Preparing to move to high school

Our team of Occupational Therapists have put together some hints and tips that will help you to prepare to move to high school.

Moving from primary to secondary school is a really exciting time. It can also be a big transition.  Here are some things you can do to make the transition a little easier and smoother. 

Young high school student (girl) in uniform with a backpack.
  • Create an area at home where you keep your school items so that it’s easier to find them.
  • Get into the habit of packing your school bag the night before school. It might be helpful to write out what you need so you can check your list every night.
  • Organise your school uniform the night before school. This will help you get ready quickly in the morning.
  • Make sure everything’s the right way around and you have everything you need.
  • If you struggle with getting dressed (completing buttons, shoelaces etc.), you might find it helpful to look at our dressing advice or our fine motor activities advice.
  • Make sure your uniform is correctly orientated so that it’s quicker to put back on when you’re getting changed.
  • If you find that you don’t have enough time to get changed after PE, try only undoing the top few buttons of your shirt. This way, you can just pull it over your head and will have less buttons to complete.
  • Practice your route to school and class.
  • Look out for signs, posters or pictures to help you remember the way.
  • Study a map of your school and colour code the classrooms you use.
  • Make sure you know where your locker is and you have your key (if you need one). Put a keyring on this so that it’s easier to find in your bag.
  • Make sure you know where the toilets are. If using the toilet is difficult, make sure that your teacher is aware that you may need extra time.
  • Colour code your timetable and files to help you recognize which are needed for each day or use a picture code key ring.
  • Use a see-through pencil case to help you find your pen/pencil more easily.


  • If you have difficulty completing homework, ask your teacher how much time should be spent working at home, and ask for help to prioritise your work load.
  • Practice carrying a tray of hot food with your bag on your back at home.
  • If using a knife and fork is difficult, take a packed lunch instead of having school dinners.
  • Make sure you can open your sandwich box and any packets or cartons easily.
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How to access Occupational Therapy for Children and Young People.

To make a Request for Assistance please contact us on 02921 836910. Please click here for more information on our Request for Assistance process.

Contact details

Occupational Therapy for Children and Young People
1st Floor, Woodland House
Maes Y Coed Road
CF14 4HH

Phone: 02921 836 910

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