Tips for helping your child settle into a new school

Relocating or moving to a new area can be stressful. A good letting agent will assist in finding you a property that is convenient and close to a good school. Many agents will go as far as recommending decent areas that fall in good catchment areas for the best schools. In most families, parents generally focus on the fact that there is a “good school” in the area they are moving to, but that is just the beginning. 

Once this is established, there is a bigger need for the parents to help the child settle and find friends as quickly as possible. Clearly, children of different ages have different needs, but there are several steps you can take to ensure your child has a smooth transition from old school to new school.

  1. Visit the school. This is imperative in that this gives the child a head start in terms of meeting the teachers, knowing the surroundings and how the school works. This may have been done at an earlier open day or an “interview” but it’s good to be able to roam around, capture the feel and pick up the culture of the school.
  2. Know how to get there. Sounds obvious but it’s surprising how many children are left to find their own way to school. Walk with them a few times before they start school and know how long it takes. But go with them on the first day, you also need to know what the routine is.
  3. Network. Hold a small informal tea/drinks party to meet other families with children in the immediate area. Hopefully there will be one child who yours hits it off with. Maybe yours can tag along and they can walk to school together? If you’re renting your new property – ask your letting agent if there are any other families in the area that you could get to know.
  4. Encourage extra-curricular activities. This is brilliant for quickly finding out who in the school has the same interests, whether it be drama, badminton, stamp collecting or whatever.
  5. On the first day put a treat in their bag and maybe a small card or message.
  6. During the first weeks remember to take time to talk to them about their likes and dislikes and any concerns. And watch for any changes in behavior, like nervous tummies and withdrawing.
  7. Try and arrange a few play dates with children that yours feel a connection with. This will also encourage your mingling with other parents. (and picking-up the insider gossip).

For advice on schools in the area and the inside track on points of school etiquette don’t be afraid to ask your letting agent. They have years of experience and a wealth of relevant local information.

Look out for the ACS International School logo on the bottom of APW property descriptions. We allocate this to properties that are close by and convenient for those families with children that are wanting to let a property within a good distance of the school.

APW is the leading independent letting agent in Surrey and Berkshire - visit our Lettings Portfolio or to discuss your requirements or contact your local office: Weybridge, CobhamEsher and Sunninghill.