Whether your child is changing schools because of a house move, or switching from a state to an independent school – for a whole host of reasons, starting a new school can be a daunting prospect for both you and your child.
In order to make the transition to a new school as smooth as possible, we have put this blog together to advise you on some of the best ways you can help prepare your child for their first day.
Involve your child in the moving process
Discuss the move with your child as early as possible and show enthusiasm for the move yourself so that they too can see the positives. You may want to ask your child about the things that they are looking forward to, as well as asking them to share any concerns that they may have.
Where possible, attend multiple school open days with your child before discussing and comparing the pros and cons of each option. This will give your child a sense of ownership over the final decision and help them to feel more involved in their future. Having an idea of what the new school is like will also make the transition feel less stressful for your child.
With over 50 mainstream SCIS schools across Scotland, there is a school to suit every child’s learning requirement and interest. Try our location tool to quickly discover which SCIS schools will make your shortlist.
Keep ties to your child’s old school
Your child will likely have built strong relationships with other children and teachers at their previous school. Reassure your child that these connections can remain, by suggesting ways they can stay in touch with their friends through play dates or phone calls, and online through email or social media.
Making a scrapbook or photo album with your child, of their friends, activities and memories is a good way to commemorate their time at their old school. You may want to request a portfolio of your child’s work from their teacher to include or look back on.
Planning a farewell gathering with your child’s close friends is an ideal way to cement their friendship and celebrate the move.
Prepare for the first day
By involving your child in picking out their new school uniform, books and any equipment they need for their first day, you will help your child to build a sense of excitement about this new chapter and help them adjust to the new school environment.
If possible, request your child’s timetable prior to starting school so that you can help them to prepare for each day by ensuring that they have the right classroom details, textbooks and kit - there's nothing worse than forgetting your P.E kit!
Try to find out in advance what extracurricular activities will be running when your child joins the new school and encourage them to get signed up to activities of interest as soon as possible. These activities are ideal ways for helping your child meet like-minded friends and settle into their new school life.
At SCIS schools there are a huge range of extracurricular activities to choose from, varying from rugby, climbing and tennis to art club, drama group or jazz band. Find out more about the range of extracurricular activities on offer at Scottish schools here.
Check in with the teachers
Ask your child’s new admissions team about the strategies they have in place to help your child to fit into their new school. After a week or two, you may want to get in touch with their school teachers to find out how your child is settling in, from their perspective.
If you have concerns about your child starting a new school, all of our SCIS schools will be more than happy to discuss any queries that you may have. All of our member schools pride themselves on getting to know your child to help them settle in and to cater to their individual needs.