Tips for Children Starting Primary School

14 Apr 2020 | Motherhood, Starting School

Written by Lauren’s Lovely Little Library

My little boy turned one in March and it’s frightening how fast a year of our lives has gone.   I do now truly believe it when people say “Oh Lauren, before you know it, he’ll be at school!”  I’m sure many of you feel that same terror at realising that your ‘baby’ is growing up and heading to ‘big school’ in a matter of months! Aaaaah!

Putting on my ‘other hat’ as a Primary School Teacher, I’m here to reassure you that they will be absolutely fine! In fact, your child will not only be learning lots of incredible things, they will be nurtured and dare I say loved.  As a teacher, I spend so much time with the children in my class, who become affectionately known as ‘my kids’.  I quickly learn their favourite colours, hobbies, football teams they support … even their dog’s name!  I learn it all! Because as teachers, we care!  Your children become our children for the year so scratch off that niggling worry that “Their teacher won’t get him/her like I do”.  Granted, as their parent, you’ll always rank top in this department but we truly do take our role very seriously.  I promise they will be looked after!

Of course your child starting school is a big change and a time of mixed emotions.  There will be excitement about moving on to the next step in their lives, sadness at spending less time together and worries about what it will be like.  But it is worth remembering that most children absolutely love school and it’s a fantastic to see them developing their characters, learning lots of skills, building their knowledge and meeting lots of new friends.

It’s natural to be apprehensive but I hope that makes you feel a bit more reassured.  So instead, let’s focus on three simple things you can do to prepare your little ones for starting school:

  • Start developing their independence: Work on getting dressed, putting their shoes on the right feet, going to the toilet by themselves … it sounds simple but it’s important.
  • Teach them to write their name: This is something they must learn from memory.  Do fun activities like making playdough letters or writing in dollops of ketchup.  Every teacher will thank you!
  • Explore ‘Starting School’ books over the summer, picking out exciting activities and fun aspects of school life that they have to look forward to.

My parting note to you is simple but often difficult in practice … please don’t cry when you drop them off!  This is confusing because they look to you if they are having a wobble and after all, you’ve spent all summer telling them how amazing school is!  If you’re feeling wobbly yourself, get back to the car and have a little quiet sob … and maybe some chocolate … it’s perfectly normal!  Just think how fantastic it’ll be to pick them up and hear all about their first day at school adventures!  

Article released in On the Doorstep Magazine Issue July 2019