Moving on to a new school from Year 6 to Year 7 is a big life event for our children.
Moving from the ‘safety’ of a familiar and quite often, smaller school with the friends our children have been in classes with for most of their young lives will probably be the most challenging thing most of our eleven years olds have had to face.
Here are Happy Confident Kids top tips on how you as grown-ups can transform a potentially stressful time into something exciting:
- Regular chats and emotional check-ins– we mustn’t assume if our children are not talking about it, they’re not worried. They may be internalising their emotions to appear ‘grown up’.
- Frame positive conversations – start the conversations as soon as you can and frame them in a positive way which draws on experience. For instance, focus on new experiences and opportunities such as making new friends, learning new subjects, or even going to buy a new school uniform. You can draw comparisons to the experiences of older siblings, friends’ kids or even your own positive experiences.
Breaking things down will help your child realise the step up doesn’t need to feel overwhelming. It’s also helpful to remind them that all the Year 7s will be experiencing similar emotions and fears.
You can actively help your child to prepare for the transition:
- Journaling – Encouraging your kids to process their thoughts via a diary or journal will help them prepare. You can suggest starting by writing a list of five things they’re most looking forward to at their new school if they’re struggling to get going with this. Regular diary entries prior to starting school and once starting is a brilliant way to process thoughts.
- Get planned and organised – a wall planner and a dedicated area for study will help to provide a structured and organised approach to new school life – getting your kids in the zone before day one will enable things to feel less overwhelming. Discuss how things will work at school to assist in the transition.
- Review starter info from school – help your child understand how things may go in their first few days.
- Setting realistic goals – whether that’s getting used to a new subject, making new friends, or the structure of life in a new school – it takes time! Being kind to themselves and being realistic about how long things take is a good exercise in understanding how life works. Experiencing bumps in the road is a natural and normal part of life, growing up and learning.
- Developing confidence and other useful social skills – developing vital skills such as the confidence to ask questions in class to understand things properly (taking notes helps), contributing, listening, and focusing – which will help in longer lessons, as well as asking for extra help from teachers or peers if needed.
- Sleep – Having a good night’s sleep during the week and a routine will help your kids make the most of school life.
- Making new friends and staying in touch with old friends – it sometimes takes time for us, kids, or adults time – to find our ‘tribe’. Those who share similar interests, outlooks, and those we just gel with. Getting involved in extracurricular lunch or after-school clubs will help in finding those who share similar interests.
- Encourage authenticity – a simple but essential mantra, being your authentic self is always the key to true happiness and we all recognise and value true authenticity when we see it.
Enjoy the summer holidays – encourage your kids to make the most of the summer break, rest, have fun and enjoy the here and now.
Happy Confident Kids run well-being and confidence workshops for children both in and out of term time. If you require advice and support for your child, or would like to find out more about our 1:1s or workshops call 0333 358 0390 or say firstname.lastname@example.org