Talk about how your child feels about going to secondary school, this will help you understand and support them. Starting conversations when you are doing something you enjoy together, or when you are in the car can help it to feel more relaxed.
You could ask;
To let your child know you are really listening repeat the words they use to you, back to them. There will be times your child doesn’t want to talk. That’s okay, let them know you will make time to talk when they are ready.
You may notice changes in behaviour. These changes might be;
Schools will have a moving up day. This is time spent at their new school and a chance to meet teachers and other children. It is a chance to get to know the new school and find their way around. Children usually feel a bit more confident after this.
Getting to School
Uniform and Equipment
If this is a big money worry for your family, talk to your child’s school for advice or you can contact your local Council’s Early Help Teams.
Many schools have buddy systems where other pupils look out for a new child. This helps Year 7 children to make new friends, feel included in activities and offer support in the classroom.
Think about your child joining clubs where other children are moving up to the same school. It helps to see some familiar faces. Once your child has settled in, they might like to join some after school activities to help make friends with the same interests.
Active Norfolk has some low cost sport clubs. These are often held in secondary schools and some also run during the school holidays.
If you notice your child is low in mood and you’re worried about their friendships and bullying, the following pages might help;
If your child has additional needs you may have different feelings about your child starting secondary school. While the basic needs of all 10/11 year olds will be the same, you will know if extra support is needed. Talk to the SENCO about extra planning and moving up days.
Speak to your child’s new school about their plans to help your child settle. Tell them what your child struggles with and what helps. You could ask:
Other Top Tips
Your Own Feelings
You may have good or bad memories about your own move to high school. Either way your child’s experience will be different. You can be reassured that schools today are much more tuned in, to what helps children make the move positively.
Your child’s school will be sensitive to the big change and are there to help all pupils. They will have a plan to support all pupils to make the move. There will be;
If you are worried give the school a call to talk about how they can help your child.
If supporting your child to get the things they need for school – like uniform – is a big money worry for your family you can talk to your child’s school for advice or you can contact your local Council’s Early Help Teams.
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
Qwell provides free, safe and anonymous mental wellbeing support for adults in Norfolk and Waveney from a professional team of qualified counsellors.
For 11–25 year olds Kooth is a free, confidential and safe way to receive online counselling, advice and emotional well-being support.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.