Transition & change

Transition and change

Make them feel great!

The pre-teen years have long been recognised as an important stage of childhood. It is a time when children undergo fundamental changes - not only the hormonal and physical changes of puberty, but in becoming more independent and increasingly dependent on friends and peer groups, and developing their own identity and values. Pre-teens are more likely to be self-conscious and lack self-esteem. The identities, skills and attitudes that are developed during these years last long into adulthood.

Changing social trends have had a huge impact on the experiences of the pre-teen group because they have become exposed to adult cultures and attitudes in a way we would not have expected in the past. Almost half of 8-11 year olds are now saying that they access the internet without the supervision of an adult. Many own a mobile phone and chat with friends either online or via PS4 or other gaming device. This age range have technology at their fingertips but are not yet equipped to deal with some of the more negative issues which can arise such as grooming and cyber bullying. There is also pressure from the commercial market they are exposed to, so having the right pair of trainers is very important and can lead to anxiety, depression and stress.

Coping with all this along with changes in school life, exams, more homework and the prospect of starting a new secondary school can be overwhelming. Increased importance placed on tests, exams and learning in the last year of primary school has become more and more like learning in the first few years of secondary school. Your child needs your support at this time of change and uncertainty.

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Preparing for secondary school

Starting secondary school is a big milestone. They will go from being the oldest in school to being the youngest, having to find their way around a large new school with different teachers for different subjects.

  • Shop for uniform and equipment in good time. If this is expensive, it may be possible to get help with the cost. Contact the school or the LEA to find out.

  • Travel the route to school together a few times so it becomes familiar and use the buses if that is part of the route.

  • Visit your LEA's website for details on assistance such as free school transport or free school meals. If your child is eligible, make sure you apply in good time.


What can I do to help my child settle at their new secondary school.


Make sure you attend the open day arranged for new pupils to help them settle in.


Take time to listen if they are worried and reassure them.