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Community & Business

23 January, 2022

Helping your child transition to high school

MAKING the move from primary school to high school is a key education milestone for students and parents have a critical role to play in helping their children manage this sometimes daunting transition.

Photo: Pexels

Most students thrive on the new environment and the varied experiences that secondary school offers, but some students find the move to be challenging. 

In addition, the transition from primary school to secondary school happens alongside the transition from childhood to adolescence which means children are going through both physical and emotional changes. 

The transition may result in some uncertainty and even a sense of loss, especially where students had leadership roles as the most senior students in the primary school and now they are the most junior members of the secondary school. 

Here are some tips and information that can help your child transitioning from primary to secondary school.

  • Ask what assistance the school provides to help transition your child into secondary school – for example transition day, orientation day or buddy program. 
  • Help your child review any orientation material provided by the school – this may include simple but important information such as the location of the toilets. 
  • Make sure you know the school’s key dates – usually these are made available online or in a regular newsletter. (Make sure the school has your up-to-date contact details.) 
  • Make sure your child is organised before the first day in their new school – uniform, school bag, books, etc. should be ready at least the day before to alleviate any rush or panic on the morning of the first day. 
  • Encourage your child to wear their new school shoes around the house to make sure they are comfortable. Sore feet on the first day will detract from the positives. 
  • Learn about school routines – school start and finish times, recess and lunchtime. 
  • Have an emergency safety plan. Be clear about who your child should contact and what you expect them to do in an emergency. 
  • Talk to your child about their timetable, including subjects and classrooms. Make a few copies of the timetable to keep in different places. Encourage your child to think ahead 
  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep to cope with the extra workload they may have. 
  • Create a consistent homework routine. 
  • Create a comfortable place for your child to study. This should be a quiet place away from distractions. 
  • If your child feels nervous about starting secondary school, remind them this is completely normal. These nerves may last past the first day. Encourage your child to talk about what they might be worried about. 
  • Encourage your child to be friendly and discuss what it means to be a good friend. 
  • Support your child by encouraging them to get involved in extra-curricular activities, leadership roles, house activities and community service. 
  • Talk to your child about peer group pressure. 
  • Encourage your child to keep in touch with their primary school friends. It helps to be able to share and talk through experiences.

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