Starting high school is a big deal.  In most cases, children are entering a new school environment and community, walking into a cohort where half their fellow students are adult-sized!  For an 11 or 12-year-old making the leap, the prospect can be exciting and daunting.  And with past school interruptions thrown into the mix, we need to look at ways to make that transition a little easier.

What Makes Year 7 Tricky

As a teacher and parent, I can say that there are several challenges faced by children starting Year 7.  There’s the change to a bigger school, and they no longer have just one main teacher.  Finding new friends and having to navigate different social dynamics isn’t easy.  To cap it off, it comes at a tricky time when they are going through puberty, may become irritable and require more sleep.

The change from being the big fish and well-known by students to suddenly becoming the junior fish in a new and unfamiliar environment can prove difficult for even the most confident of teens.

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How Can Schools Help?

Largely, schools do a fantastic job in supporting Year 7 students in their transition.  There are a number of procedures that schools use to help kids adjust.  It might include orientations, giving students a designated area in the school grounds to help them get to know one another as they find their feet, pairing them with a buddy (usually an older student), or allowing them first access to the canteen and school buses.  My children’s school offered parents the chance to buddy up with an existing school family (which was brilliant as I had so many questions!).  If your child is going to be using public transport, contact the school to see if there are other students who live in your area.

A Successful Transition

Keep an eye on your child as they settle into their new school.  Happy kids are evidence that things seem to be going pretty well.  However, if your child seems angry or agitated, this could be a warning sign so reach out to the school.

What about the Challenges

Our key message here is that change is part of life and a time for growth.  Change can be painful, nerve-wracking and stressful but encourage your children to walk through it.  Contact your school or reach out for external help if things become too challenging.

What can Parents do to Help?

  • Listen to your children, ask questions about their day.
  • Encourage social get togethers with friends and their parents, if possible.
  • Help organise folders – colour coding for each subject can work.
  • Do they have a locker?  Practise using their lock at home so that they can quickly access their locker.
  • Have a clear, organised study space at home (See our hints for a Study Space here)
  • Encourage children to keep reading – there are so many overall benefits to this!
  • Agree on boundaries around screen time

If you are wanting a resource that can boost your child’s literacy leading into 2022, please visit Literacy for Boys or Literacy for Kids

Check out our recent appearance on Channel 7 News ~

Parents ~ sign up for a free 30-day trial and improve your son’s literacy for the upcoming school year!  

As an educator, do you want more from your literacy program?  Contact us for a 30-day free trial in your school or classroom.  Sign up for our newsletter and get FREE Comprehension Worksheets for Years 3 to 9.

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