By Tiffnie Harris
, ASCL Primary Specialist
After many turbulent months, and hopefully a restful break of some description over the summer, primary schools across the country will be getting ready to welcome pupils back to school and to shape the next step of their development.
As you welcome new cohorts to Reception, and possibly early years, in what will be a far from normal start to the year, it is likely the last thought on your mind will be your former Year 6 pupils who you said goodbye to in July.
But those pupils who are, excitedly or apprehensively, about to start their secondary education need your help.
For their wellbeing and longer-term progression, we need to avoid their secondary journey beginning with them either assessed too early on, or repeating areas for which they already have a good grasp.
Year 6 teachers can now give each pupil a final gift to help avoid that.
ASCL has partnered with primary and secondary headteachers and developer askEddi
on a new project, SixIntoSeven
, which uses the professional judgement of Year 6 teachers to give Year 7 teachers vital insight into each new pupil that they will be teaching this year.
What we are saying to Year 6 teachers is “you know this child better than anyone, so you are best placed to hand over the educational progress judgement to their next set of teachers”.
In just a few minutes per pupil, a Year 6 teacher can effectively make sure their colleagues in the secondary school responsible for the next stage of each child’s progress have essential insight to help these children get started with their secondary career.
This project hinges on the fact that as educational professionals, teachers’ knowledge of the child, the progress they have made, and any issues they are encountering are golden nuggets of information that are invaluable to secondary school colleagues.
Unlike traditional assessments at primary which are based on how a child performs at a particular point on a particular day, the approach of this project provides a reliable, consistent measurement based on the instinct of the person who, educationally, knows the child best.
Year 6 colleagues can also indicate to secondary teachers where a conversation about pupils who need additional support would be beneficial, thereby providing a conduit for professionals to understand crucial issues which secondary colleagues may otherwise be unaware. In an era where so much about assessment and accountability leans towards focusing on judging the school or the teacher, this approach is genuinely about benefiting the pupil – there is no hidden agenda or way for the data to be used for anything other than giving those pupils a better start to their secondary education journey.
From one professional to another for the benefit of the child, primary teachers give so much in shaping a pupil’s future, and this final ‘gift’ could be one of the most important in these uncertain times.
SixIntoSeven is a collaboration resource which is free to primary schools. To get involved, speak with your pupils' secondary school/s and visit https://opendataproject.org.uk/sixintoseven/
ASCL Primary Specialist