10 tips for starting at a new school

This can help if you:

  • have a teenager starting at a new school

  • are nervous about your teenager's transition to a new school

  • want to support your teenager moving schools

a girl in school uniform walking down a path smiling with a backpack over her shoulder

Guide your teen through with our top ten tips for starting high school or moving to a new school.

  1. Be positive about the transition - Build excitement by talking about all the new opportunities for friendships and activities they’ll have.

  2. Practice the new trip to school – It might sound silly, but practicing the walk or bus/train trip beforehand will really reduce first day nerves.

  3. Arrange a chat with an older teen who’s been through it – If there’s a neighbour or cousin who’s started at a new school in the past organise for them to hang out and hear what it was like.

  4. Make sure everything is organised – Uniform, books and bag are essentials for starting at a new school so help them sort it all out before day one.

  5. Start afresh with a tidy room and desk – If their desk or room is shared make sure the rest of the family are on board with keeping things sorted.

  6. Farewell the holidays - Organise a social day just before school goes back to farewell and, if possible, invite friends from their old school.

  7. Don’t commit too early – It sounds strange, but with the stress of making friends at a new school it’s easy to jump at the first people that speak to you. Encourage your teen to be social and not rush getting a new best friend. Good things come to those who wait!

  8. Avoiding comparing the new to the old – Get your teen to look to the future even if they’re missing their old school a bunch.

  9. Sign up to things straight away - Research extra-curriculars and help them decide on some they’ll sign up to in their first week.

  10. Prepare them for stress - The unknown can be really scary, but things like breathing exercises, getting active, and having "me-time" can all help with the transition.

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