Preparing your child for starting school

Starting school is an exciting time for young children and their parents. It can be a daunting time, too. But with a little preparation and encouragement, most children will settle in easily at school.

Chat with your child about starting school. What do they think it will be like? What are they most looking forward to? Is there anything they’re unsure or worried about?

Here are some tips to prepare your child

  • Look at the school’s brochure, prospectus or website together and talk about the pictures.

  • Find photos of you and other family members at school, and chat about happy memories from your own school days.

  • If possible, visit the school with your child before they start – either on formal open days, or fêtes, plays and other events.

  • If your child seems anxious about school, try focusing on the things they’ll like best – maybe the playground or new friends. Perhaps they have some friends from preschool who will be starting at the same time.

  • Practise the school morning routine, including getting dressed and eating breakfast in time to leave.

  • Practise the school run so that you’re both prepared for the school morning journey.

.. and some things to avoid

  • It’s natural to feel nervous about your child starting school, but remember that your child can easily pick up on your emotions. Try to be relaxed and positive, rather than showing your own nerves.

  • Try not to make comments such as “I hated school”, which might give your child a negative attitude.

  • Try not to bombard your child with endless talk about school – treating it in a matter-of-fact way rather than focusing on the “big step ahead” will help soothe an anxious child.

  • Don’t over-hype school, as your little one may feel let down or mistrustful if it doesn’t live up to expectations.



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