PRIMARY school children have been stepping up to the mark in an initiative designed to prepare them for life at the big school.
Darlington School of Mathematics and Science has been playing host to an after-hours club for younger children from across the borough.
Year 6 children have been attending the secondary school every Monday night to enjoy a variety of activities and meet pupils they might end up sharing a classroom with as they move up.
Reading, building Lego and crafts, as well as outdoor activities, are designed to boost self-confidence in the younger children and get them used to the surroundings of a large secondary school.
Primary schools involved in the project include West Park Academy, Reid Street, Mount Pleasant, St Teresa’s, Holy Family, Mowden, High Coniscliffe, St John’s, Northwood, Heathfield, Cockerton, Croft, Corporation Road and Firth Moor.
DSMS transition manager Sarah Teasdale said: “Whether they join us here in year 7 or not it gives pupils an invaluable taste of life at the big school.
“They mix really well with our students and make new friends with pupils from different schools. Our students also benefit from the responsibility of being role models and it is incredible to witness the growth in confidence and self-esteem that develops as time goes on.
“Transition can be really difficult for pupils and their parents because they feel they are entering a different world. Sessions like these dispel myths and help them overcome any concerns; you can see the year 6s leave looking forward to their new lives at secondary school.”