We’re Moving on Up! – WCYPF transition and progression events
At the request of our students, this year we ran transition events for Level 4 students moving into Level 5, and for level 5 moving into Level 6 in September 2023. We started with an overview of the new academic year, including timetable, and assessments, just so that the students know what to expect in the coming year and do some forward planning if they so choose.
The need for reflection
We then used Kolb’s cycle, and translated that into the student learning cycle in relation to completing assessments, receiving feedback and turning that into actionable points. Students were given a blank worksheet to complete as a task.
The highlight, however, has to be the task of asking students “what went well?” this year. We are all good at focusing on the negative, but we are less open about thinking positively about what we did well, even the small things. But it was here that the students were really candid about events over the past year and turning problems, difficulties, or negatives into postive learning opportunities. But other learning moments such as “understanding myself”, “believing in myself” and “I can see my progression” and “I’ve grown in confidence” were all cited.
In turn, this enabled a discussion about goals or future action points, for what students needed to do in the short term, before September, and more medium term before submitting semester one assessments in January. Students highlighted goals in relation to reading, accessing student support, but in particular one noted “don’t let anxiety get the better of me”, and a student with caring responsibilities highlighted the struggle and aim towards finding a better work/life/study balance. But my particular favourite was “embrace the experience”.
Will we use transition and progression events again?
Yes, absolutely. The students gained more out of it than we had anticipated. They have
- realised the progress made and wins from the year.
- Realised the personal (including learning) journey (often a rollercoaster in some cases!) which they have battled and won!
- They feel more at ease about what the Autumn term will bring, and what they can do in advance to be better prepared for the new academic year.
Learning Points for us as a team in organising the transition and progress event:
- Schedule the dates in advance so it is in the students’ diaries.
- In addition, host them slightly earlier in the academic year, at the end of semester two when assessments have been submitted. This would enable Distance Students, who may have returned home for the summer, to attend.
- Book longer than 1.5 hours, which clearly wasn’t long enough.
Author: Dr. Claire Monk
Senior Lecturer – Working with Children, Young People and Families