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For many children the transition into high school comes with a great dollop of trepidation and excitement. While high school means learning about a new school, it brings with it opportunities such as access to specialist subjects and a wider social circle to join.
Some children though find the prospect of a new school, new faces and new routines overwhelming. If this is your child, then the end of Term Three and the start of Term Four are good times to start planning out your child’s transition for the year to come.
Some general strategies to prepare for transitioning to high school
A good place to start is by talking about what to expect and framing discussions in a positive light. Any older siblings who want to terrorise younger siblings with horror stories need to be reminded that they are not being helpful!
Emphasise the good stuff – like opportunities to make new friends and the opportunity to join in with clubs and sports.
Talk through the information that comes home from school and organise the preparation. Uniforms and book lists need to be sorted and these can be an exciting time and help reassure children that they are on track for high school.
Fortunately, most secondary school these days will have orientation sessions where the children spend time at their new school. This is a great time to answer basic questions like – where is my class, where are the toilets, who will be my teachers?
For the children who will need a little more support with transition
Parents can schedule time to talk to this year’s class teachers about how to prepare their children. Some children need more than the once off visit to school. Their transition may involve making sure that the new school has information about their needs and has an identified person at high school to provide extra support during transition.
A transition program may also involve additional excursions to the new school to help the child become more familiar with the new environment.
This is a good time to remind children about their skills to manage big feelings…self-regulation…and when to use these.
It can also be a good time to brush up on social skills so that children are ready to take advantage of the new social opportunities.
What if you still need help with transition?
Our staff at the Centre are available to help with transition planning and skills development (think self-regulation and social skills). They can also work with schools to help make sure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
For more information about our services please call Reception on 9274 7062 or our website information on psychology services: