‘Life in secondary school’ from new Year 7 students
‘We’ve been really, really happy and feel a lot of confidence in Fairfield. The school is on it.’
–Arthur’s mum, Inga Dinham
So how’s life at secondary school?
Judging by their smiles and positive responses, it’s hard to imagine Arthur and Zena (in photo) have given transition a second thought. They both share that they have made friends, have excellent attendance and are enjoying Year 7 at Fairfield. But what about the ‘ancient history’ of last summer and their September start?
Zena said she started really focusing on the big move at the end of Year 6. ‘I was scared and nervous. None of my friends from primary school were going to Fairfield so I didn’t know anyone.’
Likewise, Arthur’s closest mates from primary school were going to different schools. ‘I felt overwhelmed,’ he shared.
Communicating with Year 7 Achievement Coordinator, Donavan Shand, was a key positive factor for both students. Zena’s mum reached out during Summer School about Zena’s worries and Mr Shand was able to put things in place for her: ‘We cater to each child’s needs, setting targets and small steps towards a successful transition. Our priority is helping students feel settled and safe; this includes ongoing communication with home.’
At the start of the school year, Arthur spoke to his tutor about how he was feeling and sought out Mr Shand for additional support. Arthur and Mr Shand came up with a bespoke solution. A term later, a self-possessed Arthur offers this advice ‘ Don’t be afraid to talk to people in your tutor class. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.’
Arthur’s mum, Inga Dinham shared that ‘At first Arthur found it really tough going. It’s clear that the lines of communication were always open. Everything was dealt with really well. That Arthur found Mr Shand independently is a testament to the school.’
And what advice do Zena and Arthur have for next year’s Year 7s?
Zena says ‘Try not to worry like I did. Try to talk to new people. On the first day, Mum dropped me off in the sports hall. I didn’t know anyone. By the third day of school I was introduced to a classmate I really liked and we’ve been best friends ever since. And we’re neighbours, so we come to school together every day. Don’t be scared of secondary school, because you’ll make friends.’
Arthur adds ‘Don’t be afraid to talk to people in your tutor class. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.’ If you feel overwhelmed, go into school anyway. If you’re feeling scared, do what I do: focus on something you enjoy doing. By the second week, I felt more at home. As soon as I started talking to people, I knew I could just be myself. I talked with people about what I liked and found out people liked the same things.
If your child is nearing transition from primary to secondary school a great conversation starter is to watch some of our transition videos and check our transition pages. Depending on where your child is in their transition journey, Magic Mornings and Summer School are excellent opportunities to help familiarise them with secondary school and Fairfield.