Main Article Content
The transition from primary to secondary school is a critical period for children, which, for most children involves stress and anxiety (Jindal-Snape et al., 2020). If negotiated poorly, this transition can have a significant negative impact on children’s short- and long-term well-being and mental health (White, 2020). Despite this, efforts to improve children’s emotional experiences of primary-secondary school transition are minimal in research and face challenges in practice. Very few interventions focus on supporting children’s emotional well-being and these are limited in number, sustainability, and reach. Talking about School Transition (TaST) is a universal, emotional-centred teacher-led support intervention, which was developed to fill this gap in the literature. The evaluation of TaST consisted of a longitudinal questionnaire-based design investigating the efficacy of TaST in improving 143 Year 6 (aged 10 and 11 year old) children’s coping efficacy and adjustment. It was assessed using the outcome variables: Emotional Symptoms, Peer Problems, Coping Efficacy and Transition Worries, in addition to a qualitative process evaluation. Results suggest that TaST had immediate positive implications for participating children who showed a significantly greater reduction in Transition Worries once at secondary school, compared to control group children. TaST has implications for educational practice and policy in elucidating the importance of supporting children’s emotional well-being over this period and demonstrating the viability and success of implementing emotional-centred support intervention in practice.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
- Jindal-Snape D, Hannah EF, Cantali D, et al. Systematic literature review of primary-secondary transitions: International research. Review of Education, 2020, 8(2): 526-566. https://doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3197
- White J. Supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing at transition from primary to secondary school: Evidence review. 2020.
- Zeedyk MS, Gallacher J, Henderson M, et al. Negotiating the transition from primary to secondary school: Perceptions of pupils, parents and teachers. School Psychology International, 2003, 24(1): 67-79. https://doi.org/10.1177/0143034303024001010
- Ofsted. The most able students: An update on progress since June 2013, 2015. www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-mostable-students-an-update-onprogress-sincejune-2013
- Ng-Knight T, Shelton KH, Riglin L, et al. A longitudinal study of self-control at the transition to secondary school: considering the role of pubertal status and parenting. Journal of Adolescence, 2016, 50: 44-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.04.006
- Bagnall CL, Skipper Y and Fox CL. ‘You’re in this world now’: Students’, teachers’, and parents’ experiences of school transition and how they feel it can be improved. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 2019, 90(1): 206-226. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12273
- Bagnall CL. Talking about School Transition (TaST): an emotional-centred intervention to support children over primary-secondaryschool transition. Pastoral Care in Education, 2020, 38(2): 116-37. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643944.2020.1713870
- van Rens,M, Haelermans C, Groot W, et al. Facilitating a Successful Transition to Secondary School: (How) Does it Work? A Systematic Literature Review. Adolescent Research Review, 2018, 3(1): 43-56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40894-017-0063-2
- McGee C, Ward R, Gibbons J, et al. Transition to secondary school: A literature review. A Report to the Ministry of Education. 2003. www.minedu.govt.nzb
- Evans D, Borriello GA and Field AP. A review of the academic and psychological impact of the transition to secondary education. Frontiers in Psychology, 2018, 9: 1482. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01482
- Vassilopoulos SP, Diakogiorgi K, Brouzos A, et al. A problem-oriented group approach to reduce children’s fears and concerns about the secondary school transition. Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools, 2018, 28(1): 84-101. https://doi.org/10.1017/jgc.2018.1
- Rice F, Frederickson N, Shelton, K, et al. Identifying factors that predict successful and difficult transitions to secondary school. 2015, 1-47.
- Bloyce J and Frederickson N. Intervening to improve the transfer to secondary school. Educational Psychology in Practice, 2021, 28(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/02667363.2011.639345
- Bagnall CL, Fox CL and Skipper Y. When is the ‘optimal’ time for school transition? An insight into provision in the US. Pastoral Care in Education, 2021: 1-29. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643944.2020.1855669
- Bagnall CL, Fox CL and Skipper Y. What emotional-centred challenges do children attending special schools face over primary-secondary school transition?. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 2021: 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-3802.12507
- Evangelou M, Taggart B, Sylva K, et al. What makes a successful transition from primary to secondary school? Project Report. The Department for Children, Schools and Families, London, UK. 2008.
- Riglin L, Frederickson N, Shelton KH, et al. A longitudinal study of psychological functioning and academic attainment at the transition to secondary school. Journal of Adolescence, 2013, 36(3): 507-517. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.03.002
- Hargreaves DJ. Improving secondary schools. London, UK: Inner London Education Authority. 1984.
- Tucker S. Pupil vulnerability and school exclusion: Developing responsive pastoral policies and practices in secondary education in the UK. Pastoral Care in Education, 2013, 31(4): 279-291. https://doi.org/10.1080/02643944.2013.842312
- Trotman D, Tucker S and Martyn M. Understanding problematic pupil behaviour: Perceptions of pupils and behaviour coordinators on secondary school exclusion in an English city. Educational Research, 2015, 57(3): 237-253. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131881.2015.1056643
- Jindal-Snape D, Cantali D, MacGillivray S, et al. The impact of primary-secondary transitions on children’s educational and wellbeing outcomes: Fact or Fiction?. In School of Education and Social Work Research and Scholarship Conference. 2018.
- Goodman R. Psychometric properties of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2001, 40(11): 1337-1345. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200111000-00015
- Sandler IN, Tein JY, Mehta P, et al. Coping efficacy and psychological problems of children of divorce. Child Development, 2000, 71(4): 1099-1118. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00212
- Smith JS, Feldwisch R and Abell A. Similarities and differences in students’ and parents’ perceptions of the transition from middle school to high school. RMLE Online, 2006, 29(10): 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/19404476.2006.11462033
- Mayring P. Qualitative content analysis. A companion to qualitative research, 2004: 159-176.
- Lazarus RS and Folkman S. Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer, 1984.
- Jindal-Snape D, Vettraino E, Lowson A, et al. Using creative drama to facilitate primary-secondary transition. Education, 2011, 39(4): 383-394. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004271003727531
- Yeager DS and Dweck CS. Mindsets that promote resilience: When students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 2012, 47(4): 302-314. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2012.722805
- Waters SK, Lester L, Wenden E and Cross D. A theoretically grounded exploration of the social and emotional outcomes of transition to secondary school. 2012. https://doi.org/10.1017/jgc.2012.26
- Longaretti L. School transition: Aspirations and inspirations. In AARE Conference, Adelaide, 2006, 2-12.
- Waters SK, Lester L and Cross D. Transition to secondary school: Expectation versus experience. Australian Journal of Education, 2014, 58(2): 153-166. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004944114523371
- McGrath KV, Leighton EA, Ene M, et al. Using integrative data analysis to investigate school climate across multiple informants. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 2020, 80(4): 617-637. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164419885999
- Webster-Stratton C, Reid MJ and Stoolmiller M. Preventing conduct problems and improving school readiness: Evaluation of the Incredible Years teacher and child training programs in high-risk schools. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2008, 49: 471-488. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01861.x
- Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Education. Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision:A green paper. London, 2018.