Year 7 Transition — Planning for Success
Are you a parent of a Year 7 student?
Is your son a monosyllabic teenager who would rather have his teeth pulled than share events from the day? Maybe you have experienced the tearful student having a meltdown over homework? Or been overwhelmed with chirpy enthusiasm as your son recounts the excitement of a game of four-square in the Tiverton yard?
At De La Salle College, we understand that our young people make the transition from primary to secondary school in different ways. Year 7 brings new routines, multiple teachers, new friendships, new transport and new expectations and responsibilities. Whilst, some students will thrive on and enjoy these added responsibilities, others may at times feel overwhelmed by the scale of the changes.
In this time of transition, a challenge facing parents is recognising behaviours for what they are. You may have asked yourself ‘is my young person behaving as expected, given he is entering adolescence and high school’? Or, ‘should I be concerned about what I am seeing and hearing at home’?
In late 2017, Ms Lisa Harkin, Deputy Principal – Students, approached Headspace, the national organisation dedicated to improving the mental health of young Australians. The idea was a workshop for Year 7 parents which would tackle some of the thorny aspects of high school transition.
On Monday 26 February, 60 parents attended the evening session at the Tiverton Campus, hearing first from Headspace expert Ms Kirsten Cleland, who spoke about the adolescent brain, helping to put in context many of the behaviours our young people exhibit as they enter their teenage years. College Psychologists Ms Karina Dubroja and Mr Anthony Freeman followed, sharing practical advice which drew on their experience with students at the College. Through the discussion of some tailored case studies, parents were then able to apply some of their collective wisdom and test out some of the language and strategies for handling challenging situations that their sons may present them with.
After the success of this first event, it is hoped this will become a regular part of the transition program for students entering De La Salle College next year and beyond.
Ms Melissa Walsh
Year 7 Coordinator