Transition to Secondary School.

Image suggesting items associated with transition to Secondary School, such as timetables and text books

Secondary schools excel at giving year 6 children who will go to their school, a good understanding of what to expect when they start year 7. What can be more difficult for schools is knowing what to expect from their new starters. The “How are you?” survey system provides for each intake, information about behaviour and how children feel about themselves. Knowing how the children feel before they arrive, lets staff know what to expect and is a is a huge aid in planning. Repeating "How are you" helps you evaluate and refine your transition plans.

Follow up

Going to secondary school is both an exciting and daunting prospect. Follow up surveys a few weeks after they arrive and at the end of their first year, helps in identifying what ways have been effective in supporting pupils during their transition year. Schools will benefit form a good understanding of how young people feel about themselves, how well prepared they are, and how children from each primary school might have particular challenges.Schools with knowledge about children's health and well being are better placed to support them through their transition in a way that addresses their real needs. 

How do you feel

Knowing how the children feel before they arrive is possible using the “How are you?” survey system. Each child for the new year 7 completes a short online survey. What we can do is find out how the children feel about their emotional well being and their self esteem we also measure if they are feeling supported, feeling safe and confidence. Children from different schools might feel differently. One feeder school might have exceptionally performing support system which helps the children in all aspects of the well being and mental health. Other schools may have a cohort of children with a high proportion of children who are pupil premium, this might lead to their being more challenges amongst that group in terms of their health and well being.  

Making judgements about how pupils feel about themselves

ComparedThe example chart summarises the results about the five "feelings" factors that are assessed using "How are you?"

Emotional Wellbeing
Self esteem
Feeling supported
Feeling safe



We can see that overall the results are mostly OK to good, the are of greatest concern would be around self esteem. Compared with School A children, schools B and C have lower scores for everything, and in particular for  "Feeling supported" and "Emotional well being".I f I was responsible for helping the year 7 pupils, looking at these results I would be looking at ways that we could help to promote their self esteem, perhaps by initiating a programme to better promote pupil's strengths.

Making judgements about pupil's behaviour

ComparedThis example chart summarises the results about the five "behaviour" factors that are assessed using "How are you?"

Good behaviour
Self control
Kind and helpful
Active and Healthy
Paying attention


School A has the most positive results and  C the least. The differential between schools is more apparent with these "behaviour" factors than the "internal" ones. Kind and helpful and Good behaviour indicate the most difference. School have moderate levels and are relatively similar for "paying attention", keeping "healthy and active",  and having good "self control".

Making use of the survey results

Our online approach gives access to some results while data collection progresses and the remainder when the survey is completed

Graphs, tables and spreadsheets explain which factors affect particular groups: "Is there a relationship between the answers to certain questions and gender or age?";  "How does support at home and school relate to the findings?" for example.

Go forward

Having designed your survey, gathered the responses and studied the results it is time to move forward and strive for improvement.

improvement cycle

Sharing the results with everyone involved, SLT, teaching and support staff, governors and pupils, and encouraging comments helps to inform plans and set priorities. Results can also be compared with other participating schools. Explaining objectives and action plans with the same groups and asking for their support will encourage ownership and encourage participation.

Repeated surveys are a good way assess change and evaluate.

Improving any aspect of health and well being leads to a virtuous circle in that it supports the improvement of all the others and none is more important for organisations that have responsibility for young people than 'Feeling supported'.

Any work the school does to help a young person, that leads to improvements in their health and well being will result in that young person trusting that school is there to to support them. 

Happy, healthy children are also in a better position to achieve their potential academically.

Children who are as self confident, focused and healthy as they can be are more likely to have clear goals and an appetite to achieve them.


To discuss how 'You Can Say' can be used by your service please email or call 01189 781078.

To discuss how you can use our service please email or call 01189 781078.