The move from primary into secondary school can be a difficult one for many pupils as they struggle to adapt to the new environment and demands placed upon them. It is important that students are eased into their new school surroundings and feel comfortable as soon as possible. Costello Technology College in Basingstoke places a large emphasis on smooth transition, and have a dedicated transition teacher to aid this process.

Matthew Frape - a former year 6 teacher - has taken on this role, helped by the deputy head of the school, Nick Price, who was inspired by a National Strategies seminar in 2007. Together they liaise with several local primary schools to build strong relationships with both the schools and their pupils. In this way they know many of the students before they begin at Costello, and can provide support to those who need it most. Matthew will have worked with almost two-thirds of the Year 7s before they started secondary school.

His job is split into several key areas, including weekly visits to the local primary schools, literacy booster classes, and teaching subjects as Costello. The most important of these is his PSHE groups, which he runs with the primary school pupils and then continues in year 7 to provide a sense of continuity to help them settle.

The school has found that this new transition scheme has boosted pupil confidence, helping them to move up into secondary school more easily. They have seen an improvement in student performance too, with marks moving towards ‘excellent’, particularly in science and maths.



More information on the work being carried out at Costello Technology College can be found on page 6 of the National Strategies Transfers and Transitions Newsletter Summer 2007.

The newsletter for Autumn.

Source: Secondary Teachers, May 2009


The 2009 spring edition of the Wellcome Trust’s publication, Perspectives on Education, contains several articles that look at the problems met by pupils moving from primary to secondary school, and how the situation can be improved. These articles would be of particular interest to a year 6 or year 7 teacher preparing for the next academic year.


The authors are Professor Maurice Galton (Cambridge University), Martin Braund (University of York) and Anne Diack (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, formerly from the DCSF Innovation Unit).


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The full publication can be read here.