Year 6 is great – you’ll have made friends that you’ve known for years and feel like your primary school is a home from home, because you’re so used to going there.

Moving up to a much larger secondary school, where it seems like everyone is much bigger and older than you can be a little bit daunting, but whilst you might be feeling a bit nervous about the move, you can guarantee that most other year sixes moving schools will feel the same.

Here are our top tips to help you settle in and make friends quickly:

Go to induction days

If your secondary school holds an induction or taster day when year 6 students can go for a look around, make sure you take advantage of this.  Your new school will seem much less scary if you’ve already actually seen it before your first day.

Remember that everyone in your class is new too

Whichever class you’re in, you’ll be with people who are the same age as you.  They will be new to school as well, and just like you, they’ll only know a handful of people compared to knowing pretty much everyone at primary school.  If you think you look scared or nervous, have a look around and you’ll see that other people will be feeling the same way.

Be friendly

There will be times during your first day (and perhaps even your first week), where you’ll wish there was someone friendly to smile at you and make you feel better.  Being that person for others will make you look friendly and people will automatically feel comfortable smiling back or speaking to you.

Ask questions

When you do get talking to other people, ask them questions about themselves.  People often like talking about themselves and it will help you get to know others, to see whether you have things in common or find the same types of things funny.  Getting to know people helps form a basis for being friends, so speak to as many people as you can.

Ask for help

If you’re lost or can’t find where your next lesson is, just ask someone.  9 times out of 10, people will be happy to help you – and you might even make a friend whilst they’re showing you the right place to go.

Work together

If someone next to you seems stuck with a piece of work, ask if they’re okay.  They might just need a bit of advice and if you’re the one to help them out, it’s pretty likely that they’re going to like you straight away.  There will also be times where you have to work in pairs or groups.  When this happens, don’t just make a start on your own, try to make sure that everyone is involved and work together.

Keep busy at break and lunch times

You may find that the people you know from primary school are in a different set, group or form to you, which could mean that they’re in different lessons.  They might also choose to join groups that you’re not interested in.  Both of these things could mean that they’re not around when you have your break and lunch times.

The best way to make sure that you’re not sitting by yourself at these times is to keep busy with a range of things that you enjoy doing.  Sign up to groups or clubs that you think you might like to try and get a library card.  Even sitting and doing your homework at lunch can beat sitting on your own.

You can also brighten up someone else’s day by offering to sit with them.  If you see someone else sitting on their own or lingering around the dinner hall, ask them if they’d like to sit with you or if you can sit with them, if they’re waiting for someone else.  The more people you know, the better your options will be when it comes to spending time with others outside of lessons.

Remember your friends

Many primary schools provide year 6 leavers hoodies, which include the names of the people in your class, so that you can remember everyone you went to school with, including all of your old friends.  Even if some of those people are now in different lessons, or do different things at lunch times, they’re still your friends.  Every time you wear your leavers hoody, it will remind you to give your old friends a call or send them a message.

Where to buy year 6 leavers hoodies

At Leavers Hoodies Company, we have a large range of leavers hoodies for all year groups and sizes.  View our leavers hoodies for kids to see the range of styles and colours available for year 6 students, alongside options for customising the hoodies with your school’s logo or emblem and of course, the names of the students.