Preparing for the first day of school

The first day of primary school is a very exciting time for parents and children. Making sure you are prepared will ensure it is a day to remember.

Have a Chat on What to Expect

The transition from pre-school to big school can be a huge adjustment to your little human, so talking through what they can expect and normalising how they might feel during this period is essential to the success of their first days. Talk to them about:

The change in routine: Going from only a few days of pre-school to almost a full week of big school can absolutely be exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally. Talk to your child about their new routine, what they can expect from the moment they wake up through to when they’re back in bed of a night-time. Download a copy of our morning routine chart to help make mornings more organised.

Making new friends: Reassure them that they’re not alone and that everyone else is just as scared and lonely on their first day. They only need to focus on being themselves, talking to new people and making new connections.

Big feelings are valid: They are may feel a whole range of new emotions – stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, confusion. These are all completely normal, so let them know it’s okay to feel this way and they could talk about these feelings with either you or their teacher.

Practical preparations

It is a good idea to have uniforms, lunch boxes, bags and stationery (if they are not provided by school) ready before school starts.

Here are some tips:

  • Encourage your child to try on or wear their new uniforms and shoes a few days before school starts

  • Buy lunch boxes and water bottles with easy to open lids

  • Label all belongings

  • Make sure your child establishes a consistent sleep routine before school starts

  • Organise playdates with other children (going to the same school) before the first day of school.

Practise Ahead of Time!

The more children are exposed to things, the more those things become familiar to them. So, we highly recommend exposing them to the new routine and environment as much as possible before they start big school. Don’t be afraid to start getting involved in school community events ahead of time, visit the school grounds on the weekends and even start the routine of going to school.

Maintain Balance

Consider how much is going to change in your child’s life as they start the process of going to big school. New environment, new routine, new rules and often new friends – lots of changes for them to navigate and become familiar with in a short space of time.

To help your child through this transition as they find their feet, it’s a good idea to maintain balance of their emotional and mental wellbeing by not overloading their schedule. Just like us, children need time to unwind and refocus on their self-care, so pulling back on their extracurricular activities in Term 1 can give them the chance to do this.

Attend Summer Holiday Program

Did you know that the moment January hits, your child can attend the school holiday program at your local school? Attending the school holiday programs can support your child in establishing friends at the program and give them a head start to the school year before it has even started! Search for your school here for more information on our summer holiday programs.

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