Going from the big kids in the school, to the teeny tiny Year 7 students of a brand-new school will always be daunting. Even for the parents, watching their students drown in a new uniform can instigate anxious feelings. From one teacher a year, to one teacher every 40 minutes, there is a lot to take in. While the excitement of graduating from primary school is still wearing off, it’s a good time to give them a hand as they step into the high school world.
Something that can often help in easing the first day jitters, is touring the school beforehand and out of school hours. If it is close by or easy to access, take your child on a tour and navigate in and out of the buildings. This way, while they still might not know exactly where J building is; they might recognise a few things and get there in the end. Seeing their surroundings without the hustle and bustle of bells and big scary grade 12 kids, will also ease them into their new school experience.
Whatever type of high school your child is going to be attending, it is guaranteed that open days and orientation events will be organised. Make sure to take advantage of these days because it’s often where all the information is provided. It is also another great opportunity for the students. By having this time to get to know some teachers and staff, it provides them with a familiar face on their first day. Not only can they find familiar faces in the staff, but also surrounded by other soon to be high schoolers, students can make new friends or reconnect with old ones that are coming for the ride too.
This notion of friends and buddies is a major factor in helping ease students into high school life. With all the feelings of nervousness and excitement swirling in their little minds, it’s a great common factor that can lead to new buddies. Encouraging your child to find a buddy or group of friends will, in turn, benefit your child. By having someone to turn to with questions or when they need a bit of a hand, it can make the journey just that bit smoother.
Being prepared for the step into high school is one thing but being prepared to start high school is another. Students now have a bigger book list, with ample textbooks and books to pick up. Not only must they have all new resources, but an updated wardrobe comes with the new territory as well. Making sure that the booklist and new uniform is checked off, will allow students to feel physically prepared.
Little things like practising the route taken to get to and from school and how to unlock a locker will also help your soon to be ‘Year Sevener’. And remember to acknowledge the anxious feelings, it’s both an exciting and daunting time in their new learning journey.