Are you starting to get a bit nervous before your little one starts big school in September? Don’t worry! Grab a cup of tea and read these ten quick tips from our Burgess Hill Girls experts: Nursery Manager, Suzanne Roberts, Head of Junior School, Heather Cavanagh and Reception class teacher, Ros Clayson.
1. Meet your teacher
Hopefully your school will have already organised this, with the teacher visiting you in your home or via a visit to the school, or even better, both!
2. Visit your school
Get familiar with your new school, outdoors and indoors, including your new classroom. You may also want to drive or walk by to increase familiarity and encourage positive conversations about starting school.
3. Try on the uniform and PE kit.
Most children love dressing up so why not in their new uniform? This will help everything feel more familiar when the time comes to wear them for real. It will also help them practise. We recommend slip-ons or shoes with Velcro straps so they can easily put them on themselves.
4. Book a play date
Organise a play date with another parent who has a child starting at the same school. This will help their social skills but also provide a familiar face on the first day. It’s not a bad idea for parents to meet and chat with others in the same boat too!
5. Practice your new morning routine
Practise a school day so you are ready when the time comes, including getting to bed and up on time, having breakfast and getting dressed. You could even trial the school run.
6. Master toilet skills
Most schools will expect children to be able use the toilet by themselves including wiping. Get them into the habit of washing their hands afterwards too!
7. Give them little jobs
Encourage your child to do little jobs they might be expected to do at school like hanging their coat up or putting toys away.
8. Listening games
Practise their listening skills via games such as ‘Simon Says’. This will help them learn to follow instructions from teachers.
9. Encourage discussion
Encourage discussion about starting school by reading relevant books or watching relevant TV programmes. This will hopefully provide the opportunity for you to answer any questions or address any anxieties your child might have.
10. Finally, stay positive and relaxed!
Children very easily pick up on our own thoughts and feelings. Even if you don’t feel it, stay positive and pretend you are very happy and relaxed about your little one starting school!
Starting big school is a special and exciting time for your child. Hopefully these tips can help you make sure it is a wonderfully positive experience.