As we enter the summer holidays, some of you may already be thinking about your little one starting school in September. Starting school can be daunting for some children. As parents you want the transition to be smooth. It is completely normal for your child to feel anxious, however if you can help to prepare them at home by giving them the opportunity to be independent during various tasks then there is no need to worry! Here are some ideas of how you can support your child to feel confident, happy and ready for school, but remember, their teachers will be there to support them too! As a Reception teacher, I find myself asking the children to “have a go first”, a lot in class. It is important your child feels like they have the time to practice small tasks like doing up their coat or putting on their shoes without being rushed! If they are still struggling after 5 minutes or so, then they can ask for help, but as parents you need to give them the time to have a go first.
Get to know the school
Talking to other parents can help you feel more settled about the school. If you can, join the school community; whether it is on Facebook or other similar groups, go for it! Practice the daily journey your child will be making to and from the school, this will get them to start talking about ‘my big school’ before they have even started. Always be positive and enthusiastic about how much fun school will be and all the new and exciting activities they will get up to. Use their teacher’s name and talk about the new friends they’ll make. You could even set up a school role-play at home and re-enact the different parts of the day, for example, circle time, register and story time.
Getting dressed independently will help children during PE or when putting their own coat on to go outside. Practice fastenings like buttons, laces and zips. Play dress up with their new school uniform, this will make it feel more normal to wear it in the weeks leading up to starting school. Do this in a fun way, have dressing up races or use a sand timer or stopwatch to beat the clock!
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