Moving on up!

January 23, 2019 - 5 minutes read

The whirlwind of completing elementary school with its sports days and grade 7 leaving ceremonies are over and now your child is moving to secondary school. Although this is an exciting time in their educational journey, moving from elementary to secondary school creates some physical, social and environmental changes for many parents and their children.

Some of the concerns we hear are:
“What if I can’t get my locker open?”
“Will I have enough time to get from one class to the next?”
“What if I don’t know anyone in my classes?”

To alleviate any stresses your child or you may have, here are some tips to help. This article aims to educate, prepare and excite parents for this transition to secondary school. Let’s get them prepared for it.


The initial change in environment may be the first and most noticeable difference your child experiences. In elementary school, students often remain in one classroom and have one teacher for the whole day, whereas secondary school will have students travelling to different classrooms throughout the day and a different teacher for each subject. Moving from class to class through an unfamiliar and large building teeming with older kids can be daunting.


Work-load, faster-paced learning and longer class times are all changes your child will notice when entering secondary school. You can help your child curb their fears by having an open dialogue with them on what they should expect in terms of increased homework and how to cope with these changes.

Attending information nights with your child and their future secondary school can help bridge the gap between elementary and secondary school. By visiting these information nights, a child can not only gather information about their future school but also visit the location and become familiar with their surroundings. Each of our secondary schools in West Vancouver provides evenings for our grade 7 students to come and visit.

Increased options of extracurricular activities in secondary schools can be a great way your child can try out new things, find or pursue their passions. WV Schools offer a wide varieties of academies to allow your child to have fun while exploring their passions!

Be organized

Timetables are another big change for new grade 8’s.  Many students find it best to organize their subject binders according to their Day 1 or Day 2.  So all subjects on Day 1 go in one binder and all subjects on Day 2 go in the other. Taking the time to go over your child’s timetable will help them get comfortable with their new daily schedule and be more confident in navigating high school.


Some of your child’s best friends from their time in elementary school may choose different secondary schools than yours. Moving to a different school will mean separating from friends but also finding new ones. Extra curricular activities can help your child find like-minded friendships and encourage academic and personal success.

A smooth transition is comprised of many things. Awareness, a sense of belonging and confidence. These are key ideas parents can help their children achieve when making the move from elementary to secondary. Here are some other things you can do as a parent to ensure a smooth transition for your child:

  • Visit your local secondary schools with your child
  • Be involved
  • Find out about our extracurriculars offered
  • Assist in creating healthy expectations
  • Curb negative myths about secondary with open communication with your child
  • Sign your child up for our Summer Learning course – Get Ready for Grade 8
  • And get them a lock to practice on!

What resources can I use?