Is your child in Year 6? Then after a turbulent school year, they are soon going to have to be ready for another big upheaval as they leave primary school and head on up to secondary. And as much as it is a big change for them, it is also a big change for you as parents too. Your baby is now pre-teen and getting ready for the next stage of their life. This can be daunting for them. They might not be going to the same school as their friends, so need to make new friends. This can be difficult with Covid restrictions in place. There are some little changes that you can make to help your child transition to secondary school.

A classroom with chairs and individual tables
The transition to secondary school can be scary, but there are things you can do to help

How To Help Your Child Transition To Secondary School

Prepare Them (and yourself) Emotionally

They have been through such a lot over the past year with Home Ed and Covid. So they need to be ready for another completely different change that is coming. Ask your child how they feel about the new change that is coming. This gives them a chance to express their feelings. Tell them that they will probably go to a different school than their friends, but they will make new friends as soon as they start their new school. If you have an older child that goes to secondary school, get them to have a chat with your child. They are more likely to open up to a sibling, than a parent.

Help to build their confidence and encourage them to make the first move at finding new friends. The more confident that they are, the happier they will be. It is hard letting a child go off to a new stage in their life. And when they start secondary, it often means huge changes like walking to school on their own or with friends. This is going to be difficult for you as a parent. So take up a new hobby to keep you busy those first few weeks. Or arrange to meet friends for a shopping trip to take your mind off it.

Encourage Your Child To Be Organised

In primary school all they take to school is a little book bag with a reading book and maybe some spellings. But in secondary school they have to take a lot more than that. They need to be organised and remember what books to take to which lessons. Having a copy of their timetable stuck on the wall at home will help them to get more organised. In the first few weeks you can help them to put the correct books in their bag.

Help Them Learn The School Route

If they are walking to school, they need to practice the route for a few days before the start of term. Walk with them for the first time, then follow behind them when they walk the next day. Soon they will be able to do the route on their own. If they are getting the bus, get them a bus pass or show them how to use cash on the bus. Take the bus with them a few times and then let them get it themselves.

The School Uniform

The school uniform is going to be more difficult and stricter, you will need to teach them how to do a tie. As well as follow the rules on school uniforms. If you buy a school uniform a bit bigger, then don't worry, you won't be the only parent to do this.

Talk About The Difference In School Work

There will be a huge increase in the amount of school work that they are not used to doing. They will also need to do a lot of homework, compared to what they were doing in primary school. They won't be staying in one classroom in their new school, they will be moving around to different lessons. This can be a huge worry for some kids. But they will son make friends that they meet for each lesson. Try to get them into a routine, where they come home and do their homework straight away, whilst it is fresh in their mind.

The Right Equipment

Be sure that they have the right equipment for the school. The school will give you a list of what you need to buy. Take your child shopping with you, so they buy things that they want too. Nobody wants to be the odd one out without the right equipment. Whether it's pens, paints, or a calculator. If you buy a second-hand uniform, make sure it is the correct one. Schools often change their uniform and although the changes might be minimal, it will still be noticeable and your child might be singled out.

Reassure Your Child That It Will Be Okay

For all children, the change from a small primary school to a huge secondary school is going to be immense. The school is going to be 3 or 4 times bigger than the primary school, but hopefully, you will be able to take a visit before the new term starts. If your child is anxious, speak to the school and see if they can help to keep an eye out. On the school website, there is usually a section, where you can go online and take a virtual visit to the school. And some schools offer a summer school to help the new year 7's to navigate the school and meet the teachers. Normally when a child is in year 6, they get a chance to go to secondary school for a few hours a week. But sadly this isn't likely to happen this year due to Covid.

Encourage your child to speak about their feelings. If they are worried about anything, it is easier to solve the problem if you know too. You can offer advice that they might not have thought about.

It Will All Be Okay

It will all be okay, it is worrying for you to see your child go into the next stage of their life. when it seems like such a big step. They are getting more independent and in the blink of an eye, they have gone from Reception class to secondary school. But you know what? You are an awesome parent for even looking on here for advice to help your child with the transition to secondary school. You are a winning parent for being there with them and helping them on their new adventure. You are winning at parenting! Good luck.

Post by Vicky, Mum of 4