How do primary schools use SixIntoSeven for their Year 6 transition from primary to secondary, and what are the benefits? We spoke with Natalie Yeomans, Year 5/6 Phase Leader, at Broom Leys Primary School (part of the Apollo Partnership Trust) and Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) for assessment and closing the gap.
“In spring 2020, our school was invited to take part in a new way of transmitting pupil progress information between primary to secondary schools using the new SixIntoSeven portal. With the lockdown and cancellation of SATs, we found ourselves without the usual routine that we would usually take with our Year 6 class to prepare them for secondary school.
“The Castle Rock School are one of our destination secondary schools and they invited us to join SixIntoSeven to securely communicate our professional knowledge of the pupils that would start there in September. We have 78 Year 6 pupils and it was so important to us that their progress in our school was communicated to their secondaries to give them the best possible chance at settling in quickly.
“In the absence of the formal testing that we would normally have, we used SixIntoSeven’s set of “professional judgements”. These were based solely on our teacher assessments from September 2019 to March 2020 and would help Castle Rock to accurately group the pupils in Year 7, particularly as some Year 6 pupils had not been in an educational setting since March.
“Signing up was really easy and there were no cost implications for us as the secondaries pay. We received an email link from the portal which invited us to create a profile for our school.
“SixIntoSeven definitely saved us time: we usually complete separate spreadsheets for all destination secondaries which takes lots of effort. With SixIntoSeven we only have one place that we input the information because all of the secondaries we feed were taking part. It is time-saving for secondary schools too as they don’t need to send out individual spreadsheets to all of their feeder primary schools
“Uploading our pupils’ data involved a simple download from our data management system (SIMs now Arbor) to a spreadsheet which was then easily uploaded into SixIntoSeven by the click of a ‘bulk upload pupils’ button. There is a simple Excel .CSV template you can use and just requires UPN, forename and surname.
“This process took a matter of minutes. All pupils then appeared in one database which was very straightforward and easy to navigate. Once we had our list we could go ahead and make our “professional judgements”.
“SixIntoSeven automatically allocated our pupils to the correct secondary school based on the list of pupils uploaded by the secondary schools so there’s no risk of a secondary looking at the wrong pupil.
“What are primaries asked for?
- The information requested is a list of “professional judgments” based on basic skills in English and Mathematics. These had all been covered by the Year 6 curriculum so were straightforward decisions to make;
- Year 6 class teachers added a simple rating of “secure” or “not secure” for reading, writing, speaking & listening and maths for every child in their class. There are 20 skills to assess against in total (6 for maths, 5 for reading, 4 for Sp&L, and 5 for writing);
- For any pupils we felt were performing better than ‘secure’ (GDS), we were able to allocate a 3 in the MHA, RHA, WHA and SLHA (high-ability) column to alert the secondary schools.
- Similarly, for pupils who needed a further discussion about their needs and capabilities, we were able to assign a flag via an alert triangle next to their name. This was followed up by meetings with professionals from the secondary schools via Teams where we discussed particular pupils in further detail;
- Once judgements have been made the headteacher can ‘publish’ the whole set. Once it is published it cannot be amended. We published our data in June to enable the secondary schools to have the time to use the information to make decisions ahead of the start of the new academic year;
- Data was transferred securely in line with GDPR.
“If all feeder primary schools agree to use SixIntoSeven then all information for the pupils in the new Year 7 intake is in one place and in one format which is great for the secondaries. It also means all pupils can be considered on a level playing field as the way that the primaries make the judgements is consistent.”
Natalie Yeomans, Year 5/6 Phase Leader, Broom Leys Primary School. March 2021
Find out more about using SixIntoSeven for your 2021 Year 6 to Year 7 transition here