It looks like Summer is officially over and this grey, wet weather has also spelt the start of the new school year. This is the week that most children have – in some cases rather reluctantly! – gone back to school. Perhaps for certain parents this brings with it a slight sense of relief, a brief respite from the mania of a kid-packed holiday! For the students moving to new schools however, especially those making the transition from Primary to Secondary school, this can be an incredibly daunting time.
I still remember that feeling of anxiety: brand new uniform – the over-large blazer that would of course, to quote my mother – last until 6th form; waiting for the school bus alongside the “big kids”. The worst part of it was the realisation that we had gone from being the oldest ones (so grown up!) to suddenly being the youngest again. Very little fish in a vast ocean of blazers.
It’s an exciting time, a fresh start, new subjects and new friends, but it is also, without a doubt, one of the biggest changes children will face in their lives. Couple this with the fact that they have started out on the path that will lead them through all those many exams and, potentially, onto their chosen university, and you can see how important these next few years will be.
So what can you do to help your little ones settle into their new environment and ensure they have the best possible start to their Secondary school careers?
For a lot of children this is the first time they will have to travel to school and the school bus can seem like a terrifying ordeal. Try to test out the route with your child before the “big day”. If they are comfortable with the route it will be one less worry for them on the first day of school. Find out if there are any other new children starting who will take a similar route – a bus/train friend is a great support and really helps eliminate those nerves. Make sure you have discussed what to do in an emergency – missing your bus can be overwhelmingly stressful, so if they know exactly what to do it saves the panicked phone call from your distressed child!
Take the time to find out about their day, but don’t be too pushy. They will have so many different experiences during those first few weeks that they might not tell you everything that’s been going on. That’s fine! Be interested, do ask questions (without enquiring into every singe detail), but above all be positive. Your child might seem a little down or unhappy during this period and it’s important to emphasise the up-sides. You want this transition to be a positive one so you need to support and encourage your child to see what an exciting time it can be. Be optimistic and they will feel better too! Encouraging an open and frank dialogue early on in their school career can also help if your child encounters any problems later on.
The learning experience:
Your child will have to tackle a wider range of subjects at a much higher level with the leap to Secondary school. It’s vital to watch out for any signs that your child might be struggling with any of these subjects. It is better to tackle these problems early on, before they become an issue – I personally struggled with Maths and it was only the support of my parents that helped me gain a decent GCSE! However, if you don’t feel you personally can be of sufficient help to your child, then there is no stigma in seeking some extra, personal tuition. Here at Regency Tuition we understand how important extra tuition can be, having received it ourselves over the course of our education.
Good luck and remember, have fun!