By now you will have found out which secondary school your child has been allocated – an exciting and scary time! It is also an exciting time for the team who will be helping you and your child through this big change – Team Transition. Please be assured that they cannot wait to meet you, and their sole mission is to support your child as they move from primary to secondary school.
As a Head of Year 7 I know first hand how stressful this time can be, and also that you may need some reassurance. I hope to provide that with my top tips below:
1. Accept your child’s place
You will have been asked to accept your child’s place – this can be done directly through their new secondary school, either over the phone or by letter. This must be done as soon as possible for a few reasons, one being that if you do not accept by a certain time limit the school may retract the place, and also so the school can make plans to meet you and your child to find out what needs you may have, and what support you may need.
2. Get to know Team Transition
In different schools the makeup of their team is different, however it will usually include a Head of Year/Head of House/Year Manager. This person will be looking after your child not only through the Transition period, but also through the start of their journey at their secondary school. They will be responsible for all pastoral issues, and getting to know them and their name will mean you know who to contact if you have any queries during this important time.
3. Read all communication carefully
You should receive a letter from your child’s school soon after they are offered a place. You will need to make a note of any parents’ evenings and Transition Days that are coming up – these will be crucial to welcome you and your child to their new school! If for whatever reason you will be unable to attend any of them (eg family holiday) please let the school know ASAP as they will try to arrange alternate dates for you to make sure you don’t miss anything.
4. Create a list of questions and concerns
You will be offered a chance to meet with the staff who will be caring for your child – most likely their form tutor. If you have any concerns specific to your child this is a good time to bring them up – for example if your child is dyslexic, or has social anxieties. This information will have already been passed on from their primary school teacher, but it is always good to add more information, as after all, you know your child best! This list will make sure you don’t forget anything when you have the opportunity.
5. Keep in touch
If (understandably) you cannot hesitate in sharing some important information about your child – get in touch! If you have a worry or concern, no matter how big or how small (questions about what they will need in their PE kit are absolutely fine!) please ring and ask.Equally, if you are pleased with something their Transition team has done, do feel free to let them know! Just remember, their new school is as keen as you are to ensure a smooth and happy transition for your child.
So there you have it – my 5 Top Transition Tips! What are your biggest concerns about your child’s transition from primary to secondary?