As I will be starting Secondary School in September, Mum and I have been doing quite a lot of research on the transition from Primary School to Secondary School. Mum is doing all she can (and more!) to make my transition as easy and smooth as possible. A couple of years ago she interviewed Parenting Expert; Sue Atkins for Vivacious Mum – you can read it here.
Here are Sue Atkins’ Top Tips for Kids:
1. Make sure you are organised- then life for everyone is much easier.
2. Never be afraid to ask for help, or talk to someone you trust, like your mum or dad, or tutor.
3. Always make the first effort to make new friends- it helps you move through change easier, as everyone is in the same boat.
4. First impressions last a long time, so make sure yours are good ones – for organisation, presentation, and behaviour! This is your chance to make a fresh start- embrace it and make the most of all the new opportunities. Try out clubs and activities. You will make new friends.
Here is some advice we found on NetMums:
Are you nervous or excited about starting school? Probably a bit of both! In some ways it’s a bit like starting in reception again – the other students will be older and know what’s going on, while you have it all to learn. The good thing is that everyone in your class will be feeling the same way, and all the teachers know that you are new, so they will make it as easy as possible for you too.
You might find it helpful to think through whether you have everything you need for the first day. You could pack your pencil case and put it in your new bag. Are you going to buy lunch or take a packed lunch with you? If you need to take money to school for lunch, do you have a purse or wallet? If you will have a locker, have you got a padlock and how will you make sure you don’t lose the key?
Then think about how you will get to school. Are you happy for your mum to take you if she can, or would you rather go with a friend? If you are going by bus, you might want to try out the route so you’re really confident about getting there on time.
In fact, secondary school’s generally start earlier than primary schools – will you need to get up earlier? What will you have for breakfast in the mornings?! And what about washing! Now you’re more grown up, you might want to have a bath or shower each day – or you friends might want you to even if you’re not so sure 😉 Will you fit that in in the morning as well, or just before bedtime?
If you’re worried about making friends at your new school the main thing to try and remember is that everyone will be in the same boat. They might not look it, but even the most confident people will be feeling just like you on that first day at school, so don’t feel shy or scared. Here are some important things to remember as you settle in to your new school:
- When you get to school look around you. Think how everyone else is feeling…. Are there some loud boys and girls talking excitedly? Are they the sort of people you’d like to be friends with? Are there some people who are quiet? Would they make better friends?
- As you go through the first days and weeks you will get to know the people you sit next to. If you’re feeling a bit lonely though, try to spot others in the class who are a bit quieter – they are probably feeling worse than you!
- So how do you make a new friend? See if you can make an effort to walk out of a classroom at the same time as them and make a couple of comments. ‘Cor it’s hard to keep up with all this writing, do you manage alright?’ or ”I’m starving now! can’t wait for lunch – do you have packed lunch too?’ So start with a comment and then ask a question – or tell them a joke!
The next day do the same, or sit by them in the playground, and gradually you’ll build up a friendship.
- ‘Eye contact’ is where you look at people’s eyes as you talk to them – not staring of course, but just looking into their face. It’s a very friendly thing to do, but also quite difficult if you’re feeling a bit shy. Try really hard to do this when you talk to people and they will find it easier to talk back.
- Never feel you have to be part of the ‘in crowd’. If you’re happier in small groups of just one or two others, that’s fine. Remember that with friendships quality is much, much better than quantity!
- There will be plenty of opportunities to make friends at your new school – it’s not just about having friends in your class. Strike up conversation with someone as you wait for the school bus together, or join an after-school activity, such as the football team or music club.
- Remember that you can’t – and wouldn’t want to – be friends with everyone. A true friend is a friend for life so don’t try to force friendships. True friendships happen naturally and don’t require you to ‘change’ your character or opinions to fit in with that person.
Found advice on ‘Essentials For When Your Child Starts Secondary School‘ on What to do with the kids:
Starting secondary school is one of the biggest events in our lives and it’s a nerve-racking time for both children and parents. We can all at least vaguely remember the apprehension that we felt as we made that step away from our cosy childhoods, soon to become a teenager. But there are ways that you can prepare yourself and your child for this big moment and help them and you feel more comfortable with the major changes and challenges ahead.
So whether it’s making sure your child has the correct uniform to helping you compare broadband deals to help your child’s homework, we’ve come up with a list of five essentials to consider when your child starts secondary school.
The correct school uniform
We all remember the delights of school uniform but it’s important to make sure you’ve got everything on your child’s school uniform list. The school will provide you with a list or you can probably access it on the school’s website. Remember that the list will include things like correctly coloured shoes and socks, as well as PE kit and even PE gear such as hockey sticks or shin pads. Buying school uniform can be very expensive so remember to check if the school has a second-hand sale. Make sure you buy uniform at the start of the summer as it can often sell out quickly, but leave buying shoes until as late as possible in case the little darlings’ shoe sizes change over the summer!
Get them prepared for homework
Probably the biggest change between primary and secondary school is homework. But you can help out by equipping your child for the modern age of homework with a cheap laptop and good home broadband connection. Not only will this help them access all the information they will need but it will also make the prospect of homework a little more exciting with a new computer and fast internet connection. Make sure you compare broadband deals to get the best for you and your family.
Get all the essential stationary they need
Your child’s new school will give probably give you a list of required stationary that will include pens, pencils, compasses, a ruler and protractor. Often this will include a scientific calculator. Sometimes schools will sell the equipment needed cheaply although supermarkets also sell starter stationary kits at good value prices.
Fill in any relevant forms before the start of the school year
Make sure you’ve completed and returned any forms that need to be submitted as soon as possible. These could include locker requests or anything involving any special requirements your child has. You may also be able to apply for your child to learn a musical instrument. It’s best to do this as early as possible, as they tend to be over subscribed.
Check the transport situation
If your child will be using public transport to get to school, make sure you apply for a travel pass in good time. In London they will require a 11 – 15 year old photo Oyster Card. Make sure you apply a good few weeks in advance as the application processes can take time.
Seeing your little ones head off to big school is always tricky but these essentials will help ease a stressful situation. Now you just have to brush up on your maths to help the kids with their homework.