Children practicing actions about to start their transition project

Birchwood and Lanchester EP: Helping create a Y6 Transition Experience with now>press>play

now>press>play and Martin Bailey set the pupils from Birchwood Primary and Lanchester EP a task to write and record their own now>press>play Year 6 Transition Project. They explored their fears, worries and possible solutions!

Hear all about the project from Hayley Mould, a teacher at Birchwood.

Why we chose to work with now>press>play

At Birchwood, children have had the opportunity to take part in the immersive now>press>play Experiences for a number of years, bringing the curriculum to life through a combination of technology and imagination in the most entertaining and inspiring way.

As a school, we always strive to ensure that children have a smooth and successful transition period when moving from Year 6 to Year 7, preparing them for the next stage in their education. It is of paramount importance for us to aid the transition process for our children. So, when we heard about a unique opportunity to partner with now>press>play on an innovative transition project, the teachers and children were equally excited!

The Transition Experience

In collaboration with Lanchester EP Primary School, we were tasked by the team at now>press>play to support the development of a new Experience which would help reassure and support future year 6 children in their move to high school. This would be designed to allow others to be plunged into an immersive Transition Experience, while hearing and acting out the worries, concerns and fears of other children in the same position, before experiencing how these situations may be resolved.

Children practicing actions about to start their transition project

How we made the Experience

We started by taking part in a Zoom conversation with Tilly from now>press>play and the children from Lanchester school, in which we were given clear instructions for our task. This began with sharing our current fears and concerns about the transition to secondary school on Padlet, an online information-sharing resource.

“Seeing the posts on Padlet made me realise there is a solution to all of my worries – people were commenting on so many of the concerns and they gave great advice on how to think more positively.”

Next, our children listened to the previous now>press>play Transition Experience to make sure we could and critically evaluated it in order to make sure we were able to create an experience that was even better than the original! We also spent valuable time unpicking the language and structural features of a now>press>play transcript, identifying the importance of action, emotion and problems with resolutions.

Zoom call to discuss Transition project

One or two Zoom calls and some technical training later, the children began to use the fears and worries which had been shared on Padlet to collaboratively create and write a scene based on potential secondary school experiences – getting lost on our way to lessons, dealing with bullying, managing homework and making friends – to name but a few! After much debate and discussion about how these scenarios might be resolved, we finalised our script and then recorded our scenes.

“Trying to get a really good recording was so funny! The diggers and the school bell kept interrupting us but after a few attempts, we got there in the end. Making up sound effects was even better.”

We sent our scenes off to Tilly and Mr Bailey and they worked their magic, piecing together our Birchwood scenes with those from Lanchester.

After receiving the initial draft of the completed recording, the children immersed themselves in the full Experience before sharing important constructive feedback which enabled the Experience to be edited and improved to perfection.

“To get our Experience back for the first time and hear ourselves through the now>press>play headphones was amazing — I felt proud and happy at the same time.”

“I was like WOW, we made a great now>press>play.”

Why we loved working with now>press>play

This has been an incredible project whereby children have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to share experiences, concerns and resolutions with others — realising that they are able to support each other in offering advice and guidance while preparing them mentally and emotionally for the next stage in their education.

The children are also proud of the fact that they have helped the developers at now>press>play to understand the Transition Experience from the perspective of a child, and hope that this will help with the creation of a new now>press>play Experience for others to enjoy.

“I feel shocked and excited that people around England and maybe even in other countries will hear and experience something that we have had a small hand in creating.”

Thank you to now>press>play and Mr Bailey from Lanchester EP Primary School for the opportunity to take part in this project.

More feedback from our pupils:

“Seeing other people’s worries reassured me as I found out that I am not alone.”

“After seeing all of the replies on the Padlet wall, I realised that it is best to think positively and that high school would be okay after all. It was so fun to create the script, especially thinking about how it would help others.”

“It was great to feel that because of writing our scene, it might help someone else as well as myself.”

“I felt good when I saw the Padlet as I knew that lots of other Year 6s were going through the same thing.”

“It was weird and exciting to hear our own voice turned into a real now>press>play Experience.”

“I feel happy on the inside, knowing that we are going to be helping people who go to other schools but that are feeling the same way as us about the transition.”

An extract from one of the children’s favourite scenes:

Sound effect: Alarm going off

Narrator: Your alarm has just gone off and it is the first day of secondary school. This is the day you have been excited about ALL summer, but you also have a bit of a funny feeling in your tummy. Yawn, throw your covers off and take a big stretch.

Mum: Hurry up! Breakfast is on the table!

Narrator: Go to your wardrobe towards the north and pull on your clothes that you carefully prepared last night. Now, head towards the east and climb down the stairs into your kitchen. Breathe in the delicious smell of pancakes.

Mum: Good morning darling, ready for the big day?

Narrator: Nod your head but don’t say a word. The nerves are starting to set in. Go towards the south and sit at the breakfast table.

Mum: Have you got your transition holiday project in your bag, ready to give to Mr Goldsmith?

Narrator: Nod your head at your mum. Hold on… WHAT project? That funny feeling in your tummy is now growing… and growing… and growing. Keep your head down and don’t let your mum see the panic in your eyes.

Children acting out their transition project
Acting out their story by hiding
Hiding like in their story

We’re very grateful to the children and teachers at Birchwood and Lanchester EP for helping us create our Transition Experience. To find out more about the Experience, click here.