There are a number of things you can do to help make the transition to secondary school easier and help your child settle into their new school:
- Build your child’s confidence. Settling in well is all about self-esteem. Children with high self-esteem are less likely to be bullied or to bully and are more likely to gather a wide circle of friends. Tell them how great they are. Pay them a compliment if they have done something kind or thoughtful and watch their confidence grow.
- Listen to their fears. They may be worried about getting lost in a school that is so much bigger than their primary school. Talk through what they should do – ask another pupil or go to the school office.
- Remind your child that being a good friend, especially to shy and quiet children, is one way to make new friends.
- Show them that you feel positive about their new school and all the new things they will do there.
- Talk about how they are going to get to and from school. Will they cycle, walk or catch the school bus? if so which route should they take and where do they catch the bus from?
- Stick to the school’s uniform code. Your child will feel more comfortable from day one.
- Get up earlier during the last week of the holidays so that early starts for school aren’t a shock to the system.
- Think about any changes you might need to make at home so they have the time, space and energy for homework.
- Encourage them to join lunchtime or after-school clubs. They are a great way to make friends.
Give your child a few weeks to settle in. Ensure you know who to contact for any situation, and the school’s preferred means of contact. If they are having any problems, social or educational, make an appointment to see their form tutor.