As the end of the Summer term approached, I commenced on a planned journey to support Year 6 pupils to create a ‘One Page Profile’ in anticipation for them facing the transition to secondary school. Five sessions were planned to build on supporting the children through a number of person centred approaches.
The first session focused on ‘Appreciations’ and the Year 6 children entered into the spirit of the task with enthusiasm and eagerness. As the children milled round the room, recording positive comments on named papers, the buzz of positivity was clearly evident. Once the task was complete, children described how they enjoyed sharing the things they appreciated about each other, as this was not often shared and mentioned. This session was clearly received positively, with children excited to continue to build … Following this session, a ‘home’ task was provided for the children to seek supportive information about themselves from close family members.
As the second session commenced, the children were very enthusiastic, and engaged with the ‘Good day – Bad day’ task, considering the aspects of their school day which they find most enjoyable or most challenging. Some children found this task difficult as it required them to be honestly reflective on themselves and about their feelings.
For session three the focus moved to develop ideas of ‘Important to me…’ which enabled children to focus on what is important to them. As the children were reflecting they required an increasing amount of time to complete the task, and would also have benefitted from being provided with some examples of ‘Important to’ statements for them to magpie ideas.
The fourth sessions focused on ‘Best Support’ and with the use of resources made about a fictional pupil, children were encouraged to problem solve about strategies which could best support this child in the situations provided. The insightful nature of children’s responses when problem solving for this character were phenomenal, and showed me clearly that we as teachers should not underestimate the power of the pupil themself to come up with solutions.
As the final session commenced, the children were keen to use all the material generated from the previous sessions to formulate their ‘One Page Profile’, personalising it to reflect their personality. The finished profiles were clearly reflective of the nature and level of input the children had put into the individual tasks. Those who put the most into the tasks, clearly got the most out of the activities and were thus more able to create a more detailed and insightful profile. For some children, the tasks required a higher level of reflection which they struggled with, and so this impacted on their profiles. However, despite this, all children were enabled to create and have ownership of their own profile.
Once the profiles were completed, the children were encouraged to share them with the Year 7 staff whilst on their Induction Day at their secondary school. Now that we have started a new term, and the Year 6 children have transitioned into their new surroundings, the next step is for me is to follow up with staff from Year 7 in the secondary schools to see how useful and effective the ‘One Page Profile’ had been in supporting them with getting to know their new intake of children.
In reflecting about this process, I would seek to ensure that it is planned to occur early enough in the term, so that time does not run out. Next time, I would seek to empower and support the Year 6 staff to implement the approaches, so that the size of the group of children is smaller, allowing for more focused and supportive sessions. Finally, I will seek to ensure that pupils view the ‘home task’ as a necessity as this allows for and encourages children to reflect on themselves with parents and close family members, providing a positive activity which can build self-esteem and enhance relationships, and support pupils with becoming more self-reflective.