It feels like months of apprehension have boiled down to this moment, but, rest assured, your child will be settling into secondary school life in just a number of weeks. The most confident of children can find the transition daunting and it’s a rite of passage for the whole family to be feeling anxious!
Some children do feel overwhelmed when becoming accustomed to a new routine and struggle to settle more than others. This is extremely common and is usually nothing to worry about. There are a number of things that you can do to help ‘bridge the gap’ and ensure that your child settles in as smoothly as possible:
Allow your child to openly communicate and listen to any queries they may have. Provide emotional support and help them to understand that you will always lend an ear when they want to get worries off their chest. Don’t dismiss any concerns they may have.
• Create a morning school routine and familiarise travel routes. Have a trial run of the route a couple of times and start getting up earlier a few weeks prior to starting.
• Establish a good relationship with their new school from the start. Be totally open about any special requirements your child may have and liaise with the secondary school’s SENCO if required.
Provide emotional support and help them to understand that you will always lend an ear when they want to get worries off their chest. Don’t dismiss any concerns they may have.
• Make sure to attend parent induction evenings or any other ‘getting to know you’ events. It will allow you the opportunity to speak to your child’s teachers.
• Resist the temptation to do everything for your child. Secondary school gives children their first real taste of the importance of time-management and independence.
• Make sure your child sticks to the uniform code from day one.
• Provide your child with an amount of money to be used for emergencies only. It’s also a good idea for them to carry a mobile phone (if the school allows).