Children moving to secondary school in September are meeting their teachers and completing challenges – all via the internet.

With schools looking likely to remain closed to the majority of students until after the summer break, the transition of Year 6 children into their first year at secondary has had to be adapted.

Those due to join Year 7 in September are already in regular contact with Epping St John’s Church of England School, in Epping.

With face to face events cancelled due to coronavirus, to ease the transition the school has –

• replaced transition evening by sending out the presentation which would have been given, so families can watch it at home

• invited students and parents to sign up to a virtual Q&A session via Microsoft Teams, where pre-submitted questions will be answered by key staff

• spoken with primary schools to gather information on the new students

• put its Special Educational Needs co-ordinator in touch with the most vulnerable students struggling with the idea of changing schools in the current climate

Instead of transition day, the school is –

• sending weekly newsletters to Year 6 with key information as it becomes available

• sending work packs to students with tasks for them to complete at home, including a reading list

• giving students the opportunity to ask any questions they may have at any time via a digital form

• inviting Year 6 students to join in with ACE Challenges set to existing students each week to earn reward points

Head of school Michael Yerosimou said: “Our new cohort are already engaging with us and expressing a real excitement to join us in September. We are letting them know they do not need to wait for us to get in touch with them, they can contact us any time with any questions or queries they have.

“It is difficult for Year 6 students right now. We understand it can be a daunting time and so we want to reassure them that we are planning for every eventuality for the coming weeks and months. We are putting on as many events as we possibly can and trying to get rid of any concerns students may have, so they can enjoy the summer.

“Lots of the new things we are doing this year will be put to use in years to come.”