Children’s lives are notoriously inconsistent. Long periods of time spent at home with family, is quickly followed by school terms back in a classroom full of students each day. Children actually adapt very well considering the structural changes they go through. But at the beginning of a new phase, there is always an adjustment period, where they must learn to deal with change and adapt to a new setting.
The key to making their transition as smooth as possible is by helping them fill in the gaps and by managing their expectations, and with informed knowledge, they may even begin to get a little excited about starting a new year or a new phase of their lives! All Saints’ College understand the challenges this change can bring to students, so we’ve created some exceptional programs and cocurricular activities to welcome students with open arms and make them feel like part of the All Saints’ family as soon as possible.
Whilst we have processes in place on our side to help with the transition, there are some steps and things to consider at home - and while they’re anticipating the new year - to make it easier. You can turn apprehensions into excitement by replacing uncertainty with planning, using our Parents' Guide to preparing your Child for School. Our tips cover a range of situations, whether your child is entering Junior School, returning for another year or starting Senior School.
Tips to prepare your child for entering Junior School or returning to a new Primary year
While All Saints’ College is ready to welcome your child with open arms and help them transition into a new schooling year, this period is known to be a significant time in a child’s life, and the concept of change can be overwhelming for them. Let’s run through some steps that you can take and topics you can discuss with your child to help prepare them for what is to come and get them excited for school:
1. Explain what to expect
Communication really is key to helping settle apprehensions. You can talk to your child about what to expect from school or the new year level they are entering. This might include things like school hours, how they’ll get to school and home again, what subjects they might be taking and what exciting topics they’ll learn. You can refer to our FAQs page to find lots of helpful information that explains what to expect when starting or returning to school.
Maybe they are learning a new language this year, will get to choose a new sport or are starting to take on more responsibilities – any new adventure is an opportunity to turn any feelings of anxiety into excitement. Discussing who their new teacher will be and how many classmates they will have can also be a great way to settle nerves.
2. Attend one of our information events
Events days and evenings are a great way to familiarise yourself and your child with their school and gain information about the upcoming year. All Saints’ College holds student information nights, orientation days, collaborative breakfasts and many other events in the months leading up to a student’s first day. Each year level will have different degrees of change, so we tailor these events accordingly and with the goal of helping your child feel ready and excited to begin a new year.
If your child is going into Year 5 they might have additional concerns about entering a larger cohort. Or, perhaps they are joining the All Saints’ community for the first time and have the nerves of entering an unfamiliar school. While it can be a little overwhelming and challenging for Year 5s, our Thrive in Five program exists to transform worries into relief. The program gives new students a chance to build friendships with existing students whilst learning more about the College.
3. Plan some cocurricular involvement
Signing your child up for cocurricular activities is an excellent way to welcome change. These activities provide students with the opportunity to pursue their passions outside of the classroom whilst forming a new network of friends. We encourage all students to have a go and get involved in our 100+ cocurricular activities available every term. There is something for everyone, and students’ have the opportunity to develop and grow their talents outside of the classroom as they journey through their schooling years.
Discussing some of the cocurricular opportunities available at school with your child can encourage them to participate and prepare them for the upcoming year. They might decide to try something new that interests them or develop a skill they already have. Both are great options that enable your child to start building a positive mindset about the school year. The diversity of cocurricular activities at All Saints’ not only enables students to maximise their schooling experience through building social, motor and life skills, but it also encourages them to be confident in trying new things.
For students in Kindergarten, Pre-Primary and Year 1, our approach is focused on completing each full day of school. This is usually ample stimulation for children before they’re ready to return home again. Because of this, we do not offer cocurricular activities for these age groups.
Tips to prepare your child for entering Year 7 or returning to a new Senior year
Entering Senior school in Year 7 is often a challenging time for students, and as parents, you may be concerned about how your child will adapt to their new environment. It may come as a relief to know that at All Saints’, we find the hardest part is the anticipation and apprehension before students begin school for the year. Below we discuss how to prepare your child for high school or for returning to a new schooling year.
1. Get involved in orientation days and programs
Orientation days and programs can serve as a huge help for students, as they become familiar with a new school campus, teachers and future classmates. Our Transition to Transition program aims to dismantle this apprehension by connecting current and future parents and students before they start year seven, so by the time they sit in their first classroom together they’re excited to grow these relationships.
The program involves students reaching out into the community and connecting through both online and face-to-face activities. We’ve had incredible results from this program, as it takes the pressure off the first few weeks of school and the anticipation of entering a new phase of their education.
2. Discuss the social side of school
A major focus for students in Senior School is making friends as well as having quality social interactions with peers. Having a conversation with your child can help alleviate any concerns they might have. You can remind them that everyone in their cohort is in the same position and that friendships can take time to develop so they shouldn’t panic if they don’t find connections immediately.
All Saints’ understands that students can feel apprehensive about this, so our activities in the Transition to Transition program provide an ideal environment for students to develop relationships. Through the program, students share experiences and build social connections through activities to establish a sense of wellbeing and belonging. Each activity is inclusive of future and existing students to unite everyone as one cohort, building a community before commencing Year 7.
In addition to this, the program allows us to evaluate students’ social needs so we can make strategic placements into class groups, ensuring support and resources are maximised and everyone is positioned in an environment that encourages their wellbeing.
3. Encourage excitement about new school adventures
There are so many great opportunities your child will get to experience in Senior School and with each new Senior year. From our cocurricular activities, to our more advanced school subjects and year level events, it really is a time in their lives they’ll cherish forever.
Most importantly, Try to help your child see this phase of their life as one of excitement and opportunity as they journey through the experiences that All Saints College has to offer. If you or your child have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to answer them as best we can.