Senior schools tend to be a different animal to their junior counterparts. For one, the kids in the sixth form look like fully fledged adults to those entering at age 11. 11-year-olds go from being the biggest kids on the block, right down to the smallest again overnight.
But senior school also offers significantly greater challenges, both socially and intellectually. And it can all add up to make for a daunting experience.
Preparing For The First Day
Many children will find that they suffer from nerves the night before or the morning of the first day in a new school. This is understandable. They're going into an environment that is potentially dangerous. And in most schools they're likely to encounter some form of bullying or intimidation.
It's important to be honest with your child about the type of environment they can expect. Yes, it's true that everyone is in the same boat. But take seriously the legitimate concerns of your child. Schools aren't there to make children happy. They are there to ensure that teachers get paid. As a result, it's only a minority of teachers that take bullying seriously.
One of the best ways to resolve any issues like this is to talk through your experience of your first day in senior school. It's highly likely that you made friends almost straight away and that by the end of the first day there were people that you could relate to. Remind them that they don't have to stick with the people they first meet. In fact, spreading their wings a little and getting to know a group of people will likely inoculate them against attack.
Things have changed a little in the world of school sports since many of us were at school. And so too have the kit requirements. Games like hockey and rugby 7s have become a lot more popular and a lot more safety conscious.
Nothing is worse for kids than not fitting in with their peers. And making sure that they have the right kit is part of that. Rugby 7s kits, as well as hockey kits, including faceguards, can be picked up online.
Preparing children for the extra burden that school places on them is a challenge. There's very little evidence that homework actually improves academic performance. And yet, schools continue to pile on more work for children in the evenings and on the weekends. This is even when children ought to have time to play, relax and consolidate the week's learning.
Most children do the natural thing and rebel against the additional work. It seems so unfair, especially because no other member of society would be expected to work a full day in the office and then take their work home with them.
One way to ease the process is to make a diary of all the work that needs to be done during the week and help your child plan out their homework timetable. With a bit of luck, they'll be able to do the work in no time, and you can then enjoy spending a bit of time with them on the weekend and in the evenings.