On your marks, get set?

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Across the country many schools and colleges are involved in transition programmes.

Whether it's 'Meet the Teacher' days at primary school, time in secondary school for Year 6 pupils or taster days for new VIth formers many of our young people are preparing for the new academic year.

Perhaps less obvious is the need for existing students to prepare for the next year even if it's not a whole new experience for them. How many of us have considered the need for pupils to know what's coming next for them, for example: in their curriculum; in the expectations of them in terms of behaviour; or indeed in the learing that they could be doing in the holiday?

Many students, hearing gossip and rumour, experience anxieties that could be allayed by an opportunity to know at least a little of what's ahead.

We all need information in advance, practical information meets our basic needs, teachers expect to know what they are going to be teaching in a new academic year and a sense of a curriculum of study for students enables the possibility of some pre-learning.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if students knew before a holiday the key aspects of a geography and history curriculum, or what they were going to be learning in food technology so they have an opportunity to practice it; or what books they were going to study so they could read it in advance?

The holidays don't need to generate work and marking for the beginning of a term but imagine the possibilities to build great rapport with a new class if they were 'pre-programmed' for a stimulating learning year ahead. September could become 'go' instead of 'ready, set..'

Of course as a professional all of this applies to you too - how ready can you be?

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