How to help your kids transition into high school

As the school year looms near, pre-teens across the country may be nervous about their impending move into the intimidating new world of high school. We share our best tips on how to get them settled.
School children with backpacks

For pre-teens across the country, these summer school holidays may be tinged with apprehension about their impending move into the intimidating new world of high school.

While as adults we know they’re sure to settle in quickly, to many children, it feels like a very big deal. They’re moving from being big fish in a small pond, after all, to the smallest fish in a big pond.

And they’re transitioning from an environment where most things are done for them to one where they have to become independent and take responsibility for being in the right place at the right time, bringing the right equipment and negotiating new social circles.

To help ease them into it, parents are being advised to help support their 11 or 12-year-olds over the Christmas break by being positive about high school, encouraging them to talk it, helping get them organised and familiarising them with their new campus.

According to NSW’s Department of Education and Communities a lot of the trepidation that kids feel before entering high school comes from the unknown.

So setting aside some time to communicate, familiarise your kids with their new surroundings, practice public transport and get any equipment in order will help.

Children may also find it helps to catch up with friends who are going to or already attend the same high school during the holidays.

For useful videos you can watch with your kids about high school, click here.

And here are some points to help you get started:

What parents can do during the school holidays to help:

1. Talk positively to your child about the move to high school.

2. Ask them what’s exciting about high school. Does anything worry them?

3. Make sure your child has a quiet work area and extra stationery supplies.

4. Organise personal hygiene items in school bags.

5. Decide what your child will do before and after school, and what time they need to be home.

6. Discuss emergency and safety issues with your child.

7. Practise travelling to and from school with your child using the transport they will use. Let your child buy travel tickets, if applicable.

Top tips from kids about how to enjoy highschool:

1. Meet new friends: join clubs and be yourself

2. Try something new: get involved and embrace a challenge

3. Use a diary: build independence and get organised

4. Have copies of your timetable: colour code your subjects if it helps

5. Homework: find somewhere quiet at home and get into a regular study routine

6. Planning: write to-do lists and know when assignments are due

7. Help: ask your teachers for assistance if you need it

*Source: NSW Department of Education and Communities

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