Primary and secondary schools have transition activities in place, but it is also important that you and your child are prepared so that the move to secondary school is a positive and exciting step forward.
For your child
- After the familiar surroundings of primary school it can be overwhelming for students to move to a secondary school where there are more teachers, more students and different timetabling arrangements, even if there have been transition activities the previous year.
- Your child is moving from being one of the oldest children in the primary school to one of the youngest in secondary school and they may feel worried or nervous about making the transition.
- Don’t wait until school starts to talk to your child about the way they feel about starting at secondary school. Discuss any concerns they might have and reassure them that being a little bit nervous is normal.
- The more informed you and your child are about their move to secondary school, the more likely the experience will be an extremely positive one.
- In the lead up to starting the new year make sure you talk to your child about the things below:
- At secondary school your child may have more things to take to each class. They might have as many as five or six different subjects a day, and each lesson may have its own books, textbooks and homework.
- Most schools will have a student diary or planner as part of the school book list – encourage your child to write everything in it.
Planning for more homework
Each school may have a different homework policy and it is important to familiarise yourself with it. Your child may get a homework timetable in the first week at secondary school and they may have to do a little bit of homework every night. If they fall behind, have trouble completing their homework, or don’t understand something they should talk to their teacher immediately.
- Whilst there may be a greater homework demand in secondary school it is important that students learn good time management skills and establish a balance between school/life and other interests.
- Each school may have a different homework policy and it is important to familiarise yourself with it. Your child may get a homework timetable in the first week at secondary school and they may have to do a little bit of homework every night. If they fall behind, have trouble completing their homework, or don’t understand something they should talk to their teacher immediately.
- Talk about your expectations about homework and agree on a school/life/sport balance to ensure your child gets the most out of their time at secondary school.
Expecting more teachers
At secondary school your child may have a different teacher for each class. Each teacher will have their own rules and way of teaching their class. Your child’s home group teacher will, however, be the same and they will have regular times in home group where they will take attendance and share important information. If your child has a problem that they can’t discuss with their subject teachers, they can try talking to their home group teacher about what to do.
Being worried about school work
If your child needs extra help with their literacy and numeracy or any part of school, speak to your child’s home group teacher as early as possible.
If your child is going to be using public transport, ensure that they have the correct tickets, bus route and timetable information. Why not try a practice run before school starts?
The Department for Education, Children and Young People does not tolerate bullying in any form. Encourage your child to talk openly about what happens at school and to report any bullying behaviour as soon as it occurs.
Where can I get more information?
Talk to your child’s teacher, grade supervisor and/or the most appropriate senior person who knows your child.