In this section, you will find information and advice to support you with growing up. Click on the tabs below to learn more about each topic.

Moving from Primary school to Secondary school is a big change and can feel scary and a bit overwhelming. You may be worrying about making friends, finding your way around or coping with school work.

“I’M WORRIED ABOUT CHANGING SCHOOLS”

It’s Good to Talk

Remember, it is natural to feel like this and it will take a few weeks to get used to being in a new school environment, but if you’re feeling worried it’s always best to talk to someone – maybe a family member or a teacher you trust.

Making Friends

You may be in a form with lots of new class mates but remember everybody is in the same boat! Try and be open minded and give everyone a chance and they will do the same for you.

Clubs

Joining clubs and societies is a great way to make new friends and be involved in your new school. School life will be different, but the teachers will make sure you’re supported to settle in and help you find your way around.

You may have noticed that your body has started to change, that you’ve started to feel differently about things or your relationships are changing. This is all a normal part of puberty.

For boys puberty can begin any time between the age of 9 and 14, though for some boys this may be later.

Remember though, everybody changes at their own rate, and what is happening to one person may not be happening to you yet. This is really normal. Everybody gets there in the end!

“WHATS HAPPENING TO ME?”

It is likely you will start to grow taller, grow hair in different places, start to sweat more, have greasier skin / hair and feel more emotional……

Your penis and testicles grow and your scrotum gradually becomes darker.

You may have "wet dreams" (involuntary ejaculations of semen as you sleep) 

Your voice "breaks" and gets permanently deeper – for a while, a boy might find his voice goes very deep one minute and very high the next.

You might feel more irritable or moody than usual - this is because of changes in your hormones.

Click the image below to read more about puberty for boys and girls.

Puberty booklet

For additional information please see links below. 

Boys and Puberty Q&A

Top Facts About Puberty (Childline)

Puberty For Boys (Childline)

You may have noticed that your body has started to change, that you’ve started to feel differently about things or your relationships are changing. This is all a normal part of puberty.

For girls puberty can begin any time between the age of 8 and 14, though for some girls this may be later.

Remember though, everybody changes at their own rate, and what is happening to one person may not be happening to you yet. This is really normal. Everybody gets there in the end!

“WHATS HAPPENING TO ME?”

It is likely you will start to grow taller, grow hair in different places, start to sweat more, have greasier skin / hair and feel more emotional……

Your breast will start to grow and your hips will get bigger.

You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge prior to your peroid starting. To find out more about periods and how to manage them click on the image below. (PDF Leaflet)

periods-leaflet_214x300.jpg

Click the image below to read more about puberty for girls and boys.

puberty-booklet_209x300.jpg

For additional information please see links below. 

Girls and Puberty Q&A (NHS)

Top Facts About Puberty (Childline)

Puberty For Girls (Childline)

There are lots of reasons why some young people choose a risky behaviour like taking drugs. It could be because they are stressed at school or worried about their home life, or simply because they think it’s going to be fun.

Here are some good reasons not to take drugs...

  • Drugs are addictive
  • They can lead to depression
  • All drugs carry a risk because the side effects can depend upon how your body reacts to them, so it’s a lottery taking any

“My friends are pressuring me to take drugs, what can I do?"

You may be worried that a friend is taking drugs, or you may feel pressure from friends to take drugs when you just don’t want to. It’s really important to talk to someone about how you’re feeling or seek out some support. Try and confide in a trusted friend, family member or teacher. Or speak to your school nurse. You can also find help online. For more advice and support go to The Talk to Frank website.

Most people have sex for the first time when they are 16 or older. Remember though, although 16 is the legal age of consent this doesn’t mean that this is necessarily right for you. Being ready for sex is about it being the right time for you, not because your friends are pressuring you.

If you are sexually active, you are running the risk of becoming pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It’s important to talk to your partner about contraception before you have sex. Starting a conversation about safer sex may feel awkward but as well as protecting you it will help you to feel more confident and in control.

For more information and useful advice, visit the Sexual Health Service website or the SexSmart website.

The younger you start smoking the more damage you will do to your body as you get older which can lead to many health problems. Not only that, smoking has a really negative effect on your appearance and on your bank balance too.

"My friends are all smoking, I'm tempted to start too..."

If you smoke you can end up with bad breath, yellow fingers, rotting teeth, smelly clothes and hair, and develop wrinkles earlier. You can also get a ‘smoker’s cough’ and won’t be as physically fit as a non-smoker.

Don’t forget…it is against the law to buy cigarettes if you are under 18 years of age.

How much does my habit cost?

Why not try our interactive quiz to find out how much your habit is costing you..

I want to quit but I don’t know how..

The best way to stop smoking is by having lots of good advice and support on hand.

There are lots of places you can go to for support whether you decide to quit on your own or with the support of family and friend’s. You can find local support and help at Cheshire Change Hub.  

Useful links:

Starting Well Online Chat

Under 18's Guide To Quitting Smoking (NHS)

Smoking Cigarettes Or Cannabis (Childline)
 

You may be curious to know more about alcohol but that doesn’t mean that you have to say yes if somebody offers you a drink.

Just say no

If somebody offers you alcohol and you don’t want to drink it just say no. Real friends should accept and respect your decision.

Alcohol – it’s a risky business

There are lots of reasons not to drink alcohol as a teenager. Here are some of them..

  • It can make you more vulnerable to danger. You’re more likely to take risks whilst under the influence of alcohol.
  • You can lose control which may make you more aggressive.
  • If you drink underage your education may suffer as you are more likely to skip school and therefore get worse grades.
  • Drinking alcohol can affect your developing teenage brain and lead to memory and reaction problems and lack of attention span.
  • Underage drinkers are more likely to suffer from weight problems, bad skin, disturbed sleep and headaches.

Alcohol and the law

If you’re under 18 it is against the law for:

  • Someone to sell you alcohol
  • To buy alcohol
  • For an adult to buy you alcohol
  • To drink alcohol in licensed premises

It is legal however to drink beer, wine or cider with a meal if you are 16 or 17 and are accompanied by an adult.

Visit the drinkaware website to find out what the law says about alcohol and young people.

For more information about alcohol go to drinkaware website facts or speak to your school nurse.