Going to high school
By Ella Walsh |
Is your little one about to take the big step into high school? Get him (and you!) prepped for the transition from primary school to high school.
- Get all the information you'll need. Make sure you attend the high school orientation day with your child. Just being on the school grounds and seeing all the other new students may calm any nerves in your child. Also, see if you can receive the school newsletter in the weeks before your child makes the move - this will give you an 'insider's' view of the school.
- Make sure your child is confident with his new travel arrangements. Very often the move to high school means travelling a longer distance to and from school each day on public transport. So make sure you've organised travel passes and he knows where to get on and off transport.
- Remind him that everyone is new on the first day. Most students are nervous about changing schools and if your child remembers that he is in the same boat as everyone else, he may feel more confident about adjusting to the change.
- Don't wait til the last moment to get your child's uniform. Having the new uniform well ahead of the beginning of term, will help your child identify with his new school.
- Find out about timetables and routines. If you can, talk to existing students to get handy tips about things such as sport, how the timetable works, what to expect in a typical day. You'll be able to get this type of information at the orientation day, but an insider's view is often illuminating.
- Try and find a 'buddy'. Even if your child is going off to a school where he knows no-one, chances are you'll be able to locate someone you know (even if it's a very vague connection) who's already enrolled in the school who you can ask to look out for your child.
- Remind him that he already knows how to make friends and that making friends takes time so he can't expect to rush it. Encourage him to keep in touch with old friends, and when he does make new friends, remind him that old friends are good to keep.
- Be interested and involved about your child's move to high school. He'll probably rely on your encouragement to get him through the early days, particularly if he doesn't know anyone at his new school. Actively listen to what he tells you, and keep an ear out for any concerns he may have.
- Encourage him to join in school activities as this is a great way to make new friends with similar interests.
- Help your child to develop good study habits. One of the greatest differences between primary and high school is the expectation that the student will manage his own time efficiently and will be able to meet deadlines consistently. To assist this, help your child to set aside a particular time to do homework - somewhere private and quiet if possible, and work out a daily timetable that incorporates all his needs and interests.
- Develop good organisational skills. Encourage your child to pack his bag each night for the next day. This will give him the best chance of being fully prepared for each school day.
- Make some allowance for tiredness and irritability in the early weeks.
Find more about communicating with schools:
- How school's communicate with parents
- Communicating with the school
- 7 ways to prepare for parent-teacher interviews
- Is your child too sick for school?
- Learning difficulties
- Separation anxiety and school
- Your child's school teacher
- School readiness
- Solving school difficulties
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