May 18, 2023
The change from Year 6 in Primary to Year 7 in Secondary is not only an exciting moment in a young person’s life, but it can also be filled with a lot of anxiety and worry for parents, guardians, and children alike. At The British School of Barcelona, we work hard to make this process as smooth as possible for them with the help of our specialised staff members, who support our children as they start heading to another milestone in their life.
Nasi Beheshtian, Transition Mentor at BSB Castelldefels Secondary, explains how the school manages to do this. ‘My role in the transition from Primary to Secondary includes continuous follow-ups during the year, constantly listening and checking in with students in order to support their mental health during these changes’.
So, What Does Transition Actually Mean? Taking Small Steps to Big Places
‘When we talk about transition, we are referring to types of changes, big or small, which normally involve adapting to new circumstances. We need to remember that transition depends on the needs of the individual and that it is different for everyone. When accompanying the young person through these changes, we need to consider how they are feeling, understand how they are seeing things around them, and what additional complex challenges they may be facing so they know that they are in a safe environment.
‘Time is spent during the year liaising across campuses, taking into consideration the needs of the individuals and their families: cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children with specific needs or health conditions, and different family structures (parents and guardians). All individuals have their own transition experiences and may require additional support.
‘Nowadays, we need to consider the transition from a multi-dimensional perspective, recognising all levels of influence starting as a child — there are many things around the child that can influence a smoother transition.
‘These will contribute to managing change.’
What Opportunities Are Created?
‘BSB is a big learning community where we support children to build positive relationships. They have the opportunity to start from scratch and reinvent themselves as they are with new peers and in a new place when entering the Secondary phase. The school environment provides the support and care of different teachers. Empathy is a great common denominator amongst the teachers and staff in school, especially during this transition. We strive to create an inclusive environment where diversity and equality are valued and to provide the possibility to always have someone to talk to: ie the transition person who has accompanied them through the whole process.
‘During the year there are several activities that ease the transition to Secondary school in a smoother way such as an assembly with Mr Petrie, Headtacher of Secondary and Pre-University, small groups of children visiting the building, meeting teachers, trips and Colonias across campuses, and, last but not least, our full transition day. The day is carefully planned by teachers and the learning support department considering each child’s needs. This allows the children to fully experience a whole day in the Secondary building.
‘Each small step which we take with our students will lead them through a transition where they feel belonged, respected, and valued.’