Your child has started Year 7. They’re nervous, you are scared. That’s normal.
As a parent, we all want what is best for our children. We have some tips on how the transition in to Big School can be made a little easier:
- Talk: to your child about some positive high school memories you have. Tell them about the different subjects, the cool things you learn along the way. Don’t feed their anxiety with negative/inappropriate detail, I’m sure they’ll hear plenty of that elsewhere.
- Prepared: Allow your child to go through their school list and purchase the right tools for their education. Whether it’s them grabbing the 96-page notebook from the shelf or picking which pens they like best, allow them this time as it may settle their nerves in preparation for the big transition. Each school provides what book sizes are required for each subject and also what other items are necessary. Take your child shopping and tick off each item as it is put in the cart.
- Organisation: probably the key difference between Big School and Little School. In Primary school, students have their own desks, their own tote trays and their own bag racks in their one classroom. High school is A LOT different. Running off a strict timetable, moving to different classrooms, to learn different subjects, from different teachers. Most schools, if not all, have a school diary. The school diary is a must use tool in high school. Hassle your child to leave their timetable in there, write down homework and assessment task due dates, write notes to their teachers, there are pages in there that also tell you when and how often your child is leaving the classroom for various reasons.
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): School is very different now from when we were at school. Students now have the ability to bring their own device (laptop or iPad) into the classroom. Each school has their own BYOD policy and should be available on their website. Parents are either emailed or handed the BYOD policy to sign in cooperation with the school to ensure that the device is used appropriately. If you’re unsure as to what device your child is required to bring or what specs it should have, feel free to contact the school.
- Technology in the classroom: like the point above, remind your child of the privilege and consequences of having such a device. Laptops are expensive, and when used carelessly or inappropriately, this can often have consequences which may entail you as the parent having to go to school to collect the device. In the classroom, teachers are creating online classrooms such as Google Classroom and Edmodo to discuss and submit work. Teachers are almost accessible 24 hours a day (whether that’s a good thing for a teacher or not) via these platforms as well as email. Having a laptop/device in the classroom engages students much more than ever imagined, however, it is important for them not to abuse this right by being easily distracted with their online chats or games. Teachers will confiscate laptops, much to the displeasure of your child.
Guest Blog by Nicholas Zantiras
Nicholas Zantiras has extensive teaching experience spanning 10 years teaching Year 7 to Year 12 PDHPE. Heholds not only a Bachelor of Health Science but also a Masters of Secondary Education degree. He has a number of roles within his school that include: Year 7 Year Advisor, SRC Coordinator, Student Mentor & part of the Mind Matter Team. Nicholas has done a lot of Charity/fundraising work including the Cancer Council's Relay for Life in his local area.