There are a lot of things to consider when moving from primary school to secondary school. It’s the first real big change in a child’s life. This can be very challenging if not dealt with and given support in the right way.
Here are some of the things that may impact a child and some ways in which you can support them through this transition.
Oldest to youngest
One of the biggest changes about primary to secondary is going from being the oldest, most respected and hopefully most mature children in the school, to being the little fish in a very big pond with a whole new set of surroundings.
As we get older age isn’t that much of a big issue, we are judged more by what we know and how good we are at it. For a younger child age is everything. Age gives a child status which is so important when growing up as it is what begins to mould us into the person we become. you should be mindful of this. Remind your child of how you felt when you were at that age, share your experiences and make sure you let your child know that you are there to help them face their fears together.
New school = new people, this can be both a good and bad thing. It’s good in the respect of making some great new friends and starting fresh, but the reset button is hit when it comes to the pecking order in school and children may feel as though they are not the top dogs anymore. It takes time but children have to re-establish themselves and prove their worth to their peers.
As a parent, it’s easy to want to hold your child’s hand through this but sometimes you have to pick when and what is best for them. Give them space and let them find their own way but of course be ready to step in if needed.
More lessons, Moving around classes and different teachers and subjects
In primary school, kids get very used to being in the same class day in, day out with the same people and the same teacher all year long. The whole game is flipped in secondary school.
First of all your child has a new form class which is pretty similar to primary school.
Lessons are way different, not only is your child with a different teacher, the class is different as they are normally put in a range of ability.
The other big thing is that they now move from class to class for different subjects. Expect your child to be pretty tired out when they first start school as it can be a very long day.
Getting to and from school
Getting older often means more responsibility. Letting your child walk to and from school on their own or with a group of friends, is part of growing up.
Maybe start the process of trust by asking them to come back home for a certain time, if this is achieved then give a reward (i know as children get older they say they don’t like rewards but trust me they do).If on the other hand, they let you down by pushing or breaking set goals. Be firm and fair by making it clear you are not going to stand for this. Remember you are the parent not them.
Ok, so it is inevitable that somewhere along the line, your child is going to get a detention. Be it from not doing homework, being rude to a teacher to getting in a fight.
Try to encourage an honest bond between you and your child. If they haven’t done their homework then question the reason why you never know you might be able to help out. The one thing you shouldn’t do is shout and not listen, I know it can be frustrating but if you don’t try to solve the problem you could risk your child not wanting your support and reaching out via different avenues.
Just like everything else, homework steps it up a gear when you get to secondary. Your child will get at least, one bit of homework a day, whether it be English, Maths or one of the other subjects they will have This is expected to be done in the next few days.
Always check on what homework your child has and establish a time to do this. There is nothing worse than rushing to get things done at the last minute, it is not very productive and definitely doesn’t bring out the best in your child.