Preparing for School

Preparing for School

Preparing your child for school

Your child's first day at school is the beginning of a great adventure. So start preparing them now.

  • Visit the school. Bring your child to play in the grounds at the weekend and during school holidays.
  • Get them to look forward to this great event as a part of the process of growing up.
  • Talk to your child about school and what will happen there; meeting new friends, playing games, singing, learning to read and write about all sorts of things.
  • Give your child simple tasks around the house to foster confidence in their own ability.
  • Practice having a "lunchbox" lunch.
  • Please never use school as a threat.

Make sure your child:

  • is accustomed to spending time away from you. Sudden separation can be frightening.
  • is able to ask for help when it is needed and without becoming distressed.
  • can use a public toilet and wash and dry hands unaided.
  • can recognise his/her name.
  • knows how to use a handkerchief and to always have one.
  • can take off and put on outer clothing unaided.

Encourage your child:

  • to put away play things and materials after using them.
  • to actually eat their lunch from a lunchbox and know the order in which to eat the food.
  • to take turns, be patient and share with other children.
  • to speak politely.
  • to see themselves as successful learners but don't create unrealistic expectations – they may not have written their first novel by the end of the first week!

On the first day

The first day sets the stage for your child's year at school. Starting school will probably mean some big changes in your child's life such as: longer periods away home and family, more formal kinds of organisation, larger groups of people, new feelings, new friends, new experiences and further steps to independence.

To make this transition easier, we would ask that you:

Arrive on time
A long wait for class to begin may add to the strain and tension. Your child's classroom will be open from 8.45am and the teacher will be there to welcome you and will have some activities set up. On the first day, you are welcome to stay with your child. The teacher will suggest an appropriate time to leave. It is very tempting to watch your child through the windows, but this often makes it harder for him/her to settle in the new environment. Morning tea and sympathy are available in the Staff room.

After the first day, parents are asked to leave as soon as your child is settled at an activity.

Leave cheerfully
Letting go can be hard, but don't let your nervousness dampen your child's enthusiasm. If you have a positive attitude and look forward to the first day at school, your child will probably do the same. Remind your child that you will pick them up.

Discuss any fears
Be positive and loving. Be reassuring. Do all you can to make your child happy and confident about entering the school world.

Outline of first day activities

On the first day, children are introduced to many new kinds of play and learning experiences and are presented with a schedule of different activities and routine duties to follow. To enable parents to understand some of these activities and so explain to the children, the following outline of first day activities is included:

  • Play activities within the classroom
  • Discussion – 'Getting to Know You' Your child might like to think of something special about themselves they could share
  • Singing of familiar songs and rhymes
  • Tour of the school – toilets, canteen, drinking taps, office, library, art/craft room, out of hours care, outdoor play areas, etc
  • Reading a story
  • Eating a playtime snack and lunch with others
  • Playtimes with buddies