What are children worried about?
- Worries about being bullied
- Having new teachers
- Going to a different school from their friends and losing contact with them
- Not being able to make new friends
- Exams and homework being hard
- Finding their way around a bigger school
A boy aged 11 said: “I’m feeling nervous about going to secondary school, I don’t really know what to expect or who to ask questions to. I know there will be all these different classes with different teachers, and I think that will be confusing. What do I do if I get lost between classes? Will they be really strict?”
Children should ask questions if they are worried about something. We know it can be scary when they don’t know who to talk to at school, but it’s important to remember that teachers are there to help. They can also ask reception staff or the school nurse if they need support. Some schools will also have mentors or other pupils who are there to support them as well.
Making new friends
If they’re starting a new school and don’t know anyone, they might feel anxious or scared that people won’t like them. They could feel lonely at first, but there are things that can make this easier.
- Positive body language, such as smiling, looking the person in the eye and speaking clearly and confidently.
- Try practising going up to someone new. The more they try, the easier it can be.
- Remember that it can take time to make new friends. If they’re worried about break or lunch times, they could find out if they can use the library or ICT rooms until they feel more confident.