This year, through our Transition project, in partnership with the Caspari Foundation, we've been supporting six young people as they make the move to Secondary School. Earlier in the year, we heard an educational psychotherapist’s view on why transition to secondary school is harder for some young people that others. This time, we asked some Hopefuls in year 7 about their experiences over the few months:

How did you feel before you started?

M: “I was scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen or who was going to be there.”

D: “You don’t really know what’s coming, you don’t know what your friend groups are going to be, you don’t know how the school is and if you’re going to like it. It’s a big change in your life.

What was it like on the first day?

M: “It was quiet because no-one knew anyone and then as we got to know each other it was cool but it was really scary at first. You don’t even get up or put your hand up or talk, it was that scary.:

Was there anything that you experienced that you weren’t expecting?

M: It being so strict and having so much homework.

D: Dealing with the teachers when they shout about homework and behaviour.

Are you still in touch with your friends from primary school?

M: No. The friends I’ve got now I met in year 7

D: We talk but we’re not exactly friends.

Did you feel you could talk to anyone at school about the things you found difficult?

No, not at all. There was people at the school but because we didn’t know them we didn’t feel we could open up to them.

What about now?

M: There’s one person in school I can talk to. She’s a learning mentor and I just feel like she’s there for me.

D: No, there’s no-one even now.

Could anything have prepared you better for moving to secondary school?

M: In primary, if I’d behaved better I’d have learned more and I’d be in higher sets for things and I wouldn’t be misbehaving so much in school. I think in primary year 6 I think they should get you ready for it because it is a big change.

What would be your advice to year 6s about the year ahead?

Try not to be scared. Put your head down, work hard and don’t think school is just about friends because you’re there for a good education and your education at the moment is going to affect your whole life.

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