Many children will need to change school at some point during their educational career. There are many reasons why you may decide to move your child to a new school, these include: moving house, family circumstances, a feeling that the school is unable to meet your child’s needs or a lack of satisfaction with the quality of education the school is providing. A leading prep school in Banstead, that inspires a love of learning, offers the following advice and guidance…

Children may face all kinds of different emotions when changing schools, for example, they may have to break friendship bonds with friends and may feel daunted about leaving a very stable learning environment. Being aware of the affects helps you to minimize the effects of changing schools, provide the necessary support to your child and in fact can allow the situation, more often than not to be a very positive experience.

You will not be able to predict how your child will respond to change and of course like any situation, the change may go much better or worse than expected. The following few points below should be considered.

Be honest

Create an open and honest dialogue with your child, they understand much more than we think. You need to talk to your child open and honestly about what they are about to go through. Make sure you explain why they have to move and what led you to make the decision. Speak truthfully about what is happening in way that they will understand.

Highlight the positive!

Let them know all the great things that the change will bring, make sure you are truthful but outline the positives making sure not to promise anything that you are unsure about.

Provide the security and reassurance your child needs

Children can adjust more easily if parents remain firm and unshakeable themselves. Show your child that the move is a confident decision. You are the most important anchor of stability for your children, so it is important to transmit that security through all aspects of their lives including their schooling.

Support the transition with a school visit/taster day if possible.

Children are more likely to adjust to a situation quicker if they have had an opportunity to have a taster day at their new school. Where this is not possible, visit the area and school from the outside, this will help your child visualise their new learning environment and can really help. When the move does happen, stay involved in the transition process, support your child with their new school routines and get to know the names of their teachers quickly so you can talk about their new school and experiences at home.

Extracurricular activities

Registering your children in extracurricular activities is important for your child as it helps them develop socially. Clubs are a great way for children to make new friends and to feel more settled in their new environment.

I hope the above offers some guidance and information on changing schools. The most important thing is to be honest, stable, and understanding throughout the process.

Children will adapt, make friends and settle- we are all different, for some it will happen very quickly and for others it will take a little longer. Creating an open and honest dialogue with your child, whatever age they are will enable them to open up to you with any concerns or thoughts they are having which will enable you to support and minimize anxiety and worry.

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