05 September, 2022

Moving to Secondary at Northbridge takes some getting used to - even for the well prepared

Moving to Secondary at Northbridge takes some getting used to - even for the well prepared-Moving to Secondary at Northbridge takes some getting used to - even for the well prepared-Teacher_Northbridge
Moving to Secondary at Northbridge takes some getting used to - even for the well prepared

By Simon Poppelwell

It has been an eventful and exciting few weeks for the grade six students at Northbridge International School Cambodia. Their secondary school transition began in the last term of grade five with a series of events designed to make the transition to secondary school a less stressful, more positive experience.

All grade six students were assigned a secondary buddy so they could hear from fellow students about what to expect. Each of the buddies wrote a letter to their grade five student—telling them a little about their own experiences moving to middle school.  When the buddies met they were able to chat about what secondary school was like. Finally, toward the end of school year, teachers gave a series of step-up presentations which helped illustrate, for the students, some of the many differences between primary and secondary school.

On day one, Head of Secondary Sarah Newton welcomed the new students to secondary in their very first school assembly. She talked to them about how important it was going to be for them to learn to take some risks and meet new challenges head on.  “These skills,” she said, “will help you to be your best self in secondary school.”  

As they headed off to their first advisory and to get to know their new classmates there was already a buzz of excitement, from the 2029 cohort, growing.

Even with all this preparation we expected a few hiccups and, like all those before them, this year’s grade 6 have not disappointed.  Despite forgotten locker combinations, missing laptops chargers, and the odd student struggling to find their new classrooms most have quickly found their feet.  And after just a few weeks in grade 6 they are starting to shine—they’ve renewed old friendships, made new ones and settled into their new routines and environment in secondary school like old hands.

Here are some thoughts from them in their own words…

Kelly (grade 6A) described her first week, learning to cope with the new demands of secondary school, was like being on a rollercoaster. At first it seemed like a lot—she now had to run a whole lap around the field in PE—but with help from her friends and teachers she is feeling better and enjoying the ride.

Lyza (grade 6A) was happy she was in the same class as three of her BFFs and by the end of the first week she had already made two more good friends. She didn’t like the extra 30 minutes of her school day but was super pleased with the access to Cafe Blends.

San from grade 6B said he was nervous at the start of the first day by the end of it he was really happy with his new classmates and most of his classes.

Kunniroth from grade 6C also had an interesting first few days where things were different. She had to find her classes, eat her lunch next to teenagers and freaked out when she was picked to answer a question. But she really enjoyed working on her homework with her best friends in language class.

Most have had an eventful and slightly stressful first few weeks but all their teachers are reporting that they’ve mostly found their way and are settling in well. Congratulations, grade 6, you’ve made a strong and purposeful start to your secondary school journey!