Easing pupils into secondary school life

Sian Evans
27th May 2016
starting secondary school,KS3,transition,year 7,ice breakers,settling in,transition activities

Transition resources to support your new secondary students 

Dressed in uniform two sizes too big, carrying oversized back packs and with rabbit-in-the-headlight looks on their faces; this is most likely how you will recognise your new intake of pupils. As a form tutor, students will look to you during transition days, induction days and the first few weeks of term to make the move to big school less painful, while they adjust to different routines in a new environment.

To help you prepare for their arrival, we’ve selected some of the best transition resources and icebreaker activities on TES.

Transition activities

Welcome your tutor group with this well-structured booklet, which encourages teamwork, personal development and contains numerous activities that will make form time more productive.

Or, think about addressing the differences between primary and secondary school head-on with this changes check list so that learners can voice their questions, feelings and goals.

For pupils with autism, and for those particularly worried about a change to routine, examine the practicalities of how to read timetables and look at organisational skills in this clear presentation.


Funny games, true or false statements and activities which involve questioning other students are simple ways to get your tutor group talking. Use this icebreaker resource pack £3 or meet your class presentation to encourage students to use teamwork and listening skills to get to know each other.

Build persuasive communication skills with this Room 101 activity as individuals try to convince other members of their team to choose their own pet hate as the worst. By having to argue their corner, learners practise expressing their opinions and in turn, grow their confidence with a new group of people.   

Settling in

Talk about the emotions of moving from primary to secondary school, and its impact on friendships, with this detailed resource pack. It includes a presentation and card-sorting exercise to help learners discuss what makes a good friend.

Alternatively, explore transition through film with this handy guide, which lists examples of relatable characters that are trying to fit in and learn to believe in themselves. Supported by follow-up questions, this exercise can help students think about their own transition.

Feeling creative? Why not consider getting your pupils to write a survival guide for next year's intake. Finalise the settling in process by letting them share their memories of first days and week, plus their newly-gained expertise of how secondary school works.  

Quick links

Do you have a resource that supports secondary school transition? Publish it on TES and send us the link for a chance to be featured!

If you're a new teacher and starting your NQT year in September, don't miss these five tips for teaching in the first week of term.

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