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4 ways to prepare your child for school

Children with backpacks going to school

Books about starting school. Some great book recommendations are:

  • Little Owl’s First Day by Debi Gliori and Alison Brown
  • Starting School by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • Charlie and Lola: I Am Too Absolutely Small For School by Lauren Child
  • All You Need to Know Before You Start School by Felicity Brooks and Marina Aizen
  • Usborne First Experiences: Going to School

Help your child to feel confident and secure about their transition to school.

1. Talk about and acknowledge feelings

  • Ask your child how they are feeling about going to school and provide them with options of emotional vocabulary if needed – worried, excited, nervous, etc.
  • Acknowledge any feelings they mention and reassure them that they are totally normal emotions.
  • It can be helpful to talk about the specifics of what is worrying them in order to try and come up with solutions together. Can you find out who will be in their class and set up some play dates before school starts

2. Read books about starting school

  • Stories are a great way to delve deeper into how your child is feeling about school, through identifying with the characters and their emotions. They also provide a range of contexts for seeing and talking about the school experience.

3. Walk to school

  • Practise your journey to school and take the opportunity to peek at the playground and point out all the fun places your child will be able to play! Doing this regularly will help to make the concept of going to school feel more familiar when the time comes.

4. Shop for school uniform and supplies

  • Make an event about buying uniform and supplies and give your child choices where possible – perhaps they can pick their new water bottle or school bag? This will give them a sense of control and also increase their excitement.
  • Once you have their uniform, let them try it on a few times to get used to it – this will help them become familiar with it and is good practice for getting dressed and undressed independently.