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Moving schools for Year 6: the difference it can make

Preparing your child, a year earlier for the rigours of Key Stage 3 and beyond, has many advantages says the Head of King’s Magna Middle School, Mr Joseph Birchall.

In a difference from the traditional school model, students can join King’s Magna (KM) at the start of Year 6 and stay until the end of Year 9 before progressing into one of our senior schools. This system addresses the fact that many students are ready for a new challenge at the end of Year 5 and can benefit more from a curriculum tailored to this transitional year. At KM, our Year 6 students continue to feel at home in a designated classroom with specialist Year 6 teachers for English, Maths, Humanities and Personal Development across a topic-based curriculum as they would at most primary schools. However, other subjects are taught by specialist subject teachers across the campus for enhanced knowledge and a gradual introduction to senior school life.

Whilst most schools focus Year 6 study on the Key Stage 2 SATs, we forgo these tests and reassign that crucial learning time to preparing our students for Key Stage 3 learning and beyond, the results of which can be seen in how highly our senior schools perform in GCSEs and A Levels each year. By providing students with an extra year of tailored learning we can emphasise the skills crucial for future success such as critical thinking, collaboration, digital skills, communication, creativity and entrepreneurship. In addition, removing the SATs focus creates space within the curriculum for computer science and three modern languages.

Joining KM in Year 6 grants students access to our learning support specialists, who ensure that every student receives the assistance they need to thrive academically, whatever their strengths and circumstances. And, for those students who are seeking additional intellectual stimulation, our Stretch and Challenge program goes beyond the standard curriculum for a deeper understanding of various subjects. With bespoke support in place for struggling students through to high-achievers, KM is well-positioned to assist all students at an earlier stage so that they may achieve the best they can at senior school level.

Another major advantage of starting KM in Year 6 is that our bespoke curriculum allows for two options within the timetable, meaning that each child can choose more subjects they enjoy or want to develop from a younger age. This increases their love of learning, improves their overall happiness at school and promotes the opportunity to achieve a higher standard earlier across a breadth of different subjects such as sport, performing arts and creative art and design.

Students who join KM in Year 6 can benefit from curriculum swimming lessons, smaller class sizes and can create lasting friendships ahead of our larger Year 7 intake. Joining at this stage allows our students to explore a wider range of opportunities earlier in their educational journey such as competing in national competitions like the Olympiads and performing in showcases such as our annual Gym and Dance Display. In addition, students enjoy lessons taught by ex-professionals that prepare them for our optional performance pathways in sport or performing arts and can take advantage of our exciting enrichment programme of over 70 activities hosted within our state-of-the-art facilities. With clubs such as Mandarin, Games Design, Practical Science, LAMDA, and Home Economics, our students can build upon their knowledge of key subjects or can develop a wide range of additional skills and interests outside of the normal curriculum which are not usually offered to their age group. The curriculum is further complemented by a 5-day residential trip to Northern France where students develop their French and WWII knowledge simultaneously.

KM recognises that leaving primary school before the final year can be a big adjustment. For many pupils, they are excited to finally be the oldest in the school with responsibility and roles specifically for Year 6 pupils such as Student Voice, House Captain or Lead in the school play. To tackle this, KM offers our Year 6 pupils several opportunities to show leadership skills and to take responsibility. Each year, KM students can become Buddies, Ambassadors and Prefects for the school and can lead various club teams, performances, fixtures and activities. We find students progressing from any primary school are excited to wear the KM purple jumper as a significant symbol of officially moving up the Collegiate. A new uniform at this stage means they still get to feel older and more responsible whilst also being part of a community of middle school students successfully transitioning from primary to secondary together.

We also realise that pupils may miss out on Leaver’s Services. That is why Year 6 kicks off the academic year with a Welcome barbecue social, a team building day trip and a Starter’s Assembly. As KM loves to celebrate success and trying new things, presentation assemblies occur every half term and act as a showcase for student success that happens both inside and outside of the school, which helps to further embed individuals into the community.

To help new students settle in, current Year 5 students reach out to students who are joining in Year 6 to connect and begin forming friendships. As part of the welcome, every new pupil receives a buddy to guide them from lesson to lesson, accompany them at break times and to answer any questions, peer to peer. This usually prevents any worries about forming new friendships or getting lost, but should they have any queries or issues, our trained Peer Mentors are on-hand to address them quickly.

Parents of Year 6 students and beyond can also benefit from excellent wraparound care and can enrol their children into clubs and activities onsite, saving on transportation time outside of school and helping to further develop school-based friendships. Parents and students alike feel supported through our excellent pastoral provision which offers student support and development in areas such as time management, stress, and self-confidence.

King’s Magna bridges the gap between primary and secondary education. Pupils then progress smoothly into our senior schools which are currently ranked 1st and 7th in The North for Academic Performance.

Contact us

For more information visit our website, attend our open morning on 27th April.

Alternatively, you can email to book a private tour.

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