Preparing to leave primary school education and enter secondary school, or high school as it is known in Scotland and America, is a major task. The transition has the potential to be stressful for child and parent alike. Year 6, the final primary year, can be difficult for children who face the dual pressures of SATS exams and trying to get into a secondary school of their choice.
Preparing for SATS can leave little time for children to enjoy their education, and a common complaint at this age is that school is ‘boring’. Unlikely as it may seem, some children (like my son) relish exams, but many others find it stressful. There are a few things you can do to help.
How you leave primary school is important. It is the first major rite of passage that most of our children will experience and it is a surprisingly emotional occasion. We want them to part with good memories. It is important for children to feel that leaving primary school does not mean cutting off all ties with their friends. These days it seems as though most 11-year-old have mobile phone, so you could encourage your child to exchange numbers, and keep in touch over the holidays. For my son, one of the best things about secondary school has been going back to his primary school, all dressed up in his new uniform, to have the teachers make a huge fuss of him. It has made him feel grown-up, and he has since made several excuses to go back and visit the school again, in his full uniform naturally.