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Managing change – Year 6

Change is a natural part of life. Personal changes might include the challenges of the physical and emotional changes of adolescence, family break-ups or ‘mergers’, changes in care arrangements, or adjustment issues following a family move (especially in circumstances involving violence or trauma).

Some pupils might find it hard to cope with the transfers and transitions in school, for example as they move between key stages and when they leave school.

The impact of any of these changes on an individual will vary according to personality, support networks, resilience, risk and protective factors, but most pupils can and do cope in these circumstances without the need for additional small group support, moving through a range of stages similar to those often manifested in grief:

  • denial, disbelief
  • recognition of the inevitability and reality of the change
  • acceptance of change/identification with new reality
  • planning positively for the future.

Small focus group work in this area is most likely to be effective when pupils experiencing changes of a broadly similar nature are grouped together, for example, those who are having problems adapting to secondary school at transfer or those who have experienced many changes of home or care arrangements. Cross-age groups will often be experienced as helpful and supportive, especially when pupils who have dealt successfully with changes in their lives are included.

This topic is designed to help young people to:

  • understand that change can be both positive and challenging
  • better understand the feelings associated with physical and emotional change
  • cope with transition and transfer
  • develop persistence and resilience.