Year 11 Transition – the summer of 2020


2020 presented many challenges for Year 11 students. As soon as we knew examinations were cancelled our priority was to help them prepare as best they could for their post 16 destinations whilst supporting their emotional wellbeing through a very difficult period. Our link tutors worked directly with students and liaised with schools, colleges and other agencies to formulate transition plans for every student.


Usually from March onwards we would be visiting post 16 destinations with our students as part of their transition. Covid made this slightly difficult this year but our team of link tutors liaised virtually with schools and colleges in order to ensure students had the best possible support to enable them to access the courses and venues they had chosen.

All Year 11’s had the opportunity to access bridging work from their post-16 destination which was supported by our teachers. Our teachers did a fantastic job at supporting learning in subject areas very different to their own areas of expertise such as Health and Social and Hairdressing! We were able to provide a bespoke course in Animal Care to support those going on to study in this area; Aileen wrote and delivered the course. We also worked with Prospects who were able to deliver an online Level 1 course in Resilience and Grit with Employability skills to a group of students. Some of these students have continued to engage with Prospects and will remain on role with them to continue their post 16 studies. We offered all Year 11’s a weekly Transition lesson with Fiona to focus on all areas including CV writing, making friends, interviewing and resilience, new places. Students found these groups gave them the opportunity to share worries and concerns and work out collective solutions which eased anxiety.

Link tutors were in contact with their students on results day and we opened the classroom on the 12th August so that students and parents could come in for advice. One parent said she particularly valued this opportunity as her child was so anxious about getting her results and just needed the safety net of knowing GHES would support her if she needed a Plan B.

In addition, we were able to use the extra Y11 Transition funding to provide a range of Transition focussed experiences during the summer holidays. We worked with Chris Powell from Bespoke Mentoring to plan and deliver sessions personalised to meet the needs of attendees and to have a focus on chosen next steps in student’s careers. These sessions also provided the opportunity for students to liaise with their peers and also to feel GHES were still there to support.

Parent and student feedback included the following comments;

Good to have this opportunity to keep expanding her comfort zone but with safety net of GHES and mum present. Big thank you!

We really enjoyed the beauty session, the lady was approachable and the content was relevant to the girls age group and interests. They learned a lot and I have been using techniques since! The hair session was great, a real insight into the career and the course was full of energy. They focussed on confidence and that everyone feels anxious sometimes. The thing I enjoyed most was spending time with the girls doing something together.

It was really great. As a family we learnt a lot about the animals and enjoyed the hands on experience. Absolutely loved it! Thank you so much.

Gained extra knowledge on a number of different things that can be added to things I have learned or experienced already.

Our students have successfully gone on to achieve their post 16 plans in a variety of fields including Studying Animal Care/ Management at Stroud or Hartpury College, Art and Design at Stroud, Gloscol and Worcester colleges, BTEC in Business, Health and Social care, Uniformed services, Apprenticeships, sixth forms. Any students who needed continued support with securing a placement were referred on to partnership agencies who have continued to work with them.

We have continued to support students with the first week of this new term and have identified 5 students who would really benefit from some continued support in order to ensure their transition is successful. Support varies from meeting students in their new destination, liaising with other services, writing transition plans with students and colleges to visiting students and providing a mentoring role. We would aim for this support to be up until half term at most when we would hope that students are well settled and supported.

There are so many success stories within this cohort which will be written up as case studies –part of history really for this particular group of Year 11’s!

Emma Stevenson
GHES Classroom and Inclusion Lead

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