School transition pressure!
By Phoebe Bound, Elissa Hofer, Beth Brewster, Millie Thompson Scott and Rosemary Hill
Recent surveys have revealed panic and worry for pupils undergoing the transition between Year 6 and Year 7. In some areas of the UK, Year 6 students take the 11+ to decide if they are to go to a grammar school or a comprehensive school. This can increase the pressure by a great deal.
Pupils from Rainham Mark Grammar School have discovered that 60% of the 25 Year 7 students interviewed, find the transition between Year 6 and Year 7 ‘scary’ and they feel ‘nervous’ when beginning their new journey. Most of them find the overload of homework ‘too much’ or ‘too stressful’. This then leads to them worrying or getting flustered.
According to the BBC, 65% of primary pupils find school to be a positive experience; however we found that only 27% of secondary school students think this. John, a Year 7 pupil said, “It is exciting at first but then it becomes more stressful later on as expectations grow.”
In Year 7 the children spend about 45-90minutes a day on homework. Millie- a student at Rainham Mark Grammar School - quoted,” we shouldn’t have as much homework because we need time to relax our minds so they are fully charged for the next day, and so we can spend more time with our families.”
Homework has increased for the Year 7’s a large deal since primary school, they are finding this difficult to manage, as they are still only children. All of the pressure is building up and making it harder for the children to be organised. Miss Henry (the head of year 7) stated that “if children are struggling to get organised, I get a 6th form student to help them by insuring that they have the correct books and equipment.”
After asking the opinions of a few other teachers at RMGS, we discovered that although the students may be pressured, they are all capable and are able to complete the tasks and to overcome the worries of Year 7. Mr Coker-an English teacher –says that he believes that “the pressure of students at school is managed well; however it is still difficult coping with the change in expectations. Secondary schools could also work with primary schools in helping pupils prepare for secondary school in the areas of making new friends or the increase in homework.”
Mr McDowell, who is another English teacher at Rainham Mark, has experienced the difference between comprehensive schools and grammar schools in respect to the workload, and the jump from primary school to secondary school. Year 7 students are definitely under pressure but I believe that they can cope with it and I am always impressed by how clever and polite they are.”
We interviewed two Year 6 pupils from Thames View Primary School, to ask them what they thought about moving up to secondary school. Hollie said, “I feel excited about going to secondary school, and not really scared. But I’m worried about the size of the school, and that I might get lost. I am looking forward to seeing some of my friends from my previous school as they are going to my new school. I think it will be easy to make new friends, as well.”
Article relating to school stress is also attached as a PDF