How Gloucestershire schools can help students transition into a new academic year with ease

Following the beginning of the new academic year, St Edward's School Cheltenham is offering advice on how schools and parents across Gloucestershire can support pupils transition into their next chapter with as little nerves as possible.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published
St Edward's School Cheltenham headmaster, Matthew Burke, lends his advice on how to make students feel better supported, comfortable and less isolated when starting the next chapter of their life at secondary school.

Transitioning to secondary school or moving into a new year group can be a challenging and nerve-wracking time for students and schools can play a vital role in helping students feel more comfortable and deal with nerves during this new phase of their life. 

To manage this, St Edward's School Cheltenham has a number of key strategies to help its students, from the brand-new to the more experienced, to better cope with their anxieties regarding the school transition, whether that's going from primary to secondary or entering a new year group. 

There are certain strategies adopted by many schools, from orientation programs before the start of the school year to buddy systems that pair incoming students with existing students.

By introducing these systems, students feel better supported, comfortable and less isolated than if they were to enter a new stage of their lives without this.  

For example, peer mentors can provide guidance, support and friendship, which are all fundamental for relieving anxiety in unfamiliar surroundings. 

Matthew Burke, headmaster at St Edward's School Cheltenham, added that meet-and-greet events such as arranging encounters where new students and their families can meet teachers, school staff and other students can be incredibly beneficial for new starters.

'Establishing connections before the school year starts can ease anxiety and build a sense of community.'

Encouraging open communication between students, teachers, and the school also helps to ensure that students know they can reach out for assistance or advice and create a supportive atmosphere where they feel safe discussing their concerns.

Burke also explained that fostering a positive environment and setting an example for pupils is particularly important.

'By promoting a positive and inclusive school culture where diversity and differences are celebrated, this encourages students to be kind, understanding and supportive of each other.'

Lastly, Burke emphasised the importance of educating parents by hosting workshops or informational sessions for parents to learn about the challenges their children might face during the transition.

During the sessions, teachers can provide tips and strategies to support their children effectively outside of school.

Overall, Burke said: 'By implementing these strategies, schools can create a supportive and welcoming environment that helps students transition smoothly into secondary school and feel more comfortable in their new educational setting.'

In partnership with St Edward's Cheltenham  |

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