Our top tips for preparing children to start a new school

Preparing children and young people for starting a new school

15 August 2019

By Lynn, Education and Support Service Worker

'The school summer holidays are a lengthy break for children and young people. Returning to school after such a long break can throw up lots of different feelings in different people. For some children the idea of returning to a new school year can be exciting, for others it can be daunting.  For some young people starting a new middle or secondary school, feelings might include viewing it as a new beginning or a new chapter in their lives, but for others it can be a very anxious and scary time. Most of us are uncomfortable with change. Remember the last time you changed jobs or moved to a new house? We know that many of our young people need routine and the familiar, and a school move cuts across both.

After all the transition work and preparation by the primary and secondary school is over there is still work you can do to make the first week of September that bit easier. The following suggestions can support children and young people through school changes, especially if they are feeling worried or apprehensive about it.

Here are some of our top tips for supporting young people during this time:

  1. Communicate: Ask them how they are feeling about moving to high school as early into the holidays as you can. Present the move as a positive step but show an understanding of their apprehension by acknowledging that it is a big step and that it will be a change.
  2. Tick the boxes: Ensuring and showing a child that the smaller parts of moving school have been ticked off the list might encourage a more settled feeling for them. For example, getting stationery and uniform sorted and agreeing the routes they’ll take to get to school might decrease the feeling of having no control or understanding of what is to happen.
  3. Minimise other changes: Continue to do the same things you always have (where possible) outside of school, for example the activities you’ve enjoyed or the types of meals you would usually have.
  4. Speak to someone: Whether it’s moving to secondary school, moving schools for other reasons or even simply returning to their school after a 6-week break, you can contact the school to discuss your concerns. For Team Fostering foster carers, we have a renowned Education and Support Service that are available to offer help.

Children and young people in care are supported by a variety of professionals at school. ‘Designated teachers’ in schools are responsible for the educational achievement of children in care. Similarly, Virtual School Heads are responsible for the educational achievement of all looked after children in the local authority and provide support to schools and carers.'


Team Fostering is an independent, not-for-profit fostering agency that operates across the North East, Yorkshire and East Midlands. In each region we have a dedicated Education and Support Service and Lynn is part of the North East team.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, contact us to learn more about the training, support and payment you’d receive with Team Fostering: