The thought of your child starting “big school” might feel a little daunting to parents, but we promise it’s going to be ok! We’ve put together some top tips to make the transition as easy as possible for kids, parents, siblings and the rest of the family!
1. Visit your school
This can be done through a school tour (if you haven’t already done one) and/or through the orientation sessions your school should put on towards the end of the year before your child starts the following year. This will help your child be more familiar with the setting and allow them to ask you questions and of course for you to ask questions to the school.
2. Be well informed
Parents and carers need to be prepared for school as well. Talk to the Principal and other school staff to find out as much information as you can about your child attending school. If you know about the new routines and experiences your child will encounter, you will be ready to answer any questions they might have, such as: How will I get there? How long will I be there? How many days do I have to go? What if I want to go to the toilet? What room will I be in and what am I going to do there? Will I get to play?
The first day of school can be an anxious experience for both you and your child. Preparing your child for school by answering all their questions honestly and in as much detail as they can understand can curb potential anxieties.
3. Have a list of what is needed at school
At orientation and in your school information pack you will be advised as to what your child needs for school so you can ensure you have all the items necessary and ready to go. Some other items, such as a stationary list, might be on the school website or provided once you start the term.
4. Encourage independence
Children who are able to care for themselves and their belongings will feel more confident at school. You can start this at home but encouraging your child to go to the toilet by themselves, getting dressed, putting shoes on and packing toys away. You can even get them to help packing their bag such as putting their water bottle in, lunch box and so on.
5. Label equipment and clothing
When the kids are all in the same uniform it’s very hard to know what belongs to who! Invest in some labels with your child’s name and label everything! Even the clothes on their backs, water bottles, bags, lunch boxes, containers, pencil cases, spare clothes and everything else in their bags. This will help reduce how much is potentially lost and allows your child to check what is theirs.
6. Pack a change of clothes for school
Accidents do happen. There may be a toilet mishap or simply a split water bottle. They may only need the undies and socks but have the set so that if needed they have it there. As per above, make sure they are labelled with your child’s name, in your child’s bag.
7. Share information with the school teacher
Children learn best when parents/carers and teachers share together in a partnership. Your child’s school teacher has many students to get to know. Because you know your child best, you can help the teacher understand your child by sharing information, concerns and insights. Regular communication between parents/carers and teachers bridges the gap between home and preschool and provides opportunities to exchange information which support children’s learning.
8. Keep the school teacher informed of changes
Changes to your child’s family situation can impact on their emotional and academic well-being. If you keep your child’s teacher informed of any changed circumstances the child can be supported if necessary. Examples of changes include the birth of a sibling; moving house; divorce or separation or the death or hospitalisation of a loved one. It is also important to notify the school of changes to contact details, such as address and emergency telephone numbers.
9. Participate in the school
Parents/carers are welcome to participate in the school by attending special activities and by volunteering to help in the classroom or the canteen. This may assist to reassure your child that you are interested in them and their school and gives you a way to see the school in action – check with your school about P&C opportunities and other roles parents can assist within the school.
10. Be positive and reassuring
Of course, we are anxious as our babies head to school but it is a new and exciting journey for them. They will learn so much, make new friends (some possibly for life), they will grow and prosper into amazing people that will one day lead our country in their chosen area. We are lucky to be surrounded by wonderful schools in our area and I am sure you will have a great experience at your school.
This article was written with the help of information from NSW Government Website. http://www.schools.nsw.edu.au/gotosch…/preschool/tentips.php