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Moving on to Secondary School

This information has been produced to help you and your child with the move to secondary school.

Starting secondary school is a big step and may be an anxious time for you and your child.

Your child will be going from being the oldest in thier school to the youngest. They may be moving up with friends and classmates from primary school or may not know anyone in their new school. For all children, there will be a lot to take in and learn, particularly in the first few weeks.

There are lots of ways to help and support your child as they settle into Year 7 and throughout their time at school. You don't need to be an expert in what your child is learning – being interested is the first and most important step. Teenage years can be turbulent as young people find their own identity.

Many parents/carers feel anxious when their child starts school but try not to let it show. Remember that schools work really hard to help children settle in. You may feel conflicting emotions: proud that your child is growing up and at the same time sad that their primary school days are over, this is perfectly normal.

In the beginning your child might worry about practical things, like getting lost or having to cope with a locker. This should go in a few days, as they learn the new routine and layout of the school, explain that this will get easier as they become more familiar.

They may also worry about the work or making new friends. Discuss their fears and reassure them that the work will get easier as they understand it more and that new friendships may take a little time to develop.

How is your child feeling? Rather than saying “there’s nothing to worry about”, it’s more helpful to tell your child that feeling nervous is natural, and that everyone gets nervous when facing new situations.

Remember to communicate with your child and discuss their concerns openly. Meal times can be a good place to discuss what has happened during the day and find out how they are feeling in a relaxed way, remember be interested, not pushy.

You and your child may find the following 12 tips useful and fun to help with the move to secondary school. 

Tip 1 - look at the schools' website

View our Top Tip Number 1 information sheet.

Tip 2 - practice packing your school bag

View our Top Tip Number 2 information sheet.

Tip 3 - find out about lunchtime arrangements

View our Top Tip Number 3 information sheet.

Tip 4 - plan your journey to school

View our Top Tip Number 4 information sheet.

Tip 5 - eat breakfast

View our Top Tip Number 5 information sheet.

Tip 6 - hear other students' talking about secondary school

View our Top Tip Number 6 information sheet.

Tip 7 - use a diary

View our Top Tip Number 7 information sheet.

Tip 8 - finding your way around your new school

View our Top Tip Number 8 information sheet.

Tip 9 - buy your school uniform

View our Top Tip Number 9 information sheet.

Tip 10 - making new friends

View our Top Tip Number 10 information sheet.

Tip 11 - get enough sleep!

View our Top Tip Number 11 information sheet.

Tip 12 - take responsibility

View our Top Tip Number 12 information sheet.

Useful websites

Here are some helpful websites for additional support if needed:

Kooth - free online counselling and emotional well-being information for children and young people. 

Young Minds - information for children and young people about mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

Childline - free confidential service to help young people under 19 with any issue they are going through. Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email, post on the message boards or call the helpline on 0800 1111. 

Samaritans - crisis support for anyone in emotional distress 

The Mix  - The Mix’s Crisis Messenger text service is available 24/7 and open to anyone aged 25 or under living in the UK.