The worry of your child starting at a new school
An expert from ACS International Schools, which has three campuses in Cobham, Egham and Hillingdon, answers your education questions
Question: My child is about to start a new school and I'm worried how he'll cope. What can I do to help?
You have my sympathies, changing schools can be an anxious time for everyone, but there are certainly some simple things you can do to take the pressure off.
- Build resilience -First of all, it's important to remember that children are generally far more resilient than we give them credit for. Start now to subtly remind your child of previous times they have faced challenging situations and have come out smiling.
- Nurture homelife - Knowing there is unconditional support at home and somewhere they can truly 'switch off' really helps. Try to ensure plenty of `normal' family time where they can just be themselves - simple things like eating a meal or just watching television together can really help them relax.
- Foster good organisational skills - Being on top of things reduces stress so before term starts discuss together how you can share the load when school begins - perhaps agreeing to run through the new timetable together each evening to ensure that any special requirements such as gym kit or special stationery are not overlooked.
- Help nurture friendships - Help facilitate new friendships with an open-door policy: welcome fellow students into your home and be discreetly available to help with pick-ups and drop-offs if you possibly can. Beware of hovering, but just knowing you're there will help.
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- Manage screen time - It's easy for children to hide behind their gadgets if they choose to. But human interactions, especially positive family time, are vital to a child's wellbeing and should take priority.
- Teachers are there to help! - Remember that teachers are well acquainted with the adjustment period needed for students to adapt to new routines. It's important to remind children that their teachers are very approachable and there to offer guidance. Good luck - I'm sure it will pass very smoothly.