Skills for Secondary School

Parents Can Help Before High School Begins

Academic proficiency is not the only skill needed when starting high school. If children are given practical and social life skills by parents in the years leading up to high school this will assist students with their transition.


  • Food preparation (making own breakfast/lunch).
  • Organising the care of clothing (washing and ironing).
  • Packing their school bag.
  • Ability to read a timetable.
  • Familiarity and confidence in catching public transport and crossing roads.


  • Appropriate manners (please, thank you, excuse me, pardon me).
  • Handshake technique (firm handshake, look people in the eye).
  • Awareness of surroundings (eg not swearing in public, knowing when it is and isn't appropriate to use slang, and the difference between this and formal language).
  • Taking turns (eg let other passengers off the bus before boarding).
  • Be the first to say hello to people you pass. As you approach them, look them in the eye, smile ... say hello, and - really importantly - ensure you use their name. (Our names are significant, and using them is important.)


  • A dedicated quiet spot to study.
  • Check your children's homework diary.
  • Ensure your children attend school unless they are ill or there is a family emergency.
  • Ask your children what they did today at school every day.
  • Make children aware that they should become familiar with teacher names.

Beginning High School:

  • Have a copy of the timetable and encourage your child to look it up the night before to prepare for the next day.
  • Ensure students have their uniform ready the night before to be worn in the morning.
  • Have some ideas for healthy lunch options. Fruit and sandwiches or equivalent will give them energy all day. Encourage students to buy a healthy lunch.
  • Parents are encouraged to attend events at the College such as parent nights, concerts, drama productions and sporting carnivals. Students may say they are embarrassed but will often secretly be quite pleased.