My son is 10 and in Year 5 at school and being in Stage 3 they have already started talking about getting ready for high school. They are giving them more independent type work and slowly transitioning through the difference between primary and high school. It is making him a bit anxious (and me as well). What can I do to help him become prepared for the responsibilities and expectations of high school?

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  • They didn’t start the transition as early as that at my school. However it does sometimes depend whether it is a public or private school. One private school I know of has primary, middle and high school. It changes to Middle school in year 7 and I’m not sure when it changes to high school. The teachers should not be emphasising “when you go to high school” as soon as year 5 as that is often makes them anxious about it.

  • My daughter was told that learning to keep a diary with all assessments and assignments written in it would help her stay organised and on top of her workload. She did use it in Year 7 but far less in later years.

  • It sounds as though the school is teaching him ways to cope with the transition. There’s not that much difference between primary and high school, it’s not hard to adjust. I’m surprised he’s stressing about it in grade 5!

  • See what is your school does to transition kids into high school, this way it will give you peace of mind. My eldest daughter starts high school next year and her school classes have prepared them for the last two years. This year she has been to the high school a number of times so she is familiar with it.

  • Talk about what to expect and also the excitement around it

  • Yes I agree don’t STRESS!
    Sometimes this is all brought on by the Teacher saying things like ..Wait till you get to High School you have to be more organised! .Wait till you get to High School you will have MUCH more homework! All this bring on STRESS in a child MUM you need to be there to shut this type of behavior down. High School is different and homework is dealed out by all departments like English, Math’s, Science and Art etc. If it get’s too much you just call up the school and talk to their teachers. Most schools give 20-40 minutes home-work on some subjects and other departments don’t give any. A project might be all that some departments ask for so that can be work in progress. Tell your son to keep his diary handy and make notes. High School will be a adventure and fun for most kids. Most kids are ready to leave their primary school life and are ready to go to high school moving from class room to classroom for studies and there are many more great subjects to look forward to like photography, wood work, metal work, cooking and drama classes all very interesting hands on classes. Mum chill….. he will be fine!

  • Personally i didnt find going to high school much of a change, and i went from being in a primary school that had 7 kids in it to a high school that had 1000, only difference was seperate classes, eg class for science, class for english class for maths. A bit more homework thats about it. Once i got into the routine of it then it was fine. I dont think nothing would have prepared me, its just something you have to “learn on the job”

  • don’t STRESS! Treat it like a whole new adventure in your lifestyle and that of your son!. Tell him it is very different from primary school but it can be exciting and you can learn so many fun and interesting things!

  • I had the same concern for my son – now in Grade 10. He had been bullied in primary school which added to my apprehension but he has sailed through. My daughter is a year younger and in Grade 9, and she also coped better than I expected.

    The schools prepared them more in year 6 with some of the high school students returning to the primary school to talk about what Grade 7 is like, and also a couple of visits to the high school which really helped with orientation. I also took them to the high school at the end of year 6 to go to the uniform shop etc – anything to make it a little more familiar and a little less “unknown”. They also have a grade 7 camp here so the teachers and students can get to know each other.

    I wouldn’t be doing much more this year but next year talk to the teachers about what you can do to help, and reassure your son (and yourself!) that it’s natural to be nervous about high school. Try to see it as the new, exciting adventure it is. I also found there was a big difference between grade 5 and 6 and by the end of grade 6, both of mine were really ready for high school. Good luck to you both!

  • First thing is for you not to stress too much. Model how to handle anxiety about change. First identify what is worrying… Is it the unexpected? If so think of other times he has faced unexpected situations and dealt with them. Is it not handling all the new high school expectations? If so list some of them and how you might tackle them.. E.g. Have homework time each afternoon, keep in contact with old friends.
    Your son will be ok starting high school :) it is a big transition but with such a caring parent by his side he will be fine! It may be uncomfortable but that won’t last long. All the best

  • don’t stress! it is a big change and talk to him about what he is feeling and why. He might be very nervous but he doesn’t need to be. Explain to him that he will be ok and there will be people to help him out. I was scared because i thought that i would be lumped in with any age group lol. He will have all his friends and they will be fine! He will get used to it.

  • I’m pretty sure the primary school will do all that is needed to prepare him for high school. Don’t stress it too much

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