Primary Secondary Continuity

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Primary-Secondary Transition Should Primary-Secondary transition schemes be primarily concerned with academic continuity, or socialisation? There is substantial evidence to suggest that previously schools placed emphasis on the socialisation aspect of transition (Evangelou et al. 2008; Galton et al. 1999, 2003; ESTYN 2008, 2010). This was undertaken through information booklets to parents, inductions to secondary schools, visits by year 7 tutors to feeder primary schools, buddying systems in secondary schools, and other such initiatives. In order to refocus and return to a more balanced approach, schools are now focusing on curriculum continuity and the government has published literature such as the National Strategy for Curriculum Continuity in order to aid schools by providing a framework. In their report, The Impact of School Transitions and Transfers on Pupil Progress and Attainment, Galton et al. (1999) concluded that that there had been a marked dip in student progress and commitment during the period of their study subsequent to their transition from primary to secondary schools. They argued that this was because emphasis was placed on smooth transition, not on curriculum continuity or pedagogy. Despite introduction of the national curriculum, problems with curriculum continuity still persist. Regardless of increase in primary-secondary liaison, enough attention has not been paid to sharing of approaches to teaching styles and methods between primary and secondary sectors. Some secondary schools continue to put emphasis on a ‘clean–slate’ approach, which has been one of the factors that have resulted in duplication of work, student disinterest, confusion, and, ultimately, disengagement. However, they also noted that there were schools that were trying to be innovative in their approach (Galton et al. 1999). Carrying the work forward, they reported
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