How to Help Your Child Survive the First Week at Secondary School

Starting big school is such a big step for parent and child. My eldest starts Secondary School tomorrow. He is 11. And growing up fast. He’ll go out of the door by himself, wait for the bus and buy a ticket that will take him to school on time for registration and we won't hear from him again until after school. Up until now, it has been the three of us on the school run. Now it will only be two. Read on to find our 10 point plan to help both parent and child survive their first week at secondary school.

How to Help Your Child Survive the First Week at Secondary School

How to Help Your Child Survive the First Week at Secondary School

Going back to being one of the youngest has got to be daunting for anyone, never mind being new and small again. He seems to be taking it all in his stride though. Embracing this transition in his life and if truth be told he can't wait for tomorrow to come.

I am fully prepared for him to be anxious and nervous tomorrow though. In fact, all week before he settles into his new routine. So, this is the ten point plan I’ve come up with to help him survive his first week. And to help me to survive I have a night out with school mums arranged for later in the week.

How to Help Your Child Survive the First Week at Secondary School

10 Point Plan to Survive Secondary School

  1. To avoid stressful mornings, prepare the night before and organise everything you need in advance, including bus fare.
  2. Label all items of uniform so you know exactly which clothes, are yours. 
  3. Set the alarm and wake up in plenty of time to have a shower and get dressed 
  4. Have a nutritional breakfast – first days at school will be very tiring and you’ll all need your energy. 
  5. Gather all your belongings well ahead of time for the bus – you don’t want to have to run on your first day. 
  6. Know where you are heading to for registration and look out for friendly faces in your form group from the transition days before the summer holidays. 
  7. Familiarise yourself with school rules and layout.
  8. Don’t forget your lunch money or packed lunch. 
  9. Grab a locker if you can – it will prevent you having to carry everything around school all the time. 
  10. Plan little if no after-school activities during the first week but have something to look forward to at the weekend.
How to Help Your Child Survive the First Week at Secondary School

What the family bloggers say …

To help me to help him to survive his first week at High School I asked other family bloggers whose children are already at Secondary School for their hints and tips ... there are some great ones which we shall be following …

Joanne says “Get them excited! Make sure they have the decision on which stationary, type of shoes and school bag they have. Spend time carefully organising their pencil case and lunches. They’ll love it and begin to look forward to it! Good luck

Becky says “Let them talk over their worries but also emphasise the positives new friends/ lots to learn. Don't just get caught up in the practical stuff they need to emotionally support too with time to talk and reassurance”

Carla-Marie says “Make sure you have something exciting planned for the first weekend after starting high school. They will have something to look forward to at the end of a nerve-wracking week.”

Janet says “They'll need more food and more rest and sleep! It will take it out of them, perhaps more than they realise. Try not to plan anything extra after school so there aren't any late nights in the first week. Have some good snacks and meals planned as fuel too.

Emma says “Talk about what to do if they can’t find a room or their friends at lunchtime or anything else. We did a dummy run of getting to school too. Which bus to catch etc so they knew how long it took.”

How to Help Your Child Survive the First Week at Secondary School

Jen says “Make sure they have all the correct uniform and equipment and feel comfortable with how to use it and what to take when. If they haven't got something they need in a lesson it will knock their confidence even though the teacher will have seen it all before and not be concerned I'm sure.

Lucy says “Try and make sure they go to bed at a reasonable time, those first few days are exhausting for them, and being overtired don’t end well.”

Charlie says “Get in touch with a couple of other parents and drop the children off at the same meeting point so they can walk in together. Nothing feels as scary with friends by your side.”

Laura says “Plaster their timetable everywhere! My son is notoriously disorganised and so I made sure that we had copies of his timetable all over the house so when he inevitably lost it or forgot his PE kit, I could save the day!

How to Help Your Child Survive the First Week at Secondary School

What other tips would you add?

Deb x

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How to Help Your Child Survive the First Week at Secondary School


  1. Great advice!
    My youngest starts secondary school tomorrow...She is so excited. I keep having to tell her to calm down. lol Good luck to your boy for tomorrow x

  2. I love these tips - I am going to print off my son's timetable and stick it up on the wall. He started secondary yesterday and so far so good! xx