Perception to Reality: Pupils’ expectations and experiences of the primary-secondary school transition

Abstract

Pupils moving from primary to secondary school encounter a number of challenges that can affect their social, academic and personal development. This paper explores the expectations and experiences of a group of 10-11 year old primary school pupils who made the transition to an inner-city secondary school in Wales from one of its ‘feeder’ primary schools during 2011. As an exploratory study, an ethnographic approach was adopted with ‘pupil voice’ a distinctive and central feature. Two phases of fieldwork were conducted. The first examined pupils’ thoughts and feelings pre-transition; the second examined the extent to which their experiences matched their expectations in a local secondary school. There were four main findings from the study: the importance of academia; the opportunity to ‘grow up’; social issues; and pupils’ general feelings towards the transitional process (both pre and post-transition).

Bryant, A., Beauchamp, G., Hodgkin, K. and Fleming, S. (2013) Perception to Reality: Pupils’ expectations and experiences of the primary-secondary school transition. Educationalfutures, [online] Vol. 1(6). Available at: http://educationstudies.org.uk/?p=1109 [Accessed 19 Sep, 2017].