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New school – how to make friends


It is the beginning of a new school year – the first few weeks are filled with excitement, fresh energy and possibly a bit of anxiety, especially for the Grade R’s and Grade 1’s, who are starting their school careers in a new and foreign environment. Having to make new friends in a class full of unknown faces can be a daunting task.

“Having friends helps learners to feel more confident, they adapt easier and enjoy school more, in turn this has a positive effect on their academic lives too,” says primary school principal of Riverside College, Lynne Arbuckle. “Making friends can be intimidating and some learners can feel apprehensive and shy. Equipping your child with some basic new school survival skills could be very useful.”

Ms Arbuckle suggests the following to help your child make new friends:

  1. Start small – suggest that your child introduces themselves to just one or two people and see how it goes. Those couple of people may be able to introduce your child to others from there.
  2. Don’t be scared – help your child to see making friends as something that is fun, not as something intimidating. Try to get them excited at the thought of meeting new and interesting people and what they may learn from one another.
  3. Be kind – if your child is kind and friendly to others, chances are that their classmates will not only notice this but reciprocate it too.
  4. Be yourself – let your child know that they are great just as they are and that they do not need to change themselves in order to make friends.
  5. Be open minded – encourage your children not to judge people, especially before they have had a chance to get to know them properly. Many friendships have blossomed after initial bad impressions.


Lynne Arbuckle has been the principal of Riverside College, based in Cape Town’s Burgundy Estate, since 2013. The pre-primary, primary and secondary schools have a holistic approach to education, with a comprehensive academic, sports and extra mural activity programme. All classes are capped at 24 learners.



Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications:

Sarah Waterfield

021 447 1082 / 060 677 6235


On behalf of Riverside College:

Founder: Elana Edwards







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