It may be that the summer holidays are coming to an end or perhaps you have just finished SATs and you can almost see the end of Year 6 approaching; you might be already in Year 7 or even only beginning Year 6. It doesn’t matter because having worries about what is to come in secondary school is totally normal.
So, the Get My Grades Team have put together some hints and tips to make your move to “big” school that little bit easier.
1. Prepare yourself
In secondary school, preparation is key. This is especially important as it is usually around this time that your parents might try giving you a little bit more independence. This is a great thing, but who is going to remind you to pick up your lunch and PE kit?
There are lots of ways for you to prepare yourself for secondary school and the more prepared you are, the less scary it will feel.
Attend secondary school transition days
Your new school will most likely have a day where you can visit while you are still in Year 6. This day will allow you to see what the school looks like on a normal day. You may get a chance to see some exciting lessons going on, but if not it is still a great chance to have a look at the building, meet some teachers and meet some students.
In addition to this, it will give you the experience of what it will be like to be in a bigger school with bigger kids. Seeing these things before will make the first day feel a lot less daunting and scary. If you do attend a transition day, remember this could be your chance to make a first impression on some of your future teachers; be polite, respectful and take part!
Write a list
Write a list of what you need to have ready or decided for the first day. We’ve written this one so feel free to use it to help you:
- How will you get to school?
- Will you have packed lunch or school lunch? Who will make your lunch? How will you pay?
- Where do you need to go when you arrive? (check any letters or welcome packs)
- What is considered full uniform? Do you have it all?
- Pack a pencil case with the basics: pencil, pen, rubber, ruler. You will likely be given a list of things you need on the first day (although check your welcome packs just in case a list of things is in there)
Do a test run
It is likely that your journey to secondary school will be very different from your journey to primary school. Perhaps you are traveling alone for the first time, perhaps you have to get a bus or train, perhaps it is a lot longer. The best way to do this is to do a test run in the summer holidays.
Start from home, set an alarm, have a bus pass/oyster card if you need one and do the full journey the whole way to the school gates. This will allow you to prepare for anything you didn’t think about. Remember to tell someone at home what you are doing (just in case you get lost) and most importantly remember to time the journey from home to the school gates!
You can then use this information to plan your journey for the first day of school and decide whether you may need to leave a bit earlier to travel. If you require transport for your journey, don’t forget, the summer holidays usually means there is less traffic, so make sure you allow a bit of extra time for traffic during rush hour too!
2. Stay Calm
Just remember that even though there are some differences between primary and secondary school, there are also lots of things that stay the same. You will still: wear a uniform, go to lessons, have friends, have teachers, go to clubs, do PE, work hard and have fun.
Here are some helpful hints of how to deal with the most common worries you may have.
“I won’t have any friends!”
You may be going to a secondary school where some other children from your class or year group are going, however, you may not. It is normal to worry about making friends but the most important thing to remember is that every single child in Year 7 feels the same. Every other child is starting on the same day and that means everyone is thinking about making friends.
Key things to remember are:
- Don’t rush – it can take a while to make good friends and that’s okay.
- Be confident – don’t be scared to introduce yourself to others.
- Try and find someone who likes the same things as you – you can bond over some common interests.
- Don’t just stick with people you already know – push yourself out of your comfort zone or ask someone who looks like they are alone to join your group.
- Your friends on the first day may not be your BFFs.
“I’m going to get lost”
Again, everyone feels the same as you. Even adults worry about getting lost in new places, however as we mentioned before – preparation is key!
Key things to remember are:
- Make sure you have a map of the school building and know how to read it (ask for help if you’re not sure).
- Highlight room numbers on your timetable so you know exactly where to go.
- Try and walk with someone else who is going to that class.
- If you get lost, ask an adult or an older student – they will be happy to help.
- If you are late for lessons, apologise and explain that you couldn’t find your way.
“The work is going to be too difficult”
This one is easy! As long as you are prepared to work hard, your teachers in secondary school will work with you to ensure you are successful. If you are worried then keep revising the basics over the summer. This can be things like times tables, writing a story or reading some new books.
3. Get Excited
There may be lots of things changing as you approach Year 7 and that may be scary. However, even if you are feeling nervous, you should also be excited. Secondary school can be so much fun. You will learn new subjects, meet new people and have more experiences than ever before. So make sure you are prepared, have a good night’s sleep and good luck for the year ahead.
- Make copies of your timetable.
- Get your friends phone numbers – in case of homework panic.
- Write down all your homework including when it is due.
- Be prepared to “hangout” at break time.
- Always ask for help if you need it!