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Posted: 31st August 2018

Starting senior school is a time of huge transition for children. They are often leaving behind the familiarity of a Prep or Primary School they may have attended for years and with that their friends and a familiar setting.

However, it isn’t just children who approach senior school with a little trepidation. Parents often lament the speed at which their child has grown up and this often requires a real shift in attitude as  parents’ roles evolves to allow a more independent, mature teenager to emerge.

As Head of Year 7 for over 8 years at Surbiton High School, I have had the pleasure seeing hundreds of children embark on their senior school journey.  Their oversized uniform and eager faces often belie the nerves felt by both child and parent!

Below is some sage advice to those  pupils as they embark on the next stage of their education (and a little advice for parents too!):


• This is no longer junior school. Your child will become more independent and this is the natural order of things

• Let them make some of their own mistakes and learn from them.


• Start your new school with an open mind – this will be vital if you are to fully embrace all the opportunities presented to you

• Look forward to new friendships yet to be forged, and remember that those friends you have now were once unknown

• Make a conscious effort to speak to each and everyone in your class by the end of the first week. Enduring friendships are not formed overnight and it may take time to discover your new friendship group

• Do not be afraid of the things you don’t know. Your school understands how you feel and will help you navigate your journey through the early days and weeks

• The whole school is there to support you. At Surbiton High School, we have a Head of Year, Form Tutors, Big Sisters, Teachers and 6th Formers all looking out for you

• Embrace all opportunities that come your way. Senior school may feel big and daunting at the moment, but it will hold many opportunities for fun, adventure and exciting learning that you haven’t even imagined exist – school trips, co-curricular clubs and activities are just some of these

• Be organised.  Set regular times for homework, pack your bag the night before, learn your timetable.  These little things will make everything a lot easier

• Most importantly, have fun and throw yourself into school life. Before you know it, you will be looking back at your time at school with fondness.

Jacqueline Bennett

Head of Year 7

Categories: Entrance Senior School
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