The 10 top things children I have worked with about transition say they are most worried about when moving to Secondary School are:
- Being bullied or picked on
- Making new friends
- Too much homework
- Getting to school on time
- Teachers that are too strict
- Work that is too hard
- Too many (new) subjects
- Getting lost in the building
- Losing things
- Having to carry everything around all the time
You might ask your child to say which of these, if any, they have concerns about.
So to help them here are some suggestions
1. Encourage then to join (or start!) interest related clubs, teams and groups.
2. Encourage/help organise events where people can bring their own friends e.g. a visit to a concert or a football match.
3. Let them travel to school themselves – they’ll meet up with people in the area that way.
4. Encourage them to have friends – invite people over, allow friends to come on outings with you – friends stick up for each other.
5. Encourage your child to stick up for themselves – do it yourself and show them how.
6. If they don’t do something -don’t do it for them!
7. Provide an organiser or chart for them once they start their new school. Put it in a shared area of the house. Go over it with them daily – this helps to get them to talk about school too.
8. Practice the journey to school with them beforehand so they can accurately time it and feel confident in the journey. Don’t take them by car – they’ll make new friends on the journey.
9. Buy them a state of the art alarm clock!
10. Celebrate going to a new school with them – get friends and neighbours to send congratulations cards over the holidays.
Finally – collect bits and pieces from their Primary days, photos, work, certificates, fliers etc. and sit together with all the family to make a lovely album. Close it!
Remember they’ll always be your child