Schools should give students clear backpacks

Goodbye elementary school! Tips for the transition to secondary school

New subjects, new children and completely different standards. Regardless of whether your child goes to high school, secondary school, secondary school or comprehensive school - everything changes with the transition to the fifth grade. We give tips on how to help your child get used to the new school.

Saying goodbye to primary school is a decisive event for children. If the elementary school was still manageable, you suddenly find yourself at a huge school full of older children. From the “tallest” in the fourth grade, they become the “youngest” again in the fifth grade. And the children from the neighborhood who previously attended the same class may be at a different school - instead, your pupils will meet lots of new children from other parts of the city.

The school days are suddenly getting longer. The four to six hours can turn into seven, the way is usually further and completely new subjects are on the schedule.
Parents' help is particularly important during the transition to secondary school. Talk to each other instead of building up pressure, encouraging people instead of blaming the child if they are difficult to get used to. We have put together more tips for you.

Use trial days to get to know the new school

Most of the time, get-to-know days take place before the summer holidays, on which future fifth-graders can meet teachers and classmates. First contacts are made here in a playful way. At the same time, there is also the opportunity for you to explore the new school.

Secondary schools are usually further away from the children's parents' home. That is why it is particularly important to practice going to school before school starts. The summer holidays are a good opportunity to do so. Maybe there are other children in the neighborhood who can take the path together?

Satchel or backpack?

With the entry into secondary school, the “coolness” of the little ones also increases. It goes without saying that a cool backpack should replace the childish satchel. Don't worry: unlike the school bags of the past, backpacks are now a back-friendly alternative. Buying a good backpack is usually worthwhile and it will last for several years. The children should as far as possible have a say in what they would like to have, because nothing is more uncomfortable than having to go to school with an unwanted bag.

Buy teaching materials early enough

Most schools give out a list before the holidays stating what will be needed in the new school year. A lot can be added here for the new subjects, especially during the transition to secondary school. Avoid buying items at the last minute if possible, because then common items are often already sold out. In order to educate the children to act independently, you can be included in the shopping process. You should still be accompanied, but you should still be responsible for the proper condition of the materials. The times when parents pack their bags in the evening should be over with the secondary school.

The first day of school at secondary school

Most schools make the admission quite solemn. One or two people should accompany you. Make the day a little special. It can be your favorite food or a little gift - maybe the matching pencil case or a new fountain pen, a book, favorite music, a long-awaited item of clothing or something else. For lunch or dinner, the main person should have the meal of their choice.

To listen

In secondary school, children learn and experience a lot of new things. Discreet inquiries are okay, but no re-drilling. You should take the time to listen to what your child has experienced, what moves them and what is new. Do not comment on everything, otherwise the children will fall silent very quickly and will no longer report what moves them.

Course content

While primary schools work in such a way that the subjects interlock, this is no longer the case in secondary schools. That means stress. Students usually have to spend 45 minutes on a topic, then hide it and start a new one. You can't always be up to date in every subject.

The children can be supported by integrating the content they are confronted with in class into everyday life. This does not mean that school lessons should continue in the afternoon. Instead, content can be worked through in practice. TV programs, Internet research, books on the subjects of the minor subjects or on the content that is dealt with in the main subjects can make the content much more interesting than repeating it several times in a textbook.

To have breakfest

Many children now have to leave the house much earlier than before - breakfast is often very scarce. A tip: Fruit, vegetables and something to drink are easier and quicker to eat than bread, for example. If you eat little in the morning, you should take something with you in the morning. Please note that your child's school days will now be much longer than before. Therefore it makes sense to give several different servings of food, e.g. B. bread, a piece of fruit and something to drink. Many schools now also offer good catering, which goes far beyond selling sweets during breaks.


The teachers in secondary schools are different from the ones your children know from primary school. The distance is much greater, and the teachers no longer feel so responsible for the children, which is simply due to the subject principle. Of course, at the age of 10, children no longer have to be cared for as much as in elementary school, but rather learn to stand on their own two feet.

Parents do not have to introduce themselves to all teachers in the first few weeks. It is sufficient to use the parenting days for this. However, even on these days it is often not possible to visit all the teachers. But that's not important at all - only when there are problems.

The kids won't like all of the teachers. Here it is important to make it clear to them that you don't have to like everyone, but that it is important to get along with everyone. Sometimes you have to accept and accept certain quirks.


Doing homework is very important. For this purpose, the children should have a homework book in which they can write down all their homework.

Staple guide

Every teacher has their own requirements for the management of the exercise book. Sometimes booklets and sometimes folders are desired - but very often these are checked once every three months up to once every six months and especially the students, who tend to be a little quieter in class, can collect positive points through good booklet management. Show your children how something can be improved - but you should not keep the folders for the children or rework them!


There are always difficulties. These can be problems with getting to school, it can happen that the children feel annoyed, are really annoyed that they have problems or that they cannot cope with the tasks. Here, too, it is important to listen carefully to the children, to take time for them and to look for a solution together. In such a case, the class teacher may be involved.

School problems are not as rare as many parents believe. In many schools this is counteracted by targeted tutoring by older students. It often helps if the learning material is explained again by others.

Don't set expectations too high

It is extremely important for the children that they notice, “I have to do something!” On the other hand, no great pressure should be exerted. Children who burst into tears when they say “satisfactory” are definitely exposed to too high a pressure of expectation. In such a case, parents should remember their own school days - they too made mistakes and there are even cases in which grades simply reflect the wrong image!


This is also an important aspect that should not be forgotten in addition to school. It is extremely important that the children have a balance. Sports clubs offer many opportunities, music schools and other leisure activities (if there are not too many) make sense. Your children also need to be able to switch off from time to time. And: there has to be time for friends too!

Author: Manon Sander
Published on August 22, 2011

Tags: elementary school, satchel, secondary school