Tackling Transition in Psychology

  • Date: 2 May 2012
  • Start Time: 05:45 pm
  • Location/venue: School of Psychology, Bangor University, North Wales, LL57 2AS


17:45 - 20:15

A FREE joint event from HEA, National Science Learning Centre and Bangor University.

Making the transition from sixth form at school or college into university education can be challenging for students.  Evidence from good practice across the United Kingdom suggests that collaboration between pre-tertiary and academic departments can be of benefit to students, and also has advantages for teachers in both sectors. 

This workshop will give you opportunities to network with individuals from both parts of the psychology education system, and to explore ways in which we can work together to "tackle transition". 


To facilitate collaboration between individuals teaching psychology in schools and colleges and those in academic psychology departments.


5.45 - 6.00       Arrival and registration, with wine and cheese
6.00 – 7.00      Interactive talks and group discussions, including thought pieces from the panel

Refreshments available

7.00 – 8.00      Feedback, reflection and forward planning
8.00 - 8.15       Closing remarks and refreshments

The panel will include:

• Dr Janet De Wilde and Dr Julie Hulme from the Higher Education Academy;
• Dr Jeremy Airey from the National Science Learning Centre;
• Leanne McLean-Jones from Ysgol Friars
• Dr Fay Short and Dr Tracey Lloyd from Bangor University (Tracey also represents BPS Wales).

Don't forget to apply to HEA for help with your travel and accommodation expenses! http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/travel-fund

Please refer to the Bangor University website for further information, in Welsh and English.

Please note that bookings and registrations for this event will be conducted in English.  Some of the materials available on the evening of the event will be available bilingually in both Welsh and English.  However, all discussions will necessarily be conducted in English, as our speakers and some of our delegates are non-Welsh speaking.  Due to the extensive use of group discussions, it will unfortunately not be possible to offer Welsh translation at this event.  If you have further enquiries about this, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Julie, or if you would prefer to communicate in Welsh, please email our Welsh office on wales@heacademy.ac.uk.

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Post event information

An enthusiastic gathering of school, college and university Psychology teachers and academics attended this event, which took place in the Psychology department at Bangor University, and was organised in partnership by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the NSLC.  The aim of the evening was to move forward in finding new ways of working together in partnership across the sectors, to keep student transition needs at the forefront of our thinking.

The evening started with talks from Simon Watts, Deputy Head of School for Teaching, of the School of Psychology at Bangor University, Jeremy Airey, Co-Head of Programme at the National Science Learning Centre, and Julie Hulme, Discipline Lead for Psychology at the Higher Education Academy.  All of the speakers provided a clear lead on the importance of transition for psychology students, and emphasised the need to work in partnership.  However, all of the talks were kept brief and to the point, and plenty of opportunity was given for delegates to discuss, debate and explore their own ideas and good practice around “tackling transition”.  Discussions were focussed initially around a briefing paper outlining some of the possible issues that exist around transition, and then around some table cards outlining some examples of existing practice from across the UK.  It was especially helpful to have extra insight into the transition experience from three Psychology undergraduates from Bangor University, who helped teachers from both pre-University and University backgrounds to understand why it is so important to support students prior to starting and during their University studies.

After a delicious buffet including an opportunity to sample lots of examples of local produce, we all returned to work.  A summary of initial discussions from a teacher’s perspective was provided by Leanne McLean-Jones from Ysgol Friars Co-educational Comprehensive, and from an academic’s perspective by Fay Short, Lecturer in Psychology at Bangor University.   Emerging key themes seemed to focus on issues such as developing student skills, and the need for ‘open doors’ and collaboration between institutions, with comments also made about carefully managing expectations. 

Each delegate then completed a “pledge postcard”, outlining their commitment to working in partnership to proactively “tackle transition”.  Ideas ranged from research into the transition experience from a student perspective, to attending each others’ classes and lecturers giving talks in pre-university institutions, and to sharing typical examples of assessment across the sectors.  HEA and NSLC jointly committed to collaborating on more events around the UK, and to continuing to work as a ‘voice’ for transition issues at all levels.  The postcards were displayed on a wall, and will be posted back to delegates in a few weeks to request a progress update.

Proceedings were summarised in turn by Julie, Simon and Jeremy, and delegates were thanked for their enthusiastic and thoughtful contributions.  The team were all delighted to see so much positivity and a real commitment to partnership working.  We are all looking forward to hearing how those partnerships progress, and to seeing a real impact on students’ transitions into university.