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Some helpful hints for parents

from TGS Head of Senior School, Mr Mark Oliphant...

Research shows us that the move from a primary school to a secondary school is one of the most significant life changes that our young men will face. You can help make the transition to Senior School smoother by ensuring that the boys attend the orientation days, practice packing their bags and getting their sports, music, and activities equipment ready. When asked about tips for the boys coming into Year 7, current Year 7 dayboy, Ollie Wells suggests boys should “Be organised. Pack the night before school, as there is always something going on that you need to be organised for. Check your emails and use your diary.”

If they are a dayboy, parents should practice with them getting to School if they are walking or catching the bus. Even our new boarders could use some parental reassurance about getting to class on those first few days. Herbert Roger is a Year 7 boarder from Dalby and whilst his route to school each day is an easy one, he has this tip, “I was not too sure where things were, but the diary has a map in it. The signs around School are also really helpful at the beginning.”

Please ensure that your son is aware that he will have a range of different teachers in the Senior School. Explain that some of his teachers he will like and others he may not make a strong connection with initially. This will change during his senior schooling years.

For a student who is new to Toowoomba Grammar School, the key is to ensure that your son has practiced making new friends. You might like to role play this at home. Dr Michael Carr-Gregg offers sage advice here, “Encourage your child to smile a lot, ask questions of others and not be too prominent in group situations, sit back and observe others.”

Nathanael Miller is a Year 7 student who joined us from St Thomas Moore’s this year and has said, “A good way to make friends is to keep friendships from your old school and make new ones through the activities that you sign up to at TGS.” Having a range of friends is one of the greatest predictors of success in secondary school. The older boys, through the leadership programs and the Big Mates program will take an interest in your son. This is another person that he may seek help from if he is struggling and as a parent, you should encourage these positive interactions. The older boys are welcoming and friendly, they have been in the same position as your son and understand what he is experiencing. They will take him under their wing, and they are great to talk to.

Homework is one of the most stressful times in any household. Be clear with your son about the times that will be set aside in your house for the completion of homework each day. Do not allow him to play video games or use technology prior to this as it will impact his ability to concentrate. Check your son’s diary so that you are aware of what he must complete. Having a dedicated quiet study space is also very useful.

If your son appears to have no friends or has difficulty making friends or if they have not found subjects or a co-curricular activity that they enjoy, then this is cause for concern and I recommend you contact the Head of Corfe (for boarders) or Head of Year 7. If your son has difficulty separating from you or becomes very anxious when he is not near you, then you might like to arrange an appointment with one of our school counsellors to assist.

Don’t forget to be enthusiastic about your son starting Senior School. This interest reinforces how important your son’s education is. We look forward to welcoming your family to Toowoomba Grammar School and building wonderful memories that you and your son will cherish for life.

Year 6 TGS students

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