Talk about the future
Secondary school prepares students for their future careers and lifelong learning. It is never too early to talk to your child about their hopes, plans and aspirations. Encourage your child to explore multiple possibilities, and ensure they know what they need to do reach their goals. If your child is still deciding what they want to do, don't avoid the conversation, but have fun exploring possibilities and thinking "outside the box". Help them to identify the strengths, activities or fields they most enjoy.
Your own experiences of learning and work are a valuable resource in supporting your child, but this generation will experience life very differently from previous generations and may follow many different pathways through learning and employment in their lifetimes. Keep an open mind, and help your child find out how to make their aspirations achievable.
Explore and discover
Early secondary school is a time of exploration and discovery. Encourage your child to take advantage of opportunities to expand their interests and talents. Familiarise yourself with extracurricular offerings and encourage your child's participation.
Plan ahead to ensure that the practical aspects of your child's transition can be managed smoothly. Help your child develop the organisational skills to manage the complex secondary school timetable, and to plan and organise their time to cope with multiple subjects and competing priorities.
Encourage your child to take responsibility for their learning, even if it means making some mistakes. One of the most important outcomes from secondary school is for your child to develop the decision-making and self-management skills that will set them up for lifelong success.
Stay positive and recognise strengths
Students' belief about whether they can succeed is a critical factor in whether they do. As a parent, you can do a lot to foster your child's self-belief, by recognising their achievements, and encouraging their resilience when things go wrong.
Stay the distance
Year 7 is not the only point of transition. Some students must physically move between school settings when promoted from a junior campus to a senior one, or from a K–9 school to year 10. Others will start in a new school when commencing their senior secondary certificate.
Ann Marie Angebrandt: 03 9919 5487, 0401 100 576, [email protected]du.au