|Top Tips for Parents|
Your child has been used to the relatively small, secure environment of primary school, where they’ve become a large fish in a small pond. Suddenly they have got to adjust to the large world of Thamesmead.
You too may find this a difficult time, as it brings home the fact that they are moving on to a new stage in their growth that will end in adulthood. You may worry about how they’ll manage the journey, whether they can cope with new friends and how they will cope with the new subjects and all the other pressures. Here are some suggestions to help make this process easier.
Helping your child make a successful move from primary to secondary
• Don’t pass on any of your own anxiety to your child. If they are worried, make sure you listen, but point out that there will
be lots of other children feeling the same.
• In the first week or so of the new term try to make sure you are around to see your child off in the morning and be there
at the end of the school day.
• Be prepared for tiredness and tears in the early days. On the practical side, make sure all the kit is purchased and labelled
in good time, not the night before. Your child doesn’t need a last minute panic over whether their PE kit fits.
• Towards the end of the summer holidays try a ‘dry run’ to school. If your child is walking whether to school itself or to the
bus stop or train station, let them walk the route; if they are taking public transport, let them try that. Make sure in either
case that you are satisfied they can cross roads safely.
• Stress that it’s OK to get lost or be late for lessons in the first few days: lots of students will be wandering around with
puzzled looks on their faces. On the other hand, make sure your child is aware that first impressions count both with
teachers and other students. Best foot forward from the very start!
• Keep a careful eye on things while they settle in. Chat often about the work and the new subjects and routines, and take
an interest in homework and new friendships.
• Don’t shy away from contact with the school. If you have a concern then your child’s tutor is the first person to contact.
If your concerns are related to a specific subject then you should contact the subject Teacher. Contact can be made in a
number of ways:
- put a note in your child’s Day Book
- write a note/letter to the relevant teacher
- telephone and leave a message with the school office
(These tips are adapted from those published by the National Council for Parent/Teachers Associations)