Preparing your child for a successful Year 7

Making the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 can be a monumental leap for your child’s learning and personal growth. Your child will move from the reliable comfort of a single teacher and classroom to the variety of classes and autonomy that high school offers. This can be a time of great excitement, and for some, great anxiety. Many parents and carers will provide emotional and logistical support for their child during this time, however academic support is equally important to help a child thrive.

Common High School Challenges (and what to do about them):

●      Tougher academics and new concepts - whether or not your child was successful in primary school, the workload in high school will become increasingly challenging for all children as they progress. Learning and adopting new concepts quickly is key to avoiding frustrations as the school year progresses. To understand how your child is tracking, speak to your child’s teachers - especially in subjects where your child may be already be behind and seek tuition support.

●      Fear of Failure - children who required remedial tutoring in primary school may come into high school feeling that the new academic demands are overwhelming. Remind your child of his or her strengths and the progress already made in primary school. Building emotional resilience is key, along with celebrating your child’s success, no matter how big or small.

●   Social Pressure - social interactions are arguably the most challenging for teens. These may affect your child’s attention during class and homework time. Support your child by  providing a safe space to openly talk through issues relating to friends and relationships.


Developing Core Capabilities

All high school students are expected to develop a set of core capabilities in each subject area. Developing a child’s general capabilities to live and work successfully in society, is the basis of the Australian Curriculum and it is expected that children will develop these skills as they progress throughout high school.

As a general guide to what is expected by the end of Year 7, your child will be reading a range of texts including fiction, nonfiction, poetry and multimedia, and demonstrate critical reasoning in response to these texts. It will also become necessary for your child to master mathematical principles, along with a solid understanding of complex concepts.

While many children struggle to ‘keep up’ with their peers in developing these core capabilities at the same rate, it doesn’t necessarily equate to serious learning issues like dyslexia or dyscalculia. If you feel your child is struggling with key concepts, speak to the school as soon as possible. Formal assessments and professional tutoring are the most practical solution to improve your child’s progress. Catching up, and keeping up, will help reduce your child’s anxiety and frustration throughout their school journey.

How Can I Prepare My Child for Academic Success?

The skills required for academic success in high school are formed in the early learning years and go beyond simple memorisation or the repeating information. As a parent or carer, there are many tools and strategies you can equip your child with, to help them transition to high school:

1. Encourage Your Child to Be An ‘Independent Learner’

As your child inevitably becomes a teen and young adult, one of the key skills you can teach your child is to become an independent learner. This means taking responsibility for their own learning, being self-motivated, and curious about the world around them. Simple ways to develop this skill include building storytelling skills, discussing current events or controversial ideas, spending time on things that interest him or her, and even challenging the news that he or she reads on social media.

2. Bring Learning Inside the Home

Simple activities within the home can help bolster your child’s literacy and numeracy skills. To prepare for high school English, encourage your child to read books that he or she enjoys. Take the time to discuss the metaphors, puns, or figures of speech they find interesting. To prepare for maths and science subjects, you can encourage independent cooking, planning, or budgeting, all of which require the practice of fractions and equations. Any opportunity to develop independent learning skills in the early high school years will help your child throughout school and beyond.

3. Teach Time Management

As the volume of school work and number of exams increases, your child will need to develop strong study skills. Assignments will have overlapping timelines, which can become overwhelming for some students. To help build healthy time management skills, try breaking all assignments into smaller, more manageable pieces and use a diary or day planner app to keep track of important dates. You will need to allow your child time to study each week, provide a calm environment, and avoid too many extracurricular activities.

If you find that your child is struggling to complete assignments on time, or that homework is becoming a battle, an individualised tutoring programme with Kip McGrath can help your child stay on track.

4. Teach Self-Advocacy

If your child required extra support or tuition in primary school, or needs tuition in Year 7, self-advocacy will become increasingly important throughout the high school years. Encourage your child to speak up when they are struggling. Reassure your child that saying they do not understand a concept is a sign of strength, not weakness, so that he or she can be successful in the future. You should also encourage your child to speak with their teachers regularly after class.

Year 7 is an exciting time for students and parents as they adjust to a new curriculum and variety of classes in high school. Every high school student is unique and so is the school journey. Some students excel in certain subjects but not others, while some may need some additional support across a range of subjects. Children will learn at different rates. If your child is having trouble with mathematics or English, contact us today to develop a personalised learning plan to support your child’s success.


Published in AU