COLUMN: How to support your child when changing schools

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The school holidays are upon us. Families with young children can hopefully look forward to some sunshine and relaxation, a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of school days.

For many of these children, when they return to school in September, it will be, for the first time, as a pupil at a secondary school or academy.

This may be daunting for them, so how can we 
help?

One really good way of settling nerves is to get organised so everyone (yes, parents included!) know what they are doing.

This might include a homework or task diary. Things are harder to ignore or forget if it is written down.

Some schools give out planners as standard, but if not, let your child choose one that they will enjoy using, e.g., bright colours, bold patterns etc.

Also organisation includes getting uniform, bags, lunches, PE kits etc sorted out the night before, so mornings can (hopefully) be a little calmer.

Some schools have buddy systems, so there is an older, responsible pupil for your child to go to, if there are any problems.

This pupil will also keep a discreet eye on those children that may require extra support.

Are there particular things that it would be helpful for the school to know about your child?

Hopefully this information will have been passed on already between primary and secondary.

But if not, it is okay to contact school to discuss things with them. Either the child`s class tutor or head of year.

A map of the school or photos of where things are may help to give your child confidence that they know where they are going.

Children will hopefully get their lesson timetable pretty quickly.

Laminate it and perhaps make several copies...just in case.

Also, talk with your child about their fears but do not repeat horror stories of your own school days. This will not help, as amusing as you feel they may be!

Reward your child as they grow in confidence and progress.

Above all, be patient.