Education Eye: Tips to help your child settle into senior school

Here are 10 things to do this summer, so your child is ready to hit the ground running when they move up to senior school.

Catherine Stoker

1. Keep their brain ticking over with reading books from the local library, visits to museums, doing puzzles, playing scrabble etc.

2. Return joining information forms now. There may be first-come-first-served timetabling choices to make, such as which extra language or musical instrument to take up.

3. Run through the pupil handbook to establish daily routine and rules. Getting into trouble in the first few weeks will be a setback in the settling in process.

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4. Look over the extra-curricular programme, discussing which appeal. Planning school runs and other family events will be easier if you have an idea of when school commitments might be.

5. Request email and phone numbers are circulated. Contact other families to arrange joint activities over the summer. Starting a new school alongside familiar faces is far less daunting.

6. Gradually increase opportunities for independence.

7. Be firm on time-keeping and give advice about keeping themselves and valuables safe. Encourage your child to act responsibly and solve problems themselves.

8. If boarding for the first time, practise keeping a tidy bedroom, keeping track of possessions, changing a duvet cover and putting clothes into the laundry daily.

9. Buy uniform now, bearing in mind summer growth spurts. Leaving this until the last week of the holiday means items will be out of stock and the shops will be insanely busy with those doing everything at the last-minute. Name everything including gadgets and sports kit, which often tend to disappear.

10. If starting a new sport such as lacrosse, hockey or rugby, book a summer course to get to grips with some of the skills. This will boost confidence and give them a head-start in September.