It wasn’t too long ago you were thinking about the transition from Day Care to Primary and now look at you! You’re booking the school tours, gasping at the cost of the blazer and wondering how your little baby is going to cope with facing the enormous, hormone filled, sweat smelling classrooms at high school! I’m told, more often than not, children just do!
It goes without saying that some children will take it all in their stride, slot in perfectly and feel right at home within the first few weeks, and others will take a little longer. Whatever happens, it’s incredibly important that you give your child a say in where they are going to further their education. Listen to their worries, answer their questions and calm their fears. High School really isn’t a scary place. It’s a new beginning, a chance to meet new people, learn new things, and become the adult they’d like to be. This really is an incredible time for the whole family, even if you’re feeling tearful about sending your baby out into the big, wide world.
What’s so different about High School?
- Class sizes are usually bigger.
- High Schools are generally larger and have more students
- The children will move around the grounds for different lessons.
- The teachers will change per subject.
- Inevitably there will be more homework.
- There will be a necessity to be more organised and responsible.
- It’s more likely your child will be travelling to school independently.
Are you weeping yet??
Quite often you’ll hear people saying that High School students don’t need to be mothered or wrapped in cotton wool, which is nonsense. It’s incredibly important for you to be supportive throughout this transition, and use a little cotton wool every now and again. This is a huge change in a child’s life and now more than ever they need you to be encouraging, sympathetic and helpful.
Such a huge change in anyone’s life can lead to adjustments in behaviour, loss of appetite or even create nervousness. This is completely normal. High schools are well versed in this and should be your first point of contact if you are worried about how your child is coping.
It is vital that children take time in the first few weeks at High School to develop new friendships as this will make the transition easier for them. As a parent, you should try to encourage and grow these new friendships by organising time out of school for the kids to get together. Even if your child is attending a high school with many of their current friends, it’s important to motivate them to create a bigger circle of friends. You can never have too many!
One major change when children find themselves at high school, is that the teachers may not be at hand all of the time like they are in the primary school playground. They may not know all the teachers, and the teachers may not know every student. This can be particularly hard for children with certain difficulties, such as anxiety. Chat to your child about things that they may take time adapting to, such as:
- Finding their way around
- Making new friends
- Finding their feet
- Learning new rules and regulations
- Learning about what is expected of them
- Being responsible for all their work and books, and laptops!
- Coping with change
- Time management
- Committing themselves to lone study
- Competing in a larger field
If you’re researching High Schools, it’s important that you take your child on a tour. It’s important to bear in mind how they feel about the school. High Schools usually hold weekly tours, and a number of information nights which are a great way for your child to learn a little more about where everything is, what the facilities are like and what will be expected of them. Tours also give you the chance to see the uniform, chat about what they will be wearing, and how it differs from what they wear now. Usually High Schools have a stricter uniform policy than Primary, which some children struggle with when they first transition.
Doing as much preparation in the run up to High School will make the transition a lot more manageable for your child. And remember, a little bit of cotton wool is more than acceptable on this occasion! Good luck mamas!
Olivia is a British mum of two, living in Melbourne. Having moved all over the world, she is a lifelong ‘expat’, and thoroughly enjoys the adventures that come with a fairly nomadic life overseas.