Aim: To inspire Key Stage 3 pupils with engaging lessons, together with a focus on learning how to learn, in order to develop independence and enjoyment.

Background: In the recent past, with greater challenge at GCSE, Key Stage 4 has been the focus for secondary schools. However it is important to share expert subject knowledge at Key Stage 2 and maintain this passion at Key Stage 3 within the secondary setting thus developing independence and enjoyment.


Year 1

A Core Hub involving pupils from Year 5 and 6 from two feeder primary schools was created. The focus of the hub was consistency and challenge within English, Maths and Science. Key Stage 2 pupils were invited to a ‘secondary readiness’ day held at Stewards focusing on the skills of independence and resilience using PiXL NOW resources.

  • Regular meetings with teachers from the two feeder schools with a shared vision for raising standards and sharing best practice.
  • Standardisation of quality of work and moderation between KS2 and KS3.
  • Curriculum analysis of KS3 to ensure rigour and challenge for all pupils.

Year 2

The Core Hub was developed to include Humanities and MFL with pupils and staff invited to workshops held to provide expert workshops focused on Key Stage 2 topics.

  • History workshop focused on case studies from the blitz
  • MFL held role play activities and 1-2-1 speaking support by pupils from Key Stage 3
  • Links were made between junior feeder schools and science enrichment opportunities at Key Stage 3 e.g. astronomy club
  • A cross-town moderation of Key Stage 2 writing assessments was implemented so that Key Stage 3 teachers were aware of the Key Stage 2 curriculum and could ensure that learning is being built upon rather than re-taught.

Year 3

A cross-curricular project completed in-between Year 6 and Year 7 was created. This was to ensure Key Stage 3 staff had clear expectations of pupils' abilities from the start of Year 7. The final year of the project also focused on enrichment provided at Key Stage 3 for the more able pupils linked to careers.

  • Enrichment opportunities provided have included completion and 100% pass of the Scholars Programme run by the Brilliant Club. A team of Key Stage 3 pupils are also competing in the regional heats of the Mock Magistrates Court Competition run by Young Citizens.
  • Academic mentoring of Key Stage 3 by Key Stage 4 pupils from the Honours Programme took place. Cross Key-Phase assemblies allowed pupils to share their experiences and provide advice for pupils.
  • An Academic Prep programme was run by the AHT for Key Stage 3, teaching revision skills and providing fortnightly support to help teach pupils how to learn.
  • The creation of a cross-departmental transition project was completed by all pupils in Year 7 during the summer break between Year 6 and Year 7. Alongside this, pupils were asked to bring their English and Maths books from junior schools which were used by subject leaders to set accurate targets for Year 7 and to support the development of new schemes of learning to ensure challenge.
  • All Year 7 books now have an example of work from Year 6 stuck into the front of their books to demonstrate their prior skills and presentation standards. This is used as a tool to assess progress during work scrutinies by middle leaders and the senior leadership team.

Impact: 100% of pupils completed the transition projects prior to starting at Stewards in September 2019. Each department was asked to design 1-2 pages of activities as pre-learning for the units of work taught in September. The pupil voice evaluations showed that pupils enjoyed the challenge of writing 2000 word dissertations and working alongside PhD tutors as part of the Brilliant Club. Pupils who were part of the Honours Programme valued the support and encouragement from pupils in Key Stage 4. Pupils from the 2019 Scholars Programme provided support to those completing their projects in 2020 which allowed the number of participants to increase from 12 to 24.

Reflections: This project helped create strong links with local feeder schools. All staff involved in the hub appreciated the opportunity to share ideas and moderate work across the key stages. The transition projects have allowed Key Stage 3 teachers to plan units of work building on both prior knowledge and skills.

Contact: Holly Sherwood | Clare O'Sullivan