Year 6 is a pinnacle year for children. On one hand, they’re as comfortable and confident as they have ever been in their school life, but on the other hand, they’ve got some big changes looming ahead of them.
The main thing that’s likely to be on the mind of a Year 6 student, is that they’re going to be moving to a new school at the end of the academic year. They’ll consistently be reminded of this by their teachers, who will be preparing them for secondary school with anecdotes of what it’s like and potentially by taking them to an induction day there.
Seemingly obvious worries are getting lost or not knowing whether they’re supposed to be in PE or Science at any given time, but moving between lessons and learning to use a timetable is often something that Year 6 students don’t worry about until they get to secondary school, as it’s not something they will have experienced before.
The types of things that they will have already experienced may be the ones that play on their minds a bit more – as they may have already seen what happens when something goes wrong, or when they’re unhappy because of something that has happened before. These are the types of things that parents should help to reassure their Year 6 children about, whilst reinforcing how exciting and interesting their new school will be.
Below are a few examples of things to have a chat with your children about:
Getting on with teachers
Your child’s primary school teachers will have probably become more like a respected friends than a figure of authority. More teachers and a great deal more students mean that these types of teacher-student relationships are far less likely and just the fact that a teacher doesn’t know you as a Year 6 can make you apprehensive about how they will treat you.
Reassuring your child that teachers will want to be liked too, will help; especially if they’re already well behaved in lessons.
Not doing well at school
A bigger school means bigger tests and bigger loads of homework. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to keep track of, so it’s not surprising that not doing well at school can be a worry for Year 6 students as they start thinking about secondary school. If you don’t already have them in place, standard times for doing homework in the evenings or weekends and assisting with revising for tests can help to set Year 6 children’s minds at rest that their upcoming workload will be manageable.
Not fitting in at school or being bullied
Individuality can be scary for Year 6 students. Having your peers stare at you or snigger behind your back because you’re different in some way can be upsetting.
The chances are they will fit in perfectly, but if they do stand out in a crowd, one of the best ways to deal with this is to encourage your child to be comfortable with their individuality. If they’re taller than others their age or have an unusual hair colour, by making them happy and comfortable with this – by pointing out the positives and that it’s not something bad – will help them to be more confident if they are faced with people who notice their differences.
Not making friends
Even if your child has a large group of friends and is naturally good at making friends, being in a class full of strangers is a daunting thought. Being in a class full of strangers who aren’t going to like you is a potentially scary one. By reassuring your child that more children means that more people are likely to be on their same wavelength, therefore creating more friendship opportunities, will help to alleviate this worry and turn a potential negative thought into a positive one.
Falling out with friends
Becoming distant, growing apart or just falling out with friends will be a worry for most Year 6 students at the end of primary school. Reassuring your child that this is a fact of life may help, or it could be beneficial to plan in some out of school activities with the parents of your child’s best friends for a few weeks’ time. This way, if they do start to grow apart, they’ll have the chance to catch up with each other and maintain what is already a strong friendship.
Year 6 leavers hoodies for friends
One way to keep friends from primary school at the forefront of Year 6 students’ minds, is to have their names printed on their new favourite item of clothing. Leavers hoodies are available in a vast array of styles, colours and sizes and by having your child’s best friends’ names printed alongside their own, it can help to create something special for them and their friends to treasure, long after they have left primary school. To view our range of leavers hoodies, visit our hoodies pages.