International Grammar School (IGS) psychologists and experienced staff share their top 10 tips to prepare for a positive start to school life.
1. Be positive about your child’s future. It’s the best gift you can give them. Your child is starting school in a completely different era to your own, and their personality, schooling environment and experiences will be unique to them.
2. Speak positively about the best things from your own schooling, such as finding new friends, special teachers you will remember forever, discovering a wider world, funny memories, extraordinary experiences, and learning new skills.
3. Prepare for starting school together. Select a lunch box together and talk about favourite healthy foods you could pack for them in the first few days. To make everything easy to find on busy school mornings, select a special place in the house together for their school bag, hat and all items of their school uniform. Make sure the new lunchbox is easy for small fingers to open!
4. Talk about new routines. Create and update a checklist on the fridge to help you all prepare for the day, afternoon and week ahead.
- A morning routine could include: waking, washing their face, brushing their hair, dressing in their uniform, making sure their lunch box is in their bag, eating breakfast, brushing their teeth, helping feed pets, watering plants.
- An afternoon routine could include: returning from school, having a healthy snack and drink, play time, leaving their school shoes and school bag by the front door ready for the next day, bath time, homework, reading, dinner, quiet play time, enjoying a book together, lights out.
5. Have a calendar on hand. Mark weekends, holidays, birthdays and other fun events outside of school time, such as visits to friends’ and relatives’ houses, and inviting others to share in a meal or visit to a park together. If school life ever seems all-consuming, the calendar will help keep things in perspective.
6. Talk about many other activities your child enjoys in addition to school, such as cooking, sports, crafts, a favourite television show, books, music or drama.
7. Stay informed about your child’s school. Read the newsletters and other correspondence. Attend school events such as Open Days and fairs. Participate in your child’s school’s parents’ group, such as the IGS Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (PTF), where your child will see you making positive contributions and where you will also make new friends.
8. Try to eat together as a family each evening, without mobile devices. Share news of your adventures and the best thing that happened to each person that day. If any challenges have emerged, discuss ways they might be overcome. Laughter is the best medicine. Be aware of the IGS multi-level student care system, including our counselling team, if serious issues are raised.
9. Enjoy the school years together. There will be so many highlights as your child grows – learning to read and master other skills, exploring an ever wider world, mastering new skills and concepts, discovering new interests, and experiencing extraordinary local, regional and international excursions.
10. Be amazed as your child discovers their unique strengths, dreams and passions and prepares to take their place in the world. As educators at IGS, we are honoured to share in the privilege of raising children. View the IGS vision and values.
Read more about starting Kindergarten at IGS here.