Stepping into school: how to prepare your child for their first day of kindie

Preparing to start school

Stepping into school: how to prepare your child for their first day of kindie

As parents, we want to give our children the best start in life, and ensure they’re ready for this next exciting adventure. So how can you help your child to get ready for school and ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible?

We’ve put together the following ideas to give your child the best start to school life:

  1. Help your child get familiar with their new learning environment.

The orientation day will provide a great opportunity for your child to get to know their new school – where their classroom will be and what they will be doing each day.

­You can also help your child to familiarise themselves with their new school by driving past it together or taking them for walks around the playground.

Of course, it’s a good idea to have a quick chat with the school first and check that it is okay to do so, but many school playgrounds are open to the public outside of school hours.

  1. Get to know the other families.

Getting to know other children and forming friendships are important parts of the first year of school. To help ease those first day nerves, keep your ear open for get-togethers with other families who also have children starting school.

You may find your school already has parent-organised social gatherings, or you might want to chat to some other parents about organising one before the term starts.

It’s always nice to see a familiar face when you start something new.

  1. Work on building independence

Encouraging your child to do more everyday tasks by themselves is another a great way to make sure they are ready for their first day of school.

As a starting point, you could encourage them to practise unwrapping their lunch, opening their drink bottle, putting their shoes on and packing their schoolbag.

It is also helpful to practise the routine your child will follow once they start school, so they know what to expect. For example, they could start going to bed and getting up at the times they will need to be doing so once they start school or have a go at helping to pack their lunchbox.

You may also like to try this self-guided learning activity perfect for holiday play.

  1. Chat about school.

At the end of the day, you know your child best, so you can adapt the ideas above to suit their individual needs. Talk to them about starting school in the lead up to the first day, and let them know that it’s okay to ask any questions. You could also try drawing pictures or writing stories together which show what happens at school. If you’re comfortable with this new adventure, the chances are your child will be too, so be positive and enthusiastic about starting school.

How we can help

For four-year-olds starting kindie, the benefit of two days a week of preschool education in the year before school is widely shown to encourage future school success.

In the lead up to starting school, there are many ways that Uniting’s early learning and preschool services can prepare your child for the changes ahead.

Gabby Holden, Head of Early Learning Service Development at Uniting says: “It is equally important to promote positive attitudes about learning and the social and personal skills that support your child’s effective transition to school.

“Connections with local schools and completing a ‘Transition to School Statement’ are examples of how our Uniting early learning services can help support you with this important milestone and our child’s ongoing learning.”

As part of preparing for the new school year, it’s also important to consider whether you will need to organise outside school hours care for your child.

At Uniting, we offer before and after school programs, as well as vacation care for school aged children. Our programs include a great range of recreational activities aimed at helping your child’s ongoing development and wellbeing.

Get in touch

If you would like some more tips on how to prepare your child for school, or information about our child care or outside school hours care services, a member of our Uniting early learning team will be happy to help. You can get in touch by calling 1800 486 484 or emailing ask@uniting.org

You can also find a centre near you here.

How about you – what advice would you give parents with children starting kindie?

 

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