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Strengthening & Empowering People

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Changing schools can be a daunting experience for any young person, having to cope with a new environment, new teachers, new friends, new structures, new uniform and new learning. When you combine this with the change puberty can bring, you have a recipe for a new person!

School transition not only takes its toll on young people but on parents and families too. A parent told me…..

’As a parent of an 11 year old coming to start secondary school, I remember all the fear I had at that age. I am preparing my son for the worst to avoid bullies. However I got on with it and I know he will too. It’s part of life. He is clearly dubious, a bit excited and that’s all normal. We are both happy he has a lot of school friends and football friends all going to the same school’

This clearly demonstrates that apprehension isn’t just the domain of young people and that it’s a time of confusion, fear, isolation and anxiety for all the family. However, it also shows how important it is to help children build resilience, giving them skills that become the building blocks for life. Most children will attend their new school with friends or peers from their primary school. Others may not, but in both cases it’s important to become familiar with the new school environment, how to get there, what is likely to happen in a normal school day, who to go to when faced with difficulties, timetabling, and the increase in homework, increase in numbers of teachers and the change from a smaller, nurturing primary school. For young people in years 6 and 7, it has been a particularly difficult 2020/2021 with many rites of passage such as school journeys, transition familiarisation visits etc. having been cancelled.

Within all StEP youth groups, relationships and transition are key elements of our programmes, through group talks, one to one conversations, creative art work and activities, all age appropriate. Combined with the opportunities for young people from different primary schools to make friends and discover that they are going to the same secondary school, widens their friendship group, breaks down barriers and leads to a less stressful and anxious move.

As well as supporting young people, parents/carers who have concerns about their child’s period of transition are always welcome to talk with our Youth Leader. If you would like more information about our youth groups please follow this link.

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