Primary-Secondary School Transition: Impacts and Opportunities for Adjustment

Harris, Joanne orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5369-1309 and Nowland, Rebecca orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4326-2425 (2021) Primary-Secondary School Transition: Impacts and Opportunities for Adjustment. Journal of Education and Social Sciences, 8 (2). pp. 55-69. ISSN 2414-8091

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The transition from primary to secondary education is an important period in children’s lives: academically, socially and emotionally, and can be particularly challenging for some children. Occurring alongside puberty and a change in focus from parents to peer relationships, the transition can be a difficult adjustment for some to navigate. This paper reviews the existing literature on this important school transfer, focusing particularly on three key areas of adjustment: academic, social and emotional. We outline the factors that impact successful school transfer, whilst also highlighting that the transition can create positive opportunities for children. We also highlight from the existing literature how multiple social categorisations can influence how children navigate and experience the transition and argue that future research needs to consider social stratification and adopt an intersectional approach. Implementing an intersectional approach will create new forms of knowledge about the transition resulting in new strategies for policy makers, schools and parents that can be beneficial in assisting children through the transition

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