Take chance to sample secondary school life

The transition from Year 6 to Year 7 can be a little daunting for students and parents. When Year 6 children say goodbye to primary school, it marks the end of an era in their educational journey.

As it’s such a big change for them, pupils are often given the opportunity to sample secondary school life before they begin Year 7.

Once you’ve accepted your child’s place, the headteacher will often invite your son or daughter to one or more taster days, normally before the end of the current school year. This day will give your child the chance to experience a normal day at the school as a way of breaking them in and relieving anxiety over the summer holidays. 

They may also get the chance to meet other children from different primary schools so they can start getting to know their new classmates.

It will also give them the opportunity to find out where their form room, canteen, lockers and toilets are located as it’s likely they will not remember this from when they attended the open day.

This will make their first day easier as they will already have a rough idea of the layout of the  school.

The main aim of the taster day is to help make the transition from primary school to secondary school as smooth as possible.

During the summer holidays, their new school may give them tasks to complete before the new term begins. Some also provide activity ideas such as recipes to try that will be similar to what pupils will be learning in food technology or simple science experiments they can do at home to give them a taster of what their lessons will be like in Year 7.

Many parents also choose to set their children learning tasks to keep their brains ticking over during the break from school and avoid what has become known as the ‘summer slide’. This might be activities such as taking part in the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge, maths quizzes or fun games like Boggle that help to build language skills. Some schools  may also offer a summer school with sessions aimed at giving teachers the opportunity to learn  about your child, what their strengths are and what support, if any, they might need.

Every school will operate differently so it’s worth asking what they offer when you attend an open day or look for any information in their prospectus.