Helping primary school students bridge the gap

Our ‘Bridging the Gap’ pilot project, funded by SHINE Trust, was created to support Year 6 pupils to feel better prepared, both academically and emotionally, to navigate their transition to secondary school.

Our impact report has now been published. Nine schools across the North of England were invited to take part and in total 50 Year 9 mentors took part in the project and 120 Year 6 pupils.

The aim of the project was to recruit secondary school mentors to become near-peer supporters and relatable role models, to a targeted group of Year 6 children who were:

  • not on track to meet age related expectation in English
  • not on track to meet age related expectation in Maths
  • low in emotional-readiness for secondary school.

Our findings show that by the end of the programme Year 6 pupils who participated as mentees had an increased understanding of what to expect when they transitioned to secondary school, were more confident about the transition and were more engaged and motivated to work harder at school. School feedback was also incredibly positive with one school leadership member saying:

“It was also a wonderful opportunity for our students to have some leadership opportunities and to showcase the skills they have built in mentoring younger students… In terms of mixing and social cohesion it has also really helped both sets of students – having them work with people they wouldn’t normally work with.”

In the near future, Future First are hoping to be able to offer transition support to other Year 6 students throughout the country through the use of secondary school mentors. This project has been instrumental in developing our understanding and approach.

Read our full report here.

View related content:
Role models and mentors: providing a comfortable transition from primary to secondary