Starting at a new school can be stressful, challenging, and exciting all at the same time. We guarantee you’re not the only one feeling nervous.

The truth is, it takes time to adjust when you start at a new school. Especially if you’re moving from primary to secondary school. It’s natural to feel nervous about such a big change, but there are lots of things you can do to make sure you’re prepared:

  1. Make sure you get everything organised

There are lots of uncertainties when you’re starting a new school, and plenty of things that you can’t control. But one thing is certain: you’ll need those schools essentials like a bag, a uniform, and stationary equipment. Getting on top of these practical preparations is a great way to help you feel in control, and  make sure you’re ready to go on day 1. Being practical will serve you well once school starts too, so make sure you have a homework diary, and a copy of your lesson timetable so you can stay organised.

  1. Get used to the route and plan how you’ll get there

It might sound silly but practicing the journey into school a couple of times can really help with those first day nerves. Being prepared for how you’re going to get to your new school can help you to feel calmer and more confident.

If you need to take a bus or train to get to your new school, check the timetables so you know what time you need to leave the house on school mornings. If you’re walking in, make sure you know the way and maybe see if you’ll be able to meet with friends along the route, so you don’t have to walk in alone. Many pupils get a lift into school from a family member, so it may help to check the situation regarding parking at school. If there’s no car park, it may be best to get dropped off on a nearby side road and walk the rest of the way.

  1. Don’t be afraid to talk

Never be afraid to reach out for support. If you’re worried, or struggling to cope, or even have questions about your timetable, someone will be there to help. Bottling things up won’t help and talking it through often makes the problem lighter.

Teachers are the most obvious adults to speak to, but other schools may have a mentorship scheme or pastoral staff who are there to support you. If you don’t feel comfortable asking for support at school, it’s ok to reach out to another adult that you trust. That could be parents, carers, or even older siblings.

  1. Be the best version of yourself

First impressions are important, so be confident! If you keep your head high and walk with confidence people will think you are confident. Remember, everyone will be nervous and trying to make a good impression, so imagine what type of person you would like to meet. Then, be that person for other people – smile, show interest in others, and be friendly.

Starting at a new school means you’ll probably experience peer pressure to be “cool”, but be true to yourself, and don’t lie or exaggerate – you won’t look cool when the truth comes out. On a similar note, don’t rush to get a new best friend straight away. Give yourself and others time to relax and get to know people a little better before committing.

  1. Get orientated

The Covid-19 pandemic means you may not have been able to visit your new school as much as you’d like. That means you might be panicking about finding your way around. It might help to hop online and study the video tour of your new school online (if they have one), and even ask for a map to help you get your bearings. The most important thing though is not to worry. Everybody was new at the school once, and people expect you to get lost at first. You can always ask for directions, and in fact, this is a great way to start a conversation and get to know people too.

  1. Join in

Join a team, a club, or an activity – it will help you become part of the life of your new school. You could get stuck in with something you already enjoy, like singing or music, or even broaden your horizons and try out something new. Joining in is a great way to make new friends too. After all, people who share the same interests as you are likely to be your kind of people.

  1. Speak to someone who’s been through it

You may have an older neighbour or cousin who’s started at a new school recently, perhaps even the same school you’ll be going to. If so, have a chat with them. Ask about their experiences and how they coped. They may have some useful settling in tips to share with you.

  1. Be positive about the transition

Positivity is SO important. So, focus on the positives of starting at your new school, like all the new opportunities for friendships, and chance to try out new extracurricular activities. It’s natural to feel nervous – after all, unknowns can be scary, but things like breathing exercises, getting active, and having “me-time” can all help you stay calm in the build-up to the big change. Finally, and most importantly, don’t compare your new school to your old one, comparing the new to the old, even if you’re really missing your old school. One day soon, “new” will become “normal”. You will adapt, you just need to give it time.


Good luck to everyone who’s starting a new school in September!


George Alexander Tuition is a specialist maths tuition agency based in Central London. We support children aged 11-18 with a variety of termly tuition packages and exam coaching from 11+ to A-Level. We also offer bespoke packages to support children who are learning at home. To find out more, contact us on info@gatuition.com. You can also follow our social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and check out our handy maths tutorials on our YouTube channel.



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