Term 4, Issue No. 2 - 12 December 2022

Family Matters

Transitioning into the new year

By Anne Way and Andrea Fairlie

Helping your child be ready for 2023

We close another academic year having undertaken extensive planning and preparation for students to transition to 2023 and celebrated student achievements large and small across a variety of experiences. We are finishing well.

We have assisted students and parents with transition planning and Home Group Teachers, Year Level Leaders, and Heads of Schools with class lists in consultation with specialist staff. Much planning occurred for a successful Orientation Day, and we will continue to work with staff to familiarise them with the particular needs of the diverse learners in their 2023 classes.

The prospect of leaving behind the familiar and beginning something new can bring many mixed emotions, which is normal and expected. Change, while inevitable, takes us all out of our comfort zone and although the alternative is sometimes interpreted as the “danger zone”, it can be better described as a “stretch zone”, where new experiences and opportunities can be explored and new skills, knowledge and connections gained. This way we expand our comfort zone and our coping capacity, resilience and wellbeing build and enables us to flourish. We live our Vision.

Preparing for the new school year provides a perfect opportunity for all of our students to step out of their comfort zones and into the “stretch zone”. Nothing that students will hear, see or experience through the transition process will place them within the “danger zone”. Student safety is never compromised and adult support through a home and school partnership is ever present during this time.

It is important that we understand children’s discomfort or upset as a normal response to change, and not risk potentially reinforcing their perception that they have something to be fearful about. If parents observe these reactions over the holiday break, encourage exploration of the triggers and support them to sit with their feelings for a time, before working on ways to manage the feelings and build problem solving, then persistence, coping and ultimately flourishing will occur.

The SchoolTV module on School Transitions, is a valuable source of information, tips and resources for students from Reception to Year 12.

We also commend the headspace resource Stay healthy over the holidays as a practical guide for young people to support their wellbeing. This includes contact details for seeking support, including in emergencies.

We thank all of the students and families we have worked with throughout 2022 for affording us this privilege and wish all Mercedes College families a joyous and blessed Christmas and a restful start to the New Year.

Anne Way
Director of Wellbeing                                         
College Psychologist R-12

Andrea Fairlie
College Psychologist R-12