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Transition classroom activities

The transition from primary to secondary school involves a period of rapid change, which is challenging for everyone involved. It is often a time of celebration and excitement, but it can also be worrying and stressful as students are required to adapt to new environments and expectations. Successful transition is vital to the development of students' sense of belonging, connectedness and academic self-competence, as well as to the prevention of potential anti-social behaviours and mental health issues.

Effective transition programs can prepare students for the changes and challenges they face. These classroom activities developed by ReachOut Schools are designed to assist schools to plan and implement early intervention and prevention strategies to promote belonging and wellbeing in all students as they reach this stage of potential vulnerability.

These initiatives need to meet a range of student needs. However, research indicates that to prepare students and enhance their resilience, lessons should include:

  • supportive relationship skills: social skills that improve connection to peers, school staff, family and other support networks

  • self-efficacy skills: skills for coping constructively with stress, as well as the development of positive academic self-competence

  • positive goal setting skills: to assist more optimistic thinking, a sense of direction and meaning in life.

These classroom activities will be most effective when used as part of a broader whole-school strategy that includes the consideration of home rooming to reduce movement about the new school, fewer class teachers to support positive relationship building, and the consistent utilisation of set small peer-support groups.

By implementing meaningful transition programs that include a range of activities, schools can prepare their students for a positive transition experience. Activities and lessons that assist students to develop social and emotional skills will enhance their resilience and levels of engagement, and ensure that they transition smoothly into secondary school.

Engaging classroom activities

20 minute activities to support your students starting secondary school.

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