Development and transition

Development and transition

There are plenty of tricky stages as children transition towards becoming young adults. Check out these useful resources to help you support them

Development and transition

Knowing and appreciating the difficult challenges children face as they move from primary to secondary education is essential to helping them navigate growing up as well as helping schools to spot problems and get them the right support.

Below you’ll find various resources from classroom materials to research papers and tips for teachers on supporting children through the transition from primary to secondary education.

Books for the classroom

Edward’s First Day At School

Wells, Rosemary

Walker Books Ltd (1996)

ISBN: 978-0744552591

Not everyone is ready for the same things at the same time. When Edward goes to playschool, he isn’t quite ready to join in with the other children.


Harry and The Bucketful of Dinosaurs

Whybrow, Ian

Puffin; Re-issue edition (2009)

ISBN: 978-0140569803

Harry finds some dusty plastic dinosaurs in nan’s attic. He cleans them, finds out their names and takes them everywhere – until, one day, the dinosaurs get lost! The lost property man gets a surprise when Harry proves the dinosaurs are his by calling them over to him.


I Want My Mum (Little Princess series)

Ross, Tony

Harper Collins Children’s Books (2008)

ISBN: 978-0007254491


When things don’t go well for the Little Princess, she knows there is only one person who can make them better, so she yells, “I WANT MY MUM!” But when the Little Princess finally learns to cope on her own, how does the Queen feel?


Owl Babies

Waddell, Martin

Walker Books Ltd (1994)

ISBN: 978-0744531671

Tells the story of three baby owls who wake up one night to find that their mother has gone. They sit outside on a branch waiting for her, worrying about what has happened to her, but much to their relief she does return.

What Will Emily Do?

Cross, Gillian

Mammoth (1995)

ISBN: 978-0416190786

Matthew can’t wait to start school, and it isn’t until his first day that he begins to wonder what his little sister Emily will do while he’s away. At first he finds a way to keep her busy, but the first week holds surprises for both of them.

Classroom videos

Recommended reading


A Good Childhood: Searching for Values in a Competitive Age by Layard, R. and Dunn, J., Penguin 2009

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Rath, T., and Harter, J.  Gallup Press, 2010

Research papers

Ofsted: Transition from the Reception Year to Year 1

The Royal Society: debate about the neuroscience of emotion

University of Bath: research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council: Children’s transition to School: Learning and Health Outcomes

Inclusive Perspective on Transition to Primary School

European Educational Research Journal: Vol 2, no 2, 2003

Research paper by Christine Cope and Peter Cope, University of Stirling

Web resources

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