Growing Up and Readiness for Secondary School

In most East Riding primary schools, year six pupils (aged 10-11) have a talk named Growing Up and Readiness for Secondary School, which is delivered by our community public health nurses. This talk is organised in conjunction with school staff and parents/carers are notified prior to the lesson. The aim of the talk is to prepare young people for puberty. Puberty brings about many changes to the body as a young person transitions from a child, to an adolescent, to an adult. During puberty girls develop breasts and start their periods, and boys voices drop and they begin to develop body hair. Puberty happens at different times for different young people, but usually begins between the ages of 11 and 12 years of age. There are lots of hormonal changes that happen when puberty begins and this can bring about changes in mood.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, your child may not receive their puberty talk this year. Below is some useful resources to help you as parents have these important conversations with your child.

Busy Bodies Booklet

Childline: Puberty for Boys

Childline: Puberty for Girls

Childline: Puberty Facts

Stages of Puberty

Starting your Period

Childline: Periods

Body Odour


During the Growing Up and Readiness for Secondary School talk the nurse discusses these key changes to the body.

Breasts begin to develop Testicles and penis grow to be bigger
Periods start Pubic hair grows
Pubic hair grows Underarm hair grows
Leg and arm hair increases Facial hair grows
Underarm hair starts to grow Wet dreams
Growth spurt Growth spurt
An increase in greasy skin and spots An increase in greasy skin and spots
Widening of the hips Voice deepens

It also covers topics that help to prepare pupils for adolescence and starting secondary school. These topics are:

Internet Safety Relationship with Parents
Mood Swings Risk Taking Behaviours
Hygiene and Oral health Responsibility, Independence and Trust
Peer Pressure Making New Friends
Bullying and Cyberbullying Alcohol, Drugs and the Law
Health Diet and Exercise Support available in Secondary School

During the sessions pupils are also shown a video about puberty. If you would like to view the ‘Busy Bodies’ video please click here. These sessions give young people the valuable opportunity to understand how their bodies work, as well as understand why they change, helping them to feel prepared and informed. Pupils are encouraged to ask questions throughout the sessions and are supported by school staff.