Parents have an important role in encouraging and supporting your child’s learning and engagement in education. You remain your child’s first teacher, even as they move through their primary years toward the transition to high school. 

Your changing child

As children enter early adolescence, they experience educational and physiological changes, which can be challenging for the child and the family.  

By this time you will be gaining an understanding of how your child prefers to learn and in which areas they have real strengths and talents. You can help support their learning by helping them develop these strengths and interests. Provide opportunities for them to learn by reading, storytelling or doing activities together. 

Moving to high school

Toward the end of this period your child will be transitioning to high school. Children (and parents) will need to manage:  

  • a change in schools  
  • different styles of teaching  
  • new peer groups  
  • increased exposure to issues such as bullying, sex and social media.  

This can sometimes result in attendance issues and affect your child’s general health and wellbeing. 

Boarding school

Families who live in rural and remote locations may face the additional challenge of their child moving away to boarding school.  

Children may experience homesickness and even a loss of self-identity as they move outside their safe, comfortable environment. For children moving away from Aboriginal communities, the new environment may be completely unfamiliar. 

Most schools will have information to support the transition to high school. Ask for assistance from the class teacher, student services team or school counsellors at your school.   

Want to know more?

Raising Children Network – Sex education for older children 

Raising Children Network – Adolescent bullying 

Raising Children Network – School problems 9-15 years 

Raising Children Network – Talking about school 

Raising Children Network – Learning primary and secondary school 

Learning Potential – Positive parenting a preteen in primary school 

If you still have questions, contact our Parenting Line