Helping kids settle into a new school

A major change of environment can be tough on everyone, but children can be particularly sensitive to an upheaval like starting a new school. Whether it is because you’ve moved to a new town for a job, decided to pack up city life and move to the country, or your child wasn’t happy in a previous school. If you’re concerned they may find the change tricky and want to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible, read on for some tips.

Pay a visit the school
The school will be just as willing to help out as you and should be quite well-rehearsed in aiding the ‘new kid’ to fit in as quickly as possible. They will most likely offer you and your child a tour of the school and allow you both to ask any questions you may have. The unknown is always daunting, so getting familiar with the space and having some friendly faces when the big day comes will make a big difference.

Make sure they have a special partner
It’s common for schools to have some kind of buddy scheme for new pupils, but it’s best to enquire and ensure they do just in case. The last thing a child needs on their first day is to be left without anyone to sit next to at lunch or partners during class tasks and making friends can take time, so an assigned ‘buddy’ can be really reassuring.

Special buddy

Encourage them to join clubs and groups
Most children will benefit from joining one or two clubs, whether they’re sports teams or hobby groups. They provide an opportunity to meet a wider range of students, more members of staff and build further attachment to their new school. If your child is a little on the shy side, they may find it easier to come out of their shells when taking part in an activity they particularly enjoy.

Help organise ‘get togethers’
Encourage your child to invite new friends back to your home or plan activities together and be willing to aid the process of cementing their friendships. Try not to come across overly forceful of the idea, instead simply making them aware that you are happy to welcome their new friends over for an afterschool snack and hang out.

Be sensitive about old friends
We may just expect young children to move on and it is likely that they won’t have too much trouble making new friends, but it’s important not to dismiss friends from other schools or places. A child’s world is small and a strong friendship may loom largerthan you’d think, so allow them and encourage them to keep in contact with old friends. You never know who will be a lifelong pal.

Be in it together
The main person tackling a challenge in this situation is of course your child, but as a parent you’ll also be making adjustments to a new routine and social circle. Set a good example with a positive attitude and let them know you’re all in a similar boat.

There’s a lot to think about when you make the decision to move your family to a new area and a new home, like these new builds in Essex. But, it can be a great change and bring the family closer together, so make sure you’ve read up on all the ways to make the move as enjoyable as it can be.

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