Transition 3

Transition To Secondary School

We understand that the move from primary to secondary school can be a daunting time for students. Milford Haven School host numerous events, both face to face and online, throughout the year before students begin school with us in September.

These events include taster lessons in a wide range of subjects (inc. Maths, English, Science, Languages, Technology), activities in our new sports facilities, invitations to dance and drama performances, plus tours of our main school site.

My favourite thing about being a pupil at Milford Haven School is that the teachers are all very approachable and are happy to help at any time (especially my form tutor). I also love the broad variety of subjects.

Rebecca LlewellinMHS pupil

In June we set up online Google Classrooms for the new intake, this allows pupils to familiarise themselves with their new peer group and with teachers before they start in September. This is very important in supporting new friendships and also introducing pupils to the new technology systems that are commonly used at secondary level learning. 

On their arrival at the school, students participate in a transition programme to ensure their induction is a worry-free process. We use this settling in period to really get to know each student, and this helps us plan for their future success at our school.

One of the best ways to get to know Milford Haven School site is to visit us in person, but sadly during this time of Covid-19 restrictions our site has limited access. However, we have been hard at work to film a virtual tour so you can still get a feel for the school site before you transition into Year 7. 

Please take a few minutes to watch the video below, and explore MHS on a guided tour with Ms Mansell.

Whilst we as adults understand what a big change it is to move from Primary to Secondary School, and we do all we can to support you through this transition, we felt like it might be helpful for you to hear about what it is really like to start at MHS from our Year 7 pupils. Below are some open letters to local Year 6 pupils that have been written by some of our wonderful Year 7 students to share their point of view and advice on joining the Milford Haven School family. 

Letter by Ollie Warlow- MHS pupil

Letter by Megan Lees-   MHS pupil

Letter by Leon Sanderson-Horrocks- MHS pupil

Letter by Kian Davies-   MHS pupil

Letter by Lucy Lewis-   MHS pupil

Letter by Ollie Holman-   MHS pupil

In order to ensure the smooth transition of pupils from one key stage to another, letters are sent home in June to all Year 6 pupils that have been awarded places at MHS. This letter welcomes young people and their families to our school community. Pupils are assigned to Dauntless House upon entering Year 7. Whilst in Year 7. Pupils complete a Quest Of Achievement, which encompasses activities both inside and outside of the classroom. Upon completing the quest, pupils will graduate Dauntless and be assigned to their new house to which they will belong for their remaining time at MHS. Siblings will be assigned to the same Houses where possible. Each House has designated House Captains who will act as Representatives for all learners throughout the year, helping organise events and competitions as well as represent their house at meetings. Further down this page we have details on our House System, as well as short videos introducing the Heads of Houses. 

Headteacher Ms Morris  says “We are a strong and tight knit family, and we extend a warm welcome to all those joining us in the new academic year. Believe in yourself and make a difference to our community. Make your Milford Haven School journey interesting, try everything, find your talent and let it flourish. But most importantly, never give up.”

We understand that the transition from Primary to Secondary education is a big change, and that the journey about to be embarked on by Year 6 pupils can be daunting. We work extremely hard to support pupils in navigating the transition into Milford Haven School, there are various activities and meetings which are in the school calendar to help prepare pupils and their families to join the MHS family.

MHS is proud to introduce the House System within the school. The system is designed to embody our school values and ethos and aims to be an integral part of our school life.

The House System aims to provide each and every learner with the following:

  • A sense of belonging within the school community
  • Opportunities to develop intellectual, social, physical and physical skills
  • Fun and excitement through competitions
  • A sense of achievement both inside and outside of the classroom
  • Opportunities for leadership

Each House is in competition with one another in order to gain the most number of points for their House.
Pupils can contribute to their house points with activities both inside and outside of the classroom through representing the school in sports, music, drama etc as well as contributing to the life of the school community.

Click on the House badges below to see a short clip introducing each Head of House!

Milford Haven School last year hosted several engaging and inspiring Darwin Science Aglow events for some of the year 6 children in the cluster, to support their transition into secondary school. Children from Coastlands, Neyland, Milford Haven Primary, Gelliswick and Pembroke Dock Community school investigated many different scientific concepts. Over the past three years, Darwin Science have worked with all year 6 pupils through a range of different projects, including a field visit to Lydstep beach where pupils explored the habitats of rock pools and investigated the effects of ocean acidification.  The Science Aglow day in particular was an excellent opportunity to bring children together from all the schools to share their experiences and celebrate a love of Science. This Science event is a collaboration between Darwin Science, comprising Sam Williams and Dave Clee, the cluster of schools and Dragon LNG.  

Ms Morris said, “This collaboration between the private sector, the voluntary sector, Darwin science, and our schools is one that I am extremely proud to be a part of and I look forward to an extremely exciting future working together to support our young people to fulfil their potential.”

Dragon LNG and Milford Haven Cluster of School’s promoting...

