Transitioning from primary to secondary school is not always easy. Whether it is moving to a new campus or a new country; it is a journey full of excitement, apprehension and sometimes fear of the unknown. As you read this article you might start to remember the way you felt putting on that new uniform and packing your school bag for the first day of secondary school. The transition is a rite of passage that every child must complete. Recently, I completed the NAE Masters in International Education with Kings College London, offered as a professional development opportunity here at Nord Anglia, with the focus of my research on primary to secondary school transition. I hope these top tips will help prepare yourself and your child.
All of our schools have staff dedicated to ensuring your child has a smooth transition. Whether reaching out to your new school if your child is joining us or their existing school’s secondary campus, ask for information on the new students’ transition program. At Compass International School we will provide you with a lot of information about school day procedures, lesson timetables, extra curricular activities, school bus schedules and much more. Having access to this information can help alleviate any stress and put you in an informed position for answering questions your child might have.
One of the biggest fears children have about transitioning to secondary school is changing their friendship groups and making new friends. Change is ever constant; students in international schools will experience this more than most, so we must consider some protective factors. Making sure your child is involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities is a fantastic way of providing opportunities to make friends with peers who share the same interests. As well as negotiating the transition from primary years to secondary, your child will also be undergoing developmental changes, the onset of puberty and adolescence. Having close friends who share similar interests will help them establish themselves in their new environment. They will never have as many opportunities to try new and exciting clubs and activities as they do now so encourage them to get involved.
At Compass International School, we offer a wide variety of extra-curricular activities to capture the interest of all students: Lego, Zumba, debating, ukulele club, netball, robotics, Eco Warriors, basketball, Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and drama are just some of the clubs on offer and there is also something new to try each term.