Transitions made easy with pro tips from a school principal.
Starting a new school term can be nerve-wrecking for little ones. And they’ll be even more anxious if they’re in a new country and entering a new international school! So what can you do to ease their nerves? We’ve got expert tips from Angela Henderson, principal at Canadian International School (CIS) Tanjong Katong campus, on how to ease the transition for both you and your child.
As a leading international school in Singapore, CIS is experienced in welcoming new students at the start of each school year. And the team there is devoted to ensuring all newbies feel welcomed. Read on for ways to help your kid have an enjoyable time in their new school.
Monitor their emotions
It’s natural for your child to feel anxious or sad about the things they’ve left behind, such as their home country, their friends and pets. Let them know that this is completely normal – Mum and Dad are feeling the same way, too! At the same time, remind them this is an exciting opportunity to make new friends, new memories and explore a whole new city.
Maintain family routines
To add some predictability in the midst of the transition, stick to your usual family routines. Spend regular quality time together and try not to introduce too many new events or activities at the start. Right now, your child needs stability and love. Plus, no toys or gadgets are as valuable as family time!
Set realistic expectations
With a new school comes new class rules and routines. It’s easy for your little one to feel overwhelmed. Sidestep this by setting times for them to vent, share, celebrate and inquire. We think family meals and bedtime chats are great opportunities for this.
Encourage them to make new friends
If your child is feeling anxious about starting a new school, it would be tempting for them to rush into finding a new best friend and sticking to that one person for comfort. Encourage them to take their time to interact with as many of their classmates as possible – there are many new friends to be made!
Familiarise yourself with the school
From joining the PTA to volunteering at school events, it’s always helpful for parents to be involved. CIS organises an orientation day for new students in the days before the term starts. This is the perfect opportunity for you and your child to become acquainted with the people in the school’s community.
Help your child feel like they belong
Your kiddo might be feeling like things are beyond their control, causing them to feel confused. Encourage them to get involved in the school community – such as through co-curricular activities – to help them plant their metaphorical roots in this new environment and build their social network.
Find out the available support resources
Most international schools offer assistance to enable students to have a smoother transition. Work with the school on this and find out what these are. At CIS, each new student is paired with a buddy to help them navigate the school (and find where the play areas are!), as well as keep them company during recess and lunch. Counsellors and teachers are also tasked with monitoring the children. Expect calls from your kiddo’s homeroom teacher, who will update you on how your child is settling in.
For more information about CIS, please contact its Admissions Team or call + 65 6734 8088.
This post is in partnership with CIS.