Is your child starting school this September? Anne-Marie Giffts-Walker, Head of Early Years at Hendon Prep School, offers her tips to help you through it
As their first day of school approaches, it’s only natural that both you and your child will be experiencing a whole range of emotions.
As a parent, your excitement about this rite of passage may also be coupled with nerves, and possibly even sadness that it’s the end of an era. And as with all changes, children will respond in different ways – some will be delighted and excited, while others may be a little more apprehensive.
As Head of Early Years at Hendon Prep in North London, one of the questions I am asked most often by parents is: “What can I do to help prepare my child for Reception?”
The shower answer to this question is to be positive! A child’s confidence will be strengthened when they feel safe and supported, and your positive attitude towards this change will be picked up by your child.
There are also a number of practical things which you can do with your child in the run up to their big day…
Attend transition days
Most schools will organise days during the summer term, where the children can meet their new teachers and classmates. Try to attend these important days.
Children will be asked to do many things at school for themselves. Encouraging your child to dress themselves, go to the toilet and help to tidy up will help them settle into school routines.
Practise the school run
Walk or drive past the school during the summer holidays, and talk to your child about what to expect.
There are many great stories for children about starting school, from the excitement of a first day, to making new friendships, and feeling bashful about meeting new people. Reading about school before they start can help your child feel more confident about their first day.
Try on their uniform
Get your child used to the idea of wearing what may be unfamiliar clothes. If your child’s school doesn’t have a specific uniform, get them to try on their special ‘school clothes’. Make sure you also label their clothes and show your child where the labels are and what they look like.