Towards the year’s second half, many parents are thinking about how best to prepare their children to transition to primary school.
This can be a big transition for little people, and parents can find their children reacting to this upcoming change in various ways. Some become excited and cannot wait to begin big school, while other children seem confused and a little anxious about the change to come. We have always found that the best advice to give parents in preparation for this transition is to keep their children involved in the process and talk to them about the changes that will happen.
Top tips to prepare your little one for big school:
- Attend orientation days and parent information evenings and meet the teachers.
- Show the child the new school, where to find the office, canteen, bathrooms, playgrounds etc.
- During orientation visits, meet other parents and organise play dates during the school holidays or on weekends. If they attend preschool, kindergarten or Begin Bright classes, see if any other children will attend the same school. It’s great to have a friend on the first day.
- Talk about how they will get to school and what will happen when you drop them off.
- Discuss the things they will learn and how the day will run. Reassure them if they are worried and answer any questions that they have.
- Take your child with you when purchasing their new big school uniform. Let them wear it to show family and friends. Help them practice things like taking their jumper off by themselves. If there are zippers, make sure they can zip and unzip them.
- Give them ownership of their belongings by encouraging them to choose their new lunch box, drink bottle, school bag and stationery. They will remember and be more aware of what belongs to them if they select the items themselves. Again, make sure they can open them themselves, this may seem obvious, but this can sometimes be hard for little fingers.
- When purchasing school shoes, keep in mind that if your child is not able to tie their shoelace, if they can’t, it will be best to buy velcro or buckle shoes instead. Remember, we want our little ones to feel confident and make things easier.
- Read stories together on starting school. In our School Readiness programme, we read Starting School by Jane Godwin. We also have a lot of fun doing many activities around this theme.
- Introducing learning concepts at home through everyday activities such as cooking and shopping will help build their confidence. They will already be introduced to ideas they will learn more about at school.
Most important of all, be positive and relaxed about their new journey. Children feel our anxiety and uncertainty; therefore, if we display positive feelings, emotions, and actions, they will also be positive.
At Begin Bright, we know the expectations of primary school and preparing children for their schooling years ahead. We’ve been helping children transition to school happily for over ten years! Building their confidence will only enhance improvement in developmental areas and build their self-esteem.
Children attend our programmes not only to give them early literacy and numeracy foundation skills, but we also work with them to strengthen their fine motor/gross motor skills to help them obtain the correct pencil grip for writing and posture when sitting on the mat and at tables. We help them to develop their social skills, build their confidence and become familiar with a classroom-like environment. They learn to take turns, listen to instructions, and look after their belongings, all essential things for school life. The Begin Bright programmes help bridge the gap between play-based learning and primary school. The programmes are fun, hands-on, active and stimulating. We aim to give every child a lifelong love of learning, enabling them to start school happy, smart, and confident!