Transition from one educational setting to the next is a daunting prospect, often accompanied by a mix of emotions.  We spend time talking about this with pupils, particularly in our Summer Booster sessions.  Every child is different, but here are some ideas which will make the transition as smooth as possible.

Visit the school

This is usually part of the package in most schools and your child will spend some time with their new teacher.  However, if you are moving to a new school, then this won’t be standard, so you should arrange for a look round.  It stops any fears that can run amok in a child’s head from getting too big and scary.  You’ll also see some friendly faces and your child can ask all their questions.

Look at their website

This gives a different insight into the school, one that is obviously geared up to inform parents, but it often gives an overview of clubs and exciting things that may be available.  Again, another way to allay fears or prepare questions for the visit. There may even be pictures of the teachers looking welcoming and smiley 🙂

Talk to pupils who are already there

This needs to be treated with caution, because children can sometimes take delight in filling each other with exaggerated stories of their new school (well, my older sister did :L). But if you can find a kind and trustworthy older pupil, then your child can get a much more pupil-orientated view of the school and get to ask much more personal questions, rather than academic ones. Try to avoid negative rabbitholes, but this can be a great way to ease the mind, especially if your child knows and trusts the older pupil.

Talk to their current class teacher

I remember my lower school headteacher really putting me at ease before our first visit by demystifying the daunting headteacher.  Chances are your child’s current class teacher will have regular contact with the teachers in the next year/school.  They may be able to answer questions or give a personal reassurance about the child’s next teacher.  Your child will undoubtedly trust their current teacher or teaching assistant and their opinions will matter greatly.

Make lists of positive reasons why it’s going to be great

There’s a chance that your child may have heard some negative things about the school or at least these are the bits that might stick. Making a positive poster or even just a list of positive things that they know about the school, that they are looking forward to or that they are hopeful for.  Anything that will mean you end up with a positive outlook for the new school that outweighs anything negative.

Discuss your role in their new chapter

This can be very comforting to know that you will still be supportive even though your role will likely change.  Often, the school change heralds changes for you too – back to work, change in picking up and dropping off arrangements, different dynamics in your relationship with your child. It’s easy to think that your ‘grown-up’ child doesn’t need you so much, but they do, even though they may pretend they don’t! A discussion just allows for all those questions to be asked and explored.

Overall, it’s all about reassurance and building confidence.  They just need to know that they are going to be ok and that whatever happens, they still have a solid base of love. 

SUE

Owner of Red Bird Tutoring

Sue launched Red Bird Tutoring in 2018, combining her 20+ years experience as a teacher and school leader with her interest in coaching.

Since its launch, Red Bird has helped hundreds of learners achieve success!