Transitioning from Primary to Secondary School is a particularly significant change for children and can trigger many mixed emotions and behavioural responses. Many will be feeling excited and ready for the move, but it can be daunting for others. This year more than ever the Primary to Secondary School transition presents a variety of challenges. The impact of COVID-19 has disrupted the careful transition plans that usually takes place and many will be feeling the effects of facing the unknown as they start their first day at Secondary School. Health and Education experts have stressed the importance that the main priority of schools during this transition back to school is to reassure pupils, ease their anxieties and quickly work to develop a sense of belonging for each individual. This will help to reduce the impact of transition on mental health and wellbeing.We know that supporting children’s mental wellbeing during the return to school is a key priority. To help you, we have both created and collected together lots of useful resources all focused on making sure the return to classrooms in the autumn is a mentally healthy one. The resources can be accessed and downloaded from the 'Resources' section under the area of Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Anna Freud – Moving up! Year 7 transition tool kit -here
The Teacher Toolkit for school staff contains lesson resources, assembly resources, posters, an animation and animation support document that aims to address any worries and anxieties that those in Year 7 may have and how they can manage them.
Young Minds – Finding your feet! Year transition tool kit -here
This activity packs support children to learn about change and how to cope with it. The sessions will help children with this particular transition as well as prepare them for many other changes and challenges they will face in life. Helping children build resilience and allowing them to have a chance to try out different coping skills and methods and find the ones that work for them is a really good starting point.
Mentally Healthy Schools – Supporting transition back to school -here
This tool kit is divided into two sections. One section is full of resources for parents and carers, featuring activities and tips for how to prepare their child for re-starting school in the autumn. The other section is focused on resources for schools for use in the autumn term or when planning for the new school year. Resources include: lessons, interventions, assemblies, and recovery focused lesson and intervention resources. Mentally Healthy Schools have a range of tool kits to support mental health and wellbeing of the whole school community.
Manchester Healthy Schools-here
During the closure of our schools many resources have been created and released to help support and monitor pupil’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes: wellbeing questionnaires, preparing for the return to school activity packs, mental health interventions and signposting. A ‘Returning to School’ presentation is also available. This presentation will support all pupils transitioning back into school. It helps to address any changes that your school has implemented in relation to government guidelines and also how pupils can access mental health and wellbeing support.
I hope that these resources will help you at an incredibly busy time for your school as you start to rebuild and recover. If you require any further support then please do not hesitate to contact: Emma.Pilling@mft.nhs.uk.
All at Healthy Schools wishes you the best of luck as you start to welcome back your pupils!