At Parkside, we are proud of our strong primary links. We have teachers who visit primary schools to support staff and enhance pupils’ learning as well as many events which involve primary pupils on our site.
We have an extensive ‘Multi-skills’ programme for year 5 pupils. All our feeder primary schools are invited to experience a plethora of activities which not only support their learning in year 5 but also extend their higher level thinking ready for the challenges of year 6. We have a dedicated team of year 8 pupil leaders who support and look after the year 5 pupils when they are with us. Pupils in year 5 quickly develop positive relationships with year 8 as they provide great role models.
Multi-skills weeks are an ideal time for pupils to learn more about the school, meet staff and familiarise themselves with the day to day running of a successful school. This hopefully reduces the anxiety and worry for pupils during their transition when joining us in year 7.
Pupils take part in several ‘STEM’ days – science, technology, engineering and maths – as well as a ‘Maths Challenge’ day. We have a trained team of year 9 reading mentors who work with primary pupils to encourage reading and develop their love of books and all things literary.
We have extended the use of our facilities and invited all primaries to our ‘after school’ activities led by our staff and sports leaders. It important that our pupils at Parkside are involved in our work with primary schools and currently we have over 20 pupil leaders involved in liaison work – many of them leading activities during and after school for primary age children.
To support all our transition work, we have our own transition worker dedicated to work with Year 6 pupils during the Spring and Summer terms, particularly those identified by their teachers as anxious or vulnerable. Once Year 6 move up to Year 7, our transition worker stays with them and provides support to pupils in the first half of the year.
Every year we hold induction days for the Year 6 pupils coming to Parkside – this is an important and valuable time for all concerned. The Year 6 pupils experience sample lessons and take part in fun activities, all designed to build their self-confidence and familiarise them with how a secondary school works. Following these days, our new Year 7 pupils start the year of as happy and enthusiastic young people.