As two current Year 13’s who have just finished our time in Helsby Sixth Form, we were invited back by Ms Simmonds to assist in the running of the Year 6 Induction Days, by taking photos throughout the day and offering our help in a few of the activities on offer. We noticed several differences in the way that the sessions were carried out, all of which were improvements from when we started secondary school!
To begin with, the new students had the chance to meet their Form Tutor and fellow students, giving them the opportunity to build relationships before September. From getting the chance to view this transition we noticed it was clearly more interactive and engaging for students than when we started secondary school. Team building tasks such as tug of war took place to encourage healthy competition and get children involved. A treasure hunt which required the Year 6’s to find their way around the school, just as we did during our transition, because it has been proven to work in becoming familiar with the site from end to end, or at least exploring the different departments.
Also, problem solving activities within the classroom really helped promote teamwork in form groups, such as building a bridge across a 50cm gap between two tables out of only spaghetti, or trying to spell the word HELSBY out of people! In between lesson time the Year 6’s had numerous talks from the PCSO’s, Rob our Youth Worker, Mr Dowler Headteacher and the Year Leader Mr Hogg. These really seemed invaluable because they gave the Year 6’s a warm welcome to Helsby High School.
On the Year 6’s second day at High School they were introduced to a structured timetable including lessons like: History, IT, PE and English, but to make the transition feel slightly less daunting shorter periods were introduced to ease the Year 6’s in gently. They also had the opportunity to buy food from the Dining Room with a Smart Card supplied by the school so that the Year 6’s got a sense of responsibility in buying their own food and an idea of how it is run throughout the day.
Overall, we believe that the transition is more fluid, and it is more useful having it split over two days because the students get an extended feel for the differences between high school and primary school. Year 7 E-Buddies also helped out on both days, allowing the new intake to ask questions about their experiences and what to expect in September. It was lovely to see the current Year 7’s involved in the school community, being good role models and representatives of Helsby High.
We hope the Year 6’s enjoyed their experience as much as we enjoyed welcoming them to the school!
Jonathan J. and Jenny F. (Year 13)