School Readiness How Do I Know

What is different about secondary and high school?

The move from primary to secondary or high school can feel like a huge leap.

Not only do children need to find their way around a new school building - they also have to be more independent and responsible for their own learning, handing in homework on time and bringing the right equipment to their lessons.

However, it’s not only about the practical stuff - the move to secondary or high school is an emotional leap too!

Children are stepping out of a familiar world into an unfamiliar and complicated one, where they will meet lots of new people who they will have to see and speak to every day – both adults and other children.

As they become teenagers, children’s brains and bodies go through some big changes too. These changes make them care a lot more about what others think of them. All of this can mean that the move is a difficult time for some children.

It’s not surprising then that children tend to worry a lot about

  • ‘social’ changes (e.g. making new friends, fitting in, bullying, getting along with the teachers)
  • ‘practical’ changes (e.g. managing the work, getting lost in school, doing homework on time, travelling to and from school) 

 

 Let your child know that it’s normal to have mixed feelings. 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.

 Be aware of the physical and emotional changes they are going through, but the important thing is to stay connected to your child and let them know you will be there for them during the ups and downs.

Click the links below for advice about how to help your child get ready for the move.

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
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