Tips for Starting School 

Starting school is such an exciting and important milestone for a child and their family. Change will be a big part of this transition with new people, places, experiences and feelings. There are many ways to build a child’s familiarity with the changes and support a confident transition to ‘big school’. 

Help your child to be familiar with the major changes:

  • Explore the school site
  • Know the location of the playground, toilet block, classroom, after school and vacation care, pick up zones. Use visual tools: videos, photos or map of the school.
  • Know the walk or drive to and from school
  • Know the name of the teachers
  • Know the friends that will be in their class

Get your child involved:

  • Visits to the school and school library 
  • Outings to buy uniforms, bag, lunch boxes, books
  • Covering and labelling books
  • Labelling items of clothing
  • Packing the school bag

Be positive:

  • Positive conversations that celebrate the milestone –  without overdoing things and  creating too much anticipation

Be informed

  • Attend orientation and parent information sessions
  • Explore school website
  • Read all communication, ask questions

Be ready

  • Identify the changes for your child, and the family
  • Plan to work around the changes
  • Practise new routines to prepare the family 
This Pathway to Prep Checklist provides a guide to key skills and learning attitudes that will help prepare your child for their first year of formal school.
This Pathway to Prep Social Story can be adapted to suit your context and help prepare for the changes involved in starting school. Create the story with your child, adding photographs and drawings. Read it regularly in the lead-up to starting Prep. 

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Have any questions?

Have questions about the content of this blog post or need further insights? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Chris! Your curiosity and feedback are always welcome.