Thursday 13 July 2023

Helping Your Child Transition from Prep to Senior School

The change from prep school to senior school can feel daunting for a lot of children, but there are ways to manage their mood before the big day. Help your child feel more comfortable heading into the next stage of their studies with these top tips.

Normalise every moment

It’s an inevitable part of your child’s learning, which is going to either feel very stressful or a breeze for them. Making this part of the process very normal and exciting for them is going to be essential, so that you can keep them feeling at ease during the process. If you get too worked up about the huge changes when they advance on to harder studies it can cause a lot of anxiety in the first few weeks.

Ask your child what they are looking forward to

Senior school is a new frontier in many ways. Your child has to discover a new area of their studies, which can give them hope in what to look forward to. Is it the new range of extracurricular activities that they will have the chance to try on, or is it the new subjects, making new friends, and having new enrichment activities to look forward to? So many things can be exciting for your child - ask them regularly in the build up to their first day.

Listen to your child

There will be a lot of thoughts and feelings when it comes to the first days in a new school, or even before they start. It’s important to listen to those thoughts and pay particular attention to their mood. Tell your child the truth, try not to sugarcoat things for them as they will find out eventually.

In certain cases both you and your child won’t know what the right answer is. That means you have to find the answer out together - another way you can explore something that involves both of you.

Let them know how their first weeks will go

It’s uncomfortable to share, but it is worth being honest with your child. Tell them about how the first few weeks could happen for them - it might be really intense with a lot of work loaded on them. Alternatively it could be a seamless experience for them where they gel with a lot of people - it is different for many students. But it’s important to remind them that these feelings will pass and everything will feel a lot more normal as they get into the groove.

Anxiety for children heading to a new senior school is very normal, but many schools are here to help. The best private school in Gloucestershire has transition days to help students with their advancement to a new senior school, for example, which can help ease their first day in school.

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