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A Parent’s Guide Series Preparing for the First Day Helping to ensure a smooth transition from home to school

Preparing your child to start school. Introduction: Transitions are exciting opportunities for children to learn and grow. Parents and EYFS teachers share a role in making children feel safe and secure as they move to new educational settings. Useful Tips: Here are a few useful tips on how parents can help at home to ensure a smooth transition from home to school. •

Be enthusiastic about the upcoming change. If you are excited and confident, your child will be, too.

Ensure your child has an early bedtime ready for the early rise! You may need to work on bringing bedtimes forward - this can take some time so start this preparation a couple of weeks before school starts.

Establish a calm bedtime routine involving stories and cuddles and talk about the next day’s events.

Talk about eating at school – explain to your child that the foods they are given in the school canteen may be different to meals they have at home. Encourage them to try new foods and to drink water with their meals.

Involve your child in choosing their lunch from the school lunch menu and be excited about trying new meals.

Encourage your child to use appropriate cutlery independently when eating at home. The adults at school will help them to cut their food when they need support.

Ensure your child is completely toilet trained and is not relying on nappies at any stage throughout their day (including nap-time). Encourage your child to flush the toilet and then wash their hand independently using soap. Prepare your child to use their voice when they need to go to the toilet by asking an adult “Please can I go to the toilet?” before it’s too late!

Bring your child into school for a look around so that they know where their classroom is, can see how inviting the playground looks and if possible meet their Teacher and Teaching Assistant. Ensure that your child can say their Teacher’s name.

Bring your child into school to buy their uniform. Talk to them about wearing their hat at playtime and involve them in naming all items of uniform.

Encourage your child to dress themselves – doing up buttons and zips can be tricky and needs practice! Buy black school shoes and white PE shoes which have Velcro rather than laces. Practice putting on and taking off their own shoes and socks. The adults at school will of course help them to change for swimming but the children do prefer to do it “all by myself”!

Take your child swimming before they start their swimming lessons at school so that they are comfortable with changing their clothes and getting in the water.

Tips for the first few weeks: Here are some useful tips on how to ensure that the first few weeks at school are successful for your child. •

Start some daily routines that you will need to continue once your child has started school.

Let your child become involved with packing a healthy snack and filling their own water bottle. Lay out their school clothes ready for the following morning.

Start the day with a healthy breakfast and drink before coming to school each day. (Please ensure your child has started eating solids before attending Pre Nursery.) This will provide them with the energy they need for a busy day ahead! Ensure that they are up early enough to prepare for the day ahead in a calm manner.

Be at school between 7.45 and 8.00am. It is easier for children to enter the classroom and to say goodbye to mum and dad if all the other children are also saying goodbye. Once the day has started and the other children are all settled it is harder for a child to enter and join in activities which have already begun. Say goodbye and let your child see that you are leaving now. It doesn’t help them to settle if they suspect that you may be still around, even if they are upset – they will continue to look for you and not settle. Trust us – we will take care of them and can reassure you later by email that they are settled and fine.

Remember the days when your child has specialist lessons and ensure that they are properly prepared eg: wearing their PE kit, bringing their swimming kit and Library folder to school on the correct days.

Allow your child the chance to follow the class ‘morning routines’ independently. They will know where they have to put their water bottle and hat and what they have to do when they enter the classroom. Celebrate their independence!

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A parents guide series preparing for the first day  
A parents guide series preparing for the first day