Knowledge Bank

Transition from primary to secondary – the joys and sorrows

A rite of passage or a deeply traumatic experience? Going up to big school will be especially difficult this year as primary pupils finished at Easter, had no exams and no chance to say a proper goodbye to the teachers and friends who have been such a big part of their live for the last seven years.

Transition to secondary school is a rite of passage and marks a step towards adulthood. As with all landmark occasions, it can be over-whelming and children can regress emotionally and in academic terms if it is not handled well.

Some experts claim that pupils may even experience a degree of trauma in changing schools. Certainly the move requires children to adapt to a much larger community where their new year group can be bigger than the whole of their primary school. They become a small fish in a very big pond.

 Added to this, adolescence can make young people more self-conscious and ill at ease in social situations where they feel they are under scrutiny and the centre of attention. In short, they want to be under the radar and not draw attention to themselves in any way.


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