As the academic year draws to a close, the thoughts of many Year 6 pupils will start to turn to the next major stage of their lives – the first day at Senior School. Miss Jessica Ward, Head of Key Stage 3 at Manor House School in Surrey explains:
“As a smaller school we can provide greater individual attention than otherwise larger schools to help each pupil with the transition to senior school. For many children, senior school represents a step towards their independence and another stage in the process of growing up and leaving their childhood behind.
It can be overwhelming for children and parents alike. As parents, there are many things you can do to make things easier and starting early in your preparation can make all the difference. If a child settles quickly into their new school it will have a positive effect on their self-confidence and their ability to engage in the new academic regime with positive results.”
We have put together a few points that can help to ease the transition to Senior School:
- Communication is key: Your child will experience some anxieties, whether they are big or small. Ensure that you are asking them about these and talking through their worries with them.
- Friendships: One of the main aspects about settling into a new school is building new friendships. Be encouraging if they want to invite friends that will be going to the same school home and suggest it if they don’t.
- Practise the route to school: Have a trial run of the route to school with your child. If they miss a school bus home you need to talk through what they will do, especially if you are working and can’t pick them up straight away. Perhaps arrange for them to meet a friend that lives nearby so that they don’t have to take that big step on their own.
- Join after school clubs: After school clubs are a great way to make new friends with similar interests. These can always be dropped if they get in the way of school work.
- Homework: Upon transitioning to senior school, your child will face the challenge of increased amounts of homework. Ensure that you make changes at home to accommodate this potentially overwhelming change. Another tip would to have contact with other parents just in case your child forgets to write down what they have to do.
Some children will take longer to settle in than others. Give your child a few weeks to adjust and just remember that communication is important. If they are having problems, social or educational, don’t be afraid to ask them about it and make an appointment to see their form tutor if the problem persists.
Manor House School has the pastoral care to help with an problems and concerns that you or your daughter may have.