Top Tips for Starting School

August 7, 2017

Starting School

For children moving on to primary school it can understandably be a scary time. This is true for parents as well. Every child will have a different experience when it comes to starting school, so sometimes it can be helpful to have a ‘helping hand’ and some advice available.

Tips to help your child with the transition:

Change can be a big thing for children and starting school is a big one. It may help to start to discuss the topic of school sooner rather than later so they are aware of what to expect. To help ensure a smooth transition, have a go at:

Chatting to them about school

Ask them questions like, ‘are you looking forward to starting school?’, ‘do you have any questions?’ or ‘what are you most or least looking forward to?’. Talking to them will help them to understand what they can expect and helps to answer any questions they might have.

Reading books that are all about starting school

In preparation for the first day, have a look into some books that are about going/ starting school. These are great to read to your children over the holidays or at bed time. They are specifically designed for children to help them to understand the process of going to school.

Visiting the school

Arrange a few organised visits to the school . Visit with your child so they are able to get a feel for what it will be like before their first day.

Getting into the routine

A good way to ensure an easy transition into school is to implement a simple morning routine. Have a go at practicing getting up at a certain time, getting dressed into uniform, eating breakfast and leaving on time to help build up a strong routine. Then have a go at making the journey to school so they are able to see how long it will take. It will also give them the opportunity to see what the journey to and from school will be like each day.

Enjoying your time off together

Prior to your child starting school, make plans for the remainder of the days that you have off together. Especially if your child is feeling a little anxious or worried, by taking part in a few fun activities it can help them to focus their mind on other stuff.

Not getting over emotional 

Children easily pick up on emotions. If you are anxious or worried this is not going to help your child. It is normal to feel worried for your child’s first day of school but try to relax and remain calm. This hopefully should then reflect onto your child.


Are you first day prepared?

Checklist: A few things to ensure…

  1. Have you bought all the necessary school uniform and PE kit?
  2. Is all their uniform and equipment labelled to prevent confusion and things getting lost?
  3. Does you child need a lunch bag or box and if, so have you got one ready?  For your child’s new adventure, it may be nice for them to have a new lunch box that they have chosen them selves.
  4. Do you need any other equipment? For example: a bag, a book bag, any stationary.
  5. Do you know who is going to be taking and picking up your child from school each day? It is a good idea to let them know each day who is going to be doing the ‘school runs’. You may have arranged for a nanny or a child minder to collect them from school each day. It is extremely important that your child is aware so they know you to look out for at the end of the day. It is also a good idea to let the school teachers know, so they can help your child find their guardian.
  6. Do you know your roll? Do you have to drop them off at the gates or in their classroom?
  7. Are the school aware of any medical conditions? This is an absolute must! The school needs to be aware of any medication to be administrated or what to do in case of an emergency.
  8. Does the school have your most recent contact information? An essential thing that needs to be done whenever you change or update your mobile number or email.

Make the Transition easier

Starting school for some children, will mark the first step to independence. For others it might just be a simple transition from Nursery to Primary School. You may be worried that your child may struggle to cope with the independence and not having you there to help carry out daily tasks.

To make the transition easier, make the necessary adjustments sooner rather than later. Have a go at practicing the tasks that you find your child struggles with in preparation for their big day. For example:

  • Going to the toilet
  • Washing and drying their hands
  • Opening their lunch box/ water bottle
  • Getting dressed after PE lessons.

Tackle any issues prior to their big day. This can help with any worry or anxiousness they might be having.

Starting school is undoubtedly a huge step. However, it is also a hugely exciting time as well. Make sure that your child has everything ready for their first day and all questions that they may have, have been answered. Enjoy the summer break and good luck to all children and parents kicking off this new adventure in September.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

Posted by Charlotte Hudson, PA to the Director | Filed Under Education, Expert Advice