While the practical aspects of preparing for a new school, especially a boarding establishment, such as buying clothes and stationery are obvious, it is important not to neglect psychological preparation for school.
A student’s days at a school like Brillantmont may be the first they’ve spent away from home for any significant length of time, and it is without doubt a period of discovery and rapid development. Emotional and mental preparedness will put a student in good stead when it comes to making the very most of the academic, social and extracurricular experiences on offer. Mental preparation can start well in advance of the start of school, with the goal of making a soon-to-be-student feel comfortable by the beginning of the term.
Here are some pointers for parents and future students:
- Prospective students should actively involve themselves in the decisions their parents are making about their lives – this will help children to feel empowered, in control and ready to accept what comes next. It’s a good idea to start early; parents can use resources like this Australian website that explains things in a way that is easy for younger children to understand.
- Practical readiness can also help with psychological preparation for school. Simple things like sorting one’s own clothes and keeping one’s room tidy will help children to quickly adopt the same routines once they’re away from home.
- Attending an international school such as Brillantmont has many benefits, not least of all the exposure to different cultures. However, this may come as a shock to some children. Talk about the fact that people come from different backgrounds, have different beliefs, and the importance of learning from them.
- Remember that a parent’s emotions can play a huge role in preparing a child for school. If parents are calm and positive about the idea of their children being away from home, it is more likely that everyone will see it as a positive move. If you’re a prospective student with parents who may be sad or anxious about your time away, remember that this is a natural human response to the absence of a loved one.
- Homesickness is inevitable, however, to help with this parents and children should talk about keeping in touch and set a regular schedule for communication.
It is also important to remember that staff have many years of experience helping new students adjust to life at school. At Brillantmont, we’ve been educating young people for more than 130 years, and take immense pride in the pastoral care offered by our teachers.