Starting a new school: What every child needs to know

Published on: 23 August 2019 Author: Betty Beluga / C K Smouha

Betty Beluga has just joined a new class and knows exactly what it's like to feel anxious and worried about making friends. She shares her advice for children (helpfully transcribed by author C K Smouha). 

Going back to school after the summer is really hard for everyone, especially if you’re starting at a new school.

My dad’s job meant that we moved around a lot. I was at five schools before I started at Miss Blubber’s School for Arctic Mammals.

It’s surprising how many new rules you have to learn each time – not just about how to behave in school, but also how to behave with new friendship groups. Sometimes, things that were normal in one place were considered ‘weird’ in a new place, and a few times, bullies in the class seemed to pick me out as an easy target.

But the good thing about moving schools is that, although every class is different, you start to see that there are some things that are the same in every school. This is a list that I drew up to help me feel more confident.

5 things that every new kid needs to remember

  1. There will always be one or two kids that make themselves seem bigger by making the people around them feel small. Stay away from those kids as much as possible. Don't try to make friends with them.

  2. Everyone is anxious. Different people feel anxious about different things. Some people feel anxious about reading, some people feel anxious about maths, and some people feel anxious about other people. But everyone has something that makes them feel vulnerable. Even the kids that seem to be good at everything.

  3. Try not to let the anxiety overwhelm you. I used to get so shy I wanted to crawl under a desk and hide. I found ways of coping with that by preparing myself for the worst-case scenario, and not beating myself up when things didn’t go perfectly.

  4. Try to stay true to yourself. Don't do or say things just to please people. Be honest about what you want, what you enjoy, what you’re good at and what you’re scared of. This makes it easier to find real friends.

  5. Real friends will accept you for who you are. And they won’t care if you dress differently or don’t like playing the game that everyone else is playing or tell corny jokes (I LOVE corny jokes!).

I hope this can help other kids who are starting a new school. New beginnings can be super-scary but sometimes you can meet amazing new friends just when you least expect to.

Iced Out by Isabella Bunnell and C K Smouha is published by Cicada Books

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Look inside the book Iced Out

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Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell
Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell
Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell
Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell
Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell
Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell
Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell

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Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell

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Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell

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Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell

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Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell

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Iced Out by C K Smouha and illustrated by Isabella Bunnell

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