It may seem like yesterday that your child started primary school, but now secondary school is looming.
Choosing a secondary school
- Ask other parents or your child’s primary about their experiences of local secondary schools.
- Talk to your child about what they want to know before you visit any schools.
- Parents and other kinship carers often report that selecting a school is stressful; it’s helpful to visit potential schools with your child when they are in Year 5. You’ll have to select your child’s secondary school early in Year 6 – visiting early gives you and your child plenty of time to consider your options.
- Make sure you get your child’s application form in on time. Some local authorities prefer these sent via the internet – ask at your primary school or local library if you need help.
- Don’t pin all your hopes on entry into one chosen secondary school. It can be a huge disappointment if your child doesn’t get a place. Try to have at least one second choice you’re both happy with.
- It’s possible to appeal against the decision if your child doesn’t get their chosen place. Contact your local authority to find out more.
Secondary School Transfer Information
Confused about your Secondary School place? Not sure what to do next?
If you were not successful in your child’s secondary school choice please follow the link below to help with next steps.
Frequently asked questions
To find out more look at our prospectus: http://marriotts.herts.sch.uk/prospectus/
Year 7 Welcome Handbook – Information for Parents/Carers 2016/17
- Once your child has a place at a secondary school, make sure you attend the open day arranged for new pupils. These days are vital to help new pupils settle in.
- Shop for uniform and equipment in good time. If this is expensive, it may be possible to get help with the cost. Contact the secondary school or the local education authority to find out.
- If your child feels nervous, take time to listen and reassure them that all children feel this way before starting secondary school.
- Travel the route to secondary school together a few times so it becomes familiar.
- Visit your local authority’s website for details on assistance such as free school transport or free school meals. If your child is eligible, make sure you apply in good time.
- The amount of homework set in secondary school can come as a shock. In Year 7, children may be expected to spend between 45-90 minutes per day on it.
- Help your child handle homework by:
- Setting aside a place away from the TV for homework.
- Helping them find a homework routine that suits them.
- Talking to them about the task.
- Checking and signing their homework diary regularly.
- Encouraging them to use various resources: library/internet/after school homework clubs: whichever they prefer.
- Praising them for working hard.
- Making sure they get some homework-free time each week.
- Not getting stressed out – if you are, your child will be too.
- Talking to the school over any homework issue.
You may worry about your child’s personal safety at secondary school and it is important to ensure your child knows they can turn to you if they are frightened in any way.
You may be concerned about:
Bullying: this may be face-to-face or through the internet or mobile phones (cyber-bullying). It may happen on or off school premises, or on school or public transport.
Tell your child that bullying in any form is always wrong and to tell you or another adult if it happens to them. Children may find it hard to talk about bullying, but there are signs to look out for that may suggest there is a problem.
If your child is being bullied through their mobile phone or on the internet it may be even more difficult for you to find out what’s going on. There are steps you can take to protect your child’s online safety and help you stay up-to-date with what they’re doing without making them feel you are ‘spying’ on them. We have a wealth of information on this and all other types of bullying on our website – click on ‘Bullying’.
Once your child is at secondary school, you may feel more isolated and out of touch with other parents and other kinship carers as well as with the school. It may help to:
- Check the school’s website for details of events and attend as many as you can.
- Contact the Parent Teacher Association.
- Talk to your child’s form tutor about any problems.
- Make sure the secondary school is aware of any changes at home – for example, if parents are living apart, make sure the school also contacts the non-resident parent.
We can help with any aspect of parenting or family life, including starting secondary school.
- Free, (1) 24-hour, confidential Parentline on 0808 800 2222 for advice, information and support on any aspect of parenting and family life.
- Or Skype us via our website – We offer advice and information as well as extended support for complex and difficult issues.
- Free textphone for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired – 0800 783 6783(2).
- Personalised email service at – firstname.lastname@example.org (3).
- Online advice and information on all aspects of parenting and family life. Live chat at www.familylives.org.uk/livechat Give and receive support and advice from other parents and adult family members experiencing similar problems – www.familylives.org.uk.
- Advice and information for professionals working with families at – www.familylives.org.uk/professionals
- Face-to-face support groups and workshops. Find out what is available in your area here
1From landlines and most mobile networks. 2Please note, this service is available from 9-5pm Monday to Friday.
3Guaranteed reply within three working days.
You may worry about choosing the right secondary school, how you can help your child prepare and how to help them get the most out of secondary school.
Your child will have to take more responsibility, such as:
- Taking a new and unfamiliar route.
- Planning for each day’s timetable, making sure they have the right books and equipment.
- Doing homework most evenings, which will have to fit into their routine alongside other interests.
It can take time for children to adjust to these new responsibilities, as well as dealing with the prospect of being a teenager.It’s a tricky time and you may need help – that’s where Family Lives comes in. This leaflet highlights the main concerns facing families at this time, but for more in-depth help you can contact us in a variety of ways.
For more tips and advice visit our website