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Supporting students with the transition from primary to secondary school.

The transition from primary to secondary can be a stressful event for all students and their parents, and this can be compounded for a student with medical or mental health needs. To minimise potential difficulties transition planning should begin early in year six. Taking such measures as outlined below can minimise students’ anxiety and ease their difficulties around the transition period.

Suggestions for primary schools

  • Encourage parents to inform the secondary school as soon as possible in relation to their child’s medical / mental health needs.

  • Be prepared for the secondary school to make enquiries once the student has enrolled.

Suggestions for secondary schools

  • Organise meetings and open days for parents, students and the staff of the feeder schools.

  • Ensure that parents know how to best relay information about the student to the school – e.g. the individual whom they should talk to – and assure them that such communication is welcome.

  • Liaise with feeder primary schools and gather relevant, up-to-date information to facilitate planning for the student.

  • Provide information packs which give details on subject curricula, extra-curricular activities, resources, school procedures, etc.

  • Consider having a simplified version for students and another version for parents.

  • Consider the use of mentors to support vunerable Year 7 students.

  •  Name badges for teachers can be useful for Year 7 students in the first few weeks.

  •  Provide opportunities for subject teachers to learn about specific needs and establish a formalised system for the dissemination of appropriate information to teachers.

  • Be watchful for new diagnoses.

  • Ensure there is a clear and effective anti-bullying policy in place and that students understand the process.