Worried about your child’s transition from Year 6 to Year 7?
Here are our top tips to help you to support your child.
The government has stated that it would like all primary school children to return to school before the summer, although this will be kept under review. Year 6 children may be attending school, albeit in smaller class sizes, from the 1st of June.
Schools will often prepare Year 6 pupils for the transition to Year 7, and because of the unpredictable nature of the current situation, this preparation may be different this year. As a result, you may feel worried about whether your child will feel prepared, happy and ready to start Year 7. You may further be thinking about how you can best support your child to feel ready about their transition during ‘lockdown’ and when they return to school.
Within ‘lockdown’ we are not able to control many things, however, we have so much power in our small corners of the world – within our families and our homes. The following guidance is intended to support you to support your child with their transition from Year 6 to Year 7. This will allow to you play an active role in supporting your child and enable your child to feel prepared- even when the future feels uncertain.
It must also be appreciated that some pupils may not know where they will be in Year 7 or are awaiting an appeal. If this is the case, please still read this guidance, as it includes general tips which can be completed regardless of whether you know your child’s school placement or not.
All the activities referred to below are available in the transition booklet we have created.
Utilising technology to aid transition
Many schools are utilising technology to create a ‘virtual tour’ of their school. Please do check your child’s school website to see if virtual tours are being provided. Some schools have also created a virtual safety walk of their school which covers aspects of physical, emotional and social safety.
Schools are also creating videos especially designed for Year 7s that will cover introductory material. For example, expectations around behaviour systems, school trips and expectations around school uniform. Many schools also have a Year 7 information booklet for parents and pupils.
While watching these videos and reading through various materials, try and encourage your child to note down anything that is in place which is designed to provide and maintain safety for all pupils. Also encourage your child to note down anything they are looking forward to seeing and whether they have any further questions.
Supporting your child with life skills
Within lockdown you have an excellent opportunity to support your child with the life skills they will need to thrive at Secondary School. Please use the ‘what if’ scenarios cards in the resources attached to troubleshoot different scenarios with your child.
For example, can you help your child plan their route to school? Will they be taking the bus or walking? Can you role play different scenarios on the bus (e.g. what happens if they miss the bus or it is delayed?).
Understanding and using timetables is another essential life skill that will be required of your child for Secondary School. Can you help your child to read and understand timetables, by using these around the home, and by asking your child questions about these? You may further look at what your child will need in their bag for different lessons and how will they know what to pack for each day by using ‘practice timetables’.
Maintaining a regular routine
Try your best to keep to a regular routine, especially in the mornings. This could be done by beginning the day with a family meeting to discuss work for that day, or by supervising your child for the first 30 minutes of their work, to get them started and then leaving them to complete this independently.
Try and pay particular attention to the time you get up, diet, exercise and sleep as this will impact your mood and how you approach the day. Try your best to encourage your child to avoid screen time and do calming activities in the hour before bed.
Reassurance that everyone will be in a similar position and that your child’s hard work will be recognised
Schools are aware that prior to the lockdown your child was working incredibly hard for their Year 6 exams. We would like to emphasise that this hard work will not go unrecognised by your child’s Year 7 teachers. All of your child’s hard work will prepare them for Year 7, which will recap many of the things you have learned in Year 6.
It is also important to emphasise that all Year 7 pupils will be starting September in a similar position. All would have had a disrupted Year 6 experience and all may be feeling worried about starting again in September. Your child is not alone in this.
Below are some activities that you could complete with your child to aid their transition and are available in the resources below.
This resource can be used to honour the relationships that your child had at Primary School and help them to have a ‘good goodbye’.
One page profile
This resource is a simple way to start personalising your child’s education. It is a person-centred thinking tool that provides a way to capture who your child is and how best to support them- as far as is possible on one page. You and your child can create a one page profile to start thinking about appreciation (what people appreciate about your child), what is important to your child and how your child likes to be supported at school.
At previous transition events, primary staff commented that in the future they would change how they spoke about Secondary School. As they reflected by saying some phrases, e.g. “you won’t be able to do that at Secondary School” that they may have been adding to the child’s fears about what Secondary School would be like.
You and your child could create a myth busting ‘question box’ where your child can add any questions about Secondary Schools. This provides an opportunity for your child to voice their worries. If possible, your child could discuss their questions with any Primary School alumni and ask what it is like at Secondary School.
Prompt cards and what scenarios
These cards can be used to explore different Secondary School related scenarios, and will enable your child to successfully plan how to manage these.
a flexible, whole setting approach to improving children and young people's mental health and emotional well-being