The inspection of the learning community surrounding Cleveden Secondary School (January 2014) identified Cadder Primary School's early years transition project, as good practice.
The Cadder Primary School Transition project provides an environment where by the time the children come to P1, they are already part of the school and the community.
A range of transition activity strategies has been planned and used by the Transition Coordinator (Elaine McDonald, Principal Teacher) to support children's transition into Cadder Primary School. These include: visits to the school, open days and coffee mornings involving children, parents and carers.
Joint planning meetings with staff from all of the feeder nurseries provide the foundation for strong partnership working throughout the term time.
The Transition Coordinator has developed and fostered strong partnerships with the various nurseries who link to Cadder primary school. Planning meetings between the school and the feeder nurseries help to create informal relationships between the staff, which help to instil an inclusive and 'can-do' culture that permeates the entire school.
Cadder PS teachers visit the various nurseries to establish relationships with the children and the nursery staff. While these visits can be difficult to arrange because of the out-of-school time involved, the fact that the children remember and benefit greatly from the interaction is seen as a reason to do it.
If it means that much to the kids – it's worth it.
Dedicated transition teaching staff provide a nurturing role to accommodate the emotional and social needs of the children and parents. A Jolly Phonics workshop is open to children and parents, providing an opportunity to meet the teacher, to see what and how the children are learning and to see the classroom environment, too.
Highly effective joint planning and evaluation is evident across all stakeholders within the Cadder nursery/primary transition programme. Both the Head Teacher and the Transition Coordinator ensure parental engagement and involvement by building the trust of the parents/carers from the very first day. And this continues throughout the child's involvement with the school.
Partners delivering Cadder Early Years Transition programme are planning and delivering a highly effective programme where children are included, and supported to be confident, achieving and effective contributors.
Inspection of the learning community surrounding Cleveden Secondary School
One of the support strategies is a buddy system for older children to support younger ones. The system has provided another layer of support for children to get to know their peers and to get to know their way around school. The success of the Buddies is evident through the young people themselves, who talk about their roles with confidence and maturity.
I really like helping the wee ones settle into our school.
A Buddy, aged 11
Glasgow Commonwealth Games
The recent Glasgow Commonwealth Games provided the transition project staff with activities and learning experiences that linked to key themes within Curriculum for Excellence. Learning about the Commonwealth countries, Mini Games, a mini baton relay and the visit to the school by Clyde, the Games' mascot, were seen as a huge success by everyone involved.
Information for parents
An array of information, provided by the school, is given to parents, which reinforces the support available to help children's transition. An information CD, 'My New School', provides information on all of the school staff including the janitor – and all of this is underpinned by an ethos of enthusiasm for learning.
Key strengths of the project
Education Scotland staff identified the following as key strengths of the project:
- The effective long- and short-term planning and implementation of the transition project by the coordinator, Elaine McDonald, Principal Teacher.
- Highly motivated and enthusiastic transition project staff and partners work really well together.
- Effective joint planning and evaluation takes place with all stakeholders involved in the project.
- Parents and carers are involved in their child's learning and development, providing a strong feeling of parental ownership.
- The head teacher has highly effective leadership skills, which permeate the entire school.
Did you find this article useful or have improvement suggestions? Please email Education Scotland's CLD Policy and Improvement Team.