Paper Title
Learners’ Experiences in The Transition from Primary School to High School

There is abundant evidence that learners experience challenges when they move from primary school to high school, though these have been little studied. The aim of this study is to elucidate certain theoretical and conceptual dimensions in seeking to understand learners’ experiences as they transit from primary school to high school. Research shows that, for many students, the transition from primary to high school is a stressful move from the nest of a protective, familiar environment with considerable individual attention into an often impersonal and intimidating atmosphere. A thorough review of relevant literature indicates that the transition into high school is marked by increased disengagement and a decline in motivation among students. The data in this study was obtained from interviews conducted with 10 grade 8 learners at two high schools located within the Tshwane North district. The case study design gave the researchers an opportunity to investigate, explore, describe, explain and interpret these learners’ experiences. The findings revealed that the learners experienced difficulties ranging from academic deficit to social exclusion. The study concludes with recommendations that schools should utilise a holistic approach to teaching and learning to minimise factors that cause anxiety and maximise those that promote connection. Teachers should also understand the psychosocial, physical and emotional paradoxes of the learners’ context so as to be in a position to support them during this difficult time. Key words - Transition, Psychosocial, Physical, Emotional and holistic approach