The transition to secondary school is well-documented as a significant change in the lives of young people within the UK education system. A large body of research aims to identify the transition’s ‘effects’ on academic achievement and young people’s wellbeing, and how to ameliorate these. Yet to date, there has been little exploration of how children and their families actively navigate the process of school transition, or critical examination of the transition as a space for the reproduction of educational inequalities.
This project centres the voices of children and their parents, using creative research methods with 17 child-parent/carer pairs over a period of 15 months to explore how they navigate the school transition. Problematising the dominant narrative of a ‘good’ transition to which young people should universally aspire, the study examines how class and gender are (re)produced through the processes of becoming a Year Seven pupil.