Starting primary school - 5 top tips
My son starts primary school in September and he's incredibly excited about it. It feels like a real milestone moving from a nursery to a ?big school' especially as he hasn't been at the school's nursery.
I've been asking around to find for tips to make this process as smooth and easy as possible for him and have been inundated with suggestions. Here are the ones we've been trying:
1. If your school has a uniform, buy it as early as you can and let your child dress up in it and practise being a schoolboy/girl! As a drama teacher, I am a huge advocate of role-play - it gets children familiar with acting out situations and therefore removes the nerves because they've essentially 'been in that situation' before. So we've practised by dressing up in the uniform and ?playing school' every week.
2. Set up a play date with someone else in the class. If you know someone who is going to be in the same class, it's a really good idea to organise a play date so that your child gets to know someone in the class before they start. It will be really comforting for your child to recognise a familiar face on the first day.
3. See if it's possible to meet the class teacher in advance. This might be at an open-day or, if you're lucky enough (like us), you might even get the class teacher and teaching assistant visiting your home! Because of this personal contact, what ?Miss Casey? would think of this or that is a constant topic of conversation in our house! It all helps make your child's class teacher feel like a friendly person to them on the first day.
4. Visit the school in the holidays. It will be closed, but a walk or a drive to school (without the added stress of actually going in) will make the building seem exciting and new and therefore ?un-scary'. It's a good time to time the school run too.
5. Talk positively about the great time they are going to have there. You can make your child feel part of a school before they actually start by discussing what a fantastic place it is. Never let them see you nervous or worried as, however hard you try to disguise it, they will sense it and it will make them feel anxious.
There are lots of other ways of making the process smooth and pain-free and the internet has lots of comprehensive resources but the above five are my favourites. If you'd like to share your own, I'd love to hear from you.