Transitioning from primary to secondary school

Is it harder for the parent or the child, when trasitioning from primary to secondary school? Ensuring your “little ones” make the trasition with the least possible trauma is usually something most parents mull over, months before the actual event. There are some steps that can be taken to help ease your child into this new phase of their schooling life, and with some proper preparation, the transition can be exciting and enjoyable for all concerned. Not everyone has the luxury of choosing the secondary school their child will eventually attend, therefore preparing your child mentally will certainly be the next best thing to do.

  • Firstly avoid horror stories that will play on the child’s mind and cause them to have a negative perception, even before they embark on this journey. Encouraging your child to spend sometime with children already attending the “new” school would be one way of getting them comfortable, as they would already “know” someone in this new environment.
  • Spending time with families whose kids attend the new school will also help you and your child to know more about the general environment thus contributing to some level of confidence building, while also learning how to avoid certain elements and situations.
  • Getting your child used to the idea of having many teachers is also something worth taking the time to explain. Most primary school children are used to having only a few teachers throughout their primary years, which allows them to become familiar and comfortable rather quickly, and the shock of having different teachers for every subject can be quite traumatic for the young child starting out.
  • As the study subjects will also increase, helping your child to prepare for each day’s subject requirements will certainly ease their mental and physical burden. This will also give you the opportunity to know and understand all the new things they are now required to learn. Spending time with your child, this way will also show support and encouragement in a positive way without being intrusive.
  • For some children, the homework load, will seem shocking, therefore encouraging them to learn the skill of prioritising and creating a comfortable homework routine is important. This invaluable skill will help your child stay out of trouble with their teachers, as undone homework is usually the most complained about topic among teachers.
  • Size is often a less focused element, but nonetheless, is one of the most overwhelming aspect for the young child walking through the gates of the new school. As secondary schools are dominantly larger than primary ones, taking your child for a “walk about” is encouraged. Most schools have open days for the purpose of allowing children to familiarize themselves with the new surroundings.

In the end, your child is going to look to you, for inspiration and any hint of apprehension is going to be noted and amplified in his/her mind, therefore it would be a good idea to paint a positive and exciting picture of this new phase, so that your child will be able to look forward to the experience with confident and excited anticipation.


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