How can teachers support primary leavers starting secondary school


How can teachers support primary leavers starting secondary school?

Making the transition from primary education to secondary school can be a nerve-wracking experience for pupils, meaning teachers have a vital role to play. Not only do youngsters need to get used to a new school environment, but they’ll also face lessons in different classrooms rather than just one, and they are no longer the oldest there.

In order to help make the transition process as smooth as possible, here we’ve looked at a few of the things teachers will want consider.

Work to ease fears

The move to a new school can be a driver of anxiety and stress, so there’s a need to make classrooms as welcoming as possible. This can be done via fun team building games and by giving pupils the chance to get to know each other. Many pupils may know others from previous schools, but it can help with the settling in process if they are urged to integrate with others as well.

From a teacher perspective, it’s important that every pupil knows they can speak to you should any issues arise, or to other staff such as heads of year or heads of house. It’s also essential to set out behavioural rules from the start, as establishing a clear set of boundaries can help to put pupils at ease. Look to provide all of the basic information that pupils will need too – such as where to find different classrooms or the toilets.

Getting to grips with what is new

The move to a new school brings much more than just a new environment in which to learn, and it’s an important factor for teachers to keep in mind in the first few weeks of the academic year. Creating a supportive environment can help pupils to feel welcomed, which in turn can go a long way toward helping to foster a love of learning. It’s highly likely that a secondary school will be larger than where pupils have been in the past, and that they’ll be more people for them to see on a regular basis. Full-school assemblies, or even year-group assemblies, could be very intimidating for those who have come from smaller rural schools, as an example, so you may want to limit how many there are in the first few weeks of the new term.

·        Different classroom settings

The move to secondary school means there’s a greater chance pupils might be late for classes if they cannot find the right room, as the majority will have been used to having all lessons in the same location at primary school. Account for this in the first few weeks of the autumn term and recognise that some disruption might happen in lessons as a result. The key here is that pupils learn as they go, and that they know that while you’re willing to show them some grace early on, they’ll be expected on time in future.

·        Different staff for different subjects

Unlike in primary school, where a single class teacher will take care of most, if not all, lessons for each group of pupils, secondary school is vastly different. This means less contact time between each pupil and staff member, which can be daunting if they have any questions. You can help youngsters to settle in by ensuring that every pupil knows the best way to contact you, and when it’s acceptable to do so.

·        New teaching methods

Run through your teaching methods with pupils early on too, as this can allow them to know what to expect. As they progress through the curriculum, the emphasis on key skills and knowledge changes, and it can make lessons a great deal easier if pupils are aware of the analytical approaches and question-solving that will be required.

·        Introducing homework

Pupils might not be used to the concept of homework either, although ideally, their previous primary teachers will have given them some background on what to expect. It can be best to ease pupils into the new ways of working, especially as they’ll be juggling work from multiple different subjects at once.

Ultimately, one of the most supportive actions that a secondary teacher can take is to be there to listen to pupils and allay their fears. Many will likely have a range of questions and worries, but with care and compassion, it’s possible to help them settle into their new environment quickly!

How Tradewind Recruitment can support Secondary Teachers looking for their next role in education

If you’re a Secondary Teacher looking for support in writing your CV, preparing for your interview or general help with keeping organised, we have lots of resources to help with that.

We have hundreds of vacancies currently available if you’re looking for your next role as a Primary Teacher.