A parent’s guide to starting school

Going to School Starting school is an exciting time for young children and their parents. It can be a daunting time, too. But with a little preparation and encouragement, most children will settle in easily at school. At Tops day nursery, we have a great deal of experience in helping children to cope with times of transition. Here are some top tips, put together to help you prepare your child for starting school.   Try not to worry if your child is not showing any interest in writing or becoming a math genius, as this is not what schools are expecting from your little one. Their teacher at school will help support your child to progress at their own level.   It is very natural for parents to feel nervous about their child starting school, but try to remember that your child can pick up on your emotions. Try to be as relaxed and positive as you can, rather than showing your own nerves. This will help your child feel more confident with the transition and idea of going to school.   Top tips to help your little one

  • Try not to make comments such as “I didn’t like school” or “I wasn’t very good at school”, worry your child about going to school.
  • Try not to over talk to your child about going to school. Instead treat it in a matter-of-fact way rather than focusing on the “big step ahead” this will help soothe an anxious child.
  • Try not to over-hype the idea of school, as your little one may feel let down or mistrustful if he/she doesn’t live up to the expectations.

  What are schools looking for?   At Tops Day Nurseries we have worked with some of the local schools that our settings feed into, to find out from the School teachers what skills are important for when children start School. Not one teacher said that it was important for the children to know how to read or write. Primary Teachers are skilled at supporting children to progress at their own rate. It is far more important for children to develop social, emotional and care skills and that they have a desire to learn. At Tops Day Nurseries, we teach children the skills they need to help prepare them for the transition to School. What can you do to help prepare your child for the transition to school?   Here are some suggestions:-

  • Allow and encourage your child to use the toilet independently, this includes wiping their own bottom!
  • Encourage your child to wash their hands before meals and after using the toilet
  • Let them dress and undress themselves
  • Encourage them to put on their own coats and shoes
  • Enable your child to blow their own nose
  • Read lots of stories and sing lots of songs to encourage early literacy skills
  • Take part in lots of fine motor activities e.g peg play, threading, building, drawing, cutting etc. All these activities will build up the strength in their fingers ready to hold a pencil
  • Play turn taking games to encourage co-operation
  • At meal times, encourage your child to use cutlery appropriately and start encouraging them to cut their own food
  • When out on picnics, start teaching your child how to open all of their food packets
  • Start introducing a morning routine so that it is not all change when it comes to starting school
  • Talk with your child as much as you can. This is the best way to develop their speech and language
  • Set consistent boundaries at home so your child begins to respect certain rules
  • Encourage your child to tidy up some of their own toys at home

  Most importantly – enjoy special quality time as a family. Laugh and have FUN!   We wish you all the best of luck with this exciting transition of starting School.


-Amy Alderson

Posted in: 3 & 4 year olds