We were delighted to join 10 of our families on a 2 day camping trip in July as part of our Transition Programme, which aims to help children in their last year of primary school prepare for the move to secondary school. A group of 35 of us – children, families, staff and volunteers – travelled to East Sussex to enjoy a nature-based activity camp. Our partner ‘Wild Nature’ facilitated a fun range of bush-craft activities to connect us all with our senses and the natural world.
We all enjoyed leaving behind technology (even abandoning watches and phones!), to light fires, build dens and enjoy family time together without distractions. Our families all embraced the challenge of camping, many overcoming worries and apprehension in the process. Some children even chose to follow the facilitator’s lead in tasting a ‘wild’ snack or two. Apparently, ants have a citrus taste! One boy said ‘Its the best time I’ve had in my life’
The Transition Programme supports children who may struggle to cope with the challenge of moving to secondary school. Our experience has shown that very often, children with unresolved emotional and behavioural difficulties are unable to manage this challenging transition, and the move to secondary school can mark an escalation in their difficulties, and sadly withdrawal or exclusion from school.
The programme, funded by The Bridgepoint Charitable Trust, aims to prevent these difficulties. We provide 8 family sessions for each child during and after the transition to secondary school, and a two night residential camping trip. We aim to support children to build confidence, self-esteem and resilience and build stronger relationships with those around them, to help them make a successful and happy transition to secondary school.
We are looking forward to another Transition group camping trip later in the summer.