It is that time of the year where we start thinking about the new year!
There are many different transitions involved with schooling, such as beginning Primary or Secondary School, or returning to school after the summer holidays to a new class and new teachers. Even every day school life involves numerous transitions, which all children are required to manage.
There are many ways that you can help your child to better manage these events. Below are some strategies that can help, for any kind of school transition:
Help your child be prepared - Change and transition can lead to feelings of stress for everyone as there is an element of the unknown involved. Build confidence by talking to your child about their new school year.
Preparing for back to school and transitioning to a new class – When preparing for back to school, help your child reduce their concern by discussing what they are looking forward to about the new year and what they may be concerned about. Then help them by thinking of different strategies that may help them deal with their concerns.
The school environment – It is human nature to feel more comfortable when you know your way around a particular environment. Even if your child is returning to school, the summer break can feel like a long time. Discuss the different areas within the school that they like going to, for example; the library, performing arts room and the art room just to name a few. This will help your child reconnect with school.
Communicate - It is important to communicate with your child about what they may be worried about and what they are looking forward to. Discuss their concerns and help your child.
To help support students as they transition from one class to another, we hold a ‘Step Up Day.’ This session happens towards the end of Term 4 which provides an opportunity for all students to experience the year level ahead, becoming familiar with the new setting and developing an understanding of the expectations and opportunities available in the coming year.
Teachers also spend time completing a handover to ensure a smooth transition for each student.
Upon returning to school for a new year, it is also a great idea to discuss lunchboxes. A healthy lunch and snacks gives active children energy to learn and play. Packing a nutritious lunch helps your child to eat well and develops good food habits. Involving your child in planning, shopping for and preparing their lunchbox develops their ability to make healthy choices and enjoy good food. You may wish to start with asking them to make a list of the foods they enjoy. Praise your child when they choose healthy foods for their lunch box. It is a great time to encourage your child to help prepare and pack their own school lunchbox. They can make their own snack packs from fresh ingredients which you can buy in bulk such as a small box or bag of dried fruit, rice cakes or unsalted and unsweetened popcorn. Some tips; include fresh fruit, crunchy vegetables and a combination of protein, dairy and carbohydrate foods. Be Creative!
Pina Pikos - Assistant Head of Student Wellbeing (P-2)