Your child’s transition to high school can be overwhelming and stressful, or an exciting period full of possibilities. With careful preparation and guidance, your son can experience the latter.
Here are five steps to help your child transition to high school and adapt quickly to his new environment.
1. Attend orientation sessions
Orientation sessions are common in most schools to help students in their transition to high school. This provides a chance for your child to familiarise himself with the campus and meet his new teachers. It’s also an opportunity to find out what co-curricular activities are offered at the school and make new friends ahead of the school year. As a parent, it’s important to have regular conversations with your child during this orientation period to make sure he is getting the most out of the experience and thinking optimistically about high school.
2. Get to know the school
Read the material available to you. As a new parent, you will likely be provided with ample information on subject offerings, support services, public transport and even boarding options. Educate yourself as much as possible about the school – ahead of your son’s start date – and start building a rapport with key staff. Your child’s year coordinator or House Master are good people to build a relationship with and can help put you in touch with other members of staff you may need to know. This will help to smooth your son’s transition to high school and provide key contacts should any issues arise.
3. Foster strong relationships
This applies both to you as a parent, and to your child. Attend school functions to meet other parents with children in the same year as your child. This provides another opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your child’s teachers. Similarly, your child needs to proactively build strong relationships with other students. The saying ‘you are only as good as the company you keep’ can be unnervingly accurate when it comes to teen friendships. Your son needs a strong group of friends to support him through his secondary school journey.
4. Get involved
Getting involved at your child’s school is a great way to ensure you have your finger on the pulse. There are many ways to get involved including parent committees, volunteering at the school cafeteria, offering your expertise in school projects or attending excursions. This will further solidify your relationship with staff while showing your keen interest in your child’s activities. The underlying message to your child will be that you care deeply about his or her school life, because you choose to be part of it.
5. Plan for success
Consider all academic pathways available at the school. Although your child may change direction during secondary school, it is vital to familiarise yourself with all possible pathways available. That will equip you with the knowledge you need to advise your child on subject choices and co-curricular activities. Plan for long-term success from the start of high school to give your child the best chance of reaching the end goal.
It’s clear that parent engagement is key to your child’s success at school. Although this starts from the early years, parents need to be aware of the very unique challenges that their teenage children face when starting secondary school.
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, we aim to know, understand and nurture every student to help them realise their potential, passions and purpose in life.
To make the transition to secondary schooling easier, aside from Year 7 orientations, the School offers parents a Swap Day in Term 1 where parents are invited to attend classes in place of their sons. It gives parents a unique understanding of what their son goes through on a daily basis: from finding classrooms and carrying books, to negotiating corridors, dealing with lockers and learning new concepts in the classroom.
To learn more about the Trinity difference and discover why we are one of the leading schools in Sydney, download our prospectus.