Whether a child is starting or changing schools or moving from one level of education to another for example kindergarten to primary or primary to secondary/ high school, proper transition management is now being acknowledged as important and is being linked to the children’s later life outcomes. A positive transition contributes to enabling a child to overcome barriers in life and promotes resilience among young people.
Most children make school transitions successfully, however for some children it is sometimes associated with anxiety, uncertainty, and confusion. However, transition is not a one-off event. It is not complete at the end of the first day of school or school level. It is a process that occurs over time. So, while a child may have a challenging start, support through the process over time can deliver a successful outcome in which a child gains a sense of belonging and acceptance in the new learning environment.
Tips on how to support school transition for your child:
- Involve the child in the process where possible – Consider doing some school visits with the child and where older discuss with the child about the school. Listen to the feedback.
- Talk about the change – Ask what they are looking forward to and what they may be concerned about
- Shop for school items together – Uniform, school stationery, books, school bag, water bottle
- Label the school items – This will help them find items easily if they should be misplaced
- Introduce the child to the schoolteacher – This can be before or at the opening day. This helps the child feel that they are known at the school.
- Get plenty of rest – Restful nights are important throughout the school term and especially in the beginning. This reduces fatigue and anxiety.
- Talk about the school days – As the days and weeks progress, talk about school, what was learned, friends made, activities, what was fun and not so fun. Also check with the teacher on the child’s progress.