Transition Activities for Mental Health Awareness Week

A full classroom participating in discussion with one student raising her hand to answer her teachers question.

Anxiety is a normal emotion in us all, but sometimes it can get out of control and become a mental health problem. That's why Mental Health Awareness Week holds a crucial spot in todays classrooms.

On the theme of 'anxiety', this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is from 15 to 21 May.

Ready-made Year 6 transition activities with Lumio

Lots of things can lead to feelings of anxiety, including exam pressures, relationships, moving home or other big life events.

One such big event - our Year 6 students are preparing for this term is the transition to a new secondary school.

Transitioning from primary to secondary school is a particularly significant change for children. Learning about change and how to cope with it will help them with this particular transition, and prepare them for many other changes and challenges they will face in life.

Let’s talk about school transition with Lumio!

It’s always essential to set ground rules for these types of sessions. The ground rules should be consistently kept to and revisited throughout the lesson. Model good use of the ground rules and reinforce or renegotiate them as required. If you want your ground rules to be effective they should always be developed and agreed with the pupils themselves, rather than ‘given’ or imposed by the teachers.

You can access our editable class ground rules here:

There is so much we can do to help our students manage the transition and minimise anxiety regardless of their individual circumstances. Chat about how they are feeling and how it will be different from primary school. You might want to start by discussing that the new school will be at a bigger site, with new people, changing teachers, different rooms for each subject and more homework. Offer reassurance that feeling nervous about embarking on something new is perfectly normal, as is experiencing some sadness when leaving behind familiar and safe environments, people, routines and rituals. Remind/reassure them that these emotions typically fade over time.

Try an interactive wellbeing activity with your students

Start by asking key questions:

  • What is stress?
  • How do you manage stress?
  • How does having a positive attitude help with your emotional wellbeing?
  • What coping strategies can we use when our mental wellbeing decreases?
  • How can we all develop resilience to cope in stressful situations?

Want to explore the themes discussed here further? You’ll find a selection of resources from our partners Kooth, the leading digital mental wellbeing platform. Explore Lumio lessons provided by Kooth:

Open up the conversation

As we’ve already established in the ground rules, it’s incredibly important to create a safe environment for pupils to share their thoughts and feelings. With the Lumio ‘shout it out’ feature, students can send their thoughts up to the board anonymously.

Remind students that no question is too big or too small. If they’re thinking about it, the chances are someone else in the class is too! A problem shared is a problem halved and our conversations with students really do help. For many, the realisation that their peers are having similar thoughts and feelings about the change to secondary school  is a huge reassurance.

Hearing from peers who have recently been through the experience also supports the process. This short video from the BBC is great! To aid the discussion, we’ve taken the students' advice, handy hints and tips from the clip and worked them into simple presentation so you can carry on the quality conversations in your classroom.

For further tips and advice on transition, read Helping Your Child Manage the Move from Primary to Secondary School on Young Minds.