School Readiness How Can I Prepare My Child

How can I help prepare my child for secondary or high school?

1. Talk about the move with your child.

Try to be positive but realistic about it. The move is a journey that doesn’t end after the first week or half term, so remind them that it may take some time to feel settled in their new school and to feel comfortable with new friends. Talk about times in your life when you’ve gone through changes, such as starting a new job or moving house. Remember to talk about the different feelings, how they changed over time, and how you managed them.

2. Help them feel less worried about the practical stuff as soon as possible.

If your child will be making their own way to and from school, perhaps plan and practise the journey together. Look at the layout of the school building and help them get used to it. Make sure your child has the right uniform and equipment, and try to start routines for before and after school, as well as helpful habits like packing their school bag the night before. Take a photo of your child’s timetable on your mobile phone so that you always have a copy to hand.

 

3. Get your child used to talking about their feelings.

Encourage them to tell you what they like or enjoy about their new school, as well as anything they’re worried about. Or they could write their worries down in a ‘worry diary’, or rate their feelings on a scale or ‘worry ladder’.  Take their worries seriously and help them find different ways to express their feelings.

 

4. Help them become problem-solvers.

Talk to them about what they can do about their worries, like speaking to someone at school or home. Help your child work though situations that might be bothering them. For example, if your child is worried about making new friends, practise some conversations together. E.g. “Hello - what school are you from? Do you know the way to the next class?”  Becoming a problem-solver can help your child understand that worries can be worked through and might make them feel more in control. 

 

5. Keep an eye out for any changes in your child’s behaviour.

Although it's normal for children to be grumpy or moody when they’re nervous about a big change, if your child starts behaving very differently, they might be struggling with something. Try to see the bigger picture - what might be causing this? Is it having an effect on other parts of my child’s life? If you’re worried about your child, don’t be afraid to talk to a teacher or pastoral lead at the school.

 

6. Keep doing the things you enjoy as a family.

Having familiar home routines can be comforting in times of change. Help your child focus on the things that will stay the same or be familiar to them – it might make things less scary!

If you have any worries about your child’s move to secondary or high school, talk to staff at their primary school, such as their class teacher, SENCo or Head Teacher. Lots of primary schools help Year 6 and Primary 7 pupils to get ready themselves by planning and preparing for the move.

If you are still worried once your child has begun secondary or high school, then contact their form tutor and head of year. The pastoral support team will usually do everything they can to help your child to settle in.

How can I support my child through big changes?

Some ways to help your child deal with new things in their lives.

How can I support my child through big changes?

What is different about secondary and high school?

The changes you and your child can expect when they make the step from primary school.

What is different about secondary and high school?

How can I prepare my child for secondary or high school?

Skills you can practise together at home to help the first few weeks go smoothly.

How can I prepare my child for secondary or high school?

How can I prepare myself for the move to secondary or high school?

Several ways to look after yourself and make sure you're OK during the move.

How can I prepare myself for the move to secondary or high school?

Helpful links and further reading

More practical advice, resources and information for families about this big step.

Helpful links and further reading

Becoming a young adult

Advice about the changes your child may experience during their teens.

Becoming a young adult
Cookie Consent

By continuing to browse this website, you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Learn More