We are fortunate to continue to have the services of Mrs Thomson our transition teacher. She worked with the P7s in Arkleston, Kirklandneuk and Newmains primary schools from January this year and was able to build positive relationships with every pupil as well as supporting their development in literacy and numeracy.

Since starting S1 a few weeks ago, Mrs Thomson has played a key role in ensuring our young people have settled well to life at Renfrew High.

Here are Mrs Thomson’s thoughts on the start of this different and unique session:

“During lockdown, we continued to share ideas and resources with pupils to encourage home learning.  Our Home Link Team and I continued to engage with pupils through their online learning platforms to work on a 6 week transition programme called ‘Movin’ On.’  This focused on how they were feeling about moving from primary to secondary in very different circumstances and opened up discussions on important issues such as friendships and being prepared.  By recognising all the skills they had developed in their primary years, this encouraged pupils and their families to realise that moving to secondary is simply the next step in their learning.

We were also thankful for the opportunity to host an induction visit in June, where pupils came in to the school building to meet some staff and pupils who would be in their new class.  They were able to see what school would look like, in terms of new routines, and have an experience of what it would feel like.  I believe this helped to settle some of the nerves of pupils and their families before the summer holiday.  A return to school/work after 3 months would be an anxious time in normal circumstances, never mind in 2020.

I genuinely feel privileged to be here supporting all S1s at the start of their High School journey, especially at this time.  I am so proud of how everyone is settling in – taking on new routines in their stride, adapting to changes in their school day, asking for support when needed and building up positive relationships with all staff in Renfrew High School.  Having little learning conversations throughout the day is a definite perk to my job! ”

Some of our S1 reflected on their start to secondary school:

“A bit confusing with finding classes and routines changing at first but we’re getting used to it now.” (Jack and Eva)

“It’s good to be trusted to go out for lunch – we just need to make sure we get back on time!” (Sophie)

“We found getting to know our teachers and making new friends quite easy.” (Marcus)

“It’s great!  I’m making a lot more friends than I thought I would.  If anyone needs help of any kind, they can talk to the Transition Teacher because we all know her.” (Emma)

You can find out more about the role of Renfrewshire’s transition teachers here: Transition Parent Leaflet