Transition from primary to secondary school can often be a worrying time for pupils and their parents. Ensuring pupils settle quickly into their new surroundings, whilst continuing to make good progress with their learning, can often be incredibly challenging. 

At Sheffield Springs Academy, we work closely with our feeder primary schools to ensure we offer the very best transition programme for all of our students, helping to make the move from primary to secondary school a smooth and exciting one.

Step up to Springs

As part of our dedicated transition programme, the academy has introduced the 'Early Risers' programme, where we invite Year 6 students moving up into our Year 7 to join us for the last three weeks of the summer term.  Originally launched last year, this July saw pupils and parents tour the school, take part in lessons and spend time learning about our expectations and ethos.

The main aim  behind the programme is to enable pupils to settle into Sheffield Springs Academy prior to breaking up for the summer holidays, familiarizing them with our expectations and helping them to acclimatise to their new environment, make new friends and dispel any worries about moving up to secondary school.  Learning is also at the core of everything we do and we set the very highest of expectations in all of our classrooms, which we expect all students to meet.

Parents, pupils and staff have commented on how much of a positive impact Early Risers has already had. 

Mark Shipman, Head of School, said: “Each year, we often hear from both parents and children who have worries or concerns about the move from primary to secondary education.

“Our new Early Risers programme, one of the first of its kind in Sheffield, is designed to address these issues directly, helping our new students adjust to the academy environment and enabling them to really hit the ground running when the academic year starts in September.”

Supported by their primary school teachers, approximately 200 children have already taken part in the scheme, experiencing a range of activities, including understanding the timetable, learning about key members of staff, literacy and enterprise events and special themed assemblies.  The new starters also get the chance to take part in the academy's annual sports day and summer school during the holidays.

Early Risers 2017

Due to the overwhelming success of the Early Risers programme, we will again be offering this opportunity to all Y6 students who have been allocated a secondary school place at Springs Academy from September 2017.  All parents will receive details of the programme via a letter home on the week commencing the 22nd  May 2017.  All letters and a schedule for the programme can be found at the bottom of this webpage.

Don’t take our word for it

We felt it important to ask Y6 parents and students what they thought of the Early Risers programme.  Below are some highlights from their feedback: 


  • 94% of parents told us that their child had a positive experience during the Early Riser Programme.
  • 97% of parents believe that the programme should be repeated again.

I think the Early Risers provision was very effective - it eliminates the fears of moving up to senior school and the worries over the summer break.

Gleadless Primary School Parent

We were very unsure at first about sending our child to Early Riser's but it was a very positive experience. She enjoyed meeting staff and new pupils in a more relaxed environment before September.

Arbourthorne Community Primary School Parent

It was very helpful for my daughter, as she wasn't so anxious about starting at the academy.

Prince Edward Primary School Parent

It gives the children a chance to experience secondary school and prepare themselves for what it will be like.

Norfolk Community Primary School Parent


  • 91% of students said that they enjoyed the Early Riser Programme.
  • 97% of students believe that the programme is worth repeating again.

I was made very welcome at this school. It was an amazing experience and I feel like I have settled in very well.

Norfolk Park Community Primary School Student 

It is a great head start for Y6 and boost their confidence for when they properly start secondary school.

Prince Edward Primary School Student

I liked Early Risers because the teachers showed you around the school and there were fun activities.

Hunters Bar Junior School Student

It was the best time of my life - there were so many good teachers!

Bankwood Primary School Student


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