Preparing a child for a particular change in their life gives them a greater chance of coping, not only with that specific change, but with any unexpected events later on in life. Starting school is clearly a big change and we make lots of opportunities during your child’s final year at the pre-school to prepare them for this. Experiences such as visiting the school library, eating lunch in the hall with the school, going out into the playground during play time and changing for PE all help with the transition to school, whether your child is going on to Seer Green School or another school. We also have good communication with the local reception teachers, which helps them to support your child’s transition.
However, clearly, what you, the parent, do to prepare your child for school has a massive impact. Here are a few tips:
- Try not to let your child see your own anxieties about them starting school or talk about how much you’ll miss them
- Try not to make too big a deal about it, even positively (you may well find that every friend and relative wants to talk to them about it over the summer!)
- Let them talk about their favourite things about pre-school
- Arrange a play date or two over the summer holidays, if possible with a child who will be attending the same school
- Encourage their independence, particularly with dressing, but also with personal hygiene and tasks such as opening their own yoghurt
- Do seek advice from pre-school staff, if you are particularly worried or have specific concerns
- Read PACEY’s (Professional association for childcare and early years) useful guide for parents.