Changing schools

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Changing schools 2019-09-24T12:21:03+01:00

Change can be exciting but it can also be scary and sad. There are new things to look forward to, but at the same time you are leaving behind a safe familiar world. Throughout our lives there are many changes that we have to go through. It might be changing where we live, who we live with or changing schools.

Taking change slowly can be helpful. It might mean that we hold back to see how things work and what the new place and new people are like. But if the change is making us feel anxious and worried, then it is good to talk about our worries with a trusted friend or grown up.

This page is about changing schools, but some of the ideas could be used for any kind of change we have to deal with.

  • Going from primary to secondary school
  • Moving house
  • Your last school didn’t work for you, so you are going to a new school for a new start

Whatever the reason, changing school can be a difficult time, but here are some things that might make the change easier:

  • Lots of secondary schools arrange visits to help year 6 children get ready for beginning their new school after the summer holidays. Some also have buddies, who will look out for you and help you when you first begin.
  • Ask for a map. This can really help you to think about where the different parts of the new school are.
  • Practice getting ready. Make a list of all the things you will need to pack.
  • Find out who else will be going to the same new school as you. You might try to meet them on the first day.
  • Ask if you can find out what the new school rules are, so you feel safe that you know what you can and can’t do
  • If you are worried about how you get to school, whether you are catching a bus or walking, ask your parent or carer if they could practice the route with you until you feel more confident.
  • If you are worried about using a canteen for the first time, you could ask if you could practice by going to a café with friends or family, and practice ordering and paying for your own food.
  • If you are worried about making new friends, joining a club or volunteering at your new school can be a really good way to make new friends.

It can also help to remember that everyone else that is starting is in the same boat as you. It might seem that you are the only one that feels worried but there will be lots of other people who feel the same.

  • Childline is a helpline for children to talk about any problems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – call free on 0800 1111 or visit
  • If you are in an emergency and there is a risk to life (yours or someone else’s) call 999
  • To report any concerns about the safety or welfare of a child or young person call 01454 866000

There is more information in the ‘Getting help’ section.

Talk to a parent or carer or another adult you trust.

Your school can also help with your wellbeing – just ask a teacher or another member of staff.