The move from year 6 to Secondary School has always been a significant event in your child’s journey. The move itself can be daunting but even more so this year with the impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown. We wanted to give parents some help and advice in preparing year 6 students for the transition to Primary school. You may want to start by discussing the topics below. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Mrs Stonehouse-
Your child may be excited and ready to start Secondary School. They may possibly feel anxious and have concerns. They may be worried about getting lost, finding work difficult, friendships, bullying and working with lots of different teachers.
It is important to acknowledge their fears and give them strategies to help in the situations they are anxious about. This may include asking other pupils and teachers for help, using maps and timetables. Checking online homework for deadlines. Give them the confidence that they know what to do to help themselves.
Set some time aside to talk to your chid about the importance of managing new friendships. Support them in finding the confidence to get to know new people. They should get to know as many people as possible before settling into their long-term friendship group. Encourage them to join clubs, as they are a great way to make new friends.
You may have already arranged with your child to have a mobile phone on them for when they travel to and from school. (We do not allow mobile phones to be used in school and they must be switched off and remain unseen while in the building.) It is important that you talk to your child about your expectations about how they use the phone.
If the phone is smart phone enabled you may want to look at how you can keep your child safe when accessing the internet and set some restrictions.
For further advice look at the UK Council for Child Internet Safety – Advice for parents. Your child will also be carrying money to and from school.
How much cash will they need and how do you expect them to spend it? We use a cashless system in school and pupils can add cash to their accounts or you can upload money using the Parent Pay system. You will want to explain to your child about how much they have to spend each day.
Make sure your child is well informed and confident about their journey to and from school. This is important if they will be travelling to school alone. If pubic transport is involved, make sure they know the timetable and know how long it will take to get to school.
Once you know how long the journey will take, discuss how this will affect the morning routine. Will they need to get up earlier to get ready, have a breakfast, and then get to school on time?
You may also want to plan some contingency plans of what would happen if…? This will help your child to gain confidence and emphasises the importance that they are streetwise and able to protect themselves and their belongings.
The move to secondary school is a time that can be just as worrying for parents as children. You will find that the face-to-face parental contact with schoolteachers will reduce. Your child will need to follow a new and varied timetable, manage work in and out of school to meet deadlines.
The best thing you can do is to empower your child by preparing with them over the summer holidays. Encourage them, be positive, and let them know that you trust them to make the right decisions.
You will need to think about the changes that you might need to make at home to prepare. This may include ensuring they have a space to do their homework, agreeing times that they will do their homework to get them into a routine. This is especially important if you have more than one child needing to access the internet. Do you want them to do their homework at a set time? Are there things you can do to help them avoid distractions? When should they pack their bag in preparation for the next day?
It is important that you support them in checking deadlines and completing work in good time and to the best of their ability.
The first thing for you to do to help yourself is to take a deep breath and let go. It is highly likely that your child will stroll into school and not look back. Give them time to settle in and be patient.
You will soon be given the details of the Head of Year and your child’s family tutor. These members of staff will be the key points of contact. Keep in touch with us if you have any concerns.
If you have sat with them and discussed the transition to Secondary school then you are already preparing them to be more independent. You will not believe how quickly they will get used to being in a big school.