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Moving on up!

14 Jun 2018

With the summer break upon us, most children will be thinking about moving on. It may just be moving year group and class within their current school or for many it will be moving to a totally new school, with new routines to learn, new teachers to meet and new friends to discover. Here are our thoughts and suggestions for making this transition time in children’s lives less stressful and helping prepare them for their new adventure ahead.

Pupils will be joining us, here at Huili School Shanghai, from grade 1 to grade 6 and whilst many of our suggestions are tailored towards the younger entrants, our new older children will benefit from similar and age-appropriate support. We know that starting a new school, especially for our younger pupils, can be a daunting time for both children and parents. But with a little preparation and encouragement, your child will settle in easily at Huili. All our staff are planning a smooth induction and introduction to life at Huili School Shanghai. Over the next few weeks, your parental encouragement is important. You will be laying the foundations for a successful start at Huili regardless of your child’s age.

Here are somethings to try:

  • Talk to your child about starting here at Huili. What do they think it will be like? What are they looking forward to? Is there anything that they’re worried about? Reassure them that change and moving on is part of life and that you are really excited for them.
  • Show them some photographs of you and other family members, from your own school days. Talk positively about your experiences. Remind them that you’ve done this too and understand their feelings.
  • Look at our website and prospectus. Look at the uniform and talk about how smart and special they will look.
  • Talk about the amazing academic, sporting and art facilities the school offers. What amazing learning experiences await!
  • Drive around the new school site – it is amazing. You will visit on our 27th August Induction day – that will be very exciting.
  • Start practising the school morning routine: bag packing, breakfast and getting out of the door in enough time for the school run.
  • If the new school means you have to make new childcare arrangements, make sure your child knows all about them. Get them to meet any new carer/ayi so that’s one less thing for them to be worried about on the ‘big’ day.
  • If you know others who are joining us, over the summer break try to get them together, especially if they are new friends. Not only is this great for the children, but parents will have the opportunity to meet other parents and make new friends themselves.

And can we suggest some things you should try to avoid…
  • It is usual for parents to feel anxious when their children start in any new school, but please remember children will pick up on your emotions. Try to be relaxed and positive.
  • Try to avoid negative comments about your own school experiences. Your child is their own person and will experience school in a vastly different way from you.
  • Try not to ‘overdo it’. Please don’t bombard your child with information, questions all summer long. Keep the conversations ‘matter of fact’ and light.  You know your child best, so balance the discussion: too deep or heavy will actually raise anxiety.
  • Whilst speaking positively about the school they’re about to join, don’t over-hype us!

Whilst the focus is of course very much on our children, parents too need to get ready:
  • Do you know the times of the school day?
  • Do you know where to drop off and then collect your child? (These could be different places)
  • Do you know where the bus stop is?  And times?
  • Does your child know who will be collecting them?
  • Do you know where to go on the first morning?
  • Does your child have all the correct uniform (including correct shoes)?
  • Have you obtained all other kit required?
  • Are all your child’s belongings labelled or marked with their name?
  • Don’t forget Induction Day on Monday 27th August. (Look out for our letter from the Admissions Department.)
  • Our Parents handbook will be shared with parents by Admissions during July, which will answer many questions. (A hard copy will be available on Induction day.) So don't worry if you do not know the answers to all these questions yet.

The first few weeks in any new school can be tough for everyone. Most children settle happily and quickly, whilst other may take a bit longer. Even older children can make parents feel guilty when leaving them. Please try not to feel bad, within minutes all children will be playing happily with their friends and home life forgotten until the end of the school day. Try to establish positive relationships with your child’s teachers and other school staff. If your child sees you relaxed and happy with his/her teachers, they are more likely to be. Especially with our younger pupils, it’s quite common for you to see behavioural changes at home. Your child may get clingy, seek attention from you, become lethargic or the opposite, excitable. This is a normal child’s reaction to change. Remember they are probably tired and at times a little overwhelmed at the change in their daily life. It will pass quickly as your child settles to their new routine. As parents, stay calm, positive, reassuring and loving. Keep talking positively about their experiences and feelings, they will soon foster a love of school and life-long learning here at Huili School Shanghai.