Supporting Transition from Primary to Secondary School

Going from primary to secondary school is a time of mixed emotions for many parents and children. It can be a time of excitement, anticipation or anxiety regarding the changes ahead and transition into a new part of life for both children and families. Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service are committed to supporting children, parents and schools to manage this transition.

Tips for families supporting the transition from primary to secondary school

One of the most valuable things a family can do to support a young person within their home transitioning from primary to secondary school is to talk to them about how they are feeling and to really listen whenever; however, they express how they are feeling. For example:

Take the time to acknowledge that the upcoming change will inevitably trigger lots of different emotions (worries, excitement, fear, loss) and that these can be expressed in many different ways. Identify opportunities to ‘check-in’ with your child about how they are feeling, and help them to name and understand that feeling so they can feel connected, safe and validated at a time of potential anxiety.

Take time as a family to talk about the things you are all looking forward to as part of this upcoming adventure. It may highlight positive aspects for everyone that hadn’t yet been considered. But also, talk together about your worries. Knowing that they are not alone in any concerns they have, or indeed working together to build some support structure around their fears will build resilience to change.

Finally, where possible and safe to do so, find an opportunity to connect with another young person or family that are going through the same as you. It will help the first day at their new school feel less daunting!

Support for Young People

Our Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners have developed some short self-help clips to aid your young person to manage some of the feelings they have regarding the transition.

Our school nurses are always available to support any young person or family who has health and wellbeing needs. If you need any support regarding a young person who is worried or anxious about their transition from primary to secondary school, please contact us.

Support for Schools

ECFWS are able to support schools directly in the delivery of a Healthy Relationships focused Personal, Social, Health Economic Education (PSHE) session to aid the transition pathway from Year 6 to Year 7.

You can view and share our video of Katie, one of our school nurses in South Essex – who explains the role of the school nurse, how you can access then and the importance of Healthy Relationships.

You can also download our free lesson plan resource to aid you in school or to support home learning for those who are currently not in school.

Click here to view our Lesson ideas and activities.