1. Introduction

As your child moves from primary to secondary school he/she faces into a period of great change and transition. Your child is moving from a place where he/she is the tallest, oldest, and most senior student to a place where he/she is the smallest, youngest and most junior. He/she has moved from a building with one very familiar classroom to a new building with dozens of different classrooms and where he/she will have to move from a Maths room to a computer lab, and from a science room to a P.E. hall.

Throughout the last year of primary school he/she has had one main teacher who was very familiar with each child and with whose personality your child became familiar and accustomed. Your child will now have to deal with possibly 8 different teachers each day. Indeed, if your son/daughter has a particular subject for three 40/45-minute periods each week, it will take until November for the teacher-pupil contact time to equal one week in primary school. Moreover, in primary school the teacher only had to be familiar with about 30 students; in secondary school each teacher may have to be familiar with in excess of 200 students. Indeed, as the pupil-teacher relationship is a two-way process it will take time for each teacher to become familiar with the personality of each student and each student to become used to the different personalities of all his/her teachers.

In 6th class your child was surrounded by about 30 students he/she knew well and who, in turn, knew them well. He/she will now be faced with a situation where they are mixing with a much larger number of different students in their year group, some of whom he/she does not know and who also do not know them. As our relationships with those around us is one of the main factors that determine how comfortable we feel, it is these factors, in addition to organisational matters, that will determine how long it will take for your child to find a sense of comfort, familiarity, and attachment in their new surroundings.

In primary school all your child’s school equipment and books were easy to obtain and produce when needed. In secondary school he/she will have to get use to organising their locker, sorting books and copies for the early morning classes, mid-morning classes, and afternoon classes. He/she will have to get use to organising different books for different days and ensuring homework that is given for the next day is done and homework that is given, for example on Monday and not due until Thursday, is done on time. In addition, academically, your child will now encounter new subjects he/she has not encountered before and probably get used to not scoring well in all tests all of the time.