Attitudes to School of Top Primary and First-year Secondary Pupils

Wendy Keys, Cres Fernandes, Sue Harris

01 November 1995

The study described in this report was initiated as a result of an earlier project which had looked at the attitudes of pupils in the first and third years of secondary education. A major finding then was that by the end of their first year of secondary education, a minority of Year 7 pupils already held negative attitudes towards school. This raised an important question: had these pupils' negative attitudes developed during their primary school years, or only after they had transferred to secondary school?

This question is investigated by comparing the attitudes towards school of pupils in their final year at primary school (Year 6) with pupils in their first year at secondary school (Year 7) and focuses on:

  • attitudes towards school and learning
  • teachers, teaching and discipline
  • pupils' behaviour in school
  • parents' attitudes towards education
  • pupils' post-16 intentions.

Nine out of ten pupils expressed positive views about their schools and teachers. However, the study identified a minority of pupils who held negative attitudes towards school, not only amongst those in the first year of secondary schools but also amongst those still in primary school.

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