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Moving On to Post Primary School

Moving On to Post Primary School:

A Transition Programme for 6th Class Pupils

Dear Parents,

I hope that you and your family are all keeping well. We are all coming to terms with the very changed reality of Covid-19 and its impact on our lives. As principal, I am acutely aware of how this has impacted on the children in our school, and in particular our 6th class pupils.

Our 6th class pupils and teachers alike had such high expectations for the final term in the Senior School. It is traditionally a very reflective time for them, where they look back and reflect on the past eight years of primary schooling while also looking ahead to moving to post-primary school.

A different experience for the class of 2020

While their transfer to post-primary marks a new and exciting phase in their young lives, they will experience this transfer in a very different way to any other year group that has gone before them. We all recognise the feelings of disappointment and upset amongst our 6th class children at missing out on their last term in the school. And yet I know that they are also resilient and resourceful, and we will work hard with them to create different memories for them of their last term with us. I want to commend them for their resilience and good humour throughout this period, and for the care and support they have shown each other. They have also made a valuable contribution to the national effort of staying home, staying safe and stalling the spread of Covid-19 infection in their community. All of these are valuable life skills that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

That is why we, as a school want to do our best in supporting our 6th class children in the weeks ahead in preparation for their transfer to post-primary school. As in other school years, we have devised a Transition Programme for our 6th class pupils which will be delivered in the coming weeks. There are many strands to this programme, which has been developed over the years. In the following sections I have set out a summary of the main elements of the programme.

Transition Programme

Since they started primary school, our children have received a broad range of supports under the umbrella of Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE). As part of this, the 6th class teachers and our SEN team have devised a comprehensive Transition Programme for 6th class pupils. This explores with the pupils their hopes, fears and expectations as well as the challenges involved in moving from primary to post-primary school. The children will complete this programme as we progress through the final term.

We will be using a specially designed programme called ‘Mind the Gap’, which we are posting out to arrive in your homes this week.

In this process we will be exploring issues such as:

  • SelfEsteem

  • Selfawareness

  • Managing oneto-one relationships

  • Managing friendships

  • Dealing with peer groups

We hope to actively engage the children in an exploration of and reflection on their social world. In so doing, we hope to better equip them with the skills they need for the next stage of their lives.

Preparing children at a practical level

Life in post-primary school can present many organizational challenges to pupils.

This includes:

  • managing timetables

  • planning homework assignments that have different completion dates

  • organising their books

  • organising their lockers.

These topics are all dealt with in the Mind the Gap programme. This will help our pupils become more prepared for the organisational challenges which they may meet in September.