It’s that time of the school year when Year 6 pupils are finishing their primary education and heading off into the big world of secondary school. It’s an exciting time, however it can also be a bit scary for some pupils, so this activity helps to talk through how they are feeling about the transition to secondary school and deal with any concerns in a positive way.
Time: 45 mins – 1 hour
- Give out the ‘timeline worksheet’ to pupils (see download below).
- Model how they can plot the main events in their life (they need only share things they are happy for others to know).
- Give pupils 5 minutes to complete their timeline and share with a partner.
- Ask pupils to highlight any events on their timeline which involved a change (i.e. starting primary school, moving school, moving house, their family changing etc).
- Ask pupils who are willing to share how they felt at these different times. E.g.
- What change happened?
- How did it make them feel?
- What helped them to deal with the change?
- Discuss as a class before asking what change is coming next for them: moving to secondary school.
Moving on up
- Give out the ‘moving on up’ sheet and ask pupils to complete it individually.
- Discuss their ideas as a class, pulling out any common themes in both what they are looking forward to (e.g. making new friends and learning new things) and what they are worried about (e.g. getting lost, not remembering books, getting to school, being bullied etc).
- Write these on the board and explain you’re going to focus on any worries and how they can be dealt with.
- Ask pupils to work in pairs or small groups and take one of their worries and discuss it for 1 minute maximum. Then, ask them to talk about what they can do to alleviate that worry.
- Model this with one of the class examples.
- e.g. I’m worried about getting lost.
- Discuss why this is a worry for 1 minute maximum.
- Then discuss the practical ways you can stop it being so much of a worry (i.e. get a plan of the school, ask someone if they get lost).
- Give pupils time to work through a few of their worries, encouraging them to focus on practical strategies.
- Ask pupils to share their ideas, adding your expertise to the discussion.
Top tips for others
- As a class or in small groups invite pupils to share a ‘top tips for moving to secondary school’ (this could be a simple list, a poster, or a video).
Ideas for extension:
- You could share the top tips with other classes or with parents to help them to understand how they can support their child with the transition.
- You could link with a secondary school to run this activity, so they can contribute their expertise.
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