The transition to middle school can be incredibly scary for children, Mia is no exception!
Over the past few months she has really struggled with the thought of leaving her current school. Most of her friends will be by her side and the new school is just next door, but she has several worries and fears.
She has always been quite an anxious child. She has a big heart and cares deeply for her nearest and dearest. During her time at her current school she has formed strong bonds with many pupils and members of staff and the thought of not seeing them five days a week makes her feel sad. As the summer holidays get closer, I am trying my best to prepare her for the transition to middle school. Today I thought I’d share some of my top tips in the hope that it helps you and your little ones.
- Visit the new school – usually your child’s current school will arrange some transitional visits during school hours but make sure you visit your child’s new school with them also.
- Talk to children already attending – thankfully Mia has a lot of friends who already attend the school she is starting in September. Speaking to them about what they like about their school has really helped. Talking to current pupils and hearing their stories from school will increase excitement for your child’s new adventure.
- Pictures – ask your child’s new teacher for images of the classroom, cloak-room, toilets, assembly halls, basically everywhere your child will be regularly. This will help familiarise them with their surroundings.
- Special trip for supplies – during half term I took Mia into Norwich to pick a new school bag, she loved the prospect of a ‘big girls’ bag. In the summer holidays we’ll be taking another trip to get everything else she needs. By making sure she has everything she wants and needs for middle school, whilst also making her feel special, has really eased her fears. Make a day of it, have lunch out and make your child feel like a queen/king for the day whilst ticking off items on the supplies list.
- Do the walk home together in advance – it’s not just the building and teachers that change when your child starts a new school, even the route to and from home can be different. If possible, familiarise your child with the new route over the summer.
- Reassurance of collection and drop off points – one of Mia’s big concerns is where she will meet me after school and how I will drop her off with Theo still at infants school. Together we have chosen specific meeting and departing points so that she doesn’t need to fret about not being able to find me at the end of the day.
These are just a few things that may help to reassure you and your child. If you’re a parent that has completed this transition, please feel free to share your wise words in the comments below.