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PGL Personal Development Courses

Primary to Secondary - the big leap

Moving to a new school is something many of us remember as a bit of a shock to our 11 year-old sensibilities; an unfamiliar environment, new faces, new ways of doing things.

At primary school you're used to one classroom, with one teacher, and your friends around you. Now, at secondary school, there's a different teacher for every subject, you have to change classrooms between lessons while navigating corridors full of big kids who know the ropes; and you might only know a handful of other pupils. Worst of all, three months ago you were king of the hill and now you're bottom of the pile. No wonder many children find it difficult to adjust. Of course, we soon learn to adapt, make new friends and learn how the 'big school' operates, but it can be a challenging time for many children.

Easing the journey

But there are ways to soften the blow. Induction days, usually towards the end of the summer term, are a great way for new students to get to know their way round their new school, meet their new teachers and come face-to-face with children from other primary schools who'll be joining them.

Many schools also start their year sevens off a day early in September so they can get acclimatised without the disruption of the rest of the school getting in the way. Some schools even arrange residential trips early in the new term to help with year group bonding.

Learning the ropes

Residential trips are particularly effective in helping pupils get to know each other and also their teachers. The experience of being away from home itself changes the dynamic between children and adults, and children learn how to work together to adapt to their new environment.

Outdoor adventures involving team building and problem solving activities help improve confidence, communication and leadership skills; while individual challenges, which take children outside their comfort zone, help to push boundaries and develop the vital self-belief that anything is possible when you try.

Residential trips help children to develop coping strategies, adapt to the unfamiliar, challenge themselves and work as part of a team: all valuable skills that they need to help them adjust to life at a new school and beyond.

by PGL Travel.

Discover what a PGL Primary to Secondary Transition Course is all about.