Moving up from Primary

Moving up from primaryTransition from primary to secondary school – how do you make this successful?

What needs to be done?When?How does this happen?
1. Parents investigate which secondary schools they wish to apply toYear 5 – all year
Year 6 – September – October
Consult published information – OFSTED Reports, school performance tables, school prospectuses, school websites etc. Discuss with friends and neighbours with experience of local secondary schools. Attend talks, Open Evenings and Open Days organised by local secondary schools:
Eg Wilmslow High School hold two question and answer evenings at Wilmslow primary schools in SeptemberEg Wilmslow High School holds an Open Evening and an Open Day during late-September / early October. 

If you missed these events you might want to view the presentation used:Presentation to Year 6 parents – October 2014 – The journey from primary to secondary school – what do you want to know

2. Parents apply for secondary school placeYear 6 – September – OctoberMake sure that the relevant admissions arrangements are known and understood – consult admissions booklets published by local councils and ask if anything is not clear.
For example, information about the admissions process for Cheshire East residents can be found at:
Submit completed application form to the relevant admissions team by the deadline.
3. Admissions team apply published criteria to allocate secondary school placesYear 6 – November – February
Year 6 – March
Admissions team process applications received by deadline dateand use published criteria to determine whether parental preferences can be met. Admissions team publish decisions about secondary school places.
4. Parents respond to decision about secondary school placesYear 6 – March onwardsIf allocated to first preference – respond by deadline and start preparing for September. If not allocated first preference contact admissions team to investigate: 

  • what are the chances of getting first preference in the event of other people turning down offers
  • whether it is worth submitting an appeal
5. Secondary schools begin transition process by working in primary schoolsYear 6 – April – MaySecondary school Student Services staff visit primary schools. For example, Wilmslow High send a team of colleagues into every Wilmslow Education Partnership primary school to meet Year 6 teachers and gather information about 

  • learning strengths and areas for development
  • social and emotional aspects of learning
  • pupils’ personal qualities and interests

This team will also make a presentation to Year 6 pupils in order to:

  • allow them to put some faces to names
  • introduce how Student Services acts as a focal point for Every Child Matters issues at Wilmslow High School
  • answer any immediate questions pupils have
6. Specialist secondary school staff work with pupils with specific individuals needs and their familiesYear 6 – April onwardsAlthough this process starts intensively from April onwards in Year 6, for many of these pupils transition work will have already begun much earlier in their primary years.
7. Secondary schools invite Year 6 pupils in for transition activitiesYear 6 – June onwards

Many primary pupils will have experience of their local secondary school through local education partnership activities (eg sport and the arts). Formal transition days are normally run by secondary schools during the second half of the Year 6 summer term. 

For example, Wilmslow High School invites Year 6 pupils in groups of 70-80 pupils for two-days of curriculum experiences during June-July.

8. Secondary schools invite parents of Year 6 pupils in for transition activities

Many secondary schools organise an event of parents in the summer term prior to their children moving onto secondary school the following September. For example, at Wilmslow High School this event is called the Year 6 Family Interview Evening and takes the form of a timetabled one-to-one meeting between parents, child and their new Form Tutor. During the course of this evening there is also the opportunity to raise queries with relevant members of the Student Services Team. On arrival parents are provided with an Induction Pack which provides key information about the whole Year 7 experience and a range of activities from curriculum teams for pupils to complete over the summer and bring with them in September.Letter to incoming Year 7 parents re transition and residential – published June 2014 

Example letter to incoming Year 7 parents re arrangements for Induction Evening Tuesday 8th July 2014


9. Parents prepare children for the first day at secondary schoolYear 6 -AugustMaking sure that the children feel well prepared for September: 

  • purchase uniform and all the key equipment outlined in the Induction Pack
  • encourage engagement with the summer holiday activities provided by curriculum teams
10. First day and first week at secondary schoolYear 7 – SeptemberMany secondary schools invite new students in to start on their own a day before the rest of the school students return. In addition, Wilmslow High School has a New Parents’ Evening during the first week of term involving presentations from the Headteacher, other senior staff and the Head Boy and Head Girl.
11. Settling in reviewsYear 7 – NovemberMany secondary schools hold an additional Parents’ Consultation Evening for Year 7 early in the academic year in order to provide early two-way feedback of how the students have settled in. At Wilmslow High School this takes the form of another timetabled one-to-one meeting between parents, child and their new Form Tutor.