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Understanding the transition between Primary and High School

As we watch our children leave primary school and commence High School it is not unusual for students and parents alike to feel a sense of excitement and trepidation. It is, in fact, a very stressful time for students and indeed their families. It doesn’t matter whether your child was DUX in year 6 or just an average student, year 7 always challenges all students in one way or another.

The most effective way to make sure that your child has a successful transition is to embark on this journey with them… not leading, but being by their side.

Expectations.

High school presents our children with an opportunity to become more independent learners as they begin to define themselves as young adults within our community. Homework will increase and so will the pressure to perform, the clear academic and behavioural changes will be evident and the year 12’s will look scary, however, around half a million students enter year seven every year and they quickly adapt and often enjoy the more independent and mature method of learning.

Attitude.

This change can be quite daunting for your child, leaving their engrained daily routines, familiar school grounds and favourite teachers and peers present a range of academic and social challenges. This is why is it critical that as parents we encourage attitudes of positivity and discovery, reinforcing the opportunities that this new experience will bring.

Preparation.

Preparation is a critical element for anyone who is embarking on a new experience and entering a new environment. Whether this be through ordering textbooks early, organising a student diary, figuring out how to read a timetable or how to unlock the school lock, purchasing stationery and writing books and setting up a quick area for study within the home or at the local library, students will begin to gain a sense of control and ease regarding high school through this preparation. I would also recommend that students travel their route to school prior to the first day of school. The use of public transport is a common pathway to school and the stress of being lost or late on the first day of school can cause your child to become overly frantic and stressed.

Communication.

Through talking openly about your high school experience or perhaps the feelings you have as a parent can reassure your child that it is okay to be slightly nervous but also excited about high school. Your child may benefit from speaking to siblings or other family members who recently entered or are in high school to understand their perspective and gain some invaluable advice. Through talking with familiar faces, a sense of commonality and achievability will subconsciously enter your child’s mind.

Orientation.

The orientation day is arguably one of the most important days that your child will attend towards the beginning of their secondary schooling. This day will introduce them to their future cohort, the teachers and staff, the layout of the grounds as well as the expectations of the school. This day will provide a window into the high school experience and hopefully familiarise your child enough to feel confident enough to put on their new school uniform with pride and walk through the school gates ready to tackle this new adventure.