So the primary or prep school days are over and you and your child are now looking with a little trepidation towards life at senior school in September. How can parents prepare over the summer, so their child settles in as quickly as possible?
Find out if the new school will pass on contact details for other pupils joining this September. They may even be offering induction fun days during the summer. Initiate contact with other parents and invite children over. Even if not in the same class, it will be a familiar face to sit with at lunchtimes, until new friendships are formed.
Familiarise yourself with the school rules and ensure your child has everything from the school kit list. It can be upsetting to get into trouble in the first few weeks for not having the right uniform, trainers, hockey stick or calculator. Short skirts, dyed hair or piercings may also lead to trouble.
Discuss things that may be a bit daunting about the new school environment and how they might deal with these. Highlight which school staff are in their support network and how to find them. Familiarise them with the plan of the school site. Getting lost trying to find a lesson and being late can lead to angst.
Look at the school joining information together. Encourage them to get involved in extra-curricular activities from the outset. These are excellent opportunities to build friendships quickly.
Give small experiences of independence over the summer so they become resilient, able to think on their feet and have the skills to resolve problems themselves.
Instigating some of the above in the next couple of weeks, may make parents a little less anxious when September arrives, all too soon.