Going up to secondary school

Transition stages of education can be stressful for a young person and their family. A thorough transition plan considers the views of the young person and their family and provides relevant support across many different areas ahead of and in time for transition.  Transition plans and actions must be tailored to each individual’s needs.

Planning for Taster days at new school

  • The student with a vision impairment should be able to participate fully in activities planned at a taster day.
  • Activities must be differentiated according to student’s visual needs.
  • Any assessment activities should be appropriate and accessible for the student.
  • Printed resources should be appropriately enlarged /modified.
  • Own copy of resources being shown on a whiteboard or screen, as appropriate, enlarged in specified font size.
  • Plan for free time such as breaks if appropriate.

Suggested actions and discussion points for Transition Plans  

  • Transition planning meetings ideally to be held as early as possible between QTVI, parents, student, relevant current school staff eg SENCo and support staff and relevant staff from new school.
  • For students with EHC Plans, transition planning can take place as part of the Annual Review in the Summer term of Year 5.
  • The SENCo from new school ideally to observe student in current learning environment.
  • Parents and student to advise how much (if at all) and what they want other young people in the new school to know about the student’s vision impairment.
  • QTVI to draw up a transition plan to include views of parents and student.
  • QTVI to provide training on impact of vision impairment on student for staff, including Sports staff, in new school during INSET. In depth training for key staff at new school: LSA, SENCo, form tutor.
  • QTVI to organise peer to peer training if considered appropriate.
  • QTVI to undertake new school premises audit to check safety and accessibility so that any necessary modifications or work is completed before student’s arrival.
  • QTVI to update student’s Functional Vision Assessment if appropriate.
  • QTVI to organise an assessment of specialist VI equipment including assistive technology needed for new school. Checks to be made on compatibility of assistive technology with new school network if appropriate. Training in equipment to be given to student and LSA (if appropriate).
  • If appropriate, QTVI to arrange mobility training needs assessment and provision to enable independent travel to and from secondary school.
  • Find out about travel concessions e.g. Freedom pass in some areas.
  • Fix familiarisation visit date(s) for vision impaired student to new school – this should include seeing future classroom. If appropriate, work with habilitation officer or mobility officer in orientation at this/these visits. Work on procedure for lunch break if needed.
  • Parents and student to meet all key staff at new school before school starts.
  • Give the student an in depth understanding of the school day, the routines and procedures at new school.
  • It may be a good idea to ask a current Y7 pupil from the new school to communicate with the vision impaired student to dispel concerns and reassure him/her about how school ‘works’.
  • Suggest to the new school that videos of new school premises are made and sent to vision impaired students so that they have a visual record of premises to refer to after their familiarisation visit(s).
  • Read new school’s SEN and pastoral policies and perhaps ask for a named person at school, especially in the early days, so that the student can go to one person with any problems.
  • Key person to be responsible for assistive technology and other equipment.
  • Student to be made aware of location and procedure for accessing and using assistive and other equipment.
  • On first day of term, if appropriate, vision impaired student to start slightly earlier.