Every year, Year 6 students transition into Year 7, at which point they get their first taste of secondary school life. Although this is a regular occurrence, it never gets easier for the students. Every student will respond differently. Some might be charged about the new experience, while others might be more cautious and guarded.
Whether the student is days away from the transition or has a year, it’s always good to prepare them for this new experience. Here are a few ways to prepare them for the new secondary school life.
Have a heart to heart talk
The first step to getting ready for Year 7 is talking with the child about what to expect. Children can be anxious about the transition and often have various opinions about secondary school.
While they might have an idea of what this new experience is like, they don’t know what to believe in terms of teachers, lessons, school terms and other students. That makes talking to them about how different this new chapter of their life will be from their previous extremely important to make them feel comfortable with the transition.
Encourage them to attend Year 6 transition days
It’s not just parents concerned about the transition into Year 7. Schools are just as concerned. Some even offer transition days to Year 6 students. These days are spent at the secondary school they’ll be going to. They get to see the building, meet some students and teachers, and get first-hand secondary school experience.
The experience allows students to visualise the experience and transition and eases the tension and nervousness of joining secondary school. By the time they make the transition, they already have a clear picture of what to expect.
Start encouraging independent learning
Secondary school takes learning a notch higher. The experience includes more independent learning, and the students might get more freedom and independence in how they complete tasks. The students will also need to remember to hand in their homework and bring any items required for specific lessons or activities like cooking ingredients or PE kits.
In secondary school, the timetables mean the students will need to find their way to the next class on time.
It’s a big jump that comes almost suddenly. You can help your child prepare for it by encouraging them to take on more responsibilities and independence in the classroom and at home. The child also needs to learn that increased independence comes with a greater sense of responsibility.
Help the child work on their organisational skills
Students don’t have to worry about preparing for lessons or getting anything ready in primary school. Teachers take care of everything. But secondary school is different.
Unlike in primary school, students have to ensure they have a fully equipped pencil case and have the necessary books for different subjects. There’s also more homework to worry about and ensure they complete on time.
Organisational skills are crucial at this level. It’s vital to start developing these skills before Year 7 to make the child’s life more bearable when they get to secondary school.
Assigning simple tasks like setting up a study space where they can do their homework, preparing their own lunch, clothes and school bag for the next are also important ways of teaching them how to organise their time.
Instil confidence in them
Many of the things the student will experience and do in Year 7 are new to them. More often than not, the student is anxious and unsure of almost everything they’re doing. Not every student will be worry-free, so you should find time to talk things through and let them know that you have confidence in them.
Also, let the child know that you’re with them through every step, and they can reach out if they need support. This could help reduce anxiety in the child and give them confidence in making decisions and completing tasks independently.
Like everything else with your child, this transition is not overnight. It’s lengthy and requires time and patience. At around the same time, your child is quickly approaching their teen years which is another tumultuous and emotional time. You need to be at your most understanding, unruffled and handling everything strategically.
Once you’ve done all you can for your child, you need some preparation to prepare for the transition. Be ready to take a deep breath and let go. Start building a new social network and building a bond with the new school and its personnel.