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Transitioning from primary to secondary school

It can be worrying when your child is ready to move from primary to secondary school. This information about advice from BBC Bitesize might be useful - Starting secondary school with Special Educational Needs (SEN) - BBC Bitesize.

We have also written some practical tips to help your child navigate the transition.

Before starting

Help to build their independence up gradually at their pace. Consider uploading a tracker on your child’s phone to be able to follow their journey and make sure they get to school on their own OK. Apps such as Find my Friends or Life360 might be useful.


Help your child to distinguish between homework that is staggered over time (revision, research, projects etc.) and shorter pieces of work that should take less time and have shorter deadlines. It takes practice to get used to the demands of homework and developing prioritisation skills.

Settling in

  • Try not to worry if the first few days, weeks or even months don’t go smoothly. There is so much new information and process for your young person to take in. You may find behaviours become more challenging or your child is a lot more tired than usual. Be patient and understanding.
  • You may want to set time straight after school for your child to relax and decompress for a bit. Don’t worry if you don’t get much feedback or answers to your questions about how school went. Be patient, let them unwind, and try not to overload them with lots of questions.
  • You may want to scale back on any extracurricular activities for a while until your child is settled in a bit more. Overloading with activities may lead to mental burn out or feelings of overwhelm.
  • If your child has struggled to make any new friends maybe suggest a lunch time club they could join. You could ask the school if they have a buddy system. There will likely be changes with friendships throughout secondary school so expecting this may help if you are concerned they don’t seem to be talking about the same friends all the time.

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