Starting Year 7

When a child starts high school, they are suddenly becoming one of the youngest and newest kids at school all over again –– a small fish in a big pond! The transition between Year 6 and Year 7 is one of the biggest jumps in a child’s life and is a very important milestone. This can easily become a daunting time for students and parents alike.

Starting Year 7 poses many new challenges, but also exciting opportunities. It comes with a number of mixed feelings. Unfortunately for many Grade 6 students, 2020 was marred with school closures and remote learning due to the pandemic and the overall impact of this is still unknown. Studies have shown that the mental health of this age group already appeared to be deteriorating before coronavirus hit and it is expected that cases of anxiety and depression will be on the rise.

Many students may be feeling a little bit more anxious than usual about their expectations of starting Year 7 and finding their place in the “big pond”. As your child grasps new skills and engages in new study practices, it is important for parents to be supportive, but also realistic in their expectations. Parents and students can easily become overwhelmed during this time of transition, but there are a number of strategies that can be implemented to start things off on the right foot!


Surviving Christmas

As families around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas by decorating their homes, singing carols, buying gifts and planning feasts, often the true meaning of Christmas can be lost due the commercial exploitation of this time of year. Many people see it as a joyous occasion to spend with family and friends, but for others it is viewed as a stressful and challenging time attributed by a combination of things such as financial pressures, relationship issues, and quite often, loneliness.

During the Christmas period, there is a huge increase in the number of calls to support organisations. Many of these callers are considered to be in a high-risk category and sadly, this is the ugly side to Christmas. Should you, or a loved one, ever feel that the pressure of Christmas becomes too much, it is important to seek help. Reach out to a trusted friend, talk to your doctor or counsellor, or phone one of the many support organisations available to you 24/7.


School Transitions

Whether it is starting school for the first time, moving up to a higher grade or embarking on a journey through secondary school, there is no doubt that any school transition is a very exciting time for children and parents. It means that the children are growing up!

However, for many it may also be a very anxious and stressful time for both parents and children. Parents need to be aware of their child’s feelings during any school transition and minimise anxiety so the process is an enjoyable experience for all. It is important for children to attend transition or orientation programs offered by schools. Familiarisation is often key to reducing stress levels. It is also important for parents to talk to their children about their expectations and being more responsible for their own needs.