Starting high school

Moving on from primary school to go to high school can be an exciting but sometimes stressful time.

Here is some advice from young people who have recently started high school.

Top tips when starting high school


In primary school you mostly stay in one classroom. At high school you will move classrooms quite a lot each day. Your timetable lets you know what your lessons are and where they will be located. Have a look at it each night to see what subjects you have the next day. It will help you to get your bag ready and take the right things. Keeping your timetable with you will help you to avoid getting lost or confused. You can always ask a teacher where to go if you can’t find your classroom.


At high school you will have a school uniform. Teachers tell us that even when we are outside of school, if we are wearing the uniform we are representing the school, so you have to keep it looking smart and make sure you behave well when you’re wearing it.

New friends and new teachers

At high school you will meet lots of new people your own age and lots of new teachers. It’s a chance to make a fresh start and make a good impression on people. If you didn’t get along with people in your class or teachers at primary school this is a great time to start again. You’re going to be at high school for a few years so getting along with people will make the next few years of your life a lot easier.

New subjects

You will do lots of new subjects at high school. If you are asked to do something new it’s OK to be a little nervous. Remember everyone else in your class will probably be new to the subject too. Ask your teachers for help if you need it. They will understand that you are new to the school and to the subjects.


If you haven’t started high school yet, you might be worried about being bullied as there are always lots of rumours about this happening. Most of these stories are completely made up but if you do think you're being bullied, always talk to a teacher or adult you trust. Bullying is never acceptable. Visit our bullying page for more advice.

Ignore gossip

High school is a much bigger place than primary school and news can travel fast whether it’s true or not! Ignore gossip, whispering about someone else is childish and can upset people.

Look after your things

In high school you will go to more than one classroom. Some days you might be expected to carry your PE kit and other things you need for lessons (such as cookery ingredients or a musical instrument) around with you. It can be hard work! Keep your bag with you or in your locker if your school has them, so you don’t worry about losing your most important things.

Need to talk?

It’s good to share any problems. You will find you're not the only one who is worried, everyone worries a bit about starting high school. If you feel lonely or need to talk to someone your school will have listeners and teachers that you can talk to.

If you would rather talk confidentially to someone you don’t know, such as a counsellor, there are lots of services here to help young people. You can visit our mental health support page for a list of useful websites and helplines.

Enjoy it

Whilst it’s understandable that you will probably have some worries about starting high school, try to enjoy the experience. It will be exciting as you might just try a new subject that ends up leading to your future career – or make a new friend for life. And it’s definitely not as scary as you think it will be as there are lots of people there to help. Just think, this time next year, you will be the one passing on advice to young people leaving primary school!

Tell us your story

If you’re a young person and want to tell us your story about starting high school you can email

© Wigan Council