Your child starting school is a huge milestone for both you and your child

Starting primary school is a big event in every child’s life, and in every parent’s life too. It’s a big change that’s exciting and a bit scary. Even if your child went to the school nursery or has other friends starting they might still be nervous.

Here are some tips for helping your child prepare for primary school.

Tell them all about it

Talking to your child about their new school and telling them about it can help them to feel more settled. Make sure they know the name of the school and their teacher’s name. Tell them what they can expect on the first day. You could even tell them about what you remember from your first day.

Encourage independence

Being able to get dressed, have lunch and go to the toilet by themselves are important skills to have when they’re at school but don’t worry if they can’t yet do it all on their own, you can help them practise in small steps; maybe socks one day, coat and shoes the next. Although remember to let them know that they can always ask their teacher if there’s anything they need help with. Click here for more information on school readiness.

Show them their name

They might not be used to seeing their name written down. Teach them what their name looks like, as their own spaces in the class and cloakrooms might be labelled with their name.

Talk to them

They might be little, but they will have their own thoughts and worries about starting school. Ask them what they’re excited about and tell them what you remember about school (focusing on the good things of course!).

Have a dry run

Take them for a walk to their school. This will help them get used to the trip they’ll be making each day and give them a better idea of what to expect.

Keep a routine

Even if your child has been going to nursery, going to school every day is a bit different. Keep their bedtime and morning routines consistent in the lead up to starting school and it might make the transition easier.

Be excited

Your child picks up on your emotions so be happy and excited about them starting. These positive feelings will rub off on them and help get them look forward to the big day.

Make sure and ask them all about their day.

Once they've started, ask what their favourite thing was, and what they didn’t like so much. Ask them what they’re looking forward to tomorrow and help keep them positive about the new change.

Let them play

Children learn and develop through play. Letting them work through their new experiences will help them get used to their new school life.

Sign up to our newsletter