Leaving their cosy primary school to start secondary school is a huge milestone for your child. It’s normal to worry about how they’ll cope, but there are things you can do to help the transition go smoothly.
Start developing their confidence in Year 6
In the final term of primary school, get them to:
- Pack their own bag (ideally the night before). They’ll have to remember their PE kit, packed lunch and homework, etc.
- Walk to and from school, or to an agreed place, if the full distance is too far.
- Create a homework schedule so they’re prepared to cope with increased homework at secondary school.
Help your child feel confident with their new routine
- Practise their journey to school. Make sure they know what to do if they miss their bus.
Encourage them to display their timetable prominently at home somewhere.
If induction visits to the school are offered, be sure to accept. These days should help them feel excited about starting secondary.
Get them to try their uniform on a couple of times — especially if they’re learning to tie a tie for the first time. They’ll need to be quick at changing for PE too.
If they’re going to be letting themselves in when they get home, get them to practise using their keys.
Think about how to stop them forgetting or losing their key — attaching it to the inside of their bag with a long string is one method of making sure they always have it.
Remind them of the importance of making sensible food choices at lunch times.
Ensure they have a suitable place at home to do their homework and store their books.
Make sure your child has a suitable school bag. They’ll have to carry heavy books and sports kit to school and back — and possibly around with them all day. If they’re offered a locker, they’ll probably be expected to pay a fee, and maybe even provide their own padlock.
Their primary school will help too
Primary school teachers will talk to the children about any worries they might have and give them strategies for coping with problems. Your child’s teacher will pass on relevant information to the secondary school about your child before they start there.
A giant leap for your child (and for you)...
Remember, although it can be a worrying time, it’s also an exciting time. Secondary schools offer lots more opportunities for children to broaden their horizons, experience new things and widen their circle of friends.