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Getting Year 6 ready for Year 7

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by gibboanseo, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I am a year 6 teacher and I want to make sure my class are as ready as they can be for Year 6 when they leave me, my question is - what common difficulties do children have when they first come to year 7 that could be avoided? Then I can support my class to try and get them as ready as possible.
  2. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    The things that still (after 20 yrs) irritate me re y7:

    • can I go to the loo?

    • can i turn over now?
    • should I write that down?
    • starting a new page for every single piece of work, regardless of whether the previous one is finished or not.
    • using a pencil not a pen
    • asking me to tell them the h/w 10 times when I have already made it clear, written it on the board and the H/w manager has put a sheet on the board
    • expecting me to care about/sort out their squabbles: they come to my classroom to learn, not as an extension of their private lives
    • expecting me to be their friend
    I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but some y7's do my head in - they behave like 7 year-olds not y7.
    (btw, my own children are in y7 and y9 and have never suffered from these annoyances as their primaries taught them appropriate behaviour for y7 as you want to and as some of my feeder primaries clearly do not!)
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Starting a new piece of work on the last two lines of a page rather than a new one!
    having too many things with them - one of my year 7s has far too many pens, then gets upset when they go astray, get hidden.
    Most year 7s enjoy the challenge of getting themselves to the right place at the right time, and having the right things for the lesson. They enjoy a new start.They need the organisational skills to read their timetable and "period 3 Wednesday, must be geography" I need .....
    They need to understand that they will have several teachers who will respond to them in different ways and have different expectations.
    The ability to work with a range of others is key.
  4. I am currently a Year 7 form tutor. Henriette says some really important things. They need to be much more independent at secondary school. Even after nearly 7 months, some of them are still writing in pencil and can't get themselves organised for the next day.
    They need to be told about the change of rooms and teaching styles and although we have school rules, each teacher is different and expect certain things from them.
    I would say one of the biggest things is ensuring they have the correct equipment for the next day including homework and that they should try to get homework done on the night it is set so that they get themselves into a good routine for GCSEs. (I know it sounds a long way off, but I can already see who will struggle to make deadlines!)
    On a more positive side, I would tell them that they have a great opportunity to meet lots of new friends, find themselves to be good at something that they have never learnt before and get to involve themselves in lots of different extra curricular actvities that a primary school can't always offer.

    Hope this helps.

  5. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I am not their mother, I am their teacher.
    I expect them to put their hand up and wait. I can't actually listen to 25 simultaneous voices.
    Stay in their seat. Wandering around the room ad lib isn't an option. Theirs is not the only class to use it.
    I do not want to hear about their personal lives half way through my lesson.

  6. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I have Yr 11s who still do that!
  7. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Oh - and a class with 4 Jordans, 2 Ashleighs, 2 Christians and 2 Chaes.
    I refuse to mark anything with only a forename on it.
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    1) get their equipment sorted, and have plenty of spares. take only a small amount each day as they will lose it and other pupils will steal from them. I would recommend staples professional pencils as they are cheap but very good, their stick pens are decent enough too! If the school has a blazer, get keep a pen, pencil and short ruler in the inside pocket. Get a simple calculator that displays the numbers typed in as well as the answer. They will not actually need a scientific for years, although some Maths teachers tell them otherwise!
    2) Expect some teachers to treat them like babies and to give them absolutely no responsibility at all. They may be used to being lunch monitors and used to being treated as responsible young people helping to run the school. This will probably stop and they will likely be told to sit still and be quiet.
    3) They are probably used to being told to discuss with a partner then share with a group. Be very careful before they discuss anything with anyone, some secondary teachers will treat this as ill discipline and start shouting at them.
    4) Expect to see some very poor behaviour from older pupils. They need to find where they can go at breaks where there is limited access for older year groups. some schools will have a separate area for them to play. If the year elevens are playing football, keep clear, they will get hurt. They will need to know that there will probably be very few play facilities so they will need to think about how they will play. If they take a football etc, make sure they name it clearly and show a teacher before they use it. Thee will probably be nowhere to go when it rains, so mkae sure they have a good coat. watch the older pupils, if many bring a brolly there is a good reason!
    5) As soon as SATs finish try and get the local secondary to allow some staff to visit and see what actually goes on. some will be very jaundiced and have totally the worng idea about how Year 6 actually behave. and don't be fobbed off with just the deputy responsible for filling up the class lists! After GCSEs finish secondary teachers will have gaps in their timetables which they have to account for, offer them a nice quiet afternoon observing you teach!
    6) The school diary/planner will be at the centre of their life for a while. If they are not used to writing homework down in a very short time, keeping a planner etc. I would strongly suggest you practice that, several times a day, they may have 6 homeworks to write down in the last minute of the lesson! Few will be printed fro them, so they need to get used to writing down the due date and clear instructions!
    7) TELL their parents to label everything, especially the boys PE kit!
    I have tutored many year 7 classes and have worked in supply in many junior and secondary schools.
    The way some secondary teachers view ks2 teaching is shockingly ill informed, but then they never actually get to visit classes in class!
    There will be some lovely teachers who will try and help them transfer happily, but there are always a few who don't want to teach anyone below GCSE level and never listen when they are told about how important discussing work with peers can be!
    Most will settle quickly, but some will find it very hard indeed. It can be a very big environment indeed!

  9. Nailed it.
    I have had 3 Year 7 Tutor groups in 7 years. Our school brings the Year 6s in for 2 days in June to give them a taster.
    Running around playing 5 years old games of tag etc. annoys the heck out of the older kids and will get them thumped.
    And to emphasise it. Shut the **** up. It is the biggest single pain with Year 7s. As they raise their hand, their mouths open ... 'Sirrrrrr' they whine. Am I the only teacher in the room? No. there are 29 others in there. Ask them first.
    And get them to have an eye test. So many can't see the whiteboard. It's free at their age.
    The packs of 28 poundland biros are OK. They are actually Q Connect BIC copies, elsewhere they cost about £6 per 50. Their black pencils are OK too, but their colouring pencils are rubbish.
    I recall one boy in my current tutor arriving with a bag I would consider too large to go skiing with. It had every piece of PE kit and all his books etc in. I phoned his mum and told her a small bak pack was better suited and she wandered into school to berate me the next day. Bypassed reception and signing in. The HT went bonkers at her. Gave me a real chuckle
    The parents of the little darlings are a major cause of the problems. Or at least, those who have no older children already at the Big School.
    This time round I have been as hard as nails with my new tutor group and I now have them trained.
  10. I have been a Y7 tutor, and also taught science to most of the year group for the last two years.
    Organisation seems to be a big challenge, especially for boys. Checking planner, bringing planner, bringing books, writing in hw etc. They mostly have huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge pencil cases with silly pens/ novelty pencils, then get very very distressed when someone else also likes it and wants to borrow it or takes it without asking. Small pencil case with ruler, eraser, two or three each of pen and pencil is all that's really needed.
    The wandering round the classroom, following the teacher, or interrupting while they talk to another of the thirty pupils is one of the things that I did find difficult, so please try to get them into the habit of sitting in their seat and putting their hand up and not whining 'siiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrr' or 'miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss'. I think mine started to realise it wasn't going to do anything except annoy me when I deliberately ignored anyone who did so, or quietly told them to sit down and wait, prioritising those who were sitting down and waiting.
    Oh, and the parental expectation that they will be able to talk to you immediately on any day about their child.

  11. I'm quite surprised that the secondary are not already communicating with you about the transition to be honest. My previous schools have both brought Y6 in for one day about now and two or three 'full school with lesson' days in july when exam classes have gone.
    Head of Year also visits, and uses this to help form tutor groups etc
  12. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Me too, although in a middle school system our transitions start in Sept. Although our High school finds Year 8 whingey and needy. Go figure!

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