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Welcome to Successful School Transitions from Dorset Family Learning Service

Why is successful school transition so important? 

  • Very often the most difficult time for children is the transition period between ages 10 and 14.  
  • At this time many stressful elements combine: the move from primary to secondary education, SAT examinations, 11+ or other school entry exams, the onset of puberty, changes in peer groups, the influence of social media, and more. 
  • In 2017, the Young Minds Trust shared research showing that 1 in 4 children showed some evidence of poor mental health. That number has no doubt increased following the Covid 19 pandemic.  
  • Mental health issues are becoming increasingly common with Public Health England reporting that 50% of those with lifetime mental illness experience symptoms by the age of 14 
  • It is increasingly recognised that positive interventions made during adolescence can have long-term positive consequences over an individual’s lifespan (Coleman et al, 2011; Colishaw et al, 2004; Durlak et al, 2010, 2011; Kautz et al, 2016). 

With this in mind, Dorset Family Learning have created this resource page full of useful videos, information and links to other organisations that can help you support your child through this difficult period and enable them to have a successful school transition. 

Please feel free to visit this page as much as you like and we hope you find the information useful.


What is Family Learning?

  • Family Learning supports the wellbeing and development of families and children from Early Years Foundation Stage right through to Key Stage 4.  
  • For over 20 years the Local Authorities have supported the work of Schools, Children’s Centres, NHS Teams and organisations through the delivery of free Family Learning courses.  
  • Family Learning courses are a great way for parents, primary carers and Grandparents to learn something new and better support their family  
  • Our courses are designed to promote and support the learning and wellbeing of not just the child but the whole family.  It has long been recognised that achievement by parents and carers can raise aspirations across the whole family and greatly help children’s development and outcomes. 

Successful School Transitions Panel Show

Watch this next video to see some of our Family Learning teachers and experts answer some of your questions and give some top tips on how to help your child successfully transition to year 7 at a new school.  

There is also an audio podcast if you’d prefer…


What do Children say…

Here’s a video of children from Southill Primary School talking about a selection of their hopes and fears ahead of their transition to secondary school…

Moving Up!

This short animation is aimed at helping you and your child to understand the feelings towards this change they may have…

Let’s Talk About Anxiety

This animation talks about anxiety and the ways we can support children to manage it…

Find your Feet

There a video to help your child to find their feet in their new school…

Advice for you and your child…

Here are a few more resources for you to explore with your child.