The collaboration between primary and secondary schools to help manage a smooth transition for young people is joined-up and well-thought out. That said, apprehension ahead of starting at a new school is a natural emotion for any young person.
For many 11 year olds, I think what they really fear is the unknown – and that is entirely understandable. Young people are leaving the known and safe environment of primary school, where they had become the big fish in the ‘primary pond’ to small fish in a significantly larger secondary-school pond.
Of course, after a couple of weeks, the vast majority of the new Year 7 intake will have settled in and any anxiety will dissipate as familiarity increases. For some other young people, it may not be such a simple integration and for them, Harmony Counselling is here to offer assistance.
Some examples of the concerns that won’t go away after a few weeks might be:
- What if I can’t make new friends?
- What if I get lost in my school and am late for a class?
- What if I am unable to do the work that is set me?
The ‘what if…’ questions go on but you get the idea.
The work that we do at Harmony Counselling is around positive reinforcement. We help provide a young person with strong affirmation as to the good person they are, and to understand their untapped potential. We provide a young person with tools to use to help them respond in a controlled way to anxiety connected to not fitting in. We help them to challenge the anxiety. The reality is that actually they are able to fit in and that evidence exists that they can call upon to prove it.
In most cases, through talking therapies, it takes only a handful of counselling sessions to provide a young person with the necessary coping tools.
If you are concerned about a young person settling into his or her new school, contact Debs Wallace.