What is your role in starting school:
- Encourage your child to become familiar with the school environment. Visit the school where possible.
- Participate in transition activities offered by the school.
- Answer any questions your child may have about school. If you are unsure, ask during school visits.
- Remember that your child does not have to know how to read and write when they arrive at school.
- At the beginning of the year do not expect too much too soon. Learning is an ongoing process. Support your child and don’t force them to do reading etc.. when they are tired.
- Complete the transition statement provided by your early years educator. Sign over permission for the statement to be given to the school.
- All children are different. They all settle in different ways and they all learn in different ways. There is no ‘normal’ start to school.
- Just be there to support them in any way you can.
Watch this social story to assist your child in becoming familiar with the school environment.
Ideas for activities before starting school:
- Try to keep the build up to the first day of school low key.
- Organise play dates with other children attending the school and if possible the class your child will be in.
- Walk past the school during the holidays- trying not to make too big of a focus or it may be a long holiday.
- Practise putting on school uniform. Eg: Putting on a school hat and taking it off, zipping up/buttoning jackets.
- Practise having a lunch box. Discuss what is for snack and what is for lunch. Open and shut the lunch box and drink bottle so your child can attempt this independently.
- Pack a school bag and zip it up.
- Ensure your child is confident with a large number of toilets and how to use the toilet independently. Remind them to ask the teacher before it is too late, the toilet may not be next door.
- Fine motor skills activities- an important part of holding a pencil and developing confidence.
- Complete jigsaws together
- READ, READ, READ! Instil a love of reading.
Ways to assist with starting school:
- Attempt to have your child in a good sleep routine towards the end of the holidays. Your child will be extremely tired for the first few weeks at least. There may be tantrums or crying that you may not have seen for some time. The children are engaged all day and when they are out in the yard, you can imagine the feeling of uncertainty they may feel. It is a big change in their lives.
- Be on time to school, being late can make children feel even more anxious.
- Reassure your child you will be waiting at the end of the school day. Communicate to them where you will be waiting.
- Check bags for notes and communication from the school.
- You will find that when you ask “what did you do today?” they will say “nothing”!! Feel free to ask the teacher or participate in any opportunities you are given to visit the classroom.
- Where possible, participate in any transition activities the school may offer at the beginning of the year to get to know other families.
Most importantly, enjoy the experience with your child!