Preparing your Child for High School
Preparation is key to helping students transition smoothly to high school. We encourage families to begin preparing their child in the months leading up to the new school year. Below are some suggestions that can help ready your child/ren. Becoming informed and learning more about Busselton SHS is a great place to start and looking through our website will be a great help.
- Familiarise yourself and your child with our Transition Booklet. Read it with them and encourage their questioning.
- Ensure your child attends the orientation and transition days organised by us. You will here of these days through your childs primary school.
- Make a time to meet with Kelly Anderson (Deputy Principal for Years 7 and 8) and tour our school grounds.
Practical Planning - Involve your child
Encourage your child to attend our school to pickup or deliver your enrolment package to become acquainted with their new surroundings.
Discuss travel arrangements in advance. If plans to walk/ride to school, do a few walks/rides with them so they can get used to the travel route.
If taking public transport, help familiarise your child with the bus routes and timetables.
Have your child join you when coming to the Uniform Shop. This helps familiarise them with the administration building.
Organise your childs uniform in advance.
Encourage your child to prepare their stationery for the new school year.
Help them familiarise with any items they are not accustomed to.
Emotional Support - Be positive and encouraging
- Open Communication
Encourage your child to share their concerns (if any). Talk about the exciting opportunities available at high school. Share any fond memories or positive experiences you had when attending high school. Ensure your child feels listened to and comfortable in sharing their thoughts.
- Building Friendships
Support your child in maintaining their friendships at primary school and developing new ones at high school. Help your child explore new opportunities. Learning a musical instrument, trying a new sport or joining a drama class are great ways for your child to meet other kids and get involved in school activities.
- Handling Emotional Ups and Downs
Be prepared for early ups and downs. Adjusting to change takes time, but if things don’t stabilise after the first six weeks, talk to your child’s form teacher.
Remind your child that it’s normal to feel nervous about starting something new – for example, you could share how nervous and excited you feel when starting a new job.
Talk to other parents to check whether your child’s experiences and feelings are similar to those of others. Sporting and school events are a good place to meet other parents.
Try to make sure your child eats well, gets plenty of physical activity and gets plenty of sleep. The change to high school is likely to make your child more tired at first.
Practical tips for a positive transition
- Try to arrange for a parent, grandparent or other close adult to be home before and after school for the first few weeks of transition.
- Familiarise yourself with the names of the teachers responsible for your child’s overall care. Make personal contact with them as early as possible to introduce yourself and ask questions. You will be advised of who your childs teachers will be.
- Try to make your home as comfortable for study time as possible. For example, make sure your child has a quiet place to study, away from distractions such as the TV or a mobile phone. When the internet is necessary for study, you might want to keep an eye on the websites your child is using.
Your feelings about your child starting high school
Your child’s transition to secondary school is a big change for you too. Your relationship with your child’s primary school might be ending, and it is likely that the working relationship between yourself and the high school will feel different. It’s OK for you to have mixed feelings about these changes.
Talking to other parents, particularly those who have gone through high school transition, often helps. It might ease your mind to know that many children find things a little hard at first but settle in during the year. Also, other parents who are experienced at the school can often answer small questions and give you helpful tips about how things work.
And don’t be surprised to find that your child doesn’t want you to be as visible at high school as you might have been during the primary years. Remember that they still need your support outside of school, and that it’s all part of the way they develop greater independence.