Most children stick with one school from start to finish. They only change schools when they finish the last year before leaving education or starting at a new school appropriate for their age group. But, not all. Some children move mid-way through, sometimes even during the school year. There are many reasons for this, including moving to a new house, issues with the old school, or better opportunities.
Whatever the reason, moving to a new school, without their friends, can be difficult for a child. Leaving what you are used to and starting something new is always nerve-racking, and it’s no different for children. It can be challenging for them, and even younger children who adjust to new things quickly can find it difficult. Here are some of the things that you can do to support them.
Take Your Time to Find the Right School
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is take your time to find the right school. Find a school that offers encouragement, that allows time for creativity, and prioritizes building a safe environment for the students. Start by looking at https://www.visitation.net/ to learn more about how a supportive and loving school could benefit your child.
Prepare them with Visits
Things are a little different right now, and with COVID-19 safety restrictions, it can be hard to visit schools. But you should still ask. The school might be able to invite you and your child in for a look around outside of school times, and your child’s new teacher might be able to video call them to introduce themselves.
Practice the Journey to School
Older children might make the journey to school on their own. In which case, they must be comfortable with the route before their first day. Even if your child is younger, and you’ll be taking them to school, it’s still a good idea to practice the route so that you are prepared, but also so that everything feels more normal on the first day.
Make the First Few Days Special
Starting a new school is a big deal, and your child deserves a little TLC. Make the day special with a special family breakfast, packing their favorite lunch, and planning something nice for when they get home or for the first weekend.
We adjust to things faster if we throw ourselves in. Encourage your child to join after school clubs and groups, invite friends round, and try new things. They may be reluctant at first, but remind them that it’s a great way to make new friends.
Expect Changes to Grades and Behavior
You might find that your child’s grades deteriorate, or that their behavior changes. Try not to make a big deal of this. It’s to be expected during a period of change, and things should settle down soon. If the changes are prolonged, get in touch with their teacher.
Remember, significant changes take time. Ask them about their days, encourage them, and even get involved in school life yourself, and hopefully, the transition will be a smooth one.