It’s not too late to join SixIntoSeven

It’s not too late to join SixIntoSeven

by | Jul 1, 2020 | News

There’s still time to join SixIntoSeven for your Year 6 to Year 7 transition.

As the Summer 2020 school year draws to a close following a period of unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many secondary schools are faced with the reality of having no KS2 progress information on their incoming Year 7 pupils. This is a major issue for schools, who use this information to help plan their transition and help get pupils off to a positive start at secondary level.

SixIntoSeven is an online tool developed in May and June 2020 specifically to help schools with this assessment gap, facilitating the secure communication of pupil progress information via a list of “professional judgements” in key learning areas.

Many schools are concerned that they won’t have enough time now to complete the SixIntoSeven process, but the system has been designed with speed and simplicity in mind. We are confident that it will take less time and resource than managing paperwork and spreadsheets directly with primaries, and establishes a common baseline that all pupils can be judged against.

Tiffnie Harris has been at the forefront of the development of SixIntoSeven and is passionate about ensuring primary to secondary transition is as positive as it can be this year. We talked to Tiffnie about why it’s not too late for schools to complete this process, and the opportunities that a proactive transition will offer to pupils in these challenging times for schools.

“I led on transition between primary and secondary for many years before taking up my ASCL position and witnessed the issues first-hand. Transition can dominate school agendas for the best part of an academic year and even the best examples can be time consuming and largely ineffective from the point of view of the child.

“When I was a busy school leader I used running as a hobby to relax and unwind and before I ran a half marathon, I took heed of the advice: ‘relax and run your own race’. This thinking can be effective in many other work and life situations, but I have come to realise that, increasingly, education is one area where thinking individually and running your own race does not work. Collaboration – working together, sharing together, building together – is absolutely the key to success for schools. In running terms, education should be tackled as a relay, not a sprint.

“Year 6 to Year 7 transition should absolutely be regarded as a relay. Passing on the baton of a positive learning experience is crucial to ensure pupils are given their best start at secondary level and it is more important than ever this year.

“Good transition data brings with it opportunity.  The opportunity to build on the foundations already put in place by the primary school; opportunity for early intervention, or stretch and challenge; opportunity for curriculum changes if needed and, if we know where learning gaps are, opportunity to make plans to plug them in advance.

“Early knowledge is key to the success of the child and future opportunity. We should all appreciate and recognise the work that goes into the child’s learning journey and pass that baton proudly.

“If we are going to make any positive changes in education, we need to firstly stand together as professionals and work together. This mandate prompted the SixIntoSeven tag line, ‘from one professional to another for the benefit of the child’. It is not too late for schools to join SixIntoSeven because any change needs to begin somewhere and here might just be the place.

“The data is simple. SixIntoSeven was produced at speed as an emergency response to the temporary removal of primary SATs and teacher assessments. Designed to be quick and not a burden on workload, it highlights what a child can do at the end of Key Stage 2, linked with what that child needs as they move into Key Stage 3. The data therefore has been ‘translated’ away from the language of the national curriculum so that both primary and secondary teachers are on the same page.

“The maths and English judgements used by SixIntoSeven support most subjects in secondary school. It is not too late for schools to get on board with SixIntoSeven because it is not SATs data. And it can be used next year too. Or between other year groups. There is nothing to work out or interpret – only, what the immediate learning priorities that are needed to make a difference.

“Could this change the way schools currently do things longer term? I don’t think anyone knows the quick answer to that, but if something is not quite right then it needs to be fixed. SixIntoSeven is not presenting itself as the end point or a finished article, but it is the first big step in the right direction and needs schools on board. There is still time to join something great that empowers primary colleagues and secondary colleagues to work together effectively for the benefit of the child.

“SixIntoSeven is quick and simple to use and costs very little (there’s no charge at all for primaries)

“Join now – we need your help to make the next steps even bigger.”

Tiffnie Harris, Primary Specialist, The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)

1 July 2020