Tips for Transitioning to Secondary School

Tips from Parentkind’s Policy & Communications Director, Michelle Doyle Wildman:

Secondary transition: 6 ways parents can help their children…

Support them in becoming more independent. My son’s rite of passage went from solo trips to the letter box to the successful acquisition of the family supper from the local fish and chip shop.

Show that you have confidence in them. Not every child will be worry free, so find the right time to talk anything through with them and agree that you will step in only if they need support.

Practice the travelling-to-school drills. Many children will have to negotiate buses on their own for the first time. Talking through some of the scenarios they may face, reminding them of how to keep safe and taking them on some dummy runs (if using a public bus) over the summer holidays is strongly advised. The strategic use of mobile phones can be particularly helpful here!

Make time to support learning at home. Homework in Year 7 can be a step up so be on hand with some calm support. Be prepared to lend a hand on the infamous ‘build a model of…’ type tasks. Timely and gentle support from parents undoubtedly helps kids learn and flourish.

Be patient and prepared for a few tears. Your pre-teen may be a bit tired and emotional at times, so they will need you to be at your most understanding and unruffled. They will also need you to provide a fully-stocked fridge!

Create a homework station. Make sure your child can easily access a computer (and ideally a printer), digital camera and craft materials. After-school homework clubs can help kids get into the homework habit and provide helpful resources. Organise a space at home specifically for your child to focus on study and store their not-inconsiderable number of books.