To the School Community
In the past week I have reflected a great deal on the idea of being a Bystander that we promote at our school. I wanted to draw your attention to the three types of Bystander strategies that I encourage you to be aware of and discuss with your children.
Building bystander skills in young people to address all forms of bullying and violence using:
Direct: Step in, speak up, call out the behaviour and make sure you let them know it is not ok. Sometimes this is the hardest action and sometimes its not safe to do so.
Indirect: Get support from someone else or delay action to a later time – let them know after that you don’t think that behaviour or language is ok or offer support afterwards to the target.
Distract: Create a distraction, interrupt the conversation, change the subject, say a teacher is watching or think the bell just went.
Protocol: Use rules, school values, policies, guidelines to call out the behaviour or report to someone else who can take action
You may like to use these ideas when your children bring up situations when they are unsure of how to help somebody. Discuss what your approach would have been and what you might have said or done.
I have also – post the transition workshop last Friday added a list of Handy Hints for you to use if your child is moving into Secondary School next year.
Before your child starts – holiday preparation
- Be positive and enthusiastic – Your child is more likely to look forward to starting high school if you’re positive about it.
- Organise school uniform. Find out about the school uniform requirements – during school hours, while travelling to and from school and also when you are participating in school activities held out of school hours. Your child should also wear their new school shoes around the house a few times, to make sure they are comfortable
- Books and stationery – Consult book lists, purchase and organise books, stationery, school bag and label all belongings
- Learn about school routines – What time does school start and finish; what time is recess and lunchtime
- Travel to school – Help your child to become familiar with how they will travel to school. Make a plan around the public transport timetable. Don’t forget to have a backup plan, in case they miss public transport. If you plan to drive your child to school, do a trial drop off and pick up, and check for parking requirements
- Timetable – Talk to your child about their timetable, it will list specific subjects and classroom numbers. It’s good to make a few copies of the timetable to keep in different places, such as student diary, on the fridge at home and on the computer
- Help your child to develop good study habits – Create a comfortable place for your child to study in – this should be a quiet place away from distractions (TV, mobile phone), with internet access, desk and sturdy chair. Help your child to set aside a particular time to study. Work out a daily timetable that incorporates all your child’s needs and interests. Regularly viewed TV programs, activities and sport should all be part of the timetable. Ultimately your Year 7 should manage his/her own study.
- Nerves – Remind your child that is normal to feel nervous about starting high school, and that these nerves may last beyond the first day. Encourage your child to talk about what they are worried about and keep communication open.
- Friends – Encourage your child to keep in touch with their primary school friends and spend time with them over the holidays
- Have an emergency safety plan – Be clear about who your child should contact and what you expect them to do in an emergency. Be calm and matter-of-fact about issues such as crossing major roads on their own or catching public transport.
Have a fantastic weekend!