Transition can be a worrying time for both students and parents and an exciting time and we aim to make the process as smooth, informative and supportive as we can. Each year we develop an Action Plan for those transitioning into the school and we share that with feeder schools.
We have students from Horton Lodge, Merryfields and many mainstream schools across Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Cheshire and sometimes further afield.
We do the same for those students leaving us on their next step of their journey onto college. We have an Action Plan. We work closely with the next setting in the sharing of information about a students needs and interests and the Preparation for Adulthood work that they will have done whilst at Blackfriars to prepare them for the next step.
Colleges that we have a good relationship with are: Newfriars College, Newcastle college, Stoke college, Reaseheath and Regent to name a few.
Transitioning into Blackfriars
Early in the Autumn term we have an Open afternoon where Y6 parents are invited to a short presentation and guided tour of the school so they are better informed to make a decision about the next best move for their child.
We encourage parents and pupils to also have a personal, bespoke tour where we can guide them towards the most appropriate classes dependent on the pupil’s needs.
Blackfriars attends Annual Review/EHCP meetings of the Y6 pupils and this is a great start to the transition process and in gaining a good insight into the needs of the pupil and what provision is needed to meet those needs.
During Y6 pupils are invited in to events at Blackfriars to start to be more familiar with the building and staff. The events are often concerts or pantomimes.
Blackfriars staff visit the pupils in their current settings and start to learn about the types of class they are in, the level of their work, need and the equipment they use in order to replicate that at Blackfriars to aid a smooth transition. We use a document that helps us to pull out information from a child’s EHCP and highlights what provision we need to offer and what reasonable adjustments we need to make.
Coffee mornings are held for the pupils and their parents in the Spring term to discuss practical issues relating to uniform and parent pay and how the school runs. It is also a wonderful opportunity for parents to sit with staff and discuss their child and what is going to help them to have a successful move. The physiotherapists, School Nurse and key staff attend. Blackfriars information pack is given to parents with relevant forms and information for them to complete.
Individual parent meetings with key staff are often organised.
Pupils then have transition visits to Blackfriars supported at first by the staff from their current school. On their first visit they do a morning only and then build up to full day visits. There are usually three visits arranged but then any pupil that requires more will have a separate transition plan. On the visit days they will join other pupils that will hopefully be in their class in September – this is a time where staff are assessing need and making sure that the pupil is in the correct group for academic or social reasons. The pupils are given a transition booklet. Any pupil that needs a visual timetable or photographs to aid transition will be given these to share with their family over the Summer holidays.
Transport to Blackfriars
During the Y6 review meeting transport should be discussed and reflected in the paperwork. Parents then need to apply for transport online on the County Council Website going to SEN transport and complete the form.
On the website you will be able to read the criteria for the receiving transport and you will be able to state why your child needs transport.
Transition to College
The transition review meeting is always held in the Autumn term so that there is plenty of time to work closely with the next setting on sharing of information and visits. Your college of choice is invited to the review meeting so that you can hear more about them and they start to gather information about your child. The colleges always have Open Days where you can visit. It is always good to have visited colleges before the Transition review meeting so you are clear on which college you want to attend the meeting.
Blackfriars complete Transition Information forms and often videos that can be shared with the colleges. All professionals involved with your child pass on relevant information and often attend the meeting: VI/HI, Speech, Physio, School Nurse etc. We then take the students on visits to their next setting so they feel familiar and comfortable before the move.
Transport to College
At your child’s transition review meeting (Y11/Y12/Y13) transport will be discussed and the need for transport will be reflected in the paperwork but parents must apply online.
Parents will need to go to the County Council website and then to SEN transport and complete the form. On the website you will be able to read the criteria for the receiving transport and you will be able to state why your child needs transport.