Published on: 29 January 2016

Changing schools can be an exciting yet challenging time for students and their families. Students change schools for a variety of reasons including moving from preparatory school to secondary school, changes in parents’ work, a lack of enjoyment at their previous school and to have a ‘fresh start.’

Some students breeze through the transition and others take their time. Fortunately, most schools both welcome and encourage new students.

The list below provides some general tips on fitting in and making your transition as easy as possible:

  • Utilise the services of your classroom teacher, tutor and/or buddy. These staff have been placed in these positions because of their pastoral skills and professionalism and will do all they can to help you
  • Get involved. Christ Church is a vibrant place offering a myriad of activities. Participation (irrespective of your skill level) is a great way to get to know others
  • Mingle. Do not feel a need to stay with the first group you meet. Mixing with different groups will give you an opportunity to find out where you best fit in
  • Avoid trying to rush getting a ‘new best friend’. Strong friendships take time and these will develop. It is important not to try to replace your best friend from your old school with a new one and possibly be disappointed with the comparison. All friendships are different and all should be valued for what they are
  • If you are shy, it is still worth approaching other students. A simple introductory line might be, “Excuse me, I am new here, do you mind if I join you?” Conversation openers can include asking others about where they live, how long they have been at the school, their hobbies and interests
  • Avoid trying to compare yourself to other students who you think may be fitting in more easily and more quickly than you. Everyone is different and will adjust at their own pace
  • Explore the school grounds with other students. Knowing where everything is will give you a greater feeling of control over your environment
  • Utilise the pastoral system. You can always talk with the school counsellors, your tutor, head of house and teachers – everyone understands what you are experiencing
  • Keep on top of your work and ask for help