Transition from one level of education to another can be difficult for learners, especially young learners. Young learners, especially those in their primary school years often go through major issues during their transition to secondary school…
The difficulties are based on mental growth development and educational curriculum demands which calls for young learners to make the transition, or else be left behind in the educational system. For most young learners, the transition difficulties are only seen during the first few days or weeks of the school year, however, for others, the difficulties may persist throughout the school year. There are different issues encountered during the period of transition for students and these issues shall be discussed in this paper. The transition focused on would mostly be on the transition from primary to secondary school in the UK. Possible suggestions on how the transition may be eased would also be discussed in this text in order to provide some clarity and recommendations based on the issues noted for transitioning learners. Body Transition, as was mentioned above refers to the child’s move and adjustment period from primary to secondary schools. The transition process here also includes not just the transition of students from primary to secondary school, but any other transitions these children may make which eventually causes a change in venue (change schools), including transfers to different schools due to family moving from one home to another. The transfers may also be attributed to a family death or parental divorce/separation. Various studies have been carried out on the issues encountered during the transition process (Graham and Hill, 2002; Galton, Gray and Ruddock, 2000). Reviewing studies on the subject matter has revealed various themes or issues during such transition period. Alston, Sammons, and Mortimore (1985) carried out a longitudinal study for children from 50 primary schools in the London area, assessing the transition experiences of the children. About 1600 students were evaluated for their study, evaluating their attitudes, behaviour, attendance before and during their transition period to secondary school. The study revealed that most of the students transitioned well into secondary school and had favourable attitudes towards secondary school (Alston, et.al., 1985). Most of them were also pleased with their work in their new school. Admittedly, most of the students initially had reservations about secondary school, however, most of them gradually settled well into their classes and were actually happier than was expected for transitioning students. This study however has contrasting results with the Fouracre (1993) study which indicates the presence of a discontinuity between primary and secondary school as teachers often underestimate the abilities of their pupils. There also seems to be a mismatch between the student’s expectations of the work in secondary school and their actual experiences in the classroom (Fouracre, 1993). One of the issues encountered during transition are elements relating to social class. Studies reveal that those belonging to the lower income communities are likely to have trouble transitioning into the secondary school system (Keating and Hetzman, 1999). Socioeconomic status as well as parental social class has a huge role during the transition period as students with lower social status likely to have trouble transitioning and eventually leave the educational system early (Ferguson, Tilleczek, Boydell, Rummens, Cote, & Roth-Edney, 2005). As discussed by Keating and Hetzman (1999), there is less extracurricular participation among these students, as well as limited school personnel support for these students. Some of them also increasingly experience daily hassles from school personnel (Keating and Hetzman, 1999). It was also established by McGee, Ward, Gibbons, and Harlowe (2003) that children having higher socioeconomic status ...
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