It’s almost time to talk about… high school
Many parents dread their "little" babies going to high school Cath Jenkin gives you some pointers on what to expect.

It seems almost surreal - we’re about to turn into my daughter’s final years of primary school. It feels like, just a minute ago, I was helping her put on her school uniform for the very first time. But it’s time for me to put my daydreams aside and start thinking, quite seriously, about high school.  

The two-year countdown

Two years may seem like a long time to go, but in reality, it’s barely enough time to think straight. The great news is that we’ve had this important milestone set as something to work towards within our family, for the past two years.

We moved houses and suburbs to be closer to particular schools (and so that we could adopt dogs, but they’re not going to high school!) and, pretty soon, we’ll be picking up application forms and measuring her for a blazer.

Hatching plans

That's why she and I have long conversations around high school nowadays, as I share my experiences and she tells me her ideas about what she expects.

We talk about subject choices, and she asks pertinent questions, including “what happens if I take Art and then realise I can’t draw?” I tell her about my abysmal career in Higher Grade Mathematics, thankfully cut short by Grade Nine, and remind her that it’s absolutely okay to not be great at every subject you’re signed up for.

What will change

And, of course, we’re talking about the ways in which High School is different to Primary School. At Grade 8, she’ll be a small fish in a big pond again, just as she was in Grade 1. Reminding her that her transformation from guppy to shark in Primary School has happened without her noticing too much has been, in many ways, a comfort.

Naturally too, we’re talking about the school we have our hearts set on for her to attend, and my cobbled together backup plan if we don’t manage to swing a spot.

Big ideas

We’re nearing the end of her Primary School career, which is quite a good place to start with some personal reflection. Some of those achievements are not acknowledged through certificates or the like, but they’ve shaped her character and earned a spot on her life’s storyline.

A life filled with experiences is, after all, what we all want for our children and, as she starts to look back on those things she’s accomplished, I hope she sees that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Dream big, kid! The story of your life is just unfolding. Now, when do I need to submit those admission forms?  

Are you a parent with a teen going to high school next year? Are they ready for the transition from primary school? Share your thoughts and opinion by emailing and we may publish your story. 

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