From Primary to Secondary School - Making that Transition

August 20, 2015

Primary to Secondary School: Making the Transition

transition from primary to secondary school - guide for parents

1. From eldest to youngest 
The first big change for children starting secondary school is the fact they were used to being the eldest group. In primary school they were the students with most responsibility, who led the way.

Now they are facing into being the least senior in the building.  

2. New faces and unfamiliar surroundings
Your child will have grown comfortable in their previous school as they had years of being in familiar surroundings and got to know the school’s workings.

The physical environment of the new school – i.e. finding their way around it – is likely to prove an early challenge for your child.

3. Subject and teacher changes
In primary school your child would have been in the same classroom virtually all year. In secondary school, they will be given a detailed timetable with a variety of teachers and subjects each day.

They need to get used to moving around and it may take them a while to get their bearings.

4. New subjects
A further situation for your child to acclimatise to is the number of new subjects they will undertake.

Primary school is relatively straightforward with its small range of subjects. Secondary school differs greatly by offering new subjects that your child won’t have studied, a diversity of learning, and an increased workload (both in school and at home). You should discuss all of these aspects with your child before they begin Year 7.


5.  Bags and books

transition from primary to secondary school - schoolbags and schoolbooks

This may seem a basic, straightforward change, but there will be a big difference in your child’s school-bag when they start secondary school.

Their bag will be much heavier as they will require additional books. They will also need to pack their schoolbag each day according to their timetable; they need to become more organised and responsible.


6. Homework 
The level of homework your child receives will increase considerably in secondary school, and this may be something you need to help your child with.

They may be overwhelmed at first, but once they get used to managing their time effectively, completing their homework will become more manageable.

7. Extracurricular activities
As your child makes the move to secondary school, they will have the chance to develop the social side of their lives and learn new sports and hobbies. There is likely to be a good range of extra-curricular activities for your child to choose from, meaning Year 7 onwards is a great time for your child to develop their personality.

Extracurricular activities are a great way for your child to get to know other children and develop their social circles.

8. Increased independence
Secondary school is a wonderful time for children to start building their independence. Its very structure requires children to be more accountable, e.g. by following their timetables and completing their homework, making this is a great time for development.  

Moreover, it’s a good idea for parents to encourage their child’s newfound maturity by giving them additional responsibility and freedom – once they’ve made the transition successfully.

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