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Guide to Transferring to Secondary School

Make transferring to secondary school as happy as possible

Transferring to secondary school can be a time of mixed emotions. Everything is so different. Pupils change from being 'a big fish in a little pond' to a one of the little ones in a much bigger environment. They are surrounded by many new faces and need to find their way around a new building. Instead of having one teacher, they have lots of new ones. There is a great deal to take in, all at once.

Here is some advice which may help your child to have a happy transition to secondary school.

  1. Your child should not expect to understand everything straight away. It will take time to get into the new routines. You should explain that if he or she should not be afraid asks questions to clarify understanding.
  2. Every school has rules. Whether children agree with them or not it is much better to keep to them. Impress upon your child that rules are there so that pupils understand what is expected of them and it is just not worth getting into trouble.
  3. Your child will have homework, possibly for the first time. Homework is an essential part of your child's education, helping to establish independent study skills. Encourage your child to take assignments seriously by allowing adequate time for completion and working without distractions. See our Homework Guide.
  4. Remind your child that if someone is making their school life miserable to tell you or a teacher, even if they have been warned not to tell. It is his or her entitlement to attend school without being threatened and action must be taken to stop bullying.
  5. Encourage your child to be supportive of classmates. Some may be having problems. Ignoring others or calling names can be very hurtful. However, being a good friend does not mean doing work for them.
  6. Discuss your child's choice of friends. Sometimes children feel pressured into doing things they know are wrong because their 'friends' tell them to. Under such circumstances they may need support to find more appropriate friends.
  7. Your child will be fortunate if he or she gets on with all the teachers. Remind your child that the teachers are there for his or her benefit and to try not to give them a hard time. Encourage your child to discuss with you any problems with a particular teacher.
  8. A good way to meet new friends with similar interests is by joining a school club. Suggest that your child explores the options available.
  9. Be supportive at exam times. Your child will be having yearly exams based on the year's work. Talk about these and the fact that there is no need to worry. With good notes and adequate revision time all should be well. Pupils who read over their notes only the night before an exam rarely perform to their potential. Establishing good exam techniques will stand your child in good stead for GCSE's.
  10. Lastly encourage your child to relax and think positive. With caring support you can help to make the transition a happy period.