Will Potterton, Director at Leavers Hoodies Company, looks into the life lessons that year 6 students can expect to learn.
For most, year 6 is the pinnacle year of preparatory school. It’s when the children who once looked up at the giants who towered above them become the giants themselves. It will have felt like a lifetime to get to the top year of the school but from the very first day in year 6 there’s a lot to learn.
Just like they would have once dispersed out of the way of bigger kids, new year 6 students will see younger children doing this to them when passing in the hallway. With hierarchy comes responsibility – and year 6 students get to choose whether those younger than them are scared of or admire them. It’s up to the child whether they want to be a good influence or not.
In year 6, there are a lot of decisions to be made. Unless they know someone who has been through the move to senior school the year before, students in year 6 will have to trust their instincts when things change.
Something simple like deciding how they get to school, who they walk to school with and what after-school activities to take part in are just some of the choices that will need to be made and they need to make for themselves.
Being respected feels good
Year 6 students are usually bigger and older than most of the other children in school. They’ll also be a lot more confident, know their way around school like the back of their hand and have a good relationship with teachers.
Teachers will say hello in the halls and maybe even trust year 6 students to go into the staff room. Being trusted with things that others aren’t, and being greeted as though an adult, shows an amount of respect. This will be one of the first times that a year 6 student will have experienced the feeling of respect.
They will soon notice why others don’t have the same privileges and will see how hard it is to earn respect and equally, how quickly respect can be lost.
Keeping in touch
Depending on the size of the preparatory school, year 6 students will probably have a large group of friends – some of which will be considered best friends and others longstanding. As the year draws to a close, students will decide who they want to keep in touch with upon the move to senior school.
It’s likely that they’ll make new friends with people from different preparatory schools after moving. However, keeping in touch with school friends is important and it’s up to the student to decide which people they remain in contact with.
For many children, year 6 is when the biggest change in their life so far happens. Just like when people move house after living there for decades, having to prepare to leave the only school they know is a massive change to go through. And it’s up to the student how they deal with the change.
Some will worry about it, even though they can’t control what happens, and some will approach senior school with an open mind and look forward to the new opportunities and challenges coming their way.
Year 6 is an eye-opening experience; whilst the students have to carry the responsibility of being at the top-tier of their current school, they are just months away from moving out of their comfort zone and starting at the bottom at an entirely new school. With this comes uncertainty but also excitement for what lies ahead. The testing experience will teach those in year 6 many life lessons and reveal what type of person they truly are.