Last week, many Trinity boys made the transition from Primary School to Middle School for the first time. Transitioning into Middle School can bring with it mixed feelings … stress, anxiety, excitement and nervousness. For parents, the key to a successful transition is to provide age appropriate emotional and practical support as your son navigates his new environment.
According to Bradley Barr, Master of Middle School at Trinity Grammar School, the environment we create at home can play a big part in how students deal with transition in those first few weeks. Bradley suggests parents keep talking with their son, perhaps even share your own experiences from school, and normalise any feelings of anxiety that your son may be feeling.
Bradley also offers these five practical tips for helping your son settle into Middle School:
- Be positive: Moving from primary school to Middle School is challenging. But challenges are good! They are how we test ourselves and see what our potential can be. The first day, maybe the first week, maybe even the first month might be hard as your son adjusts from being the biggest and the smartest at primary school, to the youngest and least experienced at secondary school. But by staying positive and determined, the process of overcoming the challenge of transition will make him stronger. Keep the communication open, and remember to talk with your Middle School Housemaster if you sense your son isn’t settling.
- Be prepared: Personal responsibility is part of growing up. Being prepared means:
- Learning a locker combination.
- Remembering the Middle School Housemaster’s name.
- Recording timetables and homework each day in a homework diary.
- Reading the noticeboard and the daily notices to stay updated.
- Be willing to fail: The first weeks of Year 7 are very busy with new teachers, new expectations, new subjects, new routines, sports trials, music auditions, assessment tasks, and many other exciting opportunities. In the end though, no-one will remember whether your son made the 7A Cricket team or came first in Year 7 Latin … What people (teachers and peers) remember is attitude and character. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling makes a very good point when she says, “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” J.K. Rowling
- Be friendly, well-mannered and respectful: Your son will meet lots of new people in the first weeks of Middle School. Some will become friends, some may become important mentors and some may not share the same values. Encourage him to remember the more we give respect to others, the more we have it given back to us … and we all want to be respected.
- Be confident – you can do it: Reassure your son that thousands of young men have made the transition before him. After all, Trinity Grammar School is over 100 years old! Moving into Middle School is an important step on the journey to manhood. Keep your head up, your shoulders back and keep doing your best.
For more advice about educating boys and to stay in touch with school news, sign up to our e-newsletter.