Hamilton College’s Primary 7 year helps to prepare students for secondary school and beyond

For children of all ages, school presents plenty of fabulous experiences, but it can also be challenging as they progress through the years.

One especially tricky changeover can be the leap from primary to secondary school.

Going from primary to secondary school can be a worry for young people and their parents, but at Hamilton College, they have devised a Transitus Year to help with the move.

The Transitus Year replaces the standard Primary 7 format and has been designed by the school to prepare learners for the move to senior school.

“Despite housing our Nursery, Junior and Senior School in one building, we always want to improve on how our young people move from the Junior to the Senior School. The jump can bring with it worries and concerns, and some people find it a bit of a bump in the road,” said Mr Stuart Ross, Head of Middle School at Hamilton College.

“After some research, we wanted to make the transition smoother and help prepare the learners for the challenges to come when they go into S1.”

Mixing the standard primary 7 format with the secondary school-style learning, the Transitus Year is split.

40 per cent of the time, pupils will learn with their ‘base teacher’, who is like the primary teacher, and 60 per cent of the time they’ll be able to sample other subjects like they would in S1. Pupils will be able to thrive in a timetabled week and enjoy trying new subjects and learn new practical skills.

“The base teacher focuses on literacy and numeracy, and works very closely with our Maths and English departments,” said Stuart.

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“We felt this would get them best prepared for S1, and it really was our focus.”

The Transitus Year exposes pupils to exciting new subjects

When the pupils are not with their base teacher, their timetable enables them to explore other subjects that will be new to them, to help them make that important transition to S1.

“For the other 60 per cent of the time, pupils sample art, PE, RE, music, science, all the other subject areas across the school so they’re moving around the building and experiencing different teachers and subject areas,” added Stuart .

The Transitus Year is already in progress at Hamilton College, since beginning in August last year, and so far parental feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Whenever we engage is school improvement initiatives, we always use learning conversations and data to measure the impact on learning and pupil wellbeing. With the Transitus Year, parental feedback has been excellent,” said Stuart.

“In our recent parent survey, we asked questions about their child’s learning from their perspective, and 100 per cent have said that their child’s numeracy has improved, and 94 per cent said their child’s literacy has improved.”

Two pupils working hard in their Transitus Year
Two pupils working hard in their Transitus Year

Hamilton College also runs a tour with the Transitus Year group which enables them to get a feel for their new timetable, and how to get around the building. And for children joining the school in S1 from a different school, they also have a tour specifically for them to experience what S1 will be like at the school.

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Mr Charman, Headteacher of Hamilton College said: “I am delighted to see so many of our Transitus Pupils flourishing in their new learning environment. It would be fair to say that not only are they thriving academically but they are displaying confidence in and out of the classroom which is wonderful to see considering they are bouncing back from a global pandemic.”

To find out more about Hamilton College and the Transitus Year, you can come along to their Information Event on Saturday 26 March 2022 at Macdonald Crutherland House and Spa, or to book a tour of the School you can visit their website or call 01698 282700.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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