The Walney partnership schools have designed an innovative, student-led residential programme focusing on primary to secondary transition.
A key feature of the programme is its co-construction model. Aims and implementation are planned by a steering group of staff, but the programme of activities is designed by Year 6 students. Small groups of children from each Year 6 class across the partnership are trained in leading the co-construction process. These children then run a planning event with their own class, for example using a Diamond Nine approach to help their peers choose and rank activities according to how well they might tackle what the children thought was challenging about moving to ‘big’ school.
“If I can listen to scary stories in the tent when the teachers aren’t there then I’ll be alright with the scary things at the big school.” Year 6 student, Walney Partnership
The programme aims to:
- raise standards of achievement
- develop students’ learning resilience
- build community cohesion
- contribute to a smooth transition between key stages
- provide opportunities for students and staff to collaboratively research, plan, design and evaluate residentials.
Year 6 students and several staff camp overnight, over a five day period, in one of the participating school’s grounds. Daytime activities and general camp management is also supported by a small number of staff from the destination secondary schools. The schools also seek out opportunities for secondary aged students to support the camps, for example by acting as mentors for younger children.
“It was hard to pick the activities because the choices were good. We had to listen to each other’s views and come to an agreement, which meant we had to work together.” Year 6 student, Walney Partnership
Find out more about the Walney model – browse their case studies and resources below.