Come next month, The St. Michael School on Martindales Road will be the venue for a camp that will aid children in making the transition to various levels of their school life.

Camp Transition, which runs from August 13 to 17, and again from August 20-24 aims to help children develop skills to master the transitional points throughout secondary school and place them on a path to success. The camp will cater to five categories of children.

These comprise students who are entering secondary school for the first time; those who are already in secondary school but are underperforming and may have to repeat a year; children who are being transferred from one secondary school to another; those who are starting the CSEC programme in fourth form and those about to leave school.??

Coordinator and Guidance Counselor at The St. Michael School, Margaret E. Grant, in giving the rationale for the camp, stressed that the programme would help students to develop coping and other skills for success throughout.??

She reflected: "If only we can imagine the emotional trauma which many children experience as they separate from loved ones and close friendships which were built for the last five to seven years; leave a very familiar environment and step into a totally new one;?? leave small, close-knit, private, sometimes single-sex schools, to enter large public co-educational schools; move away from focusing on two major subjects to studying over 10 subjects with foreign languages included, and say goodbye to schools where numbers were under 500 and have now to embrace a new school where the roll is between 900 and 1200 other students…

"We must recognise that it is more than a change of uniform, more than a change of primary school, and the more children are prepared for secondary school, the better they surmount the related challenges. One must realise that survival skills are necessary to cope with the physical, social and emotional demands of life at a new secondary school."

Within Camp Transition, there will also be a parents’ seminar which Mrs. Grant noted was important to help build a healthy home-school partnership.?? She said: "Since nothing can be left to chance and since we want to reduce the numbers of children who fall through the cracks because they take long to settle and embrace the changes, parents should ensure that they secure a place for their charges at Camp Transition 2012 and also attend the seminar…

"Parents of children who are already in secondary school but who have not performed well or who may have to repeat a year must realise that it is not the end of the world for them."

Mrs. Grant, who along with Shaunt??e Walters, is author of the book Entering Secondary School: A Survival Kit For Students With Helpful Tips For Parent, said that each camper will receive a copy of the text which contains interactive activities and tips to help parents provide the support system necessary to help the child adjust.

The deadline for registration is Tuesday, July 31. For further information, parents should call Mrs. Grant at 250-1960 or Ms. Walters at 238-9264. They may also email smootheasytransitions@gmail.com.


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