Primary to Secondary School Transition at Chatsworth International School
For both students and parents in Singapore, the transition from primary to secondary school is a time of excitement and apprehension. As your child walks through the door on the first day of secondary school, they will encounter new surroundings, unfamiliar faces and possibly different curriculum and school subjects.
This transition can be difficult for both parents and children alike as they adjust to a new school routine and curriculum in Singapore. Let’s look at some of the stressors and challenges that secondary students face when transitioning to this next phase of their education.
What to expect in Secondary at an international school
For starters, students will need to acclimatise to a new academic environment, learn how to navigate it and attend class on time with the necessary books and resources. Making the transition from primary to secondary school can also be daunting for children, who may worry about making new friends who come from different parts of the world than they do. However, in a supportive environment, they can easily settle into their new school, learn about different cultures and form lasting friendships with their peers.
In addition to adapting to new teachers and classmates, students may also be studying a curriculum that is different from that taken at the primary level (or in their home country). Chatsworth International School offers the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students from Years 7 to 11. The MYP encourages students to make connections with their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. With a flexible and internationally recognised IB curriculum that promotes both personal development and academic achievement and challenges students to think critically and creatively, ask the right questions and think across disciplines, the switch from other curricula to the IB is often a smooth transition.
How do I help my child transition to secondary school?
1. Visit the school ahead of time
When making the important decision of what secondary school to attend, some families may feel overwhelmed. One way to ease this process is by booking a campus tour with the school’s Admissions team. These tours provide families a good insight into the school environment and what the school has to offer. They also allow your child to meet with current students and faculty, which can give them a better sense of the school's culture and community.
2. Participate in student transition day/ student orientation
At Chatsworth International School, we organise taster lessons for a variety of subjects at the secondary level for our existing Year 6 students. On student transition day, the Year 6 students experience a day in the life of a secondary student. The day provides a formalised opportunity where primary students meet the secondary teachers for a day of planned lessons and activities and tour the secondary facilities. Students would experience 'taster' lessons for subjects such as English, mother tongue languages, maths, science, theatre/drama, art, music, design, and individuals and societies. For new students at the beginning of an academic year, they will attend student orientation before they commence their studies at Chatsworth. This is a great opportunity for them to get information they need to adapt to school more confidently, connect with new friends and meet their teachers.
3. Attend parent information workshops
It also helps if parents obtain a good understanding of the curriculum and what their child will be learning throughout the year in order to help them manage their time more effectively. Chatsworth conducts MYP introduction workshops to help parents understand the academic aspects of the MYP. The school usually offers two workshops to Year 6 parents focusing on the essential aspects of the IB MYP programme and language pathways from primary to secondary.
4. Participate in CCAs
Another way to integrate into school better is to find opportunities that will assist your child in making friends. This can include joining the school Co-Curricular activities (CCAs) and Extracurricular activities (ECAs). One of the most important benefits is that it can help your child make friends quicker. Participating in activities outside of the classroom can allow your child to meet other students who share their interests, which can help them form bonds that last well beyond secondary school.
Ultimately, engaging in CCAs and ECAs is not just a great way to make new friends, they also allow students to discover new passions, hone their skills and enrich their student life, which is a critical element to a holistic education .
Get your child on the right track
The move from primary to secondary school, especially when it involves a change of school or from another country to Singapore can seem like a daunting task. A supportive and nurturing environment in school can make a difference during this time. It can help students feel more comfortable and confident in a new setting. There are many things that schools can do to create a supportive and safe environment, such as creating a welcoming atmosphere, providing support services, and fostering a sense of community.
All of these things are important for students and can help them succeed both academically and socially. At Chatsworth International School, we provide quality international education - International Baccalaureate programmes to children between 3 to 18 years old. Our highly qualified teachers are dedicated to nurturing learners and achieving successes beyond school. Our Student Services are also easily accessible for students to provide social, emotional and academic support whenever they need it. Book a campus tour today to learn more about the Chatsworth school life.