How to Help Your Child Settle at a New School

Embarking on a new academic journey can be exhilarating and nerve-wracking for children. Transitioning to a new school brings many emotions, from excitement to uncertainty. At our independent school in Devon, we ensure our teachers and our strong pastoral care system help ensure new students settle in quickly.

As a parent, you play a pivotal role in helping your child navigate this change confidently and easily. In this guide, we’ll explore practical tips and strategies to ensure your child has a smooth, positive, and supportive transition into their new school.

Preparation is Key: Take a Tour of the School

By now, your child will be very used to their current school environment, so leaving it can feel very challenging, and they may feel anxious. They will soon be joining another school with a whole new environment, new students, and new students with whom they aren’t familiar. Preparing them as much as you can with their new school environment is a great idea so they don’t feel like they’re walking in completely blind.

Before their first day arrives, take the time to familiarise your child with their new school. At St Peter’s, your child will invite your child to join us for a taster day, which will allow your child can get an idea of classrooms and locate the dining hall, toilets, reception, and all the other basics. We also invite our September starters to a transition day in July, to meet their new classmates and their new tutor. Encourage them to ask questions and express any concerns they may feel when they visit us.

Connect with Teachers

When starting a new school, it’s essential that students feel like they have a point of contact. We will always ensure solid communication between our teachers and your child, so they feel they have the support they need. As a parent, you can also contact specific staff members if you have any concerns or would like some clarity. We assign a ‘buddy’ to your child so they’re not left alone and feel more comfortable during the transition.

Listen to Your Child: Remember to Communicate

It’s important that your child feels that they can turn to you to tell you how they’re getting on and can express any concerns. However, if you think they haven’t communicated much with you, it’s worth checking in on them so you’re on the same page. If they’re struggling, you can give them the necessary reassurance and inform the school so they can provide extra support.

Encourage After School Activities

At St Peter’s Prep, we encourage our students to participate in extracurricular activities. Not only does this encourage our pupils to stay active and nourish their hobbies, but it’s also an excellent way for new students to connect with their peers and make new friendships.

If you’d like to learn more about our after-school activities, then request a prospectus below:

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Acknowledge Their Emotions

It’s essential to recognise that starting a new school can be extremely daunting. Not only that, but your child has to say goodbye to their friends, leaving them behind. This can be challenging for them, so create a safe space to express their feelings, whether excitement, nervousness, or apprehension. Validate their emotions and assure them that it’s normal to feel this way during this time and that it will all be okay.

If you’d like to learn more about our private school in Devon and the benefits we can offer your child, then our previous guide below can help:


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