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How to prepare your child for senior school

 

Starting Year 7 is a significant milestone for both children and parents. It’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and nerves, but with the right preparation, you can help your child transition smoothly into senior school. My Brooker, our Head of Senior School, shares some practical considerations to help you get started.

1. Organise uniform early

One of the first steps in preparing for senior school is organising the uniform as early as reasonably possible. Wearing the correct uniform helps children feel a part of the school community. Even something as small as not having a blazer when everyone else does can unsettle them.

2. Focus on the positives

Encourage your child to look forward to the exciting aspects of senior school. There will likely be nerves, but focusing on what’s exciting can help keep these in check. For example, explore the range of clubs and activities available at the new school and discuss which ones they might like to join.

3. Discuss their concerns

Have open conversations about any worries your child might have about joining senior school. For example, they might be anxious about getting lost. Reassure them that there will be staff around to help, and that they will have plenty of opportunities to familiarise themselves with the school layout during events such as Meet the Tutor and on their first day.

4. Highlight supportive staff

Reassure your child that the staff at the school are friendly and there to help. Emphasize that their tutor will be a daily point of contact and support. Additionally, the school provides a dedicated playground space for Year 7 students, monitored by Prefects who are there to support and are easily identifiable.

5. Additional support for anxious students

If your child is particularly anxious about starting senior school, the school can offer additional visits to help ease their transition. These visits provide extra opportunities for them to become comfortable with their new environment.

6. Gradual introduction to homework

To ensure students settle in at the right pace, homework is introduced gradually in Year 7. This helps students adjust without feeling overwhelmed.

7. Locker arrangements

Each student is assigned two lockers – one in the Sports Hall for their sports kit and another in their tutor room. This arrangement means they don’t need to carry lots of items around the school and can be particularly helpful for them to be aware of ahead of when they start.

8. Transition workbook

We provide a transition workbook for students to complete before they join. This workbook includes a range of activities, from lists and word searches to drawing, which helps them share their thoughts and learn about the school.

It’s natural for both you and your child to feel apprehensive about this new chapter. However, while it’s a first for you both, the school has years of experience in supporting children through this transition and we will be here to support you and your child every step of the way.

I wish you all the very best and look forward to welcoming you to Rookwood Senior School

Mr Paul Brooker

Head of Senior School