The transition from Primary to Secondary school is an exciting milestone with plenty of new opportunities, new friendships and new surroundings. However, as we all know, change can be daunting and may cause worry or anxiety. Every child is different academically, socially and emotionally, however these tips should prepare students for the change ahead and help to smooth the transition.
Establishing new friendships is an important part of a new school, which may be out of your child’s comfort zone. Before the school year starts, we would recommend children try a new activity or join a new club, to help to build resilience and practice their communication skills.
Attending school open days will allow your child to meet other students who will be starting at the same time and familiarise them with their new environment.
Children will become more independent at secondary school, but they may need some initial support managing their schedule and deadlines. Leading up to the transition, it is worth introducing some opportunities that give your child responsibility like taking the dog for a walk.
Children will need good organisation and time management skills at secondary school. Introducing checklists and homework calendars is a great way to monitor deadlines and ensure they are being met. Encouraging good organisation, such as preparing your school bag the night before, will make the school day run more smoothly.
Communication with your child and their school is important. Talk to your child regularly about how they are feeling about school, the aspects they are excited about and the things that they may feel nervous about. Engaging with your child about school life and keeping informed with what is happening at school, such as key dates, exam periods and curriculum, will help them to get the most out of school.
Introduce yourself to their form tutor so that you can contact them if you do have any concerns. Your child will have a strong network of teachers and peers who are there to support them on a day-to-day basis. Remind your child that they can ask for help or talk to someone they trust at school.
Travelling to school is often a new aspect to the daily routine for secondary aged students. Involve your child in how they will be getting to school, and the safest way to do this. It’s a great idea to complete a few trial runs in advance of the school term, to ensure that your child is comfortable with their route and timings.
At secondary school, the range of subjects is wider and more diverse, so it’s useful to familiarise yourself with the school’s curriculum. If academics is something that your child is concerned about, preparation is key. Online resources such as BBC Bitesize or tutoring programmes will provide a foundation for Key Stage 3 curriculum and a strong start in September.
It’s an adventure full of excitement and opportunities that you and your child will embark on. We hope these tips help to smooth the transition and ultimately, preparation is key. We wish you all the best of luck.