Relocating and Changing Schools: 5 Tips to Help Your Child Settle in Quickly

When relocating with your family, one of the most important aspects of the move that parents always focus on is how to make sure your child settles well into their new school.

Ensuring that good schools are available is key when choosing a new area, and can even make some houses a no-go if the schools don’t feel right, even if the house itself looks great!

school supplies

We recently move from London to North Wales, and with four children to settle into new primary and secondary schools, there was a lot to think about.

If you’re moving to the midlands, then take a look at school admissions in Leicester.

If you’ve made the decision to move, here are five tips to help your child settle in quickly.

How to Choose the Right School for your Child when Relocating

Trust Your Intuition When Choosing the Right School for Your Child

When researching new schools, you may feel more drawn to one than another, just based on the vibes you get. This could be from visiting the school, or even from the websites.

If you ask around with local parents, you will hear lots of opinions and recommendations too which can be helpful but at the end, it always comes down the school that you think will be the best fit for your child.

Some schools are smaller and offer more of a close community feel, whereas other schools are bigger with modern buildings and all kinds of opportunities and facilities.

high school secondary school

You can take a look at the Ofsted or Estyn reports, and take into account experiences of other local parents but at the end of the day you know your child best. Sometimes you may even want to put siblings into different schools based on which one you feel would be right for each child.

Look at the practicalities of the school

As well as the positive feelings you get from the school, it is also important to consider the more practical factors such as…

  • Distance from your new home
  • How will your child get there – is it walkable and how long is the walk?
  • If you are driving, how is the parking at the school?
  • After school clubs – Does the school offer this, and breakfast clubs if needed and do you have to commit for the full term or can you use these on an adhoc basis
  • How big are the class sizes
  • Does the school have space or is it over subscribed
  • If your child has special needs, how is the support at the school?

Helping Your Child to Adapt to the New School

primary school elementary school

Familiarise your child with the school before moving

It really helps if your child knows a bit about what to expect at the new school, so look at the website together and any materials you might have like a prospectus or booklet.

If you’re in the new area to look at houses then be sure to drive by the schools you’re considering too, so that your children can see where they are and what they look like.

If you’re in touch with any other families with children at the school, it’s great to put the kids in touch with each other too.

Work with the school to get off to the best start

empty classroom

When your child starts their new school, they will likely set up a meeting for you all to go in and meet the head teacher and have a tour around the school. Whether it is primary or secondary school, most schools are happy to offer this.

On your child’s first day, if they don’t know anyone in the school then the teachers may find a suitable child to buddy them up for the first few days. This can be helpful especially in secondary school where the school premises are quite big and it can take a few days to learn their way around.

The school may call a few times at the beginning, before they start and after they start just to make sure everything is going okay and that everything is set up correctly in terms of school communications systems, payment systems and all of the forms that need to be filled in.

If your child is having any worries or difficulties, make sure you speak to the teachers about it as it is always best to get these things smoothed over early on.

Encourage friendships

Making friends will make your child’s experience in school flow much more smoothly. So make sure to facilitate any play dates, or provide lifts if needed for older kids to enable them to meet up with their new friends.

If your child is invited for any birthday parties, this is a great opportunity to get to know more of the classmates. And the same goes with any mums nights out, as friendships in your new area are not only for the kids!

school friendships

Starting School

Here are a few more blog posts that may come in handy when your child is starting school or moving to a new school

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5 tips to help your child adapting to a new school

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