Transitioning Back to School

Welcome back to our returning students and families, and a very warm welcome to students joining us at Watson this year!  We hope that you’ve all had time to rest, relax and make memories with friends and family.

Supporting the Transition Back to School

We also understand that for some children, this is a time when they may be feeling a range of emotions including nervousness. Please know that nervousness is normal. As a parent or guardian you are not alone if your child is expressing apprehension about the start of the school year. Knowing they have you in their lives to help them with the transition will go a long way in the long run. If you are looking for some tips for transitioning your child back to school, you may find these helpful:

  • Listen and acknowledge your child’s concerns. Just know that you don’t have to have all the answers.  As parents and guardians, we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we see that our child isn’t happy. Sometimes, all a child needs is to know they can talk and that you will hear them.
  • When a child expresses a concern we want to acknowledge it but we also want to try to support children in finding possible strategies to approach the problem. For example, if a child says “what if I can’t find my new classroom after lunch?”, we could ask them “that may happen, but who could you go to for help if it does?” At our school, we want children to feel they can go to any staff member and ask for help if needed. Supporting children in finding their voice in working through their concerns can help ease their minds while also empowering them.
  • Routines go a long way. Now is a good time to establish bedtime routines, morning routines and begin talking about what a school day may look like.
  • Visit the school yard and take a picture if you like. Talk to your child about the new school year.
  • Practice goodbyes. For example, if grandma is looking after your child, let him/her visit and stay while you leave just like you would for work.
  • Highlight the positives as much as you can.
  • We often think children need lots of friends to feel safe and included. In fact, children often need just one good friend. If you can connect with someone in the community who also has a child attending our school this may help. Even if they are not in the same class, they will see each other in the school.
  • We are fortunate to have so many amazing staff at Watson. Yes, your child’s homeroom teacher is their main point of contact. However, we have many examples of our staff supporting children they do not directly teach…it is a great team!
  • If it helps, you can feel free to let them know that even Mrs. Crossley and Ms. Murray, the principal and vice-principal, are nervous too. 🙂 It is important for children to see that nervousness is a human emotion that we can all experience and that is OK to feel this.

Finally, if after a few days at school you find your child is still feeling anxious talk to us. Let your child’s teacher know so we can develop some strategies together. We’re here to help.

The good news is, we have many examples of children who were  nervous on Day One but who settled in quickly.

Mrs. Crossley and Ms. Murray


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