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Primary to Secondary Transition

School Improvement:

Community Programmes

  • Preparing pupils for the transition to secondary school
  • Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)
  • Strengthening partnerships between schools

The Arts:

Skills Development

  • Skills-based programmes – illustration/3D/map-making/drawing/ceramics
  • Support Artsmark Applications
  • Imrpoved transition data and examples of pupil attainment


Projects explore the issues of transition from primary to secondary school and are designed to build stronger links between schools, staff and students.

Transition units are created which link the study of art and design in Year 5 and 6 to that at the beginning of Year 7 and prepare pupils for the move.

Where possible, projects include primary pupils visiting a secondary school site to work in the art department in specialist art rooms alongside older students.

Example activities:

Illustrated Maps: Pupils create illustrated maps of the local area. They are encouraged to think about and record their new journey to secondary school, and illustrate significant journeys and transitions they have made throughout their lives.

Emotion Cards: Pupils work on creating large scale emotion placards, with one side holding illustrated images and text relating to their feelings about primary school (a memory, special place/person etc.), and the other side containing positive adjectives relating to their view of secondary school

Migration: Pupils link the concept of moving schools with the migration of birds. They draw birds and make collages of them in flight. These are then transferred onto clay to make individual tiles. The tiles can be brought together to form a large-scale temporary or permanent display.

Time capsules: Pupils create collages or assemblages of important images or objects that represent their memories of primary school. These are then set in resin as permanent ‘time capsules’ that celebrate their primary school memories and experiences. Pupils can keep their capsules, or they can be assembled to create a group artwork to be left in their old school.

Illustrative Outputs:

  • Artist-led workshop sessions in schools – on both primary and secondary school sites
  • An exhibition of the children’s work and celebration event for parents and peers
  • Original artworks – 2D, 3D, ceramics etc.
  • Improved transition data and examples of pupil attainment in art and design

Outcomes and Impact (taken from a programme with one secondary and four primary schools):

  • Children more familiar with secondary school buildings and facilities and more confident about moving on from primary to secondary school
  • Stronger links made between schools and school staff
  • Raised attainment in art and design
  • More rapid pupil progress in Year 7 due to clear transition data and prior knowledge of pupils and their abilities
  • Inspired teaching and support staff bringing more creative solutions into curriculum delivery


“Students focused on the theme of transition to secondary school through their drawing and art making. This allowed them valuable time to consider what they saw as concerns or interests and to discuss these with the rest of the class and older students.”  Lead Artist

“I liked being able to do something freely without doing things wrong.”  Year 6 pupil

“We were treated as if we were equal to the older students.”  Year 6 pupil

“I really enjoyed the workshops and I would love to come to this secondary school!”  Year 6 pupil

Project Costs:

From £615 + materials (based on two workshop days @ £270 + planning meeting @ £75)
Costs vary dependent on the number of schools, class groups and workshop days

Contact Us about Primary to Secondary Transition