Transition from Primary to Intermediate to High School
So why is it so important to get the transition right?
Well, like thousands I remember each transition as clear as yesterday, the anxiety, fear, and excitement of the shift from primary school to intermediate school, and on to secondary school.
Powhiri or an assembly and you’d see familiar faces and new faces then I’d just hope, that the educated teacher may have taken the time to learn the correct pronunciation of my name? Then my names read out, “Conrad Whitehall or Wai|tow|ar” I’d think, nope, but now I’m expected to etu (stand) and walk tall and proud to the teacher in both worlds? te ao Māori me te ao Pākehā (the Māori world and the Pākehā world).
I’d get to where the teacher is standing, normally in the front of everyone and I’d really want to say, my surname is pronounced “Waitoa” From Reverend Hone Waitoa, a missionary minister at Te Araroa and my Papa Henare Waitoa who was a great composer of waiata (songs) Tomo Mai e Tama Ma and many more and my Dad, Enoka (Togi) Waitoa an amazing father, papa and kaumatua to many, but I don’t, in fear of being singled out as a troublemaking. So I tow, Wai|tow|ar, the line and the excitement goes and the anxiety takes over.
I’d get to my new classroom, it was always set up for the teacher, never boy or culturally friendly but hey, why should it be? I was only the client. The next feeling was fear, what did my last school write about and will my new teachers actually make an effort to get to know who I am as of today or “not”, and take the word from an “OTJ” Own Teacher Judgement report from my last school? Amazingly, some of us can change in a 6 week period.
Here’s a little bit of information to help better understanding education transitions
Our tamariki (child's) wellbeing and learning must be maintained as they transition from Primary, Intermediate, and on to High Schools. A tamariki’s transition can be complicated by the emotional, physiological and social changes that can negatively impact on their learning. Awesome Schools with outstanding Kaiako (teachers) that understand how these changes impact on our tamariki, their students are better placed to help make positive adjustments to their new school.
Why the Primary to Intermediate, and on to High School Transition matters
Students need to make positive adjustments to their new school and classes so that their wellbeing is maintained and their learning is coherent and continuous. Poor transitions impact on students’ well-being and on their achievement in the future. Where students experience multiple transitions because of transience, there are identifiable negative impacts on their achievement.
What are education transitions?
Most students make many transitions in their school lives. They do so when they:
Students want to feel that:
School must: Build relationships with parents and communities
Parents, caregivers, whānau, and champions from Inspire In Education, are key players in the transition process. The extent and quality of communication amongst schools and families will impact considerably in successful transitions.
Management and teachers at primary, intermediate and high schools have important roles supporting the transitions of all students. Primary and Intermediate schools are responsible for preparing students academically and socially for High schools and sharing information with the student, families, whānau and the receiving school. The values, ethical orientation or culture within a High school is fundamental to how well it welcomes and supports students and their whanau.
The students will stay at school, engage in learning and achieve NCEA qualification when they experience a curriculum that has to mean for them. Teachers who find out about and focus on students’ interests, cultural background, strengths, achievement levels, and needs can provide such a meaningful curriculum.
Responding to the cultural background of students. Foster, an educational environment that focuses on the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi in education. Part of knowing the student is to explore the cultural capital they have and use their knowledge to shape the curriculum. This can help students feel a sense of belonging in the school and connectedness to their own cultural roots.
Schools must be places where learners’ cultural and ethnic identities are acknowledged, celebrated and promoted through the curriculum
Set up a Learning Plan and review it with the student.
So, it is important for every school to think of the transition as a process rather than an event.
And at the start of each new year, where the whanau don’t have internet or email access, hey, pick up the phone and have a korero or email out the student’s class teacher and room number with a map of the school.
How exciting would it be to sneak a peek at your new classroom during the holidays and to know that your name won’t be mispronounced in front of your new school?
Core services provided by Inspire in Education