Chaplain Chat

I would like to dedicate the last Chaplain’s notes for 2020 to the year six cohort moving onto high school next year. As previously mentioned in the last newsletter, this time of the year can be bittersweet for the year six students. This week, I would like to discuss what both parents and students can do to make the transition into high school as smooth as possible.

Raisingchildren.net.au highlights that some of the most common worries that arise in children when transitioning into high school include nervousness and anxiety about:

  • Learning new routines
  • Making new friends or not fitting in
  • Handling the workload

Theconversation.com provides several strategies from psychologist Michael Lee Zwiers on how to help students transition easily into high school and how to decrease any fears children may experience during their transition period. I will focus on the topics of friendship, study habits, and monitoring stress.

  1. Friendship

According to Zwiers, one step that children can do in their high school transition is to identify friends from their previous school who will be going to the same high school as they are. Zwiers states that, having the same friends from primary school who are transitioning to the same high school as your child will make the transition smoother and help to ease your child’s stress levels. After talking to some of the year six students, I have gathered that a few will be going to the same high schools. So as parents, it is important to encourage your child to connect with their primary school friends who have transitioned with them into the same high school. They may like to meet with them at the beginning of school, during lunch breaks, or even travel to school together if they live close to each other. Zwiers highlights that peer socialization is critical for a successful school transition. However, if your child is in a completely different school from their primary school peers, Zwiers recommends that a great way for new students to making new friends is through joining school clubs or interest groups. Encourage your child to join school clubs, as they can be an easy way to connect with other students who have the same interests as them. School clubs also help new students to build a support network and they offer an opportunity for your child to explore their interests in a safe environment.

  1. Study habits- Start to build study habits early

According to RaisingChildren.net.au, in high school students are more responsible for their learning and their workload gradually becomes heavier and more complicated. Thus, setting a foundation of having a regular set time for homework at home will help your child to adapt to the new assessments and the wide range of subjects they will be introduced in 2021. Zwiers states that family support and parental engagement are linked to academic success. Another practical thing parents can do is to make sure that their home is a comfortable place to study after school, ensuring that there is a lack of distractions (e.g. TV or phones).

  1. Monitoring stress

With the change in both academic and social demands in high school, parents must monitor how their child is coping with these demands. Parents must be ready to offer support if needed. Raisingchildren.net.au states that parents can monitor their child’s stress levels by regularly talking to them about how they are feeling about high school and what they are worried about. The transition into high school can be a life-changing and empowering journey that has great potential to set your child up for an amazing future, so planning and support during this season are essential for their success.

Finally, I truly hope everyone has a safe and restful Christmas break. I am so excited to see what 2021 will hold for Glendale Primary School and I wish all the year six students great success in high school and beyond. I would like to leave the six cohorts with this final quote.

For more information on how parents can help their children transition into high school, please visit the following websites:

https://theconversation.com/how-to-help-your-kids-transition-to-high-school-81018

https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/school-education/school-choosing-starting-moving/starting-secondary-school

Thank you,

Rumbi