Before the move...
- Involve your child at all stages of the process. Begin to talk to them about the forthcoming move as soon as you can.
- Reassure them that they can keep in touch with their friends. Help them to gather addresses, phone numbers, email details etc.
- Take photographs and collect momentos for taking with you when you move and discuss these with your child. Involve them in choosing what they would like to take.
- Encourage your child to discuss the move and tell you how they feel about it. Be ready to answer their questions as fully as you can.
- Send away or search online for information about your new home and school. Photographic or video images are particularly helpful and you can phone the school to find out if this is available.
- Plan ahead for the move as much as possible.
- If your child is due to sit important exams, find out if it will be possible for special arrangements to be made and how your child will be supported at this important time.
- If possible arrange to visit the new school with your child ahead of your move and disucss with your child beforehand what you want to find out or ask about.
As you move and your child starts school...
- If your child has additional support or special needs ask for copies of the most recent support plans used in your current school and bring these to the new one. Share as much information as possible about what support works best, what your child needs to be successful and settled and who has been previously involved with our child.
- Go along with your child for the first visit. If your child is young, a short visit on the first day can be agreed with the school or you can agree to stay with them until they feel settled.
- Before your child starts arrange a meeting with the Headteacher of the new school and ask to meet with your child's teacher. Use this meeting to discuss your child's previous experience and achievements, to raise any concerns or worries and to ask questions. You should also ask for a copy of the school handbook and find out about practical issues such as uniform, school meals, pick up points.
- Find out if there are other children living clos by you who will be going to the same school as your child.
- Talk to your child's teacher about the school's approach to supporting children's behaviour, homework or any aspects you are interested in.
- Make time to talk over new school experiences with your child. Help them to adapt to and understand new arrangements and experiences - boost confidence and give lots of encouragement and praise for settling in so well.
- Find out about parental involvement - the school's Parent Partnership or Parent Teacher Association (PTA), any parent groups, volunteering, shared starts or finishes and ways in which you can be involved in school.
- Arrange to talk to your child's teacher after a few weeks of the start date to find out how your child is getting on and to ask any questions or discuss any concerns which have arisen.
- Visit Parent Zone, the Scottish Government's website for parents which contains a wealth of information about education and schools in Scotland.
After your child has started...
- Keep talking to your child - answer questions, help manage any problems, keep up morale and enthusiasm!
- Look over work which your child has brought home and support them to complete homework tasks.
- Take the opportunity to go along to open days and school events to see your child at school.
- Build up relationships with other parents and find out what's happening in your local community.
- Talk to your child's teacher about what's happening in the military - especially if there are any significant changes coming up that may affect your child.
- Raise any worries about your child's progress as soon as possible with your child's teacher - also raise any issues which your child is worried about that is affecting their progress.
- Share memories of previous schools, friends, events and help your child keep in touch with close friends.
- Encourage your child to keep going with special interests and hobbies.