Starting “big kids” school can be an adjustment for children and parents alike, but there’s lots you can do to have a smooth transition.
Reception is all about embedding your child’s love of learning as well as supporting their personal, social and emotional development. The beginning of school will broaden their world outside your family.
They’ll be building new friendships in a new environment. They’ll also be encouraged to be increasingly more independent as teachers will have more than your child to support on their learning journey.
Here are some ways you can help, as advised by the Health for Under 5 website and other child development experts.
It’s likely your child will need to use the toilet during the school day, and it’ll be important that they’re able to clean up after themselves and wash their hands independently. You can help by offering lots of praise, even when they don’t get everything right. The important thing is to encourage them to do things themselves.
Dressed for success
Make it easy for your child to dress themselves. Buttons and zips can be tricky for small fingers, so consider buying clothes with elastic waistbands and shoes with velcro closings that are easy to put on and take off. With zips, you might consider adding a small ribbon so they can grip it to pull it up and down.
Get them excited
Read books about starting school. This will help your child learn about what to expect, so they look forward to going to school.
Visit the school and classroom before the first day. This will help your child get familiar with the journey to school and the school environment so they’re more comfortable on their first day.
Grow their confidence
The Health for Under 5s website has a printable, customisable reward chart that can help your child see how well they’re mastering new skills. Together, you can agree on goals you’d like them to achieve and tick them off as the weeks progress.
Establish your morning routine
Make sure you give yourself enough time to get ready in the morning, have breakfast and get to school. Help your children put their clothes out at night, so the mornings run smoother and you can enjoy your journey to school rather than being stressed or rushed to be on time.
As a parent, you can influence how your child feels about school, so it’s important for you to have a positive perspective about school so your child will too.