Secondary school is on the horizon for Year Six children. We understand how stressful and nerve-wracking the prospect of moving to a new school with much bigger and older children can be, so to help you and your child prepare we are providing lots of information and tips. We highly recommended that you look through the tips each week as the majority of the activities/advice are generally suitable for all schools. We would be doing this preparation in school, but as this isn't possible at the moment it is vital for you to be reading the tips and working with your parents and carers.
If you haven’t already done so, think about how you can help your child to be more independent: at home, do they put clothes away/ complete simple jobs like making their own bed or sandwiches/ make hot drinks etc.?
Activity ideas for Travel planning – How will your child get to and from school every day?
- Can you practice the journey as part of your daily exercise whilst you are at home?
- If your child will be using public transport, can you use Google Earth, Google Maps or other apps to see where the bus stops are? You could plan your journey and discuss any worries or questions there may be.
- Can they read a bus timetable? The Arriva Bus App is a useful tool to keep up-to-date with bus arrivals and routes. Download the app and investigate how it works together.
Looking at the school website
- Have a look with your child at the secondary school's website. Many schools will have interactive maps and videos, providing information about where things are and how to get around the school.
- See what opportunities are provided. Maybe your child is into sport, music or drama? Why not check what your child might like to try?
Discuss with your child about what they will need for secondary school. Unlike at primary school, where equipment is provided, there is a greater responsibility on children to bring their own pens, pencils and other necessary equipment.
Budgeting and healthy eating
Your child’s new school will have a pre-paid system for paying for their lunches/snacks. Could your child be responsible for this? During this time at home, could you set up a similar system, for them to pay for snacks/lunches? I.e. allocate a certain amount per day, put prices on the snacks/drinks in your cupboards/fridges for your son/daughter to pay for them. This will help with getting them used to budgeting and perhaps prevent constant snacking! Is your child able to plan for healthy options?
- Is it easy or difficult to keep to a budget?
- Did you choose healthy or unhealthy items?
Managing new and potentially challenging situations
There will be many different situations where children may need to ask for direction or help when they start Secondary school. This may include asking a member of staff they have never met before for directions to their classroom or communicating with Reception staff. This can be a great challenge for some.
Discuss different scenarios where they may have to interact with others and make a list of phrases they could use. Some examples are, ‘I’m lost’; ‘I’m sorry I’m late.’; ‘Please could you help me?’; ‘Who should I ask/ tell about…?’; and ‘Where would I find…?’ Can you think of any more?
My Journey to School
School Learning this week
Activity: My journey to School
Discuss various scenarios about their journeys to school
· Will they need a Bus/train pass? – how they will be used, need to keep safe; what to do if pass is lost/what to do if miss stop/ what to do if bus doesn’t come or is full up/ who to tell if you or someone else is being bullied on the transport.
· What is their walking journey like? Road safety???? Will they be walking with friends/siblings?
· Cycling – road safety? Locking their bike? What will be their route?
· Meeting their parents/carers?
Work with your child to see how confident he/she is at planning their journey to school. Can they remember their journey previously discussed in week 2? Discuss the use of travel passes – what happens if they are lost? What are the ‘backup’ plans for getting to and from school?
Activity on p11 Key skill for Secondary school –
Travel passes – how to use, need to keep safe; what to do if pass is lost/what to do if miss stop/ what to do if bus/train doesn’t come or is full up/ who to tell if you or someone else is being bullied?
How long will your journey take?
What time will you need to leave your house to make sure you arrive at school on time?
How will you get home?
What about the timings of your return journey?
Activity: My journey to School
Time Planning and Morning Routine
Parents: think about what else your child could do more independently. Do they know how to cross the road safely? Can they make simple meals? If not, now is the time to start teaching them !
Pupils: Activity on p9-10 Key Skill for secondary school. Morning routines and time planning.
Tip #9 - Saying Hello and Goodbye
Tip #11 - Positive thinking about September