Welcome to the 2018 school year
Welcome back to St Mary’s as we begin a new school year. To parents of our Year 7 students and students new to the college I offer you a special welcome and I look forward to meeting you at our various welcome functions. I hope that both you and your families had a relaxing break over the summer holidays and that you are ready to begin a new school year.
The girls have arrived at the college looking both excited and refreshed. I spoke to our Year 7 girls on their first day about how they were feeling. The general response was excited but a little nervous. This is a natural reaction to beginning secondary school. St Mary’s is a big busy place and, when coming from primary school, it can feel a little overwhelming. However, all of our students, new and those returning for another year, have settled in very well.
I have included a few tips on how best to begin a new school year and, while they might not fit every need, they are not a bad guideline for commencing the routines of school.
1. Ease back into a healthy bedtime routine
We all enjoy a much more relaxed lifestyle during holidays and we are able to spend extra time watching TV and generally staying up late. However, the holidays are over and coming back to school can be really tiring. I would suggest that we get routines in place to ensure that your daughter is getting enough sleep. This is a crucial factor in good health and in maintaining a positive approach to education.
2. Keep a family calendar
Getting organised is an important part of returning to routines. Maintaining a family calendar, where everyone puts in their commitments, assignments, after school activities and general whereabouts in the one place, can save children or parents panicking about the organisational aspects of life. At the beginning of a school year it’s also not a bad idea to think about making a morning to-do list. When we had school-aged children, this little routine just about saved our sanity and put some predictability into chaotic mornings.
3. Help your daughter manage stress
For all manner of reasons, huge expectations are being placed on high school kids. The stress can be self-inflicted, emerge from perceived expectations of parents, schools, peers, or even worry about the future. We need to remember that our daughters are still kids – even the ones that seem to be, or want to be, all grown up.
As parents it is our job to keep our kids balanced and involved in family life. While this can be difficult our daughters do still want our approval and our love, it just doesn’t feel like it at times. Teenage girls sometimes don’t know how to articulate their feelings in ways that parents understand. This is where having some definite down time with family to communicate, de-stress and rejuvenate is essential.
Family activities where everyone is present and everyone participates is an ideal way to keep communication channels open and stress levels in check. During the holidays we re-discovered Scrabble and Monopoly with our adult kids and it worked a treat.
Have a great weekend.
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