Most pupils at Pioneer respond well to structured routines and familiar surroundings and often find it difficult to make transitions between activities, places and objects of attention. For this reason we have well planned support for pupils to transition into Pioneer from another setting, to move from one class to another at the end of the school year and to move on from Pioneer to another setting at the end of their time with us.

Transition between classes and phases

Every pupil in Pioneer has a Pen Portrait which has useful information including communication strategies, behaviour and any medical information. In the second half of the summer term all Pen Portraits are updated thereby ensuring that new class staff have the most up to date information. Transition meetings take place between the current teacher and the receiving teacher during which Pen Portraits are discussed and information is shared in more depth. Teachers often engage in peer observations so that they can have a better understanding of how their new pupils work within the classroom and the way the classroom is organised.

All pupils have a half day Transition Afternoon at the end of the summer term in their new classroom. During this session the pupils meet their new teacher and support staff who will be working with them in September. Where possible a familiar member of staff will always move with pupils to aid consistency and any resources that are particular to a pupil will also be transferred to their new class. For those pupils who find transitions particularly difficult a special programme is set up to help ease their anxieties. They may spend sessions in the new classroom with a favoured adult from class or the keyworker.

Keyworkers also meet to share information if pupils are moving from one keyworker to another and Heads of learning meet to discuss new pupils entering their key stage.

When pupils move on from a key stage they have a celebration as a way of marking a significant transition. This may be a meal in a nearby café or restaurant or a party in school, whichever is most appropriate for the group.

At the beginning of the autumn term the new class team meet to share plans and go over important information for the new class group.