There are several reasons why a child might have to move to a new school; perhaps their family is relocating due to work commitments, or maybe their parents are not satisfied with the level of support their child is getting at their current school. Whatever the reason, the transition can be tough for youngsters, especially if they are dealing with difficult personal circumstances at home, such as parental separation. With that said, I have teamed up with a junior school in Bristol to offer some advice on how to support your child when moving to a new school.
There’s lots to acclimatise to when starting a new school, not just the building itself, particularly if it’s part-way through term. Friendship groups will have already started to form, and your child might feel a bit left out. What’s more, their teachers will be new and may be following a slightly different curriculum, so your child might fall behind in class, or feel ahead of their peers and lose interest. Communication between parents and teachers is crucial at this time; you should both be monitoring your child’s progression in class and offering additional guidance if necessary.
When it comes to friendships, encourage your child to keep in touch with their old friends so that they still feel as though they have a support network. If you still live close, arrange for them to meet up, but if not, FaceTime or Zoom catchups work just as well.
Try and maintain a positive attitude when discussing the change with your child. If they think you are confident about the new school, it might settle their own nerves. Perhaps you could take them to visit the school before their start date or browse the website and prospectus together so that it starts to become more familiar and concrete to them, rather than just a frightening concept in their mind. The most important thing is to avoid criticising your child during this time and remind them that you are there for them if they want to discuss any concerns or ask questions.