Supporting your child's transition to secondary school
At the Family Support Service, we recognise that the move from primary to secondary school is an exciting, but daunting time for parents and carers.
Now that you know what school has been offered to your child, here are some ideas for what you can do next to get ready for the move.
Accept the school place offer
1 March 2022 is National Offer Day. On this day you can view your school place offer.
If you applied online, you will be able to log in and view the offer. You will also be sent an email.
Don’t forget to accept the school place. There will be a deadline by which you will have to do this. If you don’t accept the school place that is offered, your child may end up with no school place at all.
More information can be found on the Admissions page.
Late Secondary Test
25 June 2022 is the latest date Admissions can receive evidence to agree to register a child for the Secondary Transfer Test if you have very recently moved into the area.
Check school transport options
Take a look at what school transport options are available to you.
Across the County on 5 and 6 July 2022 your child will have the opportunity to visit their new school. Your child’s new school may also offer a summer school for new year 7s. Information about this would normally be found on the school’s website.
Your child may have some worries about starting secondary school, and they may not feel they are ready for some parts of it. However, there are things you can do now to start preparing your child in order to give them the best chance of having a positive experience when transitioning to secondary school.
Attend any open days with your child
This gives both you and your child a chance to see the new school and ask any questions you're likely to have.
Speak to your current or pending school
You can always speak to your child's current or new pending school about any concerns and how they may be able to support you or your child with the transition.
Try and enrol your child into some holiday clubs so they can start to practice making new friends in a new environment.
You can visit the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service directory for a list of holiday activities.
Practise ordering food and drinks
Your new school may have a canteen for your child to buy food and drink from. This could be something new that they have not experienced before so practising could help with this process.
Take your child to a local cafe (or something similar) so they can practise ordering some food and drink for themselves. This will help them learn to make decisions and communicate with adults that may be working in their school canteen.
Give your child more responsibility
Begin to give your child more responsibility with their school work so they are prepared for the responsibility of secondary school .
Avoid negative comments
Try to avoid saying anything negative about the school around your child as they may go in with a negative view of the school from the start.
Discuss any changes
Discuss with your child what some of the changes are going to be including school timings and their journey to and from school.
Speak to them
Ask your child what is worrying them about starting secondary school and try to reassure them.
Book your child on to one of our courses
Encourage your child to book on to one of our free moving up to secondary school courses. We run courses for year 6s who would like to get ready for year 7. For dates and to reserve a space visit our help for young people page.
Book onto Bucks Family Learning’s free ‘Starting Secondary School’ virtual courses
The course will give you practical ideas to help you support your child's move to secondary school and will also help you to find ways to continue to build your child’s confidence, resilience and independence.
More information can be found on our Adult Learning courses page.
If your young person has SEND the transition up to Secondary School can be a particularly difficult time. We have a range of information available for you to help with the move up to Year 7.
The teenage brain is still ‘under construction’ until young people are in their early 20’s.
There is a great deal going on in the teenage brain as well as in their bodies.
It is developing unevenly, with the area of the brain responsible for decision making, the ability to plan, think about consequences, solve problems and control impulses being the last area to develop.
This means the area of the brain that is associated with emotions, impulses, aggression and instinctive behaviours is relied on more during this time.
How a young person spends their time is crucial to brain development. A balance of fun, study, exercise, socialising and creative outlets is what they need.
Being the parent of a teenager is not always easy, how you guide and influence your young person is important to building a healthy brain.
Some of the ways you can do this include:
- Encourage good routines
- Make time to listen, empathise and talk through difficulties
- Give them some responsibility and opportunities to be independent
- Praise them more, criticise less
- Pick your battles
- Have clear expectations, boundaries and consequences
- Enough sleep. Young people need 8 to 10 hours a night
- Encourage ‘healthy’ risk taking such as a new club, activity or experience.