With the summer term now well underway and all the schools nearly at summer holiday time, there’s only few weeks of holiday before the year sixes move up to secondary school.

Without question, this is one of the biggest steps your child will make, so how can you make it as easy for them as possible?  We’ve put together some tips.

Travel

One of the biggest changes in the leap from primary to secondary school is how they get there.  For many children this will involve taking a bus and in a time where so many people drive, many children may not have even been on a bus with a parent before, let alone on their own.

It’s advisable to speak to the new school your child will be attending to find out your options now, before terms ends.  Is there a school bus or is it only the public system that covers your route?  Do they know how many others will be coming from your town or village and also, where will the bus drop them and pick them up?

Some routes may not have a school bus, but there may be one that serves other private or grammar schools in the area and these often have spaces for others that are going along the same route.  These will be run by private bus services and you’ll need to apply for a space.

Whatever way they’ll be travelling, use the summer holidays to take a few test runs to let them feel familiar with the route and time how long it takes.  Don’t forget to time the walk from the bus stop right into school, as that could affect what bus they need to take and which one they’ll catch after school.

You can always follow behind in the car or drop them at the bus stop and be waiting for them the other end.

Get to know the school

Before you start a job, you will generally do a background check on the company and your child’s new school should be no different.  The more you can find out about how it ticks, the easier the transition will be.

Find out about the uniform the children wear, the types of bags they carry, how the children get to school, how homework is set, how payments are made.

The more questions you can ask before they start, the easier the transition will be for your child. They may not ask you so how does the school accept my payment, but they will ask where do I get food from and will they take cash?

A lot of schools now run a cashless system, so get your child used to how this works, let them know what it will cover and if they’ll be having a hot lunch at school or if they’ll be bringing a packed lunch.

Build confidence

One of the biggest hurdles year sixes have to overcome is going from being top of the school, to starting at the bottom again.  They’re no longer the tallest, the most experienced and the eldest and this can come as a big shock to them.

They may also struggle with feeling confident in an alien environment.  This is why inception days are so important.  They give your child a real feel for the school, how it works, where classrooms are, where the toilets are and a feel for their peers.  Check how many your child’s school offer and if there’s a chance for any more.

If your child is really nervous, your new school may even be able to offer more days.  They may run after school clubs for newcomers to attend before they start, or even run a mini-camp in the holidays.  The more they are there, the easier the transition will be.

Good luck to all the year sixes, you’ve got this.