- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
With thousands of Kenyan children who sat for their KCPE joining secondary school next year research shows children who move from primary to secondary schools produce lower grades and end up dropping out raising the question on whether they are ready.
“Students who transition to the new school interviewed experienced mixed feelings of anxiety and apprehensiveness about negative social climates and work that would be too hard to do,” says the 2010 study by the Ministry of Education in New Zealand on secondary schools transition.
The research found that unsettled transition behaviours could be attributed to:
• Disruptions of social networks, both with teachers and with peers
• Less individual attention from teachers at secondary school because of the way secondary schools are organized, making personalized relationships between teachers and learners more difficult to achieve
• Testing the boundaries as part of adjusting to the new school and growing up
• Inappropriate classroom placements of some students in relation to their learning and/or social needs, diminishing the student’s self-concept and ability to cope well
• Student showed disinterest and lack of engagement in studies
• Peer pressure from other students resulting in skipping classes, decreased desire to do well in academic work, smoking, drinking, using drugs, and general misbehaviour.
Parents need to prepare their children with these steps by the learning potential by the Australian government guidelines.
Start talking about high school with your child throughout the year leading up to the start of high school. Be positive and discuss the things about going to high school that you know they will be interested in—it could be an opportunity to try out for a school band, or to engage in experiments in science. Discuss the subjects they might learn and the friends they might meet.
Listen and acknowledge their concerns
Discuss with your child what they think going to high school will be like. What do they think their classes will be like? What are they most looking forward to? How many kids do they know from their primary school who will be going to their high school? Listening to your child and find any case of concern. If they have concerns, let your child know that you take them seriously, and together work out ways to address them.
Get your child used to their new school
If you can drive or walk past the high school your child will attend occasionally, and comment on it. For instance, you might talk about the nice garden or the fact that it has a basketball court. This will familiarize your child with the school. Most high schools hold an orientation day to help new students and their parents become familiar with the school.
Begin or increase focus on time management
Help your child to start scheduling their study and extracurricular activities on a calendar or wall planner, so they appreciate the power of time management.