Getting Ready to Start School
TEN TOP TIPS FOR GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL
1. WHEN SHOULD YOU TEST OUT YOUR NEW SCHOOL MORNING ROUTINE?
Starting school for the first time can often be a difficult adjustment for everyone involved as it often means a lot of changes to morning routines. It will helps if both you and your child to think about how long things take to do; do you really need to do them before school and the best order to do them in. For example, Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?
Do you lay out school clothes the night before? Do you want your child to get dressed before or after their breakfast? Knowing how long things take and what order you will need for your new morning routine means that by starting it a few weeks in advance, you avoid all the horrible rushed morning stress, enabling your child to start their day positively and calmly.
2. TOILETING AND DRESSING SKILLS – HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD?
Making sure your child can manage independently when it comes to toileting and dressing time is an important part of building their confidence and getting them ready for school. Gaining independence in toileting and dressing can go a long way in helping your child to feel confident in their busy new school day.
Things like zips, buttons, zips, coats, socks and shoe buckles can all be tricky for little hands and will need time to master, so spending time before starting school will give your child valuable time to practise and develop those every day skills.
3. I DON’T WANT TO WEAR THAT!
Children often feel far more relaxed in clothes they are used to wearing, so if your child is expected to wear a uniform or shoes which are different to their normal clothes, may make them feel uncomfortable. Getting used to wearing school clothes and shoes can make children feel more relaxed and therefore ready for their big day!
4. GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL LUNCHES
All children in foundation stage 2 are entitled to a free healthy school dinner. Lunch time can be an important social time. Discussing beforehand what is on the school menu will enable your child to approach their lunchtime confidently. If you are providing a packed lunch, make sure your child can open and close their lunch box independently. Only put enough food in their lunch box that they will be able to eat within their lunch time as an overfull lunch box can mean that they miss out on valuable play and social time. Our lunch time is an hour, with most children tending to finish their lunch within 1/2 hour; leaving time to come back to the classroom for choosing time.
5. HOW WILL YOU GET TO SCHOOL?
It is a fun to go to school using the route you will take so you know how long it will take you to get to school. This also gives your child time to take in their new surroundings. High View has a lollipop lady to help you and your child cross the road, it’s a great time to chat about road safety and say hello to our lollipop lady.
6. IT’S A BIT NOISY!
Playgrounds can be very noisy and busy places, some children can find this overwhelming and distressing. It would be a good idea to walk past our school with your child before they start, stopping to watch and see what happens, where people go and prepare your child for the bustle of a school playground. Your child will then be able to see all the exciting things in our playground and this will give you the opportunity to talk to them about all the exciting games and activities they might want to join in with.
7. WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO?
During your child’s transition visits, we will make sure that they know where the toilets are and where to find things. However, when children first start school they will probably be faced with situations where they don’t fully understand or need more information, such as wanting a particular puzzle or coloured pencil. We have lots of different activities, which encourage your child to feel confident in asking if they are unsure. An easy way to do this at home is through small world play. Use little characters to act out starting school and have the characters ask some of the questions which your child might need to know.
8. LISTENING AND CONCENTRATING AT SCHOOL
During teaching inputs, your child will be encouraged to sit and listen attentively, this can be quite a considerable challenge for many children when starting school. Giving your child simple activities to help them develop these key skills can be really beneficial, such as listening to a story or completing a jigsaw puzzle quietly at a table. Here are some ideas on how to easily build concentration skills.
9. A TOKEN FROM HOME WHEN STARTING SCHOOL
If your child would benefit from the reassurance of something from home, a way round this is to sew a small piece of ribbon or soft fabric inside one of your child’s pockets or a special key ring for their book bag. Your child can hold onto it if they are feeling anxious and it connects them to you.
10. GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL – VISIT DAYS
It can be just as tough for parents to say goodbye for the first time as well as their child – it’s quite an emotional experience. You can help your child feel confident about their new adventure with a big smile and wave and let them know you are looking forward to finding out what they have been up to. It is great if your child is able to join us on our visit days as these visit can often help children feel at ease and looking forward to starting school. These visits with help your child to familiarise themselves with the new faces they’ll meet, where their classroom is, teacher’s names, where the toilets are, where to put their coat and lots of small things which will help them feel at ease when they start school in the Autumn term.
We will also invite you to parent meetings and workshops so you can meet us and ask any questions.
We hope you’ve found this information useful. Getting ready for starting school can be a bit daunting and emotional for both you and your child Our aim is to make the transition smooth and enjoyable for you both and pave the way for an exciting new adventure.