Starting a new school? Here's some advice for new students

Friday, 10 Dec 2021

Whether in Kindergarten or year 7, or another other time, we have all started at a new school at some point in our lives. 

At Bishop Druitt College, we have 202 new students starting in a variety of different year levels at the end of January. So if you're one of them, you're not alone. So, here's some advice for you on how to settle in quickly and who to speak with about any concerns or questions. 

Top 10 tips for students starting a new school 

Tip 1: Keep a Positive Attitude - it is easy to get worried or anxious about the new school but change is part of life and it is important to turn your concern into excitement. Think positively about this new opportunity and the great friends and activities ahead of you.

Tip 2: Talk about your reasons for moving schools - this is important and as a Principal I often ask the old students why they want to move to this school. Their answer provides a good springboard to start a positive discussion about opportunities.

Tip 3: Friendships - maintain old friendships that are important to you and build on these with new friendships. These don’t just happen so invite people over, meet them socially and join groups or clubs. 

Tip 4: Go school shopping - back-to-school clothes and items are popular with little kids as well as big. It's not too early to start the ritual of shopping for special school equipment. It doesn't have to be something expensive. Even a "new-to-you" item will have meaning when it is designated especially for back to school.

Tip 5: Visualise your first day going successfully - try to stay positive and calm. It can take time to settle in so don’t pressure yourself that everyday needs to be a winner. 

Tip 6: Rest - children and teens need plenty of sleep. So give yourself a rest from screen time each night and get enough sleep so you can start school well rested. 

Tip 7: Try to get your timetable and other class information as early as possible so you can get familiar with the first day program. Most schools have orientation days at end of the prior year or the start of the new year. Get involved with days as you will learn about the incidental things on these days.

Tip 8: Sometimes you will lose a class or miss the bus - that is okay. Head to the office and ask for help. They are friendly and will do what they can to help you.

Tip 9: Talk to new people. The thought of putting yourself out there and talking to new people can get to the best of us. The good thing is that they’re likely to be curious about you because you’re new. Talk to anyone that looks friendly, but don’t be upset if you don’t become instant friends. Making real friends takes time.

Tip 10: Cut your parents some slack. Your parents are anxious too. Give them the kiss and hug. Tell them you love me. They need it just as much as you do. 

Nick Johnstone