Making School Transition Seamless

More schools are becoming aware of the importance of helping children transition from primary to secondary school and how vast the change in environment can feel for some pupils.

There is often some distinct sensory differences between the two environments. Primary schools tend to be quieter, with less ‘people traffic.’ There is also a tendency to have one ‘base’ for lessons in primary schools, whereas in secondary there are many different buildings within which certain subjects take place.

My biggest worry when I went to secondary school, was the ‘map’.

I remember the first day there and we initially were given a timetable of the lessons we would be attending each day and the rooms we would need to go to in order to attend those lessons. That was enough of an overload in itself! The environment of one classroom with one teacher who taught a variety of lessons was the norm. Suddenly now there were many lessons, with many different teachers (who I had yet to meet), in many different locations.

And I’d never read a map before. Map reading skills hadn’t come up. Geocaching didn’t yet exist either. But there I was, currently in B block and needed to be in D block. The aerial view of the tops of the buildings in black and white squares seemed to bear no resemblance to the crowds who were bombarding me from all directions in the corridors or the walkways.

As we would say in NLP, the map was not the territory!

But the silliest thing of all was that I mentioned this concern to no one. I assumed it was only a wally who couldn’t figure out the damn map, until very recently (29 years after leaving school), I bumped into an old school friend and blasphemed about the map for the first time. Only to discover that she had exactly the same problem, and like me had never found the correct source with whom to articulate her concerns.

So to make for a smoother school transition, for me, it would have been to have a trustworthy non-judgemental adult who would have said “How are you doing? Are you ok?”

Many schools do now offer a counselling service but often these services are reactive instead of proactive.

That is to say, that they are there to help you when you ask for help. For young, brand new year 7s who want to appear strong in their new environment and who are ‘keeping up appearances’, it is all too easy to avoid reaching out and asking for help, even if the help is readily available.

The solution relies within proactive interaction with each individual. Reaching out to them in a confidential one to one basis and asking the question “Are you ok?”

And in my case “Do you understand the map?*”

*Map reading skills are significantly improved since secondary school!

By Gemma Bailey

7 Steps to Help Beat Anxiety

Typically I am not a superstitious person. I don’t get caught up in “magical thinking” and yet having found out that we have made the finals for the Mum and Working Awards, I felt compelled to ask you to send us some good luck.

Then I remembered the sorts of things I say to my clients. Particularly young people who worry about things not going their way and easily tune into the negatives within a situation.

1. Take responsibility and if it doesn’t work out as you’d hoped avoid blaming others.

2. Persevere. Good results do not often show up by accident but because you stuck with it and kept going.

3. Be open to finding an alternative route to a positive outcome. Just because one thing doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean all hope is gone.

4. Be open minded. The more you step back and observe your circumstances from a distance, the more ideas you’ll get about how to resolve it. Relaxing helps this to happen.

5. Trust your gut feelings because these are based on your previous experiences in similar situations.

6. Expect everything to be alright. It gives you the motivation to keep going even if you haven’t achieved what you wanted to just yet.

7. Tomorrow is another day. Even if it doesn’t work out today there is a new opportunity tomorrow and you have a whole extra days-worth of learning and experience by the time you reach tomorrow, and that might be useful.

By Gemma Bailey

Child Therapist Hertfordshire is a Franchise of NLP4Kids which is owned by Gemma Bailey. NLP4Kids work with children and young adults from the ages of 7 – 18 to help improve their confidence, self-esteem and help deter feelings of depression. We have successfully worked with children who have anxiety, OCD and ADHD to help improve their well being.

We provide workshops and 1:1 sessions within schools and at the NLP4Kids HQ at 15 Queensway, Hemel Hempstead.

For all enquirers or to book a free consultation please email or Call 020 36677 274 / 07849 604582

G29 Regus Breakspear Park Breakspear Way Hemel Hempstead, HP2 4TZ
Phone: 0203 6677 294