Back to school – four ways to help your child make the move to secondary school

The new term is just around the corner. Thank goodness. Belle is really lovely company, but she misses the structure and stimulation of school, and by the end of the holidays is a little on the twitchy side to say the least.

This year is her last year of primary school, and come September she will be moving up to big school. Weird, given she still feels so small to me. I know it’s going to be a massive step for her, and I want to make sure she is prepared for the change in workload and routine. How will she cope with the change, the move to a massive school and all the homework?

I’ve been rooting around on the interweb and come up with my favourite ideas to help support children at school. Do you have children who are moving or have recently moved to secondary school? Please share your top tips to help Belle settle in and do well.

Build confidence
Moving to a new school can be really scary, but if you can help build up your child’s self-esteem beforehand, they’ll find it easier to be themselves, make friends, and be less likely to join gangs, bully others, or be bullied themselves. There are lots of ways you can increase self-confidence – from just paying them more compliments, to getting them involved in a hobby or sport where they can nurture a talent or develop a new skill.

Get to grips with the basics
Although as parents we worry about the big picture, kids are often more anxious about seemingly trivial things like what they will have to wear, how to find their way around, and where they are meant to go for lunch. Do everything you can beforehand to help them feel confident about the logistics – walk the route to school with them a few times, find a map of the school if you can, and find out online about start and finish times, uniform requirements and what equipment they need.

"Secondary school"

Children need all the latest gadgets and equipment


Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This is something children struggle with a lot. Nobody wants to be the kid who is always sticking their hand up and saying they don’t understand do they? I try to teach my children that there is no such thing as a stupid question – chances are if they are thinking it, so are plenty of other kids in the class, kids who will be grateful if someone else is brave enough to speak up. If your child does struggle with something, they can always talk to a teacher after class. Lots of schools will offer extra help if you just ask, or you can always look for external support from a personal tutor or online tutoring.

Get involved
This is something I’m a bit rubbish at, but a lot of children do like it if you make an effort to get involved with their school life. This could be anything from helping them to plan their homework schedule to becoming a parent governor and finding out more about how the school runs. Don’t get too involved though. No child wants their parent popping into their classroom every day or turning up at school assembly to demonstrate their accordion playing skills.



1 Comment

  1. 6 January, 2013 / 11:13 am

    Jo – I never knew you played the accordion… Happy New Year!

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