It’s a big day when your child starts school, one which might come with a mixture of nerves and excitement – both for them and you! It’s a significant change in the whole family’s lives and daily routines which can take some adjusting to. It can help for you all to know what to expect, as you’ll be able to prepare both practically and mentally for the change. To help you, this private nursery in Harpenden explores what you can expect when your child starts school.
Settling in period
Most schools provide a settling-in period for new pupils, which might mean your child only attends for half days or only a few days a week for a certain period of time. This can help the first few weeks at school feel less daunting while everyone settles into a new routine as it introduces children to their classroom, teachers and classmates gradually. You’ll probably be allowed to accompany your child into the classroom during that time to help them find where to put their lunchbox and backpack, and reassure them before you leave. This settling-in period can be particularly helpful for children who haven’t attended nursery or preschool prior to starting school.
You’ll probably be dying to know what your child has been up to every day in the first few weeks, but don’t be surprised if they’re not that keen to tell you. Those first few weeks at school can be very tiring for children and they might just want to relax and switch off, which can include not talking too much. It might be best to resist asking them questions as soon as they finish school, and instead approach the subject light-heartedly at the weekend or while they’re getting ready for bed in the evening. Ask open questions rather than those which only require a yes or no answer, and of course let your child know that you’re there for them whenever they want to talk about school.
A new routine
Getting a good routine in place will really help both you and your child get used to all the changes that starting school brings. It can help to prepare as much as possible the night before, for example, by making your child’s packed lunch and laying out their uniform ready for them to get dressed in straight away in the morning. Preparing a schedule for the mornings might help avoid everyone getting stressed trying to get out the door in time. Think about all the tasks that need to be done to reach that point and how long they take, then plan backwards from the time you need to leave. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep and incorporating a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise into their routine as well for good physical and mental health.
Speak to the teachers
If you have any concerns about how your child is getting on at school, make sure you relay them to their teachers, both so you can get their insight and nip any problems in the bud as soon as possible.