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Transition (Year 6-7)

Development of a range of low cost, flexible resources and activities that meet the needs of schools and pupils on transition between Year 6 and Year 7. Key projects carried out under the Transition (Year 6-7) have been remit include: 

  • Common Transfer Document
  • Admissions Event for Parents
  • Primary School Parent Information Evenings 
  • Primary/Secondary Interschool Visits
  • Summer Schools 
  • Curriculum Bridging Project


Head Teachers / School Leaders, Local Authorities, School Teachers

Aimed at

KS2, KS3


Inclusion and SEND, Transition


Student/Family Support, Whole School

Why was the project needed?

The work was part of a wider priority around improving inclusion and reducing Norwich schools’ exclusion rates, which are above the national average. Statistically pupils are more vulnerable to exclusions at main transition points in their school life, and this was recognised by Norwich Opportunity Area (NOA) schools as a particular priority for the Year 6-7 transition period.

What happened and what was the impact?

NOA primary and secondary schools were invited to join a working group specific to this line of work. They met regularly under a project lead. The group discussed the issues specific to transition and agreed on a series of areas they wished to focus on. In addition, the project lead investigated current practice in the secondary schools at transition time in the summer and drew some conclusions around the ways the group could make improvements. 

Essentially these fell into one of four categories: 

  • Improve communication and processes 
  • Improve resilience in students  
  • Improve academic ability
  • Share best practice


Interestingly, research shows these are all common areas for many of the challenges transitions presents. The Trust system and a lack of teacher time in every school, had reduced the amount of natural and regular transition type activities and conversations that were once the norm for secondary schools to have with their main feeder schools. Interschool visits and regular group meetings enabled staff to see the value that had been lost over the years with the erosion of these relationships and sharing learning on issues they all face.

Many different projects took place under the Transition (Year 6-7) remit. Some of the most key and successful projects have been documented in case studies that cover the process, outcomes, impact, key lessons and include any resources created. You will find links to these below: 

Common Transfer Document

Admissions Event for Parents

Primary School Parent Information Evenings 

Primary/Secondary Interschool Visits

Summer Schools 

One of our largest projects, the Curriculum Bridging Project, has its own Big Idea page on the learning hub.

What did and didn't work?

The main challenges were getting buy in from all the schools, especially primary schools as there are simply so many more of them, and transition activities being in summer term. Summer term activities were massively disrupted in both 2019 and 2020, thus preventing a lot of the work and evaluation happening as originally planned. 

Time was also a limiting factor at the start of the project as we began what would be a summer term delivery in the final year of the three-year project, essentially the summer before. It meant that we worked hard to develop multiple strands of work simultaneously, with little option but to simply hope they would work, as we thought the NOA would be over before we could see their outcomes or benefits. 

However, as Covid-19 took precedence, the focus shifted to finding ways to adapt the work and make it possible to support Year 7s who had not been to their new school as planned and may also have been out of any education for a considerable time. There was also a need to support the secondary schools to prepare for these new pupils and the challenges that arose from their usual processes not taking place. 

What worked well was the group getting past blaming one another for their issues and moving to a solution driven approach, developing a series of excellent collaborative resources in an inspiring and creative way.  What also worked well was as the NOA continued longer than initially planned, the group expanded to include more external partners who all contributed to a joined and improved service not only for the NOA, but for their own organisations and the sustainability of the projects. The NOA website was a good way to direct schools to the free resources we had developed and make them available and to update them on an ongoing basis.

The value gained for staff involved in the interschool visits between primary and secondary schools was profound. They all spoke of having a better understanding of each other’s behaviour policies and pedagogy as well as the actual subject work being delivered in each setting. Not only did this inform our work for the transition team, it helped shape their school’s approach to their own curriculum and importantly their attitude to one another’s school, breaking down prejudices and enabling a much better understanding of one another’s point of view.

See individual Transition (Year 6-7) case studies and Curriculum Bridging Project Big Idea for more details of key learning points for individual projects. 

How did you measure success?

Mostly this has been done via short surveys or through school take up rates on the projects offered. A detailed and independent evaluation is currently being conducted by Anglia Ruskin University, but the work has been greatly disrupted and slowed due to issues around working in a pandemic. The main aim, to reduce exclusions in Years 7s, is a measure too disrupted by lockdowns and other contextual issues for the project to draw any conclusions around that, at least for now. It is hoped that the independent evaluation may be able to extrapolate some conclusions. 

The biggest indicator of the works’ success has been in the take up of many of the project resources to be developed further and rolled our county wide by the Norfolk County Council’s Covid Recovery Partnership Team.

