Times of Change and Transition
Children go through all kinds of change as they grow up. This can include when they move into a new class, go to secondary school, move to a new house or even experience changes within their family. These times of transition can be exciting. However, they can also be stressful, worrying or upsetting. Change can be difficult when a child does not want it to happen or does not feel ready for it, feels worried about something new or unknown, needs time to let go of something that has ended or feels that what is happening to them is out of their control. A child may also find change difficult if they have other worries or have SEND.
Top Tips to Support Your Child
1. Give as much warning as possible for any changes coming up. Use a calendar to mark on key events or have a visual countdown.
2. Try to stay calm if your child becomes distressed. Your child may experience a range of emotions- this is normal! There are no wrong or right emotions.
3. Give your child time to ask questions about the changes. Be prepared for them to ask questions when your child is ready or at a time that may not be convenient for you. Do take the time and opportunity to talk through with your child at their pace.
4. Encourage independence where you can. For example, encouraging your child to order their own meal or drink at a restaurant or even to be in charge of finding items on your shopping list.
5. Keep routines as normal as possible. This may be a bedtime routine or something as simple as attending the same clubs.
Transition to Secondary School
Older children often want to be more independent than younger children and this is the case for many year 6 children- they want to be in control of their own lives. However, your child still needs your support and guidance as they face new challenges. Children begin to think about their next steps, their future, relationships and future jobs when they enter secondary school. Transitioning to secondary school is a big part of growing up.
How can you support your child?
1. Visit the new school. Your child will need to learn the layout of a large, unfamiliar school. It is likely they'll worry about how they might find their lessons, especially if they are in different buildings. Take advantage of any open days the school offers or visit the school's website for an online virtual tour.
2. Help them develop goals. Speak openly with your child about their goals and future plans. Listen to them and show your support. Your encouragement will help them view secondary school as an opportunity to grow and accomplish their goals.
3. Find out if other children from the year 6 class are going to the same secondary school. Speak with other parents to arrange play dates or meet ups where they can develop a stronger bond.
4. Find out if the secondary school has any extra-curricular clubs your child may be interested in. Finding a common interest with other children will help develop friendships and will help your child settle in quicker.
5. Speak to both your child's current class teacher and the new school if you are still really concerned. Talking about your concerns will help ease the load.