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Supporting your child changing schools

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Starting a new school for the first time is a big deal for any child, but when they are changing schools it can be even more tricky. If your child is going to a different school because of bullying, poor teaching, or a relocation, then you’ll need to work extra hard to make sure they settle in. But although it’s likely to be a rough period, just remember that they won’t be the ‘new kid’ for long. A lot of it will be down to your child and their confidence to make new friends, but there are things you can be doing to help smooth the way.

Meet the teachers

Most schools are pretty experienced in welcoming new arrivals into the fold. Visit the school together with your child, meet the teachers and talk to the headteacher. Your child may also be offered some introductory sessions leading up to their official start date so they can know what to expect on the first day. Find out if the school operates a ‘buddy scheme’ where a fellow pupil is responsible for showing any new classmates around.

Get stuck in

Take any opportunities you can to meet parents of other children at the new school, whether it’s out on the football field or at the school gates. You could go further by joining the PTA and arranging play dates. That way you can find out more about how things are done at the school as well as hopefully introducing your child to others in their year group. The same goes for your child; get them enrolled in some after-school or lunch-time clubs as it can be much easier to make friends in a smaller group as opposed to a 30-pupil classroom during lessons.

Get the facts

supporting your child changing schoolsTry to inform yourselves as much as possible about the way things are done at the new school. This way you can talk through any questions your child has ahead of their start date. Young children in particular may worry about small practical details such as where they will sit, what to do if they need the toilet and where to put their coat etc, so talking about these beforehand should relieve a lot of the apprehension.

Take time

Settling in properly can take time so encourage your child to spend time getting to know lots of different people and to think about what makes a good friend. Advise them not to cling to the first friend they make.

Remember old friends

Making time for your child’s old friends could help ease any reluctance they may have had to move. Whether it’s meetings in person, writing or Skype, some level of contact will hopefully show your child that they haven’t had to sever all ties in moving to a new school.

Teens

Younger children are fairly adaptable and will hopefully settle in quickly, but teens can need a bit more time and attention. Make sure you keep the dialogue going about how they are getting on in their new school and any problems they are having. Encourage them to invite new friends over and give them space to cultivate those friendships.

 

 

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