How can I prepare my Year 6 child for their transition to secondary school?

Now that many Year 6 pupils are back in school teachers will be supporting pupils with their transition to secondary school. This is the time of year when pupils would normally visit their secondary school. However, due to the current situation this will not be possible.

So, what might schools be doing instead to support Year 6 pupils?

Some schools have started ‘virtual transition’ programmes. This involves things like providing a virtual tour of the secondary school. Some schools have organised for Year 6 pupils to post questions to pupils who are already in Year 7 so that they can share their experiences of moving to secondary school. Year 6 teachers will be in the process of passing information on to your child’s new secondary school so that they know about them before they start in September.

What can I do to support and reassure my child?

Many secondary schools have a ‘transition’ page on their website to provide lots of helpful information for pupils and their parents/carers about the transition to secondary school, so it is worth looking on their website. You can do this together with your child.

Ask your child how they feel about the move to secondary school. They might be worried about getting lost or making new friends. If they are worried about getting lost you might be able to find a map of the school on the school’s website which you can look at together with your child. Reassure them that there will be someone they can talk to at their new school if they have any worries. This will normally be their form tutor or a pastoral leader. They can also talk to you. Tell them that it is normal for them to feel both excited and worried. Although this is a change some things will stay the same. Talk to them about when they might have had to deal with change in their lives in the past e.g. moving classes in primary school or moving to a new house in a new area and how well they dealt with this change.

Where can I get further support and advice?

If you are concerned about your child’s transition to secondary school contact your child’s school in the first instance. You can also contact StarLine to talk to one of our specialists.

The Anna Freud centre provides advice about transition periods in children’s lives:

https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/risks-and-protective-factors/school-based-risk-factors/transitions/#

The Mental Health Foundation provides advice and guidance for parents and pupils about moving to secondary school:

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/learning-disabilities/our-work/employment-education/moving-on-to-secondary-school

Place2Be provide some guidance on their website about getting ready to start secondary school:

https://www.place2be.org.uk/our-services/parents-and-carers/getting-ready-to-start-secondary-or-high-school/

 

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