How to Prepare Your Child for Senior School

Starting a new school can be extremely daunting for children, and transitioning from prep school to senior school can bring up various feelings, such as worry, anxiety, excitement, and more. Although there’s no way to stop these natural emotions, there are some things you can do as parents to help your child prepare for the transition to senior school.

1. Start Considering Senior School Options

At St Peter’s, our private school in Devon, we provide guidance to parents of 8 leavers, giving you and your child the support and clarity needed to make the right senior or secondary school choice when they leave St Peter’s.

Every two years, we organise a future schools exhibition, which is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the various options available. In addition, our Head Teacher, Mrs Charlotte Johnston, meets all parents individually to advise them on future school options, ensuring the best decision is made for every student.

Considering senior school options early on can benefit your child, giving them time to prepare mentally and emotionally for the change. This will also foster a sense of independence in your child, allowing them to make their own decision with the guidance of their parents and teachers.

2. Attend an Open Day

When considering your options, attending various open days to your senior school options can be helpful for both the child and the parents. It provides an opportunity to tour the facilities, meet teachers, and get a feel for the atmosphere. This firsthand experience can help the child feel more comfortable and prepared for the transition to senior school, whilst allowing parents to ask relevant questions and gather important information to support their child’s educational journey.

3. Get Your Child’s New School Uniform and Equipment

Purchasing your child’s new school uniform and school equipment is another important step in preparing them for senior school. Taking them with you to pick up their school supplies or new school uniform or encouraging them to try it on allows them to get involved in the process and feel more excited and invested in their next step. This will also give your child the confidence that they have everything they need and are prepared on their first day.

St Peter's Prep students writing in class

4. Ensure Your Child Knows the School Route

Taking practice trips on the school route encourages their safety and independence and helps them feel comfortable and familiar with the journey. Whether they’re walking, cycling, on the school bus, or being driven by you, this can help alleviate any anxiety about getting lost or experiencing the journey for the first time.

5. Print Off Their New Timetable

Printing off their new timetable or encouraging them to familiarise themselves with their new schedule, including class times, locations, and any extracurricular activities, will empower them to take responsibility for managing their own time and staying organised. Additionally, having their timetable readily available can help reduce any uncertainty or anxiety.

6. Reassure Them

Reassuring your child is beneficial as it provides them with emotional support and validation. This will help alleviate any worries or anxieties about starting senior school, showing them that their feelings are understood and normal.

Reassurance comes in many forms, such as listening to their concerns, offering encouragement, and providing practical guidance. Ultimately, reassurance will help build their confidence and resilience as they navigate this new chapter.

7. Encourage After School or Lunchtime Clubs

Extracurricular and lunchtime clubs offer opportunities for your child to explore their interests, develop new skills and hobbies, and make friends outside of the classroom. Extracurricular activities can also enhance their social and emotional well-being, boost their self-confidence, and provide a sense of belonging within the school community. Additionally, participating in clubs can broaden their horizons and open up new passions or career interests.

Tips to balance academics and extracurriculars

By actively engaging with your child during this challenging yet exciting transition, you provide practical support while nurturing their confidence and independence.

If you’d like to learn more about our approach to teaching, book an open day today.

Join us on a school open day

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