Going up to high school is a big step and one we all experience in different ways. It can bring excitement, fear, nerves, uncertainty – all completely normal. What can you do to help yourself prepare?

Well by now you have probably done some of the preparation. Talking about it at primary school, visiting your new school and speaking to friends in your class will hopefully have helped you to think through what it will be like and how you will deal with it. Do you still have questions? Things you’re unsure about? Here are a couple of ideas of what you can do.


There are lots of books available about this subject that you could buy or ask about in your local library. Here’s a review of one of them by someone who has just finished Year 6.

Going Up
Author: J. Alexander

This book is very informative but not too heavy reading; I really enjoyed this book because every so often there is a school related joke which splits up the chapters quite well. I also liked the fact that there were real life scenarios which could happen in the first year of high school, these helped me understand more what life will be like during my first year in high school. The author also really thought what many schoolchildren would be thinking and supported this very well. The author did well to mention the Scottish names for different years, this prevents any confusion with school structures around the UK.

As a child who is starting high school soon, I was worried about many of the things included in this book such as: what if I get lost, what if I don’t fit in and what if the older kids are horrible to me. However, reading this book helped me realize that there is nothing to worry about.

There are extra features that add enjoyment to the book; at some points there are stories of others experiences with certain problems and how they fixed them. Also included is some short quizzes which can help with attitudes, homework and resilience towards school. I would give this book a five-star rating because it is a fun read whilst being very informative.
Written by: Olivia Mcleod Age: 11

Personal experiences

Speaking to other people can be a huge help. How did they feel? What did they do that helped? What would they suggest to you? Here’s what Sam had to say who has just finished Year 7.

Being in Year 7

Last September I started at high school. Before I went I was nervous and excited. Some of my friends from primary school went too which helped, one was in the same form as me but the others were in different forms. I would say it took me about 3 or 4 weeks to settle in. Some of the main differences were:

1. Finding your way around – the buildings were bigger and busier. If you ask teachers they are always helpful.
2. Being in different rooms. You have a timetable and each lesson is in a different room with a different teacher. After about 3 weeks I got used to where I was going.
3. Getting there. I had to get on a bus which was a bit scary at first. I started going on them more before I started school with my friends to get used to it.
4. Homework – people said we would get loads of homework. We did get more but it wasn’t too much if you stay organised and write it all down in your planner.

The three main things I would say to people starting high school are:
1. Get involved. This can be in class activities or clubs but it helps you to make new friends.
2. Be organised. Write in your homework planner and make sure you have everything you need for the lessons you have the next day.
3. Try to relax. Everyone feels the same at the beginning but once you get used to it you can enjoy it more.

Online Resources

Childline has some good advice. Check out their website:
Childline advice

You could also try general wellbeing resources to help manage your thoughts and feelings. Look at apps like Headspace and Smiling Mind.

Above all, never feel that you are alone. There will be staff you can talk to – speak to your form tutor or a teacher you like to find out what you can do. Be open with your family and friends, you definitely won’t be the first person to feel the way you do. It’s really important not to bottle everything up.

Be positive, be yourself and remember all of your strengths.