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SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2012

www.jamaica-star.com

Moving to secondary school hen your child moves up to secondary school, there will be big changes. They’ll have more homework and they might even run into problems with bullying. Help your child settle in at secondary school with these top tips for a smooth transition.

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You can help your child get into the swing of things at their new school by setting up a few simple routines that will ease their worries about adjusting to secondary school: n Encourage children to pack everything they need for school before they go to bed – books, lunch money, sports kit and any other equipment. n Make sure they have a good, balanced breakfast before they leave. It’ll give them the energy they need and they’ll be able to concentrate better in lessons. n Get to know children’s timetables. Make a copy so you can remind them about things like packing their sports kit if you need to. n Find out about their homework timetable and check they’re sticking to it. n Make sure you see all the letters your child is sent home with from school. Some parents find it works to set up a system, such as getting children to pin school letters to the kitchen noticeboard or fridge door as soon as they get home, so they don’t get lost. STAYING SAFE You can make sure your child stays safe by establishing a few simple rules about travelling to and from school and what to do if they’re home alone: n Make sure your child knows his home phone number, you or your partner’s work number and the number of another trusted adult (family member, neighbour or family friend) and how to use emergency numbers. n Whether they’re walking to the bus stop or all the way to

school, make sure your child sticks to road-safety rules. You can help emphasise it doesn’t just apply to little kids by sticking to it yourself. n It’s always a good idea if they travel to school with friends or siblings. n If they’re spending time on their own after school and before you get home, establish rules about locking doors, answering the phone and inviting friends over. TACKLING PROBLEMS Some children adjust really quickly to their new environment, others take a little longer to get used to the new challenges and demands of secondary school. So even if they’ve got over the hurdle of their first day, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be running into any more problems: n Keep talking to your child about how they’re getting on. You can often find out more by asking specific questions (“Who have you made friends with so far?”) instead of general ones (“How was school today?”). n Remind your child that everyone is adjusting in his own way. Children who seem super-confident can be just as nervous as everyone else, only better at covering it up. n If you discover your child is being bullied, make sure the school knows what’s going on and find out what they intend to do to stop it. They should have a clear anti-bullying policy – ask to see a copy. n Be positive. Encourage your child to see secondary school as a real chance to try new things rather than a daily grind of fresh problems. n If your child seems unhappy, encourage them to talk about their feelings. It might have nothing to do with school – after

all, they’re nearly teenagers. Source: www.parentscentre.gov.uk

THE STAR

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