Each month, Jackie Hardie, owner of The Nursery, gives advice and guidance on aspects of parenting. Drawing on almost three decades working with early years children, including roles as a Reception teacher and an Ofsted inspector, running an international education consultancy, and of course, being a parent, Jackie gives down-to-earth and practical advice.
This month, Jackie focuses on settling into school.
Whether your child is returning to school after a long break incorporating lockdown restrictions and summer holidays, or is starting school for the first time, there is likely to be a combination of excitement and anxiety.
The good news is there’s plenty parents and carers can do to help quell any anxiety.
Children often just need a little reassurance. Talk positively about school and the staff and encourage your child to tell you all about their day so that you can pick up on what went well and what didn’t.
Don’t hang around too long at the school gates at the start of the day but make sure your child knows you will return to collect them later.
One of the keys to happiness at school is ensuring your child is as independent as possible. They will adapt quickly to the school environment if they can zip their coat up, change quickly after PE and open their own drinks and packets if they have a packed lunch.
Break times can be a bit daunting for some children so speak to your child about playtime, ask them who they play with and talk to them about games they can play.