"When children are involved in the move to a new farm, there’s even more to consider and prepare for,” says Jenny Smith, a Southland-based resource teacher for learning and behaviour.
“There are a few actions parents can take to help ensure a smooth transition for both their child and the new school. It’s really important that the current and new schools are notified of the move. It helps them to manage class sizes, alter the curriculum and topics to cater for new students, and allows them to help children settle into the school socially.”
Jenny and Dr Pauline Stewart, an educational psychologist and dairy farm owner, have put together some helpful advice for parents. It can be used as a reminder of things to do, before and during the transition, to help both children and schools with the change.
Advice for parents this moving day
Preparing for a new school
- Notify the current school so academic records can be sent to the new school ahead of time. Do this about a month out from school starting.
- Enrol at the new school early to help them prepare. Again, doing this a month ahead of school starting will be a great help.
- Visit the new school with your child before they start, or visit the school’s website.
- Sign up to school newsletters to learn about the school and stay informed.
- Provide the new school with any information you have about your child’s academic levels, strengths, or special needs that will help them settle in better.
Starting at a new school
- Go to school with your child on the first day and meet the teacher.
- Tell the school what your child enjoys and what they’re good at.
- Find out key dates and information.
- Let your child’s new teacher know how and when it’s best to contact you and provide emergency contact details.
- Find out how the school involves parents with education.
- Find out when school social events are on, as this will help you meet members of the community.
- Accompany your child to the first bus pick-up, if possible.
- Remind your child it’s ok to be nervous and talk to them about how they are feeling.,/li>
- Check in with the new school after a couple of weeks.
Check out how DairyNZ’s education programme is helping children learn about dairy in the classroom at ourfarmvisit.co.nz
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy March 2018