Primary to secondary

Maya Driver

Kids across the country this September will be making the transition from being a big fish in a small pond to being a tiddler swimming a vast lake. Moving up from primary to secondary school can be a nerve-wracking and exciting experience for children and their parents. So many things will be different at secondary school from schoolwork to friends and even the journey to school. There are a few things parents can do to help their child prepare for life at secondary school.

Similar to when children start primary school, it is still helpful at secondary level to visit the new school before term starts (this will probably happen at open days anyway but it's good to familiarise yourself and your child with the school as much as possible). This way the sheer size of their new school will not seem so daunting. Also looking at textbooks that will be used in class is a good idea. If your child is moving to a completely different school with none of their old friends, try to make sure they keep in touch - but not so much that they do not make new friends. Encouraging your child to join sports teams or other clubs at their new school can be a great way for them to make new friends and feel a sense of belonging.

Secondary education will involve a great deal more work than primary did. You can help your child adjust to this change by working out study schedules with them, ensuring they have a desk and quiet area to do their homework in and encouraging them to switch off the TV in the evenings and get some work done.

Help your child to get excited about starting secondary school by going shopping together for stationary, school books and new uniforms. Most importantly, talk to your child about how they feel. Ask them questions about their new school and what they miss about their old school and this way you'll be able to pick up on any problems that may arise.