Kerry Lifeline

Transition from Primary to Secondary School What to expect and what can help


By the time you reach your final years in pri4688777136_d1244e990a_bmary school, you will be totally comfortable with your school environment. By sixth class, you are one of the most senior people in your school and you are used to being given responsibility and looked up to by the younger children. However the transition to secondary school means that you have to revert to being the most junior again and have to cope with a brand new environment. Change can be a daunting task for any one of us and can take a lot of adjusting to.

Easily the biggest change when entering secondary school is going from the experience of one teacher all day in one classroom to encountering eight or nine different teachers and subject/classroom changes every forty minutes or so. A tip to help you cope with this is to write down the name of each new teacher beside the name of the subject and write your own version of the class timetable.
The second big change is the constant movement between classrooms throughout the day. Depending on your subject choices, you will be moving all around the school. Getting lost during the first few weeks will be inevitable and a good tip is to always stay with at least one other person from the class.
Another big adjustment is the number of specific subjects you will be covering. Students in First Year will cover up to sixteen different subjects; many of these will be new to you. Discuss all the subjects at home with your parents and let them know which ones you struggle with. Everyone will have their own favourites and will excel at certain subjects.
Your timetable will take a lot of getting used to and you may need help initially in the organisation of your schoolbag each day. Each student will also be provided with a locker and be sure to use your locker to avoid ‘heavy bag syndrome’
Homework time is obviously going to increase. However not all subjects are covered every day and not all subjects involve homework. Learn how to successfully manage your time and don’t rule out the possibility of supervised study. Schools reports may also be a new experience that comes with secondary school as regular reports come home from the school.
Taking part in games and P.E. is a great way of getting to know more students in your school. Find activities which you and enjoy and try out new activities even if you haven’t tried something before, or if you don’t know what the activity entails.
If you find yourself struggling with any aspect of this change be sure to talk to someone: Your parents, a friend, a class teacher or school counsellor. This time will fly by, and before long your new school will feel like your second home!!

SouthWest Counselling Centre Killarney provides affordable professional counselling to children, adolescents adults and couples – both at its Killarney Centre (Lewis Road) and at Kenmare Family Centre.

Kerry LifeLine at SouthWest Counselling Centre provides FREE counselling and support to anyone feeling suicidal or bereaved through suicide. To make an appointment call 064 6636416.

SouthWest Counselling Centre is a not-for-profit organization. All funds raised through fundraising go directly to service provision.

SouthWest Counselling Centre will run an 8 week course on Supporting Parents to Support Their Teens – beginning Wednesday Sept 30th. Call 064 6636416 to book your place.