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22nd Aug 2022

Milestones: How to prepare your child for their first day of school

Melissa Carton

Is your child starting school this year?

Starting school is a huge milestone and be a daunting experience for children and parents alike. Whether it’s their first day, or they’re returning to school after the holidays, it can be a daunting time.

To help parents prepare, teaching expert, Head of Junior School Laura Whitwood and In The Book share their expertise on how to prepare children for starting or returning to school.

If your little one is heading for their first day of school, it can be daunting, but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier:

1. Open conversations with your child about what they can expect at school and stay positive. Laura suggests “Begin to talk to your child a week or two before school returns about what their routine may look like and what you need to do to prepare – you are a team, and you are in it together”.

In the Book adds “reading to your little one can help reduce nerves and there are many stories about starting school which can help your child become familiar with what to expect”.

2. Try and meet some of the parents whose children will be starting in your child’s class.

Laura recommends “organising play dates with other children in your child’s school to get them excited about the year ahead.

Not only does this help them with their social development and communication skills, but it is also great fun and incredibly important following the challenges of the last two years.”

“Having that familiarity with a friendly face on the first day can be hugely beneficial for your child, especially when it comes for parents to leave on that first day”

3. Practice getting changed into school uniform so that they are used to the clothes and can develop a sense of independence.

In the Book suggests “You can also pack up a practice lunch bag and school bag to build familiarity and excitement”.