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How parents can support transition to Senior School

The transition to Senior School brings lots of change not only for pupils but for their families. New travel arrangements, different expectations and routines, perhaps a move into boarding. This can create feelings of anxiety in parents and children so what can parents do to help in the run up to starting Senior School?
What you can do to help?
  • Accept that it is normal and acceptable to feel anxious as a parent or guardian but it is important not to pass these feelings onto your child.
  • Help your child to talk about any worries, concerns or emotions they have about starting school and acknowledge their feelings. Encourage your child to be honest, both positive and negative.
  • Talk about what they think might change in a positive and exciting way. Chat about what will be different from their primary or Preparatory school - bigger site, new people, changing teachers and rooms for subjects.
  • Look through the school's website together and encourage your child to take part in any induction events.
  • Mark the end of child's primary or Preparatory school experience. Saying a proper goodbye is important but encourage your child to embrace their new school, make new friends and keep in touch with old ones.
  • Help your child to think about how to meet new people and start conversations. Remind them that everyone is in the same situation.
  • Get organised over the summer holidays, buy uniform, get a haircut, choose new stationery, work out a first day plan.
  • Help your child build good routines: get them to pack their bag the night before, remind them to check equipment and homework. Support them in becoming more independent.
  • Create a space for them to work quietly at home.
  • Get to know your child’s tutor and Head of Year. Contact them if you need to. Get to know how best to communicate with the school.
  • Keep encouraging a growth mindset, make sure they understand they wont be good at everything, YET, things take time and practice and they shouldn’t give up.
  • Encourage them to get involved, try as much as possible, this is the time in their senior schooling when they can enjoy the full range of opportunities.
  • Give it time, settling may take longer than expected and is not always a linear process.