Jun 14 / Danny Curran

Tips for 6th Class Students Transitioning into Post- Primary School

The transition from primary to secondary school is one of the most vulnerable times in a child’s development as this is one of the most potentially stressful times in their lives. Not only are they faced with moving schools and being forced to make new friends, there is also the daunting prospect of studying new subjects, having multiple teachers and the dreaded exam stress!

While we can never fully prepare them for every social and academic obstacle they’ll face, we can assist the transition to their new school’s digital platforms!

This blog includes 5 practical tips to bridge the gap and become a little more familiar with the world of EdTech in the secondary classroom!

1. Email 

One of the most important skills that often goes overlooked, is the ability to write an email. In secondary school, all teachers will have a school email address that they can be contacted on during or after school hours and it is essential for new students to have their own email address if they do not receive a school account.

More often than not, new first year students will have questions and queries about homework tasks, upcoming assessments or tests, and even extra-curricular activities, and a quick email to their teachers can save a lot of stress! Getting used to sending emails to multiple addresses, Cc, Bcc, subject topics, adding attachments, and general email etiquette will make life so much easier and is a skill that they will require throughout their whole lives! 

2. Google Classroom

Alas, the joy of a snow day or storm day has become a thing of the past, thanks in most part to apps such as Google Classroom! However, the benefits of Google Classroom far outweigh the aforementioned con! In an increasingly digital world, Google Classroom helps facilitate online learning for digital learners today, and is extremely useful if you have been absent.

Alot of  secondary schools use this platform, and similar to many new applications, Google Classroom comes with a unique look and feel. Students can access material, submit projects, and communicate with their teachers and classmates.

Over the summer months it may be worthwhile getting used to submitting and turning in different types of attachments so that students can hit the ground running in September.

3. Digital Notebooks - Google Sites

One really useful way of keeping on track of all your notes across so many new subjects is to keep a digital notebook, and Google Sites is the perfect platform to do this.

The one thing you do not want to be doing in the lead up to your Junior Cycle exams is to be hunting for your old first year notebooks at the bottom of your wardrobe!

The beauty of Google Sites is that you can keep all your notes in one area, it’s easily accessible and you can have different links to all your subjects for each year of study.

This can be found on the Google Classroom and with a bit of experimentation over the summer months can definitely be your go to platform. 

4. Quizlet & Kahoot 

These two platforms are extremely popular apps for assessing your knowledge and revising. Both platforms help students practice and master whatever they are learning.

Users can search a database of millions of pre-created study sets on thousands of topics, or create their own custom study sets.

They also save students time by providing several different ways to review subject material — from flashcards and timed games, to adaptive questions and practice tests — that can be used for individual practice or collaborative learning, in or outside of the classroom.

Over the last few weeks of school it would be extremely worthwhile exposing your students to these apps as it will allow them to get a head start on their future Quizlet & Kahoot rivals!

5. Duolingo

For those students taking on a new language in secondary school, Duolingo is an essential app to help your progress and is a great example of a straightforward language app. It's very  simple to use.

You set up a profile, choose your target language, set your weekly goals (only if you're brave enough), and off you go!

New modules become active only once you've completed the previous one. This is also the case with individual lessons within each module. You need to complete lesson 1 to be able to progress to lesson 2, and so on. It’s free to download and is the perfect way to polish their language skills while also having fun!
Continued Learning

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About the Author
Danny Curran is an Irish and History teacher currently teaching in St. Eunan’s College Letterkenny. Danny has recently returned from the Middle East where he spent 8 years teaching in Doha, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, UAE. 

Danny is an Apple and Google certified Educator, and through Wriggle Connect he aims to instill a love of learning in students and improve their digital literacy skills through the creation of engaging and interactive lessons.    .