Going up to 'big school'

If your child is going up to ‘big school’ this autumn, you’re probably feeling a little nervous.

That’s only to be expected. Going from primary to secondary feels like a big step, and they’ll no longer be big fish in a little pond.

But there really is nothing to worry about, and by following these simple tips you can help your child adjust quickly.

Take a look…

Handy tips

1. Get them kitted out

Getting children kitted out for secondary school with uniform, pens, pencils, PE kit and so on can help them feel more confident and excited about going up.

You might even qualify for help with costs – check out this recent article about the Pupil Development Grant 👇👇👇

Get help with the cost of school uniforms and more now open for 2021

2. Help them get their bearings

Transition days – where children from Year 6 get to visit their new secondary school – were cancelled in most places this year due to coronavirus.

It’s no substitute for a transition day, but you might be able to help them get their bearings by walking or driving past their new school so they can see where it is?

And if they’re catching the bus, maybe show them where to get on and off. It might help them feel more confident on the first day of term.

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3. Talk to older kids

If you know a child who already attends your new secondary school, ask them to talk to your child and reassure them a bit.

It can also help your child if they feel like they know someone older at the school – especially if they don’t have bothers and sisters there.

But choose wisely! Sometimes older children like to make secondary school sound big and scary…so make sure you choose someone who isn’t going to frighten them!

4. Take a look at your school’s social media

Most schools have social media accounts – mainly Twitter and Facebook pages.

They might not be as busy as usual over the summer holidays, but they can still be a good way to get a feel for life at the school.

Maybe take a look with your child and follow the accounts.

5. Prepare them for homework

Although kids get homework in primary school, they’ll probably get more in secondary…and will need to get used to putting aside time each week.

It’s not easy to drum up enthusiasm for homework! But try just dropping it into conversation here and there…so they realise it’ll be part of their day-to-day routine.

And try to make sure they have a space where they’ll be able to do their work (e.g. somewhere quiet and a table or desk to work at).

6. Don’t make it feel like a big deal

Too much talk about secondary school could make it feel like a really big deal, and might them more anxious. So there’s probably a balance to strike.

Try to get them feeling enthusiastic and confident, without making the transition to secondary school feel like a massive life event (even though it probably is!).

Some nerves are only to be expected, but hopefully they’ll end up looking forward to September with excitement! 😊

Enjoy the adventure!

El is a Year 8 pupil at a Wrexham school. She says:

“I remember my first day at secondary. I was nervous when I walked up to the gates and felt so small compared to the older kids!

“But as soon as I went through the gates, the nerves turned to excitement and it was really good fun getting to know my new classmates and teachers.

“The school seemed big at first, but you soon find your way around. The teachers know that everything is new when you’re a Year 7, and they give you lots of help.

“Going up to secondary school is an adventure and something to look forward to.”


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