Navigating Senior School: A Guide for Parents

So, your child has navigated Primary School and Junior High and has now embarked on the last chapter of their school journey — Senior School! As parents, we can’t help but be just a little excited that all the years of hard work and support are starting to pay off. Senior School signifies more than just a change in academic level; it's a period of immense growth and development for our children. This transition brings with it newfound independence, hormonal changes and a shifting focus towards peer relationships.

Understanding the Transition

While the urge for us is to pull them back into the fold and feel in control of their successful outcomes, this is actually the start of ‘launching’. How we support our children through this next phase, sets them up for more successful outcomes in both study and life. COVID-19 and general global instability have changed how young people plan for the future, invest in their social world and value academic outcomes. Building a sense of confidence in their capacity to launch is vital in an ever-changing environment. We only need to look at AI and its impact on education, jobs, daily tasks, communication and social identity, to realise this is a space that is increasingly difficult to control as a parent.

Supporting Your Child's Journey

The great news for St Peters parents is that you are very well supported in the learning space. Encouraging your children to speak to support staff such as Form Teachers, Year Level Co-ordinators and Counsellors can help to secure self-efficacy. Copious studies have linked self-efficacy to general wellbeing and academic achievement. Both outcomes are interlinked themselves, in transitioning from a child to a thriving adult. Making mistakes, seeking support, identifying additional choices and celebrating the wins are all part of a day in Senior School.

Fostering Independence at Home

In the home space, it is important to allow Senior School children to begin to initiate contact with Teachers for curriculum support. Early guidance in email protocol is invaluable and sets students up with a template for reduced anxiety and limits fear of failure. Students can also make an appointment with their Year Level Co-ordinator to work through academic concerns and general issues of wellbeing.

Accessing Counselling Support

The counselling space at St Peters is designed to provide students with a safe and supportive environment to address a range of concerns from crisis care and managing a range of mental health concerns to general life/study coaching. Appointments can be made confidentially via Firefly, direct email, through the Year Level Co-ordinators or at Senior School Reception.

As we embark on this exciting chapter with our children, let's embrace the opportunities for growth and discovery that Senior School offers. By fostering independence, providing support and encouraging open communication, we can empower our children to thrive in Senior School and beyond.

Sharon Pankhurst
Student Counsellor Senior School