See individual Transition (Year 6-7) case studies and Curriculum Bridging Project Big Idea for more details of how individual projects outcomes were measured. 


Ingredients For Success

The regular meetings of the group were essential to keep lines of communication open between so the concerns of the secondary and primary schools could be addressed in a positive and collaborative way. 

The project management was essential to keep all the strands of work alive and to communicate effectively to all the schools, especially in light of the changes that were happening.

See individual Transition (Year 6-7) case studies and Curriculum Bridging Project Big Idea for more details of ingredients for success of individual projects.

Is the Project Complete or Ongoing

Ongoing- transition never stops!

How is the Project Sustainable

There is a cultural shift that has begun to shape a more robust and consciously developed transition role in many NOA schools, one which encompasses a holistic whole cohort approach instead of relying so much on the SENCO to establish conversations about individuals, or on admin staff to gather straight data. This is an important change that will help forge better transition year on year. The projects themselves have benefited from much interest from the Norfolk Learning Board and many are being developed to be rolled out county wide.

What are the Long Term Impacts

The profile of transition will be raised in schools with improved conversation between primary and secondary schools to cover not only data sharing and behaviour issues, but a broader spectrum of areas. We hope that transition will not just be a focus in the summer term but an ongoing process throughout the whole school year.

Estimated Costs

Costs were not huge, with the main costs attached to paying cover time to get teachers into each other’s schools for Primary/Secondary Interschool Visits, or to buy them time to develop specific materials or resources such as with the Curriculum Bridging Project.

Area Most Impacted


Raising Attainment

School Readiness

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

Common Transfer Document (Improving Transition info sharing at Year 6-7)

Primary and secondary schools have different approaches to sharing information about Year 6 students moving up to year 7 and this information can be used in different ways.

Admission Event for Parents (Transition Year 6-7)

A survey of Norwich Opportunity Area primary school parents found that 23% did not feel they had enough information about local secondary schools before they had to apply to them.

Primary/Secondary Interschool Visits (Year 6-7 Transition)

Every Norwich Opportunity Area (NOA) secondary school was asked to arrange a day to invite primary school teachers into their school and observe Y7 lessons. The lessons had to include maths and English and at least one other subject.

Primary School Parent Information Evenings (Year 6-7 Transition)

An information evening event for Y6 parents around the time secondary schools are allocated. These events were a chance to discuss the concerns parents have, as well as set realistic expectations for them on the secondary school experience.

Summer Schools (Transition Year 6-7)

Many Year 6 students had their learning disrupted over the 2020 Summer Term. This included disruption to the usual transition planning and activities before they moved to Year 7 in a new school. Schools told us that some students had poor well-being and were anxious about moving schools.

Year 6-7 Transition Camp - Thorpe St Andrew School & Sixth Form

Next steps to do something similar yourself

These are a list of Big Idea resources that you can use to implement in your setting:

This document is part of our collaboration work with primary and secondary schools in Norwich and is intended to encourage sharing ideas between schools to offer everyone a rich and informative way to approach their own unique transition needs. Please have a read of the different approaches these schools use and contact the named lead staff for further information or to organise a visit to see it in action:

Please see Admission Event for Parents (Transition Year 6-7) case study for all resources related to this project:

Please see Common Transfer Document (Transition Year 6-7) case study for all resources related to this project:

Transition Audit Tool

An evidence led toolkit to enable both primary and secondary schools the opportunity to: Audit your current offer to find gaps in your provision and plan improvements. Evaluate you current offer to review and revise your offer effectively in light of your changing cohorts and school needs. The booklets have been created by the Anglia Ruskin University and the NOA with collaboration on the work by various NOA schools, ensuring your school has a live document of your transition programme that can be used to plan, revise, and/ hand over transition to any new staff accordingly.

NOA Transitions. Development tools. Audit Workbook 1 - Current context and needs:

NOA Transitions. Development tools. Audit Workbook 2 - Current management structures, communication and relationships:

NOA Transitions. Development tools. Introduction:

NOA Transitions. Development tools. Evaluation Workbook 1 - current coverage:

NOA Transitions. Development tools. Evaluation workbook 2 - Current projects and outcomes:

We had this transition work externally evaluated by Anglia Ruskin University. Read the reports here:

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Improving Literacy in KS2 here:

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Improving Literacy in Secondary Schools here:

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Improving Maths in KS2 and 3 here:

Champions and contacts


Hub Contact Details

Norwich Opportunity Area Team
Norwich Opportunity Area Team
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