Coming to Westbourne Academy
Joining a new school or moving from primary to secondary school is an exciting and significant event in the life of a child. It is something that many of us still remember. It is an important milestone which, for many parents and teachers, marks a change in expectations regarding crucial life-skills such as independent working and self-organisation.
When students start at Westbourne Academy, they are expected to cope with a whole variety of new experiences and changes, many of which demand skills and abilities that they have not had to use before. The problem is that these skills will not develop overnight, like reading and writing they have to be taught and our children need support in developing them.
You may like to watch the video clip that was shown during one of our Open Evenings, in which some Year 7 students talk about what it's like coming to Westbourne Academy, in their own words.
Most parents would like to help reassure their children, prepare them for these changes and support them in developing the skills they need, but sometimes feel they lack the information and expertise to do so. For many of us our own experience of secondary schools is all we have to go on. At Westbourne Academy, we work closely with parents to help provide the support needed for their children.
Amongst the top concerns that Year 6 students express are social concerns. Although common, most children report that they are no longer worried about these after just one or two weeks at school. The remaining worries are nearly all to do with the new organisational demands that they know will be placed upon them.
If your child expresses these worries it is useful to tell them this and to emphasis that everyone else will also be feeling anxious. As there will be many more children in Year 7 than in Year 6 everyone has a good choice of friends and even children who move up with several children from their class tend to make new friends at secondary school. Talk to your child’s Year 6 teacher if these worries become great – they will be able to arrange for your child to meet some other students who will be starting and perhaps a ‘buddy’ for the first two or three weeks.