Exploring the primary to secondary transition experiences of year seven students
TARAN-AWAN Journal of Educational Research and Technology Management


Phenomenological research
primary to secondary transition
school programs
transition experiences

How to Cite

Treceñe, J. K., Negros, J., Paler, R., & Cornillez Jr., E. E. (2021). Exploring the primary to secondary transition experiences of year seven students. TARAN-AWAN Journal of Educational Research and Technology Management, 2(1), 70-82. Retrieved from https://journal.evsu.edu.ph/index.php/tjertm/article/view/262


The transition to secondary school from the accustomed environment of primary school was found to have several challenges being met by most of the grade seven students. The study aimed to explore the experiences of the students and sought to identify important issues and challenges they face. Using the descriptive phenomenological design, the researchers uncovered and described the experiences of 17 purposively sampled participants. Data from a semi-structured interview, observation, focus group discussions, and a journal was gathered during the first three weeks as Grade 7 students enter secondary school for the first time. The results from this study obtained 5 major themes: students experience different milieu of relationships; inferiority complex due to bullying and unruly classmates; school location, and other different barriers that are beyond student’s control. Study shows that the experience could be enjoyable for some and could be problematic to others if not given enough understanding and support. It is recommended that school administrators look into the experiences of the students and provide programs for a smoother transition process.



Alspaugh, J. W. (1998). Achievement loss associated with the transition to middle school and high school. The Journal of educational research, 92(1), 20-25. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220679809597572

Andre, N. J., Parse, R. R., Coyne, A. B., & Smith, M. J. (1985). The lived experience of reaching out: A phenomenological investigation. Nursing research: Qualitative methods, 119-132.

Ashton, R. (2008). Improving the transfer to secondary school: How every child’s voice can matter. Support for Learning, 23(4), 176–182. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9604.2008.00391.x

Barglowski, K. (2018). Where, what and whom to study? Principles, guidelines and empirical examples of case selection and sampling in migration research. In Qualitative research in European migration studies (pp. 151-168). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76861-8_9

Benner, A. D. (2011). The transition to high school: Current knowledge, future directions. Educational psychology review, 23(3), 299. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-011-9152-0

Celeste, L. T., Bisnar, J. C., & Javier, I. V. (2019). Bullying Among Junior High School Students: Effects on Health and Academic Performance. JPAIR Multidisciplinary Research, 36(1).

Chadbourne, R. (2001). Middle Schooling for Middle Years: What might the jury be considering? Melbourne: Australian Education Union.

Coffey, A. (2013). Relationships: The key to successful transition from primary to secondary school?. Improving Schools, 16(3), 261-271. https://doi.org/10.1177/1365480213505181

Converse, M. (2012). Philosophy of phenomenology: How understanding aids research. Nurse Researcher, 20(1), 28–32. 10.7748/nr2012.

Deieso, D., & Fraser, B. J. (2019). Learning environment, attitudes and anxiety across the transition from primary to secondary school mathematics. Learning Environments Research, 22(1), 133-152. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-018-9261-5

Elias, M. J. (2002). Transitioning to middle school. The Education Digest, 67(8), 41–43. https://search.proquest.com/openview/ad128225fdaae18a171432ad87e372b4/1.pdf?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=25066

Gabiana, M. (2017). Bullying in a Public Elementary School of Countryside Philippines. Journal of Academic Research, 2(1), pp. 27-35. http://jar.ssu.edu.ph/index.php/JAR/article/view/21

Ganeson, K. (2006). Students’ lived experience of transition into high school: A phenomenological study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. https://eprints.qut.edu.au/16249/

Green, P. (1997). Moving from the world of the known to the unknown: The transition from primary to secondary school. Critical Studies in Education, 38(2), 67-83. Available at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17508489709556301?journalCode=rcse19

Hinebauch, S. (2002). Nurturing the Emerging Independent Adolescent. Independent School, 61(4), 18-23.

Hirsch, B. J., & DuBois, D. L. (1992). The relation of peer social support and psychological symptomatology during the transition to junior high school: A two-year longitudinal analysis. American Journal of Community Psychology, 20(3), 333-347. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00937913

Isakson, K., & Jarvis, P. (1999). The adjustment of adolescents during the transition into high school: A short-term longitudinal study. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28(1), 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021616407189

Jindal-Snape, D., Cantali, D., MacGillivray, S., & Hannah, E. (2019). Primary-secondary transitions: a systematic literature review. https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/32851/7/00546054.pdf

Kim, D. H., Lee, J. M., Cho, S., Peguero, A. A., & Misuraca, J. A. (2019). From bullying victimization to delinquency in South Korean adolescents: Exploring the pathways using a nationally representative sample. Children and Youth Services Review, 98, 305-311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.01.018

Kraynie, L. K. (1985). The lived experience of persisting in change: A phenomenological study. Nursing research: Qualitative methods. Bowie, MD: Brady Communications.