Pembrokeshire Pioneers

Milford Haven School were proud to host the recent launch of the annual transition project. Covid 19 restrictions saw the transition project move to an online resource, however after a return to the new normal, pupils and staff were able to come together to celebrate the launch of the project face to face. As always, the Cluster of Schools were delighted with the continued support and sponsorship from Dragon LNG who are relentless in their commitment to supporting the learning of the young people of Milford Haven. 

Karen Wood, Stakeholder and Communications Manager for Dragon LNG said, “The Transition Project is key to our ethos of supporting Youth Development and Training in Pembrokeshire. The success is down to the Milford Cluster and its teachers hard work and dedication in producing sector leading practice of which we are all extremely proud”.

Ceri-Ann Morris, Headteacher at Milford Haven School was delighted to welcome representatives from Cluster schools and Dragon LNG to launch the Pembrokeshire Pioneers Project for 2022. Over two hundred and twenty year 6 pupils will be receiving their Pembrokeshire Pioneer packs over this term ready to launch the project taking part in a range of literacy, numeracy, and cross curricular activities in their schools.

Ms Rachel Mansell, KS3 Strategic Lead was overjoyed to see the project in its physical form. “It has been an exciting process from idea to fruition and watching the project grow. I am delighted that our pupils will be engaging in a project that not only develops their literacy and numeracy skills, but also encourages them to think creatively about their local area. This is a key attribute of the new curriculum as we deliver opportunities for them to grow as creative and enthusiastic young people whilst ensuring their learning experience is firmly embedded in their personal journey”.

Milford Haven Cluster collaboration

Milford Haven cluster of schools collaborate on their journey to Curriculum for Wales

The staff in the Milford Haven cluster of schools have a long history of working together to improve the learning experiences for all children. On the day that Curriculum for Wales was published in January 2020, all staff from Coastlands Primary, Gelliswick CiW VC Primary, Johnston Community Primary School, Milford Haven Primary, Milford Haven Secondary, Neyland Community Primary and St Francis Catholic Primary School met to develop a vision for learning and teaching that would enable all learners to progress towards the four purposes.

In their second conference in 2021, Professor Graham Donaldson invited staff to reflect on the vision of Curriculum for Wales and Dr Huw Griffiths inspired practitioners to consider how they might develop Cynefin in their curriculum. In June 2021, the cluster began to explore progression and assessment in Curriculum for Wales and to understand how developing empathy supports learners to develop as considerate and healthy citizens. In November 2022, the cluster met for their fourth conference since the publication of Curriculum for Wales to reflect on staff and learner well-being and explore strategies for designing a creative curriculum which brings the learning alive. Nick Dyer, Headteacher of Gelliswick opened the conference by sharing the aspirations of the cluster that each school designs a curriculum which develops creativity, builds confidence and nurtures ambitious and empathetic learners from age 3 to 16 and beyond. Ben Smith inspired staff to reflect on the importance of listening to individual learners and taking the time to invest in their health and well-being. Staff explored approaches to breathing life in to the learning experiences through engaging with Hywel Roberts and Debra Kidd. Responsive teaching and metacognition was the focus of Clare Gadsby’s session. Shonette Bason provided the opportunity to explore effective strategies to motivate and inspire younger learners and Andy Cope’s approach to ‘Bouncebackability: rolling with life’s punches’ focussed on strategies to improve staff mental health and self-care.

The speakers and workshops provided valuable opportunities for practitioners to reflect on and adapt their teaching strategies to enable all learners to be invested in their learning. The Director of Pembrokeshire, LA advisors and AoLE leads in Partneriaeth have supported schools in their conferences.

Headteachers in the cluster meet monthly to drive the ambitious strategic direction of their schools which is underpinned by their shared vision. “Milford Haven Cluster is united in its commitment to dynamic and equitable educational experiences for ambitious, creative, confident and ethical learners in order to maximise outcomes for all.”

The cluster improvement plan encapsulates the values, aims and actions that drive the improvements. The HTs have been dedicated in allocating time for their staff to engage collaboratively in professional discussions enabling them to design their curriculum in order that it meets the needs of all their learners in their communities. From September 2021, all schools adopted an asymmetric week which means that they have an additional 2 hours every other week to provide professional learning opportunities for staff to meet across the cluster. A range of different groups of practitioners work collaboratively to support each other as they develop
coherent strategies across all schools, these include:

  • AoLE groups
  • Administration officers
  • Attendance officers
  • Headteachers
  • ALN leads
  • Digital leads
  • Transition year 6 and 7 practitioners

All schools are excited by the opportunities that Curriculum for Wales offers and the fourth cluster conference was a testament to the continued commitment of all Headteachers and practitioners in the cluster to ensure that all learners in the Milford Haven catchment area are inspired and enabled to be healthy, confident and ethical citizens in their communities, in Pembrokeshire and in the world.