As the festive season fades and we set our sights on 2024, the buzz of a new year at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School begins to hum. For our students, excitement and curiosity mingle with nervousness and a touch of the unknown. After all, every year brings change and, with it, a transition period.
While we often think of transition as moving from Kindergarten to Foundation or Year Six to Year Seven, it’s vital to learning and growth at every year level. Some children will greet it with open arms, bursting with anticipation for new friends, classrooms, and challenges. Others may feel a knot of worry in their stomachs, apprehensive about leaving familiar faces and routines behind. And that’s okay! There’s even a third group who haven’t quite wrapped their heads around the upcoming change yet.
As a school community and as parents, we’re here to support every student through this period, regardless of their feelings. Here are some ways you can help your child at home:
Open Ears, Open Hearts
Make time for a heart-to-heart conversation. Ask your child how they feel about the upcoming changes. Do they have worries? Excitement? Listen actively and validate their emotions. Let them know they’re not alone in this.
Three Stars and a Wish
Engage your child’s creativity with this fun activity. Together, list three things they’re looking forward to in the new year:
- Making new friends from different year levels.
- Joining coding club.
- Participating in the Run Club.
- Having more responsibility in the classroom.
- Learning a new language.
Then, one thing they wish for:
- “I wish I could feel less nervous about being in a new classroom.”
- “I wish I could be more confident when speaking up in class.”
- “I wish I could feel confident asking questions in class even if I’m not sure I have the right answer.”
- “I wish I could make at least one new friend who loves [shared interest] as much as I do.”
- “I wish I could overcome my fear of public speaking and present my project without getting nervous.”
This sparks positive anticipation and opens a dialogue about hopes and dreams while also acknowledging any anxieties they might have.
Stories can be powerful mirrors for young minds. Share picture books like “Rose Learns About School Transition“, where a girl navigates change with a growth mindset, showing that trying new things is key to personal growth.
A Friendly “Hello”
Encourage your child to write a letter to their new teacher! It can be simple, introducing themselves and sharing what they’re excited about learning:
- “I’m really interested in learning about volcanoes in science this year. Do you have any cool experiments planned?”
- “I love writing stories! I hope you encourage us to write lots in your class.”
- “I’m a bit nervous about starting Year 4, but I’m excited to finally learn about fractions. Are they as tricky as everyone says?”
- “I love [favourite book/movie/TV show], and I’m always happy to talk about it with anyone who’s interested.”
- “I’m a bit shy at first, but once I get to know someone, I’m really friendly and outgoing.”
This small gesture helps build a connection and ease jitters.
Remember, transition is a process, not an event. Be patient and supportive, and celebrate every step along the way. As we embark on this new year together, let’s embrace the changes that await, knowing that at St Mary’s, we’re all on this journey of learning and growth as one.
Bonus Tip: Check out our 6 Ways to Start Strong – Tips from the School Principal article for additional tips and support!
Let’s make 2024 a year where each child blossoms with confidence and joy as they navigate the exciting chapters of their St Mary’s journey!