THE JOURNEY FROM PRIMARY SCHOOL TO HIGH SCHOOL
Learners begin their Chorlton High School journey some time before they arrive with us in Year 7. Our carefully designed and consciously crafted Transition process enables all young people to engage with the school – its curriculum, ethos, staff and facilities – many years before they wear the uniform and arrive in the building.
TRANSITION: ‘THE TRANSITION PHASE IS THE LAUNCH PAD, THE PREPARATION FOR TAKE-OFF.’
The Launch Pad – Engineered in Year 5 and Year 6 Chorlton High School is a centre of excellence for the Arts and the school’s Primary Arts Outreach Programme allows schools in the local area to benefit from this. A specialist teacher in Drama works regularly in our local schools. During Year 5, learners in Primary Schools across South Manchester are involved in a collaborative and creative Shakespeare production. This is an unforgettable experience that develops skills and confidence in all and helps to nurture a sense of community, supporting the transition process. It allows learners to focus on a complex piece of literature and culminates in them bringing that to life in a performance in our Blue Box Theatre.
During Year 5, specialist staff from Chorlton High School run regular Pupils with a Passion Masterclasses for learners in primary schools in the local area. This enables learners with a real interest in a particular subject to enjoy specialist masterclasses with a teacher of real expertise. These sessions are designed to: offer a range of activities which encourage creativity and extend learning; enable learners to become accustomed to developing independent learning skills which they will build on further once in Year 7 at Chorlton High School; and provide opportunities for interaction amongst children with common interests; thus facilitating friendship groups which will support them through their school years.
The Chorlton High School Family Reading programme runs throughout the year and gives Primary learners and their parents the opportunity to come into school to take part in a family focused workshop based on a novel that is in the running for the annual Chorlton Book Award.
Our Exceeding Expectations classes provide an opportunity for Gifted and Talented learners in Year 5 and 6 from local primary schools to attend English, Maths and Science classes delivered by subject specialists from Chorlton High School. These classes give learners the opportunity to work with staff from the school and also to develop and extend their learning and skills in the subject. These activities are coordinated by our Transition Coordinator, who also serves as a regular point of contact and a familiar face for primary learners.
Our Peer to Peer Mentoring programme begins in Year 6 and makes a valuable contribution to primary learners’ experiences. Peer Mentors from Chorlton High School provide younger learners with an initial, accessible point of contact which enables them to: seek information and support; build life skills and experiences; and develop relationships with learners already attending Chorlton High School. The programme is delivered in a number of different ways including: through Chorlton High School Peer Educators in reading and sports activities; through the Global Dimension Peer Education programme which enables learners from local primary schools and Chorlton High School to discuss and explore wider issues of global dimension; and finally, through Transition Buddies (current Chorlton High School learners) who support learners as they make the transition to High School.
WHEN YOUR PLACE AT CHORLTON HIGH IS CONFIRMED
The New Beginnings programme sees a number of Chorlton High School transition specialists visit a large number of local Primary schools to work with all year 6 learners to discuss feelings around transition and share stories from learners who have already undergone this process. Primary school learners are given the opportunity to communicate their feelings, have these listened to and then have the opportunity to discuss them. Learners also get a chance to meet a teacher from Chorlton High School to gain an insight into how we approach teaching and learning.
The purpose of our Transition Curriculum is to bridge the gap from primary school to secondary school. Before they arrive with us, learners in our partner primary schools will study in their school or have access to workshops led by our Transition Team based on the novel ‘The Kid Who Came from space’ by Ross Welford. This text is a Manchester wide Transition text. Learners will then continue the study of the themes in the novel in all of their lessons in the first two weeks of Year 7 to ease them into their new school and provide some familiarity and support when accessing a new curriculum.
During the Summer term, we invite all prospective Chorlton High School learners to our Induction Day. On this day, learners attend Chorlton High School all day and have the opportunity to: enjoy lessons in many different subjects; meet some of their teachers; familiarise themselves with the school building and its facilities and make new friends ready to begin their Year 7 journey with us in September.
PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS
As part of the Induction day we invite parents into school during the evening to meet key staff and hear important information from our Head Teacher.
As a school, we maintain high levels of contact with parents. Members of staff will often write to parents, contact them by telephone or invite them in to discuss issues of importance about their child’s welfare and progress. Likewise, we encourage parents to contact us if they have any concerns they would like to discuss. There are regular Parents’ Evenings throughout the school year where parents can speak to their child’s subject teachers. In the first half term of Year 7 the school will set up an opportunity for you to meet your child’s form tutor to discuss how they have settled in and address any questions you may have.