They will know their teacher very well, be comfortable with most if not all of the people in their class and will probably know most of the other faces in the school too.
By Year 6, they are the most senior people in their school, they will be used to being given responsibility and they tend to be looked up to by the younger boys and girls in the school.
Within a few short months these same students revert to being the most junior again in a brand new social environment, with a different atmosphere – Secondary School!
Change can be a daunting task for any one of us but when you are 11 or 12, when dealing with other changes happening in your life, it is a change that, for some children, takes quite a lot of adjusting to.
The British School of Beijing, Shunyi has produced a booklet called “Changes – Making the transition from Primary to Secondary School”, which is available to anyone interested in helping their child make this big adjustment from “big fish to small fish”.
It features an outline of what those big adjustments will be; it goes into more detail about how lesson schedules and homework changes in the Secondary School ; it provides valuable tips to parents on how to feel confident that your child is prepared for the change and it gives first-hand accounts from current Year 7 students on how they made the transition.
The British School of Beijing, Shunyi suggests parents and children together take a tour of the school facilities and see the difference in the classrooms. It’s a great way to help your child get excited about the many new subjects and topics they will be doing.
The biggest concern for students tends to be the changes in homework. Examples are given in the book of how to prepare and manage time to ensure homework becomes part of the daily routine.
For a copy of “Changes” or to take a personalised tour of the Secondary School facilities at The British School of Beijing, Shunyi, please contact the Head of Secondary Mr Steve Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Admissions team (email@example.com).
In the meantime, here are some of the pointers from the book on how to feel confident that your child is prepared for the change from “big fish to small fish”.
- Keep up the dialogue between you and your child and be honest about both the positive and negative aspects of transition.
- Support this stage of growing independence in their lives by identifying ways your child can have greater independence at home.
- Spend a little time remembering back to your own move to secondary school and talk to them about it – your child may have a very different experience to you but it will help you to be empathetic and understanding.
- Drive or walk past the school whenever you can, or visit for an event.
- Support your child to get involved in local activities or clubs where they will come across other children who already go to the school.
- Encourage your child to get involved in clubs and activities in their new school.
- Suggest time management techniques to your child or help them set up a study area.
- Make an appointment to talk to the school’s Head of Secondary or Head of Year 7.