Phew! We’ve been to 13 primary schools since half term, running workshops for hundreds of Year 6 students who are about to move on up to secondary school.
Mind the Gap is our biggest project of the year and it’s always a fun summer term getting to know all the Year 6s across the Wokingham area. Last year, Michelle had to deliver all these workshops remotely via videolink, so it’s been a pleasure to be back in schools with our excellent team of volunteers, meeting the young people in ‘real life’.
“Mind the Gap explained lots of things to us about secondary school and eased my worries. I am looking forward to attending now.”
Our lively, interactive Mind the Gap workshops create plenty of space to air and answer young people’s questions, concerns or worries about secondary school. We run through some scenarios, and emphasise the importance of being kind to your new classmates and looking out for each other, as you’re all in the same boat.
“The Mind the Gap team were so friendly and made the session so much fun. I learnt a lot.”
“I had a few questions and worries about secondary but they have really helped me think about how I can organise myself to help me have a successful start. ”
We met the parents too
We ran an online evening for Year 6 parents and carers again this year, with expert Katie Skinner explaining the issues and answering questions. It was a big hit, with those that came giving us some lovely feedback. It’s important to us to be able to support the whole family through the sometimes tricky transition to secondary school. One parent said:
“Thank you for running such an informative session. Katie was excellent and made us realise that our son’s anxiety is perfectly normal. With the tools provided we feel much better equipped to help him through his transition.”
But this is just phase 1!
We’ll see some of the young people again over the summer holidays. Secondary school induction days have largely been cancelled this year, and instead, schools are running summer camps for their new Year 7s. We’ll be supporting some of our partner schools with these.
Then in September, our team will be on hand as usual to meet the young people (and their parents) at the school gates on their first few days at secondary school. Our Mind the Gap volunteers will be familiar, friendly faces there at break and lunchtimes to help the new Year 7s settle in, find their way around, make new friends and chat through any anxieties they’re feeling.
It’s been a privilege to get to know this year’s cohort and we’re looking forward to supporting them more in the months ahead.
> You can read more about Mind the Gap here.