Experts Say: Settling in a New School

My daughter will be changing to a new preschool because my family will be moving house soon. I’m pretty worried about how she’ll handle the change because she has some really good friends in her current preschool. How can I help her ease into this transition?

Moving schools is generally a big deal for children and it’s a mix of excitement, fear and anxiety. Firstly, having an open dialogue with your child is essential as you gain insight into how she views and what she understands of the upcoming change.

 

Secondly, depending on the individual child, having closure at your child’s old school is important especially if she has made friends.

 

 

Making a presentation about why she is leaving,

inviting friendsover for playdates or hosting a farewell party in school

are just some suggestions to mark the closure.

 

 

Thirdly, it is important to remove whatever fear she may have by eliminating as much uncertainty as possible. You can do this by helping familiarise her with the new school; show her pictures of it or take a trip to the new school and the new home. By allowing your child to experience the unfamiliar with familiar people whom she trusts will help make the transition easier.

 

Lastly and ideally, aim for a collaboration between your family and the child’s old and new school. At the old school, teachers or key stakeholders could possibly help with introducing the topic of moving to your child as well as organising a handover of information that would help the new teacher get to know your child better, e.g. likes, dislikes, favourite toys, foods and interests. At the new school, teachers and other essential personnel may benefit from reading these documents and preparing themselves for the arrival of the new child. As your child arrives into the new school, teachers could even pair her up with a like-minded buddy who may be able to tour her around the school and assist her whenever necessary.

 

However, each child is unique and these are just suggestions that may work with some children whereas others may require different strategies.

 

Question answered by:

Sharon Solomon

Founder and CEO

The WInstedt School

Thanks for sharing!