The SecEd Podcast: Year 6 to 7 transition

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

This episode looks at how we can support pupils as they make the transition from primary to secondary school. The discussion features two secondary schools and two of their feeder primaries. We consider common transition challenges and solutions with lots of tried and tested ideas for transition interventions and activities

Our panel looks at when transition work should begin, what the process and schedule looks like from year 5 onwards, how we should engage with parents, identifying pupils who may struggle when moving to year 7, and supporting vulnerable pupils.

We discuss the consistency of curriculum between years 5-6 and 7-8 and what kind of academic support should be provided during transition. We also consider activities in year 7 to support newly arrived pupils, using open evenings to support families, using year 7 pupil ambassadors to support year 6 pupils, and the impact of Covid on transition work.

This is a joint episode, hosted by the SecEd Podcast and our sister primary school podcast, the Headteacher Update Podcast. The episode has been kindly supported by Academy 21, an online alternative provision.

The podcast is hosted by Matt Bromley, an education advisor and author with more than 20 years’ experience in teaching including as a secondary headteacher and MAT director. Our guests are:

  • Kirstie Touey is the SENCO for key stage 3 and oversees transition at the Reach Free School, a secondary school in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.
  • Karen O’Neill is SENCO and deputy headteacher at Arnett Hills School, a junior and infants school in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. Karen works closely with the Reach Free School on issues relating to transition.
  • Clare Brokenshire is headteacher of Academy 21, an online provision for vulnerable students.
  • Russ Atkinson is the principal of Duke’s Secondary School in Ashington, Northumberland.
  • Sharon Cole is the headteacher of Grace Darling Primary School in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland. Sharon leads on transition on behalf of the primary schools in her trust and works closely with Duke’s Secondary School.
To hear other SecEd podcasts, or to subscribe for free to new editions, search for 'The SecEd Podcast' in your podcast streaming application of choice. Or visit

For details about The SecEd Podcast, or to suggest future topics, email editor Pete Henshaw at


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