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Five local primary schools get involved with HeadStart initiative

30 May 2023

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Fleetwood Town Community Trust delivered a unique Transition Tournament event on Thursday 18th May to support those children working on the HeadStart programme as they approach their transition to secondary school!

The HeadStart programme aims to deliver 1-2-1 support and class workshops to Year 6 and Year 7 children across Fleetwood to provide an early intervention and prevention service surrounding mental health. The aim being to focus on their transition to secondary school to ensure they have an awareness of self-management and coping strategies as they experience this new change in their lives.

Thus, this Transition Tournament event was created to ease specific worries in relation to their transition such as meeting new people and building resilience and social skills. Five primary schools across Fleetwood attended on the day (St Wulstan’s and St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School, Larkholme Primary School, Charles Saer Primary School, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Flakefleet Primary School) with 10 children in their Year 6 classes that would benefit from team building activities and meeting new people ahead of the transition.

The uniqueness of this event was that the children were placed in mixed teams across the five schools based on which secondary school they were attending. This aimed to increase the connections made and give the children the opportunity to meet new people going to the same school as them before their transition approaches.

Additionally, Year 7s from Fleetwood High School and Cardinal Allen Catholic High School that have previously accessed the HeadStart programme were in attendance to act as a ‘Head Coach’ to each team which allowed the Year 6s to talk to them about their transition to ease these worries further.

This also created coaching and confidence building opportunities for the Year 7s as they were able to motivate and make decisions for the team throughout the day.

Our very own Sport College Students supported the day by creating a 30-minute training session before the tournament which included team-building activities to enhance the connections made and provide an icebreaker for these children.

Alongside this, each BTEC student had their own team with the Year 7 ‘Head Coaches’ to provide further assistance and motivation. This allowed the school staff to take a real step back from the day which only further supported the children gaining more confidence as they were not relying on their teachers for encouragement but continuing to push themselves out of their comfort zones whilst having support from new people.


The Transition Tournament was a huge success with some fantastic feedback reported back about the day and how beneficial it has been to these Year 6s to support with their transition to secondary school. Please read below some quotes from all those involved with the day:

Rachel Walker, Mental Health Transformation Officer and Organiser of the Day:

“The Tournament was a fantastic day for these children that need additional support ahead of their transition. These children do not often get the opportunity to participate in events like this so to provide them with this experience to make new friends, build their confidence and have a fun day is really amazing and what I strive to achieve as part of this role.

"To see the children running around with huge smiles on their faces all day and playing football with people of the same ability is very special. I hope this has eased some of their worries towards their transition and they feel more confident making this big change knowing they have already met many new people going to their high school.”

Kerrie Burke, Sports College Manager:

“The tournament was an amazing opportunity for the young people involved, these were students who may not usually have the opportunity to participate in football. As the Sports College Manager, being able to involve our students gave them opportunities to mentor and coach the young people which will benefit them throughout their learning and future career paths.

"The smiles, laughter and fun throughout the day reflected the success of the tournament and I am really proud of our students for their involvement and their enthusiasm throughout. A huge thank-you to Rachel for organizing this and letting our students take part!”

Mrs S Isherwood, Year 6 Teacher, Larkholme Primary School:

“The day ran like clockwork. It was incredibly well organised, and the children were busy throughout. The BTEC students and high school pupils were fantastic and absolutely threw themselves into their roles with enthusiasm and excitement. The pupils for my school had big beaming smiles on their faces all afternoon and absolutely loved the event.

"The children all made new friends from other primary schools. They all said how they’re not as scared about their first day at high school as they will know other pupils. They were talking about year 7 with the other schools too and realised that they all had the same worries which helped them feel less isolated.”

Bailey, Year 6 Pupil, Larkholme Primary School:

“I did enjoy the football tournament as I would never have done anything like this before as I don’t really do events like that. I got to meet new people like my new friend Jaiden who is also going to Fleetwood High and he was pretty cool.

I also got to play football with all my friends and other new people on my team. I got a choice in which positions I wanted and got a lot of accessibility”.

For more information on the HeadStart programme please contact Rachel Walker or contact Fleetwood Town Community Trust (01253) 208442!

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