Our top tips for children starting school

We are very sad to see our pre-school children leave. We have made some lovely memories over the past year and have cherished watching them grow and develop into the wonderful children they are today. Every child that attends Little Rascals becomes an individual and no two children are the same. Each one making their own mark on us as a nursery. We know just how nerve-racking this stage can be for both parents and children. So, to help ease those nerves we have put together a list that we hope will make this transition a much better one for both adult and child. 

Talk about school

  • Preparing yourself to come to terms with your child starting school can be a daunting task but how do you think your little one feels? Talking about school can really help put both your minds at rest. Talk to your child about your own school days, about your teachers and the activities you took part in. Ask them what they are excited about and what worries them. Try to keep conversation as positive as possible but do not tell them any fibs either. Discuss school rules and routines so they know what to expect when the big day comes!

Get familiar with school

  • Imagine getting a new job without an interview or even seeing your new work place and just turning up their on your first day, sounds daunting doesn’t it? Even for an adult. Imagine how your 4/5 year will feel in this new strange place, with all these unfamiliar faces around them. Visiting school as often as possible will allow children to familiarise themselves with the surroundings. Spending time with their new teachers will allow them to build relationships with the grown ups that will care for them. Bonding with children in the same class beforehand will mean they are going into this with ready made friends, they will not have to work so hard at fitting in or mixing with classmates when they start. Some children may find it harder to mix than others. If the school offers open events, meet and greets, one to one sessions with teachers, take them! They will really make a difference.

Spend time reading at home

  • Read with your little one regularly at home. This will prepare them for story time at school. Make it fun and meaningful but at the same time encourage them to sound out letters and words, this will help to develop their literacy and communication and language skills. Encourage children to make up their own stories and share them with you and vice versa. It’s important now that we are able to get children to sit still and listen as this is something they will need to do at school. Especially during carpet time/circle time and when the teacher is talking. Make story time fun and eventful so that it becomes something that your child enjoys doing.

Life skills

  • Encourage children to take part in day to day tasks at home to help build their confidence and independence (Something teachers will thank you for later on). For example teaching them how to zip/button up their own coats, how to dress themselves properly and how to keep their clothes together, promoting personal organisation. Let them use a knife and folk when eating their dinner and teach them how to use a knife correctly so they can cut their own food up. Shoe tieing is one of the many things a lot of us couldn’t get the hang of for an awful long time, so if you can teach your little one to master this, fantastic! If not, velcro shoes will do the job and save a lot of hassle at school. Just encourage shoe tieing at home!

Toilet training

  • If you’re child isn’t going to the toilet unaided yet, now is really the time to start pursuing this. Unlike at nursery, teachers are less involved with toileting. It’s important children are able to recognise when they need to go the toilet, are able to wipe themselves and remember to wash their hands. Also, some schools may not enrol children who are not toilet trained. Children need to do this to aid their own independence, especially since most children will be fully toilet trained long before starting school.  Accidents happen, especially within the first few months of school, giving children extra support with toileting at home will really build their independence and confidence within school and hopefully lessen accidents.