College Counsellor News

Welcome back Bethany girls and welcome to our new students and families!

The beginning of a new school year is a critical time for students, particularly for new students and Year 7 students. These students are faced with many changes- adapting to the culture and expectations of a new school, meeting new people, changes in educational expectations/practices, and meeting new teachers. In primary school, students are taught mainly in single classrooms, with familiar peers, and one to three teachers. However, in secondary school, they interact with many more students, in a variety of different subjects that take place in different classrooms, with different teachers that have different expectations for both performance and responsibility.

Transitions can be exciting and fun and open the door to many opportunities both academically and socially. However, during these times it is also normal to feel nervous, or to feel weird and different at a new place, or to even miss your old friends. Change can evoke a variety of emotions, behaviours and concerns for both students and parents/caregivers.

Here at Bethany College our focus this year is ‘together we grow’ which highlights that students are not alone during this important milestone. The college community are dedicated to supporting the spiritual, social, emotional, academic and personal growth of Bethany students to ensure that they feel a sense of belonging within the school community. Together we grow so that students enjoy the secondary school experience and succeed in academic tasks.

There are many things parents and students can do to make the transition easier. Here some handy tips to help cope with the changes:

Parents:

  • Set aside some time to have a conversation with your daughter about her concerns
  • Validate and normalise her emotions
  • Encourage your daughter to look at other significant milestones or changes in her life and her successes in making that transition i.e. kindergarten or extra-curricular activities
  • Highlight your daughter’s strengths and how they have helped her overcome challenges in the past

Students:

  • Talk to a trusting adult or peer about your worries
  • Express how you are feeling through a journal
  • Engage in activities you enjoy i.e. sport, writing, drawing or listening to music
  • Talk to people- they are probably just as curious about you because you’re new!
  • Keep in contact with old friends or friends outside of school
  • Find an outlet whether it’s sport, writing a song/poem or drawing/painting
  • Be patient, kind and compassionate towards yourself and allow yourself the time to adjust

Below is a helpful resource around transition:

http://www.kidshelp.com.au/grownups/news-research/hot-topics/transitioning.php

Once you overcome the initial challenges, you’ll be able to see just how positive change can be. The change into high school will enable you to grow, make new friendships, learn about new things, and have the support of many academic professionals that will facilitate your transition into adulthood.

Katerina Stratilas

College Counsellor