École Internationale PACA, Manosque

Transition from Primary to Secondary

We understand that whether moving from the primary school on the premises or from other external primary schools from around the world to the European School of Manosque can be a daunting prospect. Our aim is to make this transition as smooth and stress-free as possible for both the students and their families.
The aim of the S1 Teaching Team is to provide a successful transition and to ensure a safe, enjoyable, academic environment. We quickly get to know each student: their talents, hopes, successes and concerns. In partnership with parents and guardians, we work to foster a sense of respect and responsibility in our students to empower them with the skills and confidence that they need to succeed in The European School.
As the primary school is on the same premises as the secondary school, projects and teamwork frequently take place. Many of the students therefore transitioning into the European School are already familiar with the secondary school.

  • Examples of these projects are:
    • Any events that take place in the library are common to the whole school community, for example the artist or author in residence.
    • The school choir brings students from Primary and Secondary School together.
    • The S3 class produced a Maths and Art trail which was intended to help the CM2 students find their way around the secondary school whilst answering Maths and Art problems and seeing the Maths and Art in their surroundings.
    • Maths Week is celebrated by the secondary school and the older primary students.  Many events take place including a “pi-ems” competition, a “Dingbats” competition and a “pi-digits” competition.  The events change slightly every year, with mandalas being popular, as well as Pi-corn circles that have been activities also done by CM2 classes.
    • A number of Maths competitions take place throughout the year, notably “Maths sans Frontières” where CM2 students are grouped with S1 and sixième students to solve problems.
    • Chinese New Year is celebrated annually by the school with various activities bringing the primary and secondary school together.

Additionally, there is a formal programme for the transition of the CM2 students and those students joining the European School from outside.

In November, the management of the European School and the International OIB sections give a presentation to the CM1 and CM2 parents to explain the differences between the two English sections.  Parents are also able to ask any questions. (Annex 1)

In March/April, all the CM2 and external students who are requesting the English sections take an English test to assess their level and to be able to advise their parents.  Parents may also request individual meetings with the school management and teaching team for more detailed information that may affect their child.

In June, the CM2 children and those joining our school for the first time are invited to a “Transition Day”, assisted by the ambassadors (class representatives) from the current S1 class. (Annex 2)

The prospective S1s are warmly welcomed by Mrs Palmer (Director of the European School) and the form tutor. The aim of the day is to reassure, to give the new students confidence and for them to become familiar with their new school.  After an introductory talk, students participate in various activities to get to know each other. We have a short morning break together then Mme Fayet (in charge of the school life) and members of the Vie Scolaire Team meet the prospective S1 pupils in order to explain about life and studying in the secondary school. They also answer their questions and reassure the students. A tour of the school is given to visit the strategic places to familiarise them with the school. The prospective S1 students then spend their lunch break with us. The afternoon session is spent meeting the S1 teaching team in the classrooms, where they take part in lessons and various activities. There is a final session with the form tutor and Mrs Palmer to discuss the day, their hopes and fears of starting in the secondary school.

In late June, the parents are invited to an introductory meeting concerning the life at secondary school. These meetings are informal and allow parents the opportunity to ask any questions they may have or to air their worries and be reassured.

Also in late June, the pedagogical team and pastoral care team in S1 meet with the primary teachers to discuss each student.  These meetings are very useful, as any students with difficulties are discussed, also friendship pairings.  We are very careful, however, to avoid labelling the students when they pass from primary school to secondary school.

When the new academic year starts in September, we plan a very comprehensive and separate short day for the new S1 and sixième students to help them gain their confidence and allow them some time to find their feet before the rest of the school arrives back. Students spend the whole morning with their form teacher who explains aspects of secondary school life such as timetables, time management, school rules, homework, lockers, lunchtime, what to do if…, who to go to if they have a problem and so on, and to reassure them.

Whilst the new S1s are with their form tutor, the parents are introduced to the management team and are also able to ask any further questions. Usually the parents are then given a tour of the school, and the morning finishes with a shared picnic lunch for the students, parents and staff.

In mid-September, after the S1s have completed their first two weeks, there is a formal parents meeting with Mrs Palmer and the S1 Teaching Team to discuss the curriculum and projects that the students will be participating in. It is also gives parents another opportunity to ask any questions and for the school to allay any of their concerns. (see Annex 3)

Due to Covid 19 these above arrangements have been modified this academic year 2020/21,with meetings taking place virtually and the transition and first day being modified to ensure everybody’s health and safety.

Annex 1: Explanation about choice of English section in secondary school- International or European

Annex 2: Transition day programme 2020

Annex 3: Presentation Observation Cycle