Transition to Secondary School
This can be a tricky time at the best of times but with the current circumstances, transition is proving even more difficult at the moment.
Don’t worry, we have 5 top tips to support transition as well as an incredible event led by primary and secondary teachers that you can get involved in!
So here are 5 things you can do to help your year 6 youngster right now!
This year has been particularly challenging for everyone. There is a massive amount of uncertainty for parents and children about how the next big steps are going to be managed for year 6. Schools have been told that they are not to bring the year 7 cohort in until September at the earliest, so for many children and parents the High School is a dark looming unknown prospect. No-one has had a school familiarisation visit, it is unlikely schools will be opening in the summer for transition activities they would have run in previous years. It’s really hard not to feel helpless in the situation, so here we are offering you 5 practical strategies that you can apply right now, to support your child.
1. Talk about the process with your youngster. Try to use open questions to see how they feel about moving to High School. Don’t presume you know how they feel – you could be worrying on their behalf! Equally, if your child is anxious about it, don’t dismiss those worries, use them as a springboard to delve deeper, to problem solve and check out the reality of their concerns. There are plenty of free resources out there that can support this conversation – this resource is totally free to download, and offers a structure to help you talk to your youngster about transition. https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t3-p-191-secondary-ks2-to-ks3-transition-resource-packet
2. Get on the school website to get yourself informed. Many schools are updating their websites with opportunities to have a virtual visit, welcome videos, transition learning packs, names and contact details of the transition leader in school, and policies. Spend some time looking through the school website to help allay any concerns your child might have, and don’t be afraid to phone or e mail the school if you have any burning questions.
3. Check out whether you need to start gathering supplies. Some schools are asking for full uniform, others are not because they want to see that children’s clothes have been laundered every day. Some schools will want you to get them kitted out, others will be providing equipment to stop children bringing in things from home. It’s best to know what your High School wants before you start buying kit!
If your school asks for your child to be fully kitted out you need to be prepared. Transition to High School is often a costly business, so start planning ahead about the things they will need. They will need for instance a Scientific calculator, Maths set, PE items and so on. Don’t forget to name EVERYTHING! Year 7 students can (and do) lose stuff when they go into school and I mean EVERYTHING – from pens to underpants, go figure. Give yourself a chance of reuniting them with their stuff, and make sure that your child knows where the Lost Property Office (or ‘Lost Properly Office’) in school is.
4. What if they are worried about making friends? This is a biggie for many parents, particularly if they are not travelling with known friends from primary. Again, talk about it with them. The chances are they will find someone who they will get on with, there are more youngsters to choose from! However, if you feel your child might struggle with the social aspects of school there is plenty you can do to support their social skills. These are all free and offer a good starting point: https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-s-2546937-ks2-recipe-for-a-good-friend-activity-sheet https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-c-255090-friendship-problem-scenario-and-questions-activity-sheet https://www.twinkl.co.uk/resource/t-t-3643-how-to-be-a-good-friend-cards
You can also discuss the matter with your high school lead if you think this might be difficult for your child. Typically, high schools will group children with no immediate relationships from primary with others in the same boat, or make special buddying type arrangements to support children. High Schools are just as concerned that children settle in well and are
supported if they are going to find the social aspect of school trickier to manage. Don’t be afraid to discuss this with school if this applies to your youngster.
5. And finally, your youngster is looking to you for guidance and will be following what you say and do very carefully. Always communicate that they are going to make a great start to High School, that you are excited for them, and you expect them to settle and enjoy it. Henry Ford once said, ‘Whether you believe you can or not, you’re right.’ This applies to your youngster, so always be careful to model a positive attitude about their capabilities on managing this big change. I can tell you with confidence that children do make this transition, and before you know it, you’ll have a sulky non-communicative teenager on your hands! Good luck with all that.
If you would like to learn more about transition, you may also find the following events useful:
If you would like to get in touch for a chat about your youngster, we are just a click or call away: