Moving from primary to secondary school can be a frightening and overwhelming prospect for many 11 year olds. Having been big fish in a small pond, with teachers you've known all your life to suddenly find yourself in a gigantic complex of buildings and rooms, with lots of unfamiliar teachers and bigger kids all around is daunting. Without the right level of support, a poor transition can lead to behavioural issues further down the line, and can result in anxiety and refusal to attend school.
This Summer, The Door has launched the Door Step Programme, a dedicated intervention exclusively for those young people transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7 and moving from Primary to Secondary Education. Sarah Williams, who recently joined the team as Programme Manager, explains "Each group will have no more than 12 people in it, and together we will be making moving schools an exciting adventure. Young people will be equipped with all the tools they need to make becoming an adolescent a bit less worrying. There will be games, activities and the chance to make new friends. Peer support between the young people is going to be a key part of the programme."
Groups will meet twice during the summer holidays, and twice again during the autumn term, before a celebration night in November. The Programme is running in six locations: Gloucester, Cheltenham, Stroud, Stonehouse, Wotton and Dursley & Cam. Sarah, who's youngest son has just successfully navigated the transition himself, is an experienced practitioner having worked in the Health and Education systems for some time, as well as volunteering as a Mentor at The Door. "I want to empower these young people with the tools and skills that they need to make secondary school fun rather than fearsome. And it doesn't just stop with them, we're going to provide information and support to parents and teachers too - whatever it takes to make transition smooth."
For more information about Door Step including how to apply visit thedoor.org.uk/step