We are committed to ensuring that students joining Paignton Community and Sports Academy are confident about the progression from primary to secondary school. To support the transition we run an extensive programme with our feeder primary schools that includes Inspiration Days, e-safety training and sporting competitions so that the majority of primary pupils will have visited the Academy on many occasions.
Our primary transition programme begins in the previous July and September when Year 6 pupils and parents from our partner primary schools are invited to attend our open days to meet staff and to see the Academy in action. We will allow the visiting pupils and parents to tour the Academy, take part in departmental activities and meet members of staff and our students. We feel that this is a most successful way to show our parents and prospective pupils from the community, the ethos and positive approach which all our staff have in the daily life of Paignton Academy.
This programme of primary liaison continues throughout the year and into the Summer Term when the Associate Principal, Head of Year and Pastoral Support Manager visit all the primary schools during May and June to meet with Year 6 pupils and teaching colleagues. We believe it is vital that the new pupils about to join the Academy have as smooth a transition as possible to include meeting the members of staff who will play such a vital role in their first year as students at Paignton Community & Sports Academy.
We also offer our new Year 6 pupils a two day Induction to the Academy when Year 6 pupils follow a special timetable in early July and so are able to sample real lessons with real teachers in real classrooms. The two day induction process allows us to excite the children about the opportunities available when they arrive in September. All Year 6 will take part in a wide range of lessons and a whole host of varied activities organised by the Academy Team.
We are fortunate to receive essential Key Stage 2 test data as early as July. This, together with the information provided by the primary schools, ensures that all staff at the Academy are fully prepared for the academic and pastoral needs of all our pupils thus ensuring that the curriculum teaching is appropriate for all our students. We are able to ensure that all our pupils are placed in the most appropriate teaching group and that the Accelerated Learning groups and Nurture groups in Year 7 are effective and successful. This process is extensively supported and enhanced by Mr Chapman, Head of Learning Support and his team of Learning Support Assistants who work so very hard to ensure that all pupils are prepared and comfortable joining Paignton Community & Sports Academy.
This programme of transition includes visits to the primary schools, feeding information back into the Academy and spending a good amount of time with individual pupils visiting and spending time in the Academy. In Year 7 we have a number of tutor groups selected on academic ability and potential. These groups are selected using data provided by the primary schools and the Key Stage 2 test results. During the early weeks of the Autumn Term our new Year 7 pupils all take the CATs tests, the results of which enable us to monitor the progress of all our pupils to ensure that they are taught at the correct level and are provided with all the support needed to reach their full potential.
In the Autumn Term all Year 7 pupils are invited to join members of their tutor group for a residential experience. Staffed by experienced and qualified teachers, the pupils join in activities such as mountain biking, orienteering, problem solving, letter boxing, team building, camp craft and entertainment such as a night walk and disco. All Form Tutors spend at least part of the time there with their tutees, we see this as an excellent opportunity for the form groups to develop a strong team spirit thus encouraging a strong support base on which to build when back in the Academy.
We understand the importance of making transition an easy and friendly process as it is proven that if students are confident, happy and supported they are highly likely to be very successful and make maximum academic progression.