Keep your cool when starting school


Settling in to school life.

Going to primary school can be a big change. Some children will embrace the change and settle straight in to the new routine smoothly. Some children may find the change a bit harder and need a little bit of support. Here are a few tips on how to support your child once your child starts school.

  • Be mindful that it is okay to feel nervous and upset too. As the adult share all the exciting things that they will get to experience. Take the time to acknowledge the worries and share coping strategies.
  • Get into a good morning and bedtime routine in the weeks before term starts so doing the school run is less daunting.  
  • If you have any concerns about your child speak to your child’s class teacher. Communication between the school and parents is really important and concerns can be easily resolved together.
  • Mornings can be a bit of a rush, especially if your child is tired. Try and get everything ready the night before.
  • Some children may like having a visual timetable to help them visualise the routine of the morning or the process of getting ready. take photos of the routine and put them in order so the child can see the process. For example; socks on, knickers on, skirt on and t shirt on. This will break down the instructions and can support the child to become more independent.
  • Spending some time having quiet time each day such as; playing with toys with no TV on, sharing a book together in a quiet space, cooking dinner together. Quiet time can really help your child mentally relax from the day. These moments during the day are often the time when your child may share what they have done in the day or if they have any worries.
  • At the end of the school day try not to bombard your child with lots of questions about how the day. Let your child tell you in their own time. If children are reluctant or unable to tell you ask the class teacher or teaching assistant
  • It is quite common that a child's behaviour can change once they start school. They might become clingy, argumentative or lethargic. It is a big change and they are learning lots of new things and behaviours. Keep your routines and boundaries consistent and give them time to adjust to the new phase in their life.

Top Tip

Try and let your child settle in to the new school routine before introducing extra clubs after school. Maybe try and keep the first few weekends quiet too, as they may need time to recharge - just like we do when we start a new job. The school day is very busy and all the new experiences can be very tiring for a child. So, do not be surprised that they very tired at the end of the day. Plan some quiet time and offer a snack and drink to help them restore their energy levels.
Here is a starting school guide from PACEY
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