Starting primary school is an exciting time, but we understand it can be daunting for you and your child. It marks the end of one chapter and the start of an exciting new one. Before you know it, your child will be making friends, learning new skills, and becoming increasingly independent, all in the blink of an eye! 
It is really important to talk to your child about their new school. Talking about all of the exciting things your child will do when they start school and the friends, they will make will help your child get over any nerves they may be feeling. Also talking about your own positive experiences of school is a great way to get your child excited. Old pictures of you or other family members in their uniform, in school plays or partaking in sports day will not only help your child, but it will take you on a trip down memory lane too! 
School Visits 
The school your child is going to will have planned days for visits or joining in with story time. These are important times for your child to meet their teacher, see their classroom and become familiar with the environment and others in their class. 
Talk about how fun school is! If you’ve been on a settling-in morning, there might be something your child particularly enjoyed playing with (the dinosaurs, the paints, the climbing frame). Older siblings could be enlisted to share all the things they enjoy about school – as long as they’re thoroughly briefed not to share things, they’re not so keen on! Giving your child time to talk also lets them raise any concerns or questions. 
Practise the school routine. It can be helpful to you and your child to do a practice journey before the big day, looking for interesting things on the way. It is also a good idea to make sure your child has school-friendly bedtimes and getting-up times a few days in advance. 
How can you help your child with this first big step? We have created a getting ready for school checklist to give you a helping hand. 
My child can: 
• Recognise their name 
• Count to 10 
• Get dressed by themself 
• Put their shoes on and fasten them unaided 
• Hold a pencil/pen well 
• Zip/button up their coat 
• Use the toilet, wipe and flush unaided 
• Wash and dry their hands unaided 
• Use a knife and fork/open their lunch box unaided 
• Ask for help if they are feeling unwell/unhappy 
• Tidy up after themselves 
Parents checklist for the first week of school: 
• Do you know exactly where you need to take your child, and at what time? 
• Do you know where to collect your child, and at what time? 
• Do you know what equipment they’ll need for the first few days? (PE kit, book bag, drink bottle, spare clothes etc) 
• Do you and your child know where to hang coats and PE kits? 
• Does your child know who’ll be collecting them each day? 
• Do they need to attend a breakfast or after-school club? 
• Do you know if you take your child into the classroom and settle them, or are they expected to go in on their own? 
• Have you put name labels on absolutely everything?! Show your child where the labels are and make sure they are sewn or stuck somewhere that’s easy for them to find. 
We hope you find these checklists useful, and please don’t hesitate to talk to us about any concerns you may have about your child starting school. 
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