Starting Secondary School

Making the jump from primary to secondary school can be a daunting time - both for your child and for you! Hornsey School for Girls aims to make this transition as straightforward as possible. We hope that by taking into account some practical and emotional considerations you'll both be able to negotiate the transition with ease and enjoy this milestone event.

Remember your first day at big school? Did you feel a bit lost amongst all those teenagers in the playground and daunted by how big your new school seemed? Then there were all those new subjects to get your head round, the fact that you now have lots of different teachers and, of course, new school mates to try and make friends with... in preparing your child for secondary school it helps to step back in time and remember all those emotions you felt as you stood in your new school uniform and prepared to make the leap into the great unknown.

Whatever you do, don't shrug off any apprehension your child says they're feeling about starting secondary school. It's important that you listen to their worries and have a think about what you can do to help. Perhaps they're worried about the new bus journey they'll be making to school? If so, perhaps a few runs in the car to familiarise them with the route will help. Or it might be that they're nervous about making friends, so you should be sure to emphasise the fact that everyone will be in the same boat and use the ideas at the side of this page to help. In many cases, they will be joining the school alongside friends from primary so they won't be 'alone'. Whatever fears your child may have, they are all equally valid, so try not to dismiss them. And if you yourself did not have a very positive experience at school try not to let that influence your child!

Building your child's confidence

As your child prepares to enter a new, unknown world of secondary education there's perhaps never a more important time to nurture their confidence and self-esteem. Of course, parent's praise, encourage and give their child love, affection and attention to their children throughout their childhood, but it can often be at this juncture in their lives that many children become self-doubting, introverted and unsure of their place in the big, wide world. These feelings may only intensify as they reach adolescence, a completely scary period of bewildering physical change and strong emotions, passions and opinions.

As such it makes sense to do your best to ensure you help your child grow in confidence as they prepare to take on the demands of secondary school. From having the self-belief to tackle difficult new academic challenges to developing their social skills as they widen their group of friends, confidence and assertiveness will be invaluable in ensuring their time at secondary school is both happy and successful.


Youth Coaching

Youth coaching is a branch of life coaching designed to encourage personal development in young people while providing an outlet for their stresses and anxieties.

As a parent, you probably worry about your teenage child. Are they happy? Are they doing ok at school? Are they staying out of trouble? Sometimes teenagers simply don't want to discuss their personal lives with their parents. After all - they're trying to break free while a part of you probably wants to hold on. Young people have every right to keep secrets if they want, but for parents this can be distressing. If you want your child to receive support but you think you might not be the right person to provide it, a workable solution could be to hire a youth coach.   

Youth coaches do not aim to stand in as parents, teachers, or even as friends. They are simply there to offer impartial, non-judgemental, trustworthy support designed to give young people the chance to vent freely and confidentially about anything they want - school, family life, friends, sexual issues, or anything else that happens to be on their minds. 

For more information about Youth Coaching and to find a life coach suitable to your needs please visit