Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Archbishop Courtenay Primary School

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Top Tips

Term 6


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.




Tip #1




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.?

Tip #2


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. 

Tip #3


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?

Tip #4




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.


  • What equipment/resources would your child need to take into school on specific days?  

  • What days will they need to take their PE kit to school?

  • Could your child organise this independently? Start to instill in your son/daughter that there are usually consequences at secondary schools for students that do not have the correct equipment/resources. 

Tip #5


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?


 Discussion points:


- Is it easy or difficult to keep to a budget?

- Did you choose healthy or unhealthy items? 

Tip #6


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?





Tip #7

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




Tip #8

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


Our Year 6 pupils would have experienced lots of different emotions over the last few weeks and to help them prepare for the next big chapter in their lives, we also need them to experience saying ‘goodbye’, before they can say ‘hello’
The following questions may help act as starting/discussion points for those pupils in school
  • Do I need to repair any relationship before I move on?
  • Are there things in myself that I need to think and alter to be successful in my new place? 
  • Who and what am I grateful for?
  • What and who am I going to miss?
  • How am I going to look after myself during the transition?
Are there any particular staff members that they are not able to currently see as they are either not in school or in their bubbles, that they may want to make cards for?  Are there any peers that are not currently coming in to school – can they write a postcard/letter to them?  
Parents/Carers Start to talk to your child about how they are feeling about leaving Primary school.  Some children at home will feel that they have already left. Would your son/daughter like to say goodbye to any staff –perhaps help them to make cards?  Who are they grateful for meeting? What are they grateful for experiencing? Who and what are they going to miss about Primary School?  Although this seems a few weeks off, it may be better for some children to start thinking about saying their goodbyes little by little.

Tip #10


Home Activity
 Allow plenty of opportunities for your child to talk about their feelings about not returning to their primary school and the new challenges that lay ahead. 


Write/draw or simply discuss any good and/or bad memories that they have about their time in Primary.  Any favourite lessons/activities? Can you share any memories from your own primary school? 


Does your child feel ready to move on? If not, what can you do to support?


Make sure that you acknowledge all their feelings – they may change their mind day to day (or even hour to hour!?!) – they may have been at their primary school since YR so could be understandably very sad (or happy!!!) to be leaving. 
If they haven’t returned to school, would they like to when it is safe/convenient? Perhaps discuss with your child’s school – could your child write a letter to their school to ask?  

Tip #11 - Positive thinking about September


We are sure that both you and your child will have some feelings of anxiety and trepidation about the forthcoming change.  It is completely understandable and natural to have these feelings, so please do not worry! Try to be as calm and hide any of your personal anxieties from your children as they may pick up on these.  Encourage your child to verbalise their worries (if any!) as we are sure that they can be easily eased! Positivity is key!!
Over the summer holidays, revisit the following:-
·         Continue to chat about thoughts/feelings about moving to their new school.  Be led by their discussions as well as ‘dropping’ things into conversations.  Do they want to share their transition book? If your child has been at school, their transition books/information will come home.  Chat about the activities/tasks that they have completed – which ones did they find the most/least interesting/useful/informative?


               Do they have any further thoughts/opinions/questions?
·         What is your child now doing independently that they didn’t or couldn’t do before?  What can they further do?  Are they confident with tying their tie? Shoe laces?


·         Check through the list of uniform/equipment your child needs – your son/daughter may want to help you to feel involved with the process.


·         Are you reminding your son/daughter about red/green questions? Decide if they are asking you questions that they should be able to problem solve.  Encourage and reassure that they are able to find most solutions themselves!


·         How will your son/daughter be travelling to school?  Have you practised their journey?  Depending on government guidance – can you make the bus/train journey together?  Have you downloaded the Arriva app on both yours and their device?  Ask them questions about what they would do…. If the bus is late?  If you lose your bus pass? (hopefully you will have been able to apply for this now)


·         Summer holidays are a time to relax and recharge, but towards the end, nearing the time to return to school, try to introduce regular sleep patterns with bed and waking up times.  This will help your son/daughter to ease back into school day routines


·         Remember to stay positive about the exciting new challenges that lay ahead.
We wish you all the very best with this exciting new chapter in your child’s life!