For many parents who have children in their final year at primary school, the end of the summer holidays signals the beginning of their secondary school journey. Moving to a brand new school where many things are different and there are a lot more people and classrooms can be a very scary and big step for most children. Here at Tutor Doctor we want to help make the transition as smooth and stress-free as possible. That's why we’ve put together some useful tips that will help you prepare your child for their fresh start!
In the last few weeks of the summer holidays
Practice travelling to and from school
Talk with your child about how they will get to and from school, and explore the route with them a few times before they start. Doing this will make sure they're aware of the journey and feel confident doing it on their own. It’s also super important for them to know what to do if their bus or train is late or cancelled.
Making sure that your child has everything they need for their first term is going to mean they’re prepared for anything! Check that they’ve got the right pens, books, school equipment, uniform, P.E kit and travel passes well in advance. This way your child won’t have to worry on their first day and neither will you!
Make them aware of what may be different
It’s super important for you to chat through what may be different at your child’s new school, especially as they're probably used to going somewhere that’s half the size. For example, making sure they realise that there will be more homework and an increased workload is vital preparation. It’s a huge leap from having one assignment due for the next day, to having several projects for all different subjects due at different times. For some great tips on time management skills, make sure you read our helpful blog post here.
Other areas to bring to their attention is that secondary school will be much bigger and busier than they’re used to. Assure them that it’s completely normal for it to take a little while to adapt to their new surroundings!
Be Positive and enthusiastic
Your child is more likely to look forward to starting secondary school if you’re positive about it. Remind them to be brave, friendly and try to chat to their peers- even if they don’t know them! Everyone is in the same boat and will be looking for new friends.
In the first few weeks
Once your child has started secondary school, remind them to write down all their homework, with detailed notes explaining what they need to do and when it’s due in. This will help them manage their increased workload and keep a track of what they have to work on and when. Most students will be given a planner or homework diary, so perhaps cast an eye over it every week just to ensure they are on track!
Lots of Sleep
Lots of sleep is a must for your child, especially as the first few weeks will be overwhelming and very tiring. Around 9 hours a night will make sure they are bright eyed and bushy tailed every morning and have enough energy to get good grades and work hard! For more information, have a look at our blog post ‘Why is sleep so important for your child?’.
Finally.. Don’t Panic!
Remember, don’t panic if your child isn’t happy after their first week or two. It takes time to adjust, make friends and settle in. Remind them that it’s okay not to know the way around yet or to have a big group of friends- it takes time! Make sure that you also encourage your child to talk about how they feel and always reassure them that it’s completely normal to have mixed feelings about starting a new school. We guarantee within a month or two they will wonder what all the fuss was about!