As the big “first day” of school approaches, we have compiled some recommendations on what to buy and how to get prepared.
Getting to know the school before September comes around can be a great way to help your little ones feel more at ease. Becoming familiar with their new surroundings, as well as popping in to meet the new teachers, can give your child the reassurance that they are entering into a warm and welcoming environment. See our top tips on how to make school feel familiar below.
- Attend information evenings for new parents so that you can ask questions and find out about how your child’s new routine will work.
- If an older sibling already attends the school, ask them to tell your younger child about what school is really like, who the staff are and what to expect.
- Many schools organise home visits, where your child’s new teacher will visit your home setting and get to know a little bit about your family background. Seize this opportunity to maximise good communication between home and school; this will provide you child with security for the next stage in their development.
- If you know of any of the other children starting at the same school, organise for them to go into together on the first day. This can make a classroom full of other children a lot less daunting.
Practice the Potty
One of the most nerve-wracking things for children starting primary school can be the task of going to the toilet independently. By practicing this in the comfort of their own home, they will feel more confident doing it alone in the classroom. However, make sure you reassure them that early years classrooms are fully equipped for any accidents – it won’t be the end of the world if your little one doesn’t quite make it in time.
Another big change for your child might be the lunchtime environment. When they start school, children will be dining with their peers, whether eating hot dinners or a packed lunch. By practicing independence in the home, they will be less reliant on adults to help them. Show your child how to use cutlery and get into a routine where they put their plate next to the kitchen sink.
For your own sanity, label everything that your child is taking to school with them – uniform, water bottles, P.E bags (and everything in them), reading records, hats, jumpers and any accessories. If a piece of their clothing is unlabelled, it can get lost and cause your child to turn to adults for help – this can be frustrating for both parents and teachers.
Know What to Buy
Usually your child’s new school will be very informative about what you do, and don’t, need to buy. The list can vary from school to school depending on how much the school provide (e.g. If they provide stationery) and the specifications of the uniform. However, this list usually resembles something like the following:
- Uniform (polos, jumper/cardigan, shoes, socks, trousers/shorts/skirt, waterproof coat)
- P.E Kit (gym bag, gym shoes, t-shirt, shorts, socks)
- Stationery (pencil, colouring pencils, rubber, ruler, pencil case)
- Extras (school bag, lunch box, water battle, snack box)