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Transition to Senior School

As a whole-College, families invest in our shared Junior and Senior School vision and ethos, seeing that it is the ideal fit for their children from the Junior School through to the Sixth Form. It is our hope that children embark on a successful journey across both St Dunstan’s College Junior and Senior School. It is anticipated that Year 6 pupils transfer automatically to the Senior School; however, the offer of automatic transition is the decision of The Junior to Senior School Transition Panel (the Panel). The Panel comprises of members of the Junior and Senior School Leadership Teams, the College Leadership Team and representatives from the Learning Support Team and the Admissions Team. 

It is our view that at this pivotal transition point, no additional pressure or anxiety is put upon children and families unnecessarily. It is important to us that we continue to offer our broad and ambitious curriculum and while we ensure that our pupils are ‘test ready,’ it is not to the detriment of an exciting, ambitious and unique curriculum, built around the needs and interests of our pupils. Through a child’s time at the Junior School, we build up a rich bank of data and get to know the children incredibly well. It is this information that is shared with the Panel about whether a child is recommended for automatic transfer. 

If there are any concerns about a child's progress and future transition, teachers will be in contact at the earliest stage. 

Decisions are based primarily on recent standardised assessment data, but the Panel will also review wider information from historic standardised data, Learning Scores and classroom performance in Years 4 and 5. It is the aim of the Panel to make their decision in the first half of the Trinity Term, when pupils are in Year 5. The Panel’s decision will always be in line with our policies regarding Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Equal Opportunities. 

All pupils who meet the threshold for automatic transition into the Senior School will be assured of those places in Year 5; they will have no need to prepare for entrance assessments for St Dunstan’s or for other schools in Year 6, unless they choose to, or there are wider reasons for leaving St Dunstan’s College. On the very rare occasion that automatic transition is not recommended, parents can choose for their child to apply as an external candidate. Reasons for not recommending a child will only be with their best interests in mind and ensuring that they are in an environment in which they could thrive. Parents will be supported in making applications to other senior schools and in preparation for any entrance assessments. We anticipate this will be a minority of Junior School pupils.