The first day of secondary school marks a significant milestone in any child’s life. For the next five years at least, children will mature into young people, undertake their biggest academic challenge to date, and discover what subjects they passionate about at excel at – shaping them into the person they’re destined to be.
Yet, the transition from primary to secondary school can be daunting. A bigger school, more structured lessons and hours of homework are just three of the changes that students will need to adapt to.
Here’s six pieces of advice for students to heed in the first few weeks of their secondary school career.
Always Listen to Teachers
Teachers are there to help guide students through their secondary school education. It’s their responsibility to make sure that pupils understand what is expected of them.
From the very first lesson, students will be told when to arrive, what is expected of them and how to achieve good grades. Students will also be informed of the school rules, in addition to important information such as where classrooms and lockers are located. It’s important that students listen (and make notes) as this will make the first few weeks in a new school easier.
"It may take a few weeks to fully get the swing of things, but good organisation is paramount to educational and primary transition success."
From the very first day, Year 7’s will be asked to take responsibility for their education. This means being organised. It may take a few weeks to fully get the swing of things, but good organisation is paramount to educational and primary transition success.
Students are encouraged to make sure they know when and where lessons take place, and that they always have their text books. Make sure to accurately record your lesson and homework timetables – there’s nothing worse than not knowing where you’re supposed to be during the day, or not completing your homework because you didn’t know that you had any!
A good tip is to pack your bag the night before with all the books and equipment you need for tomorrows lessons. Being organised is one of the best ways that students can make the transition to secondary school smoothly, and without embarrassment.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help to Navigate the School
Senior school seems huge in the first few weeks. Each corridor will seem filled with classroom after classroom, and then there’s the science labs and sports hall, nurses office and everything else a good school houses.
Know that, at least once or twice in your first few weeks you’re bound to get lost. That’s fine, everyone gets lost. It won’t take long to find your way around, but for the first few weeks it’s okay to ask someone if you can’t find the art block or music hall.
Remember, every older pupil in the school has been in your position and will understand how you feel. Asking for help when you need it will help you get used to senior school in no time, and is one of the essential actions in any successful primary to secondary transition.
There are few things that irk teachers more than pupils that are continually late for lessons. Not only does this disrupt what they’re teaching, but it may result in you getting a demerit!
Always arrive five minutes before the lessons are about to start. This will give you plenty of time to get your books out and prepare yourself. Teachers notice pupils who are punctual, and if you’re ready to learn – you’ll get more from every lesson.
"School is for learning, it’s not the place to show-off your impressions or skills making the world’s best paper aeroplane – that’s what the playground is for."
Be Respectful to All Your Teachers
Misbehaving in lessons will hardly endear you to teachers and other students. School is for learning, it’s not the place to show-off your impressions or skills making the world’s best paper aeroplane – that’s what the playground is for.
If you need to ask a teacher a question not relevant to the lesson, wait until the lessons finished or at the end of school. Don’t disrupt the flow of the lesson by asking a question that has nothing to do with what is being taught.
Join an After-School Club
One of the easiest ways to make the primary to secondary transition easier, and make friends is to join an after-school club. You’ll find that secondary schools offer a variety of different after-school activities for pupils of all ages.
From school sports to music lessons, arts classes and drama clubs, after school activities can make your school experience more enjoyable. You’re certain to have fun and make memories that you’ll look back fondly on in the years to come.
The transition from primary to secondary school is challenging, but it’s also a chance for new students to come into their own and lay the foundations for an enjoyable school experience in the years to come.
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