Moving from the top class of primary school, Year 6, to the bottom class of secondary, Year 7, is probably the biggest change your child will have ever known. Don’t underestimate the importance of this moment in your child’s life, even if most of their friends are going to the same school, and you have older children.
All our secondary schools in Winchester have open days and evenings for both parents and pupils and offer opportunities for pupils to visit the school and try activities out for themselves.
Open days including tours of the school, talks by the headteacher and meetings with other teachers and children are essential. Children get a good understanding about the differences at a secondary school, including having more than one teacher, different pupils in each lesson, changing rooms between lessons and behaviour and discipline.
Evening meetings for parents and children can also prove helpful in removing the fear factor, as can the allocation of a secondary school pupil mentor assigned to a group of new starters.
A visit to the primary school by the secondary school head teacher or a year 7 leader may include a talk in assembly, meetings with individual pupils/small groups/classes, and observation of the children working in class.