The first day of being back to school is exciting for most students, but for new pupils, it can be nerve-wracking. Imagine being the new kid on the block — seeing faces but recognising no one, going to classrooms yet unsure if it is the correct class, and all that while trying to make a good impression on teachers and classmates. The first day is a whole lot to take in for new pupils. But their academic success starts here, and it matters that they be well adjusted as soon as possible.
The key is to make your school a welcoming, friendly environment. Here are tips to do that:
1. Rethink the Campus Space
The physical environment is what new students see when they arrive at your school. It should have a welcoming atmosphere that makes students feel they can belong. One way you can do that is to dedicate spaces — aside from classrooms — where people are able to come together to hang out, chat, and just enjoy each other’s company.
When new pupils see the community spirit alive in your school, they will be drawn to be part of it. Kensington Systems Ltd recommends investing in school shelters, canopies, or sunshade structures that can be informal social spaces for your students.
2. Promote Student Connections
Many schools adopt the ‘transition buddy’ system. This assigns a peer mentor for each new student who will help them navigate through the ins and outs of school facilities and activities and at the same time, help them make friends. This peer mentor may be older or of the same age as the new student and trained. Consider this in your school program. Of course, it is also best to encourage the new pupil’s classmates to initiate conversations and befriend them. Teachers can design activities in such a way that would allow children to talk to each other and work as a team.
3. Involve the Parents
Get to know the students better by reaching out to their family. Get in touch with them during open houses or take time to meet them. New pupils may be struggling in their first days, and may not open up to their teachers about it. By talking to parents, you will know their child’s concerns about the transition. On the flip side, you will be more familiar with the pupil’s interests and help them join activities in school that fit those interests.
Is your school new-student-friendly? Make your pupils feel welcome on the first day of school by following these tips.