Home > Secondary Schools > Helping Your Child Make the Transition to Secondary School

Helping Your Child Make the Transition to Secondary School

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 26 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Secondary School Journey Train

Starting a new school is always difficult, but starting a secondary school that may be 10 times bigger than your child’s former primary school can be daunting. Some children start Year 7 with a large group of friends they already know. Others aren’t so lucky.

Often, the summer before Year 7 is a frightening time, filled with fears about secondary school and what new terrors could be waiting just around the corner.

Parents can help alleviate those fears by making the unknown known, and acclimatising the child as much as possible to what really should be a new, fun-filled adventure, one that should be looked forward to eagerly.

Potential Worries

Every child is different, and every child has his or her own worries about starting a new school. Knowing what their concerns could be can help you address them better. Here are some of the most common fears:

  • Making new friends
  • Being bullied
  • Getting lost in school
  • Getting lost on the journey to school or losing their busy money and not being able to get back
  • Not being able to keep up with a large amount of homework
  • Falling behind academically
  • Coping with a lot of different teachers and potentially confusing timetables

Learn the Route

For many children – and many parents – the scariest thing about starting a new school is the journey there and back. For children who have never walked alone anywhere before, having to travel by themselves – often on public transport – can be pretty frightening.

Parents can make their child’s journey easier by staging several trial runs before school starts. Accompany your child on the bus, the Tube or the train, and let them know how easy it can be. If you can find children making the same route, more than half the battle is won.

You might also want to think about what they’ll do if the train doesn't turn up, or if there’s a Tube strike. Help your child plan an alternative route just in case.

Making New Friends

Many children move up to secondary school with friends they already know; others will be starting on their own. Making an effort to meet a few pupils in who live in your neighbourhood beforehand can make all the difference.

If your child is going to a school in another catchment area, finding friends may be difficult. Ask the school secretary if they can contact pupils who live closest to you for you, and pass on your telephone number.

Attending any open days or school get-togethers beforehand can also have a positive effect. You might also consider enrolling your son or daughter in an activity located near the school, both to meet new people and help build their confidence when it comes to meeting new faces.

Putting New Routines in Place

It’s never too early to start putting new routines in place. Look online for a school timetable and help your child get accustomed to it. Set aside a proper homework area, and help your child get used to the idea of regular homework. You may even want to start doing an hour a day of revision before the term begins.

This can also be an appropriate time to discuss what is expected of your child, now that he or she is in “big school”. Will you expect them to come home directly from school? Will they be given their own mobile phone? What about a curfew, and dating?

For many children, starting secondary school is the first time they have a chance to really exercise their independence. While you want them to grow up into independent thinkers, exercise a bit of caution and don’t let them go overboard. Now might be a good time to discuss smoking/drinking and sex.

Fears Are Normal

Some kids feel alone when they leave primary school, and think they are the only people in the world feeling anxiety about embarking on something new. Tell your child that this step is just one of many similar steps they’ll take in their lifetime, from starting university to starting new jobs and moving to new cities.

Moving up to secondary school is a big step, and it’s normal for children to feel a bit fearful. Make sure the doors of communication remain open, and don’t dismiss their fears, no matter how trivial they might seem to you. A problem shared really is a problem halved.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I want to move my son who is year 9 in catholic school Dagenham the risen is because his not happy and always in trouble
V - 26-Sep-16 @ 7:04 PM
Am actually not going to comment but i would like to get a busary at ur school bcz i lost the person that waz paying my school fees and i wl'd like to continue with my studies please help mi and my sister bcoz we no hope of studying again
Kyle ama - 5-Jan-16 @ 7:23 AM
This is awsome thx very much very helpful
Marley - 22-Mar-15 @ 8:10 AM
@comphie - glad you find it useful.
GetTheRightSchool - 27-Oct-14 @ 12:12 PM
This is a very good and helpful idea, WELLDONE
comphie - 25-Oct-14 @ 9:49 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Kata
    Re: What is an Academy?
    I would like to find a school for sport or car mechanic, we currently live in london for 1 month, my son is 15 years old, doesn't speak…
    24 April 2019
  • Atirem
    Re: What to Include in an Appeal
    All help or advise needed before my appeal please?My daughter has been refused a place from the nursery that she goes now! She’s…
    23 April 2019
  • Murray
    Re: What is Flexi-schooling?
    I find it really hard to take an article seriously when it talks of what’s fair and unfair as a negative for how you school your child!…
    17 April 2019
  • Marie
    Re: What to Include in an Appeal
    All advice and help needed before my appeal pls?? My son AC has been refused a place at our first choice school, also a feeder…
    16 April 2019
  • Desperate mom
    Re: Home to School Transport: Lodging an Appeal
    Hi My eldest is at the catchment school but my younger son is due to start in September. Due to the new…
    15 April 2019
  • Laura at ITV News
    Re: Waiting Lists for School
    Hello My name is Laura, I work at ITV News - we are hoping to interview a London-based family for Lunchtime News (16/04/19) tomorrow…
    15 April 2019
  • n/a
    Re: Get a Place at Grammar School
    Iwould like to know the passing mark in the 11 plus. Because ma daughters y5 teacher said it 120 but the teacher assistant said…
    11 April 2019
  • Maj
    Re: Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School
    I am planning to come to study to London with my 3 children , 4 yrs, 9 yrs and 11 yrs. I would like to know about…
    11 April 2019
  • Dell
    Re: Placing a Foreign Student in a UK School
    My brother wants to migrate to uk n his son is answering class 10th exams can he enrol his son in uk high…
    9 April 2019
  • Lainey
    Re: Rules and Regulations Surrounding School Trips
    My daughter is going on a school trip to Pompeii. They are due to arrive home at 2.30am and expected to be…
    6 April 2019