rather than solely focusing on academic attainment. 

A conference announcing the findings of the pilot will take place in London on Tuesday 15 November.

To book your place at the event or for more information, please email