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Countdown to ‘big school’ How to ease the transition from preschool to primary. By ITS Education Asia.

Seeing your little one in school uniform for the first time is likely to bring a tear to the eyes of any parent. Most schools are very good at helping children settle in well before they start official classes in late August, but even if you’ve missed the usual visits and parent information sessions, it’s worth showing the school to your child a few times before their first day. Some preparation during the summer holiday can be helpful. It’s important to prepare your little one practically as well as emotionally. Being able to dress and undress quickly and neatly for PE and swimming lessons, keep track of pens and pencils, hang up coats and pack their bags all help school days to run without those little hitches that can cause anxiety. Help your child learn to recognise and write their name. Most children embark on a phonics

reading programme almost immediately, so it’s helpful if your child is familiar with the alphabet. The same goes for maths and the numbers one to 20. Your child should be able to sit still for up to 30 minutes – or at least remain seated. This can be quite hard for young kids so practice by spending calm time with your child playing games, doing jigsaw puzzles or drawing and painting. Spend some time reading aloud every day. At a basic level, this teaches your child how to read a book: to start at the beginning, to turn the pages one by one, to read from left to right and top to bottom. This will be in their interest for library visits at school and storytelling time. Borrow “starting school” books from the library to read over the summer. Pick out fun and exciting activities in each one and use

them as starting points for conversations. Go on a special trip to buy uniform and essential items for starting school, such as a lunch box, new shoes and stationery. Encourage your child to talk to other children by looking at their eyes and smiling, asking their names and introducing themselves. About 99 per cent of all children’s worries in the first week is that they don’t have any friends yet, so give them the skills to independently get to know each other. ITS Educational Services offers numerous services to families who are looking for entrance to international schools. These range from school advice, school assessment preparation, intensive English courses for entry into mainstream schools and consultancy support for entrance to universities. For details, email | 33

Expat Parent Magazine July 2015  
Expat Parent Magazine July 2015