Top tips for starting ‘big’ school

Smiling young girl in school uniform, lying on grass with books
Early years 4-6 years

Starting ‘big’ school is an exciting time for you and your child, but it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming too. Here are some tips to help make the transition to big school a little easier for both you and your child!

1. Be positive!

Having a positive attitude to school, teachers and learning is one of the best things you can do to help your child feel comfortable about starting school. If you are feeling a little anxious, try not to let your child know – they will likely feel more anxious about it too. Talk to your child about the great things they will do at school, like making new friends, learning new things and playing in the playground. Let your child know that you are proud that they are growing up and going to big school.

2. Practise getting ready

If you can, try to get your child’s school clothes and shoes before school starts so they can practise getting ready for school. If your child’s school has a uniform, let them try it on before their first day and tell them how proud you are of them. It can help your child develop a new sense of identity as a school student, and ensure they feel comfortable in their school clothes and shoes by the time they start school.

3. Keep a routine

The first few weeks of school are likely to be exhausting for your child, so try to stick to a regular morning and evening routine – keep the same mealtimes, playtime and bedtime. This will help your child to settle in to school faster, and will help ensure they are well rested and have the energy to learn!

4. Keep doing the same things

Did you read to your child at bedtime every night before they started school? Great, keep doing it! Did you play counting games when you went for a walk? Keep doing that too! By still doing these things, you will support your child as they transition into school by keeping some consistency in their lives. But it will also show your child that you want to keep helping them learn, even though they have started school now.

5. Encourage independence and responsibility

Starting school is a big step in a child’s life, and it is a good time to encourage them to take responsibility and increase their independence. Perhaps you could ask your child to pack and unpack their schoolbag every day. Or if your child needs to place their lunch box and reading bag in a certain place in the classroom each morning, get them to do this for themselves – it can support their independence and confidence.

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