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Why Term 2 is super important for your child

Natalie Mutulick

Natalie Mutulick

Nat is an Education Consultant and Parent Educator (and mum of 2) who empowers new school parents to effectively navigate school so their child has a positive experience of school where they are confident, happy and thriving. In over 20 years in education (as a teacher and consultant to schools and education departments), Nat has supported thousands of families and their...
Created on Apr 29, 2024 · 5 mins read
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If you have a child who started school this year, or who is in their early years of primary school, you might be silently rejoicing that Term 1 is finished and you can now relax into the rest of the school year.

Your child has started school, they are settled, they are on their way! And yes, while this is somewhat true (Term 1 certainly takes the most amount of energy with new starts, adjustments, specific needs and all the emotions), what is also true is that there are some key things you can do in Term 2 that will support your child to have a successful year at school.

Although Term 1 gets all the attention, it is actually Term 2 – the calm, gentle early-mid-year term – where the real consolidation and gearing up into the learning for the year begins.

You see, Term 1 is so much about adjustment. Children adjusting to school, to their new teacher, new classmates, the routines and requirements of them. It is such a big transition (even for those in Year 1 and 2), and so a lot of the focus is on settling children into routines, into expectations, school behaviours and setting the scene for learning throughout the year. Socially, children are finding their way and they are forming connections and bonds with other students and their teacher. If children have additional needs, they are settling into those supports and scaffolds that will be key to their success.

By the end of Term 1, children are just about getting their heads and bodies around what school looks, feels and sounds like for them this year. Term 2, then, is where children are ready to leap into their learning for the year. They are (generally) feeling stable, building their confidence and ready. It is in this more balanced and prepared atmosphere that schools can start getting some real traction with students’ learning.

So, for parents, what you want to do in Term 2 is ensure that your child is continuing to actively participate in their schooling, that they are settling into their year and that they are engaging with their learning. You really want them to begin to thrive in Term 2 and that can mean being on the lookout for any issues or concerns and nipping them in the bud, allowing them to soar.

The good news is there are three keys to focus on to ensure your child is travelling along nicely. Keeping on top of these and taking early action on any issues or concerns,  is the best way to support your child to thrive through Term 2 and beyond! 

1. Is my child comfortable and positive about being at school?

This one is key. If your child doesn’t feel comfortable or safe at school, if they don’t see school as a positive thing, then it is so much more difficult for them to effectively learn. We want our children to develop a positive connection with school, to feel like they belong, and for them ideally to develop a love of learning. Regular check-ins are important. Notice the signs – are they comfortable with the school routine? Do they share stories about their days? Do they seem positive about school in general?

Red flags that you want to watch for include becoming increasingly withdrawn, continued school resistance, if they are flat and withdrawn at the end of the school day, if they are increasingly emotional and upset, or if they repeat negative comments about school. If this is the case (and can be quite a common thing), please reach out to your child’s teacher and organise a time to go and meet with them and discuss your concerns. The earlier you take action, the quicker supports can be put in place to help your child to reconnect and feel comfortable at school.

2. Does my child have positive social connections at school?

Friendships and social connections are key for many children to enjoy their time at school and so we want to check-in and ensure they are developing positive social connections. For many children if they feel content socially they are much more likely to not just enjoy school, but to thrive at school. Please note, it can take time for children in the first years of school to develop these social connections, and they do change over time. Also, importantly, all children are different and some children are more reliant on friendships than others.

Forming and maintaining friendships at school can be a complex skill to learn so if your child seems to be struggling a little with this, please reach out to your child’s teacher as early primary teachers are very willing (and experienced), in helping children form positive social connections. 

3. Is my child on track with their learning?

Checking that your child is on track with their learning is hugely important. You would have received some information from your child’s teacher in the Term 1 parent-teacher meeting, or you can always check-in with your child’s teacher to see how they are going. At home, engaging with what your child is learning at school, asking questions about what activities they have been doing in class and helping them with their homework can be great ways to ascertain how they are going. 

If you notice anything that concerns you, again, contact your child’s teacher for a conversation about it. It is always better to check, as the earlier you catch any issues, the earlier supports and interventions can be put in place to help your child with whatever their specific need is. 

So, Term 2!  Let’s step into the term with open eyes and look forward to supporting your child through this important, and enjoyable term. By monitoring how your child is engaging with school, their social connections and their learning, you can ensure your child is best supported to not just enjoy the confidence, learning and growth that comes with Term 2 but to thrive at school in Term 2.

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