Choosing a Primary or Secondary School
Preparing your Child for School
As starting school can cause anxiety for both parent and child it is important that you and your child are well prepared. In the months before make sure you get your child used to short periods of time away from you by asking a friend or family member to child-mind. Most schools offer opportunities for children to visit prior to starting and this way they can spend time in the classroom and meet their teacher. Discuss the school regularly and either walk or drive by so that your child gets used to the idea of going there. It is also vital that you provide opportunities for your child to mix with other children in playgroups or a nursery. This can help to avoid problems with socialising where children have only been used to adult company. Encourage your child to share toys and take turns.
By the time your child starts school he or she should be able to go to the toilet without supervision and to dress and undress independently. Buy shoes that are easy to fasten too as teachers haven't time to be fastening shoelaces. Make sure your child can eat with a knife and fork and knows basic table manners. Being able to wash their hands and blow their nose is also important.
On the Day
With good preparation most children go happily into school on their first day. It does happen sometimes that children cry and cling to their mothers. If this is the case it is important to take the lead from the teacher who will suggest when it is time for you to go. Staying around on these occasions doesn’t help and children usually settle quickly after their parents leave. Obviously it is upsetting for you if your child is distressed but it is important to remain positive and reassuring. And lastly make sure you are punctual at the end of the day as being the last one to be picked up can cause a child anxiety.