Letrello, T. M., & Miles, D. D. (2003). The transition from middle school to high school: Students with and without learning disabilities share their perceptions. The Clearing House, 76(4), 212-214. Available at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00098650309602006?journalCode=vtch20

Lord, S. E., Eccles J.S. and McCarthy, K. A. 1994, ‘Surviving the Junior High School Transition. Family Processes and SelfPerceptions as Protective and Risk Factors’, Journal of Early Adolescence, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 162-199. https://doi.org/10.1177/027243169401400205

Morilla, R., Omabe, R., Tolibas, C. J., Cornillez Jr, E. E., & Treceñe, J. K. (2020). Application of machine learning algorithms in predicting the performance of students in mathematics in the modern world. TARAN-AWAN Journal of Educational Research and Technology Management, 1(1), 49-57. https://journal.evsu.edu.ph/index.php/tjertm/article/view/215/65

Morrow, R., Rodriguez, A., & King, N. (2015). Colaizzi’s descriptive phenomenological method. The psychologist, 28(8), 643-644. http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/26984/1/Morrow_et_al.pdf

O’Connor, K. E. (2008). “You choose to care”: Teachers, emotions and professional identity. Teaching and teacher education, 24(1), 117-126. Available at https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?hl=en-PH&publication_year=2008&pages=117-126&author=K.+E.+O%27Connor&title=%E2%80%9CYou+choose+to+care%E2%80%9D%3A+Teachers%2C+emotions+and+professional+identity

Palinkas, L. A., Horwitz, S. M., Green, C. A., Wisdom, J. P., Duan, N., & Hoagwood, K. (2015). Purposeful sampling for qualitative data collection and analysis in mixed method implementation research. Administration and policy in mental health and mental health services research, 42(5), 533-544. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-013-0528-y

Parse, R. R., Coyne, A. B., & Smith, M. J. (1985). Nursing research: Qualitative methods. Brady.

Pereira, A. (2005).A qualitative exploration of the transition experience of students from a high school to a senior high school in rural Western Australia. Retrieved from https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/1016

Prosser, B. (2008). The role of the personal domain in the middle years teachers’ work. Australian Journal of Middle Schooling, 8(2), 11–16. https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/58399

Salceda, J. (2020). Accounting students’ perception towards efficient teaching behavior and effective classroom management. TARAN-AWAN Journal of Educational Research and Technology Management, 1(1), 39-48. Available at https://journal.evsu.edu.ph/index.php/tjertm/article/view/214

Sam, C., Ros, V., & Sophal, P. (2012). Factors promoting independent learning among foundation year students. The Cambodian Review of Language learning and Teaching. 2(1), pp. 37 – 52. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vutha-Ros/publication/258008241_Factors_Promoting_Independent_Learning_among_Foundation_Year_Students/links/596e3b48a6fdcc2416900efc/Factors-Promoting-Independent-Learning-among-Foundation-Year-Students.pdf

Smyth, E. (2017). Off to a Good Start: Primary School Experiences and the Transition to Second-Level. Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). https://www.esri.ie/system/files?file=media/file-uploads/2017-10/BKMNEXT343.pdf

Strand, G. M. (2019). Experiencing the transition to lower secondary school: Students’ voices. International Journal of Educational Research, 97, 13-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2019.06.009

Tobbell, J. (2003). Students’ experiences of the transition from primary to secondary school. Educational and Child Psychology, 20(4), 4–14. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2004-16088-001

Treceñe, J. K. (2019). Delving The Sentiments To Track Emotions in Gender Issues: A Plutchik-Based Sentiment Analysis in Students’ Learning Diaries. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research. 8(12), pp. 1134 – 1139. https://www.ijstr.org/final-print/dec2019/Delving-The-Sentiments-To-Track-Emotions-In-Gender-Issues-A-Plutchik-based-Sentiment-Analysis-In-Students-Learning-Diaries.pdf

Treceñe, J. K., & Abides, R. J. P. (2020). A Study on the Variations of Internet Usage among Male and Female BS Information Technology Students. International Journal of Advanced Engineering and Management, 5(1), 12-17. https://ijoaemorg.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/ijoaem-5-1-2-1.pdf

van Rens, M., Groot, W., & Haelermans, C. (2019). (How) Does Information Provided by Children Affect the Transition from Primary to Secondary School?. Child Indicators Research, 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-019-09646-2

van Rens, M., Groot, W., & Haelermans, C. (2019b). (How) Does Information Provided by Children Affect the Transition from Primary to Secondary School?. Child Indicators Research, 1-26.

van Rens, M., Haelermans, C., Groot, W., & van den Brink, H. M. (2018). Facilitating a successful transition to secondary school:(how) does it work? A systematic literature review. Adolescent Research Review, 3(1), 43-56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40894-017-0063-2

van Rens, M., Haelermans, C., Groot, W., & van den Brink, H. M. (2019a). Girls’ and boys’ perceptions of the transition from primary to secondary school. Child Indicators Research, 12(4), 1481-1506. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-018-9591-y

Vines, H. (2002). Caught in the middle. Australian Educator, 36, 14 – 18. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/aeipt.123534

West, P., Sweeting, H., & Young, R. (2010). Transition matters: pupils’ experiences of the primary–secondary school transition in the West of Scotland and consequences for well‐being and attainment. Research papers in education, 25(1), 21-50. https://doi.org/10.1080/02671520802308677

Wolke, D., Copeland, WE., Angold, A., & Costello, J. (2013). Impact of Bullying in Childhood on Adult Health, Wealth, Crime and Social Outcomes. Psychological Science, 24(10). https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613481608

Zimmerman, M. A., & Arunkumar, R. (1994). Resiliency research: Implications for schools and policy. Social Policy Report, 8(4), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2379-3988.1994.tb00032.x

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2021 TARAN-AWAN Journal of Educational Research and Technology Management