The transition from primary to secondary school is one of the major milestones in our lives; we can all probably still remember our first day at secondary school as we encountered much older students in a much bigger school and a huge number of new teachers, new procedures and new expectations.
This step on the road to joining the adult world remains an anxious time for young people but here at St George’s we offer a significant amount of opportunities, support, and information to students and parents so that the transition from Key Stage 2 (Years 4-6) to Key Stage 3 (Years 79) is as smooth as possible.
At St George’s we broadly follow the National Curriculum of England and Wales that includes three traditional sciences, mathematics, English, History, Geography, French, German, Drama, Art, Music, Information and Communication technology, Physical Education, and SMSC. A full curriculum guide can be viewed at: http://www.stgeorges.lu/page.cfm?p=509
Throughout the final year at primary school, the primary and secondary subject teachers work closely to ensure that the academic transition for students is seamless. Heads of Faculty in the secondary school and lead teachers in the primary school meet to discuss curriculum developments and provide opportunities for students to engage in cross-phase activities.
This year primary students participated in ‘World Maths Day’ activities which are planned, prepared and taught by Year 8 students, science teachers provided demonstration lessons in the secondary labs and teachers of French, English, Geography and Drama offered cross-phase projects. In Physical Education, a group of Year 10 Sports Leaders assisted the primary staff each week by leading dance, games and athletic skills with students from Year 1 upwards. Year 6 and Year 8 students enjoyed having ballroom dancing lessons together and the Sports Leaders attended the primary school Easter Ball as ‘Dance Ambassadors’. A team of students selected from Years 6–8 will represent Luxembourg at the International Unified Basketball and Floorball tournaments in Austria. Not only does this huge variety of opportunities introduce the students to the secondary facilities, staff and students, it also creates an air of excitement that stimulates new learning opportunities.
The major transition event for Year 6 students are the ‘Transition Days’ when they spend 3 days in the secondary school following a curriculum that introduces them to all of the subject areas, teaching staff and procedures of the secondary school. They experience movement between classrooms at the end of lessons, begin to develop the organisational skills required when they have their own lockers and have lunch and break times with the older students.
In addition to a worthwhile and challenging curriculum, it is obviously crucial that new students joining the secondary school are happy, engaged and cared for.
St George’s offers a ‘full package’ of support for all students in the secondary school. When they arrive in Year 7, students are allocated to a form group and their form tutor monitors and promotes the well-being of students throughout their time at the school. The School has a Pastoral Care Coordinator who is available to listen to the students’ concerns, should they have any. St George’s has an ongoing programme of support led by their form tutor during weekly SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) lessons focusing on areas such as; time management, organisation skills, learning skills, revision techniques and presentation skills – to name but a few.
There is a Key Stage Head (a member of the management team) and a Key Stage Coordinator to continually monitor the welfare and progress of students within their allocated year groups.
St George’s being an inclusive school offers tailored support to those that require it, this ensures that all Year 7 students are able to effectively access the curriculum. The transition process includes a number of meetings between the primary and secondary Special Educational Needs (SEN) coordinators to ensure that these students continue to receive the support required. The SEN coordinator also has a dedicated team of Learning Support Assistants (LSA’s) who work with the students in their learning within the classroom. We also have an English as an Additional Language (EAL) coordinator who works with students who arrive in school without the required level of English and our ‘More Abled and Talented’ students are given a wide range of curricular, extracurricular and super-curricular opportunities to stretch their academic performance even further.
St George’s provides a ‘Key Stage 3 Transition Information Evening’ for parents and students to visit the school and meet with staff and also a secondary ‘Open Morning’ so that parents can see the school operating on a normal school day. Once students join the school the support continues as parents are invited to a ‘Settling-In Evening’ in September so that they can meet the new form tutor and find out how their son/daughter is coping with life in the secondary school.
The school was recently awarded a further ‘Excellent’ judgment from the Independent Schools Inspectorate following an inspection in February 2018 and the public examination results secured by students in Years 11, 12 and 13 continue to be outstanding. If you wish to learn more about St George’s please do not hesitate to visit our website and make an appointment to meet us.
For details, see www.st-georges.lu