Making the transition to secondary school can be an exciting time for students. They are moving into what is often a larger school environment which can be very different from their primary schooling experience. Along with the excitement though, many students feel nervous about the change. There are a number of things parents can do to help their child make the transition a positive one.
- Be interested and enthusiastic about secondary school. Your encouragement will help your child make a successful transition. Listen to their experiences and expectations and actively support your child with a positive outlook.
- Attend key events. Most schools run a Year 7 Parent Information evening which are specifically designed to help you and your child prepare for secondary school. These events will help you understand your child’s experiences. Work hard to keep the lines of communication between you and your child open.
- Boost their confidence. Remind your child that other new students are feeling nervous. Most students will feel some degree of nerves and if your child remembers that they are in the same boat as everyone else, they may feel more confident about adjusting to the change. Emphasise that there will be people to help them adjust. Take the time to reassure them that they have it well within them to successfully step into secondary school.
- What to do if they don’t know anyone. Remind your child that they already know how to make friends and that the events throughout the year will provide opportunities to form these new friendships. Also, encourage them to join in school activities as this is a great way to make new friends with similar interests.
- What to do if the transition isn’t on track? Most importantly, don’t panic. It is really important that you instil in your child a sense of calm and confidence. Help them see that all will work out well and that they have the capacity to successfully tackle each day one at a time. If things really do not seem to be going to plan, (which probably won’t happen) contact the appropriate person at school and discuss your concerns with them.