This week saw the return of Transition Junior to the Inverurie Network, as the incoming P1 pupils at Kellands and Strathburn received Dance Fitness and Multisport inputs respectively from some of the coaches who deliver the Active Schools extra-curricular programme in the Inverurie Network.
Now in its second year, Transition Junior, which is an Active Schools Aberdeenshire creation, focuses on Pre-school to Primary 1 transition in the Inverurie network and 2019 has seen the programme align more closely to the formal transition process within the schools and it has also grown its links to the Inverurie Early Years Forum and NHS Grampian.
Working alongside the “Henry” programme stories, that are promoted by NHS Grampian, Active Schools coaches have blended their activity sessions into one of the stories, so that as well as providing physical activity, there's also an awareness of the available options in the extra-curricular programme through Active Schools.
Active Schools are also contributing to the ongoing work of our partners in the Early Years Forum, specifically around the Play policy and a healthy approach to diet and mental wellbeing.
Whilst the introduction to the Active Schools programme forms an initial link to the available options once children start school, the programme also complements the benefits that come from the formal transition process, where future classmates are met for the first time and lifelong friendships are often formed.
Yesterdays session at Strathburn saw a welcome visitor to Transition Junior with Councillor Anne Stirling, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee, taking on the role of storyteller as she told the transfixed group of new pupils about Henry’s adventures. Reading the book “Let’s Go Outside” Councillor Stirling was then able to watch local coach Vanessa Jack, and her daughter Melissa, who is also a departing “Leader in Sport” from Inverurie Academy, lead the children through various games and activities.
It was also great to see Julie Binnie, a former “Leader In Sport” working with the new pupils having secured employment at Strathburn School in March and again demonstrating the positive destinations that Aberdeenshire pupils can secure once they leave secondary education.
This year’s Transition Junior has also been a great example of closer working between parts of Live Life Aberdeenshire, as Active Schools and Inverurie Library have joined forces with NHS Grampian and the Inverurie Early Years forum to promote the Henry programme to a wider audience.
From 1st July the set of four books that make up the Henry stories will be available as part of a reading challenge at Inverurie Library, with children able to collect stamps when they read each one and in turn that will lead to them receiving a certificate alongside the key messages that the books deliver when read with a parent.
Transition Junior continues over the next few weeks with Oyne, Chapel of Garioch, Hatton of Fintray and Keithhall Schools also receiving inputs and activities such as Basketball, Junior Jog and Multisports.
We've also uploaded a short video of the day's highlights on our Active Schools Central Facebook page.