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Taking the leap from primary school to high school marks an important point in your child’s life and they may be feeling nervous about the transition.
Grappling with a larger new building, taking an unfamiliar route to school and navigating a class timetable can all feel very overwhelming, and so here CashLady looks at the steps that you can take to prepare your child for their first few weeks at high school.
Common worries about going to high school
According to this article from the BBC, some of the most common worries faced by children entering high school are:
- Bullying – will I be bullied by older pupils?
- The journey – will I get to school on time? What if the bus is late?
- Finding my way around – my school is so big, what if I get lost trying to find my classroom?
- The work – will I be able to keep up my homework
It helps to have an open discussion with your child about what their biggest worries are and then work towards finding solutions, approaching their concerns with a problem -solving attitude.
Remember that while you want to support them, this is also a time when they should be exploring their independence and so it is helpful to work through each concern together.
Bullying at high school
Moving from being the oldest kids to the youngest in school, can naturally bring up concerns about they will be treated by older pupils.
If your child appears under confident or is particularly worried about being picked on, then give them some tips on appearing confident, and advice on what to do if they find they are being bullied.
Advice for parents
Bullying.co.uk provides useful advice for parents and they suggest boosting your child’s confidence by encouraging them to join a drama or self-defence class.
Should your child tell you that they are being bullied then they recommend not rushing to complain to your child’s school without their permission first, and not advising them to hit back, as this will not solve the problem.
The journey to high school
For many children, going to high school may involve using public transport themselves, or travelling by school bus, for the first time.
If using public transport then take the journey with them before school starts to help them become familiar with the route.
Discuss your child’s worries about the journey and provide practical solutions to help overcome them.
For example, perhaps they are concerned about what they do if they miss the bus. You could write down time for the next bus and provide them with an emergency supply of taxi money.
Finding their way around a new school
High schools are usually far larger than primary schools and involve moving from one class to another, instead of staying in one room all day.
Remind your child that teachers make allowances for lateness at the beginning of a new term and they don’t expect children to know their way around the school immediately.
Make copies of your child’s timetable
You could make copies of their timetable and suggest they put one in their bag and one in a pocket of each coat to help them feel more secure.
Keeping up with homework in high school
Your child will be used to homework but may worry about the standard, and volume, of work that they will have to take on after the summer.
To help ease their fears it can be helpful to set up a designated homework area, providing a desk and planner, allowing them to add some personal touches to make it an inviting space.
Set a homework routine
Also, set a daily routine. You might find your child wants to complete their homework as soon as they come home from school or they might want to relax and then start working later in the evening.
Let your child decide when they want to do their homework but try and maintain the same time each day.
It’s likely that they will receive a diary from school and so sit down with them in the first few weeks to discuss their homework and set out a plan.
A positive step forward
It’s not just children who can feel nervous about going to high school, and you may too, feel anxious about the next step in your child’s education.
If you can, then try and not get too stressed as your child will only get stressed too. Instead be positive about the step forward give your child the support that they need, while allowing them greater independence and the chance to make their mark.