Getting Ready for Grade 8 course helps elementary school students make the jump to high school

At 8:15 AM this morning, while tens of thousands of BC students are slumbering, Becky and a class full of Grade 7 graduates are getting a crash course on what to expect once they leave elementary school and transition into secondary school!

Becky is one of 74 students who are enrolled in Tecumseh Elementary School's "Getting Ready for Grade 8" course. Taught by Tom Larson, the course is designed to help students prepare for the academic and social challenges of transitioning to secondary school.  

Larson's curriculum takes students through math, literature and presentation exercises. Earlier in the week, his class was practicing giving speeches to each other. Topics ranged from "why bees are important" to "human rights records around the world". In addition to previewing traditional academic topics, students are given tips on personal planning, dealing with peer pressure and understanding the difference between "good friends and popular people".

Administrators say one of the highlights of Larson's course is its mentorship program, which engages Grade 10 students to share their knowledge and answer questions about what to expect in the coming year.  A great deal of apprehension is quickly alleviated with this peer to peer approach.

Once the school year starts, Becky says she will be heading to Gladstone Secondary School. She said she's excited and not afraid in the slightest of this brave new world. Part of the reason might be because she won't be heading there alone. In addition to a good number of her friends, she'll be arriving with a solid understanding of what to expect and how to manage difficult situations. Talk about hitting the ground running.  

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