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Moving up to Secondary School

With the announcement of secondary school placements released, you or your young person may be feeling a range of emotions towards your new school in September. It is normal to feel a mix of excitement, worried, nervousness, or even sadness about starting your new school and all of these feelings are completely normal!

We hope the information and resources below can help you with the transition into secondary school.

Things I would tell my 11-year-old self about starting secondary school – Video

Our Young Ambassadors created this video reflecting on when they started secondary school and what they would tell their 11-year-old selves.

Worries about starting a different secondary school to your friends

If you are going a different school from your friends or other people in your class, you may feel worried about not knowing anyone and having to make new friends, or maybe worried about your current friends forgetting about you.

There will always be other people starting your new school just like you who haven’t met anyone else yet either. Your tutor group and different classes for different lessons will give you lots of opportunity to meet new people and make friends. Your new school may also offer after school or lunchtime clubs where you can meet other students in your year who are interested in the same thing as you are e.g football, coding, music and art!

If you are nervous about leaving behind your current friends and falling out of touch with them, try and make some plans for the summer holidays and weekends in September and exchange contact details so you (or your parents) can stay in touch. You’ll probably find they are feeling the same way too!


Summer Transitions Project

In the summer, we run a week-long series of creative expressive wellbeing workshops to help support young people through drama, music, art and performance who feel they may struggle with varying school transitions, including moving up to secondary school from Year 6.

This project is open to 11-14 year olds who feel anxious about the next academic year, or who feel issues around school are the reason they may need some support. We also work with local schools to help identify young people wo would benefit from taking part, especially those especially those moving up from primary school.

Last year we supported 20 young people and they told us they built friendships, relationships and confidence throughout the week, and that they were feeling happier.

“Thanks so much for organising this event. L enjoyed it more than I thought he was going to! Transition into new school is going really well- again better than anticipated. We really appreciate L being involved.” – Feedback from a parent of a young person who attended the Summer Transitions Project in 2022

Read more about last year’s project in our Summer Transitions 2023 Impact Report!


We hope to be running this project again this August, if this is something you or your young person is interested in please contact our Projects Coordinator, Abbie, via who will be able to provide you more information as soon as it is available.


Support for Parents

If you are a parent looking for some ways to support your young person’s transition to secondary school, take a look at the below resources:

Young Minds have a great blog written by other parents- check out their blog here!

BBC Bitesize also have a mini resource hub dedicated to Starting Secondary School that has some great videos, activities and guides for both you and your child – check it out here!

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