Moving from primary to secondary school can be exciting and a normal part of growing up for your child. But change of any kind can bring uncertainty. Most children manage the change successfully, but there may be some ups and downs along the way.

When your child moves to secondary school, they will be making new friends and having to organise themselves for the day ahead. They will have to get used to a bigger school, with lots of different teachers and different lessons in different classes. They may be missing their friends and teachers from primary school.

As a parent or carer, you can help your child through this transition with careful and sensitive planning.

How can you help your child with their move to secondary school?

  • Encourage your child to explore their feelings – Explore any worries or anything they are confused about. Talk about what your child is looking forward to. Get involved with the school’s plans for transition of Year 6’s. If possible, celebrate the end of the primary school experience.
  • Help your child make connections with their school – Look at the school’s website and take part in induction events. Try to meet with key staff that will be supporting your child such as their form tutor and head of year. Prepare your child for the journey to school, practicing the route. If, after a few weeks, your child is still struggling, get in touch with school to discuss your concerns.
  • Building friendships and relationships – Help your child to think about how they might approach new people and what questions they could ask: where do you live, what did you do over the summer holidays, what sports do you like? Remind your child that all the students in their year are in the same position. Encourage your child to join a lunchtime or after-school activity. If possible, plan activities over the summer holidays to meet up with other children who are starting the same secondary school.
  • Build your child’s independence and confidence – Encourage them to take on more responsibilities at home to build their confidence and independence. Take notice when your child is doing things well and give your child lots of praise.