Transition from Year 6 to 7: advice for parents and carers
An important school move
If your child is currently in Year 6 and moving to secondary school in the autumn, they may need extra support during this uncertain period. Even without the pandemic, this would have been an unsettling time for many children, bringing discontinuities in their life and the loss of familiar routines and people.
The AfC Virtual School supports schools in recognising that pupils joining Year 7 will have had very different experiences during this time of lock-down. Individual needs must be acknowledged, as well as the impact of uncertainty on pupils.
Our expectation for schools is that there will be:
• effective communication between the setting, parents and other people involved with the child
• fact finding about a child’s needs and context, including the involvement of any other agencies, their interests and any specific details that will help them to settle
• discussion about changes to the environment and routines that may be needed
• the child’s, parents’ or carers’ views, which are central to the planning for a child’s transition.
Supporting your child with their school move
Children will need the following:
Continuity of care, support and nurture
They need to rely on their carers at home and school. You can support them by listening to some of their concerns about moving to a new school. These may include losing old friends, getting lost, being bullied, discipline and detentions or homework. It is also helpful to invite children to think about what they are looking forward to, such as new subjects and after-school clubs.
Consistency of care and guidance:
- They need to understand the rules and expectations clearly.
- They need to negotiate and accept consequences for their behaviours.
- They need to have predictability around what they need to do and when, who is responsible for what to minimise the level of anxiety and stress they might experience in managing expectations at home and school.
Your relationship with the new school
Maintain a positive attitude when talking about the new school This is a great way to support your child to have a successful transition to secondary school. Irrespective of our own experience of education and school, we need to promote learning and school engagement as they are proven to ensure mental wellbeing in the short term and best outcomes in life long term.
Although attainment is important, it is vital we encourage our young people to engage with the breadth of school life in order to settle in and this in turn will be beneficial for achievement.
Work with the school
Any difficulties need to be addressed with the school and avoid sharing it with your child to promote positive attachment to the school. The same applies if you have difficulties with any teaching or other staff member. Children should be free to learn and succeed instead of being burdened by difficulties between parents and school.
Get to know the school before the autumn term begins
Your child and you should be informed as thoroughly as possible about the specific secondary school they will attend prior to transition to familiarise students as fully as possible with the secondary school experience before they arrive. If this is not currently happening, please contact the Virtual School (details above) for assistance.