Transitioning To Big School:
Your Questions Answered
The transition from kindergarten to school is a big one for children and their parents. Your head spins with the increase in hours that your child will now be in formal education. Your mind reels at the idea of someone so small playing in a yard full of children who are so big!
Here are 5 questions you will be thankful you knew the answer to before entering the world of primary school.
1. What does the National Curriculum say about what my child needs to know?
Schools use the National Curriculum as a guide for teaching and learning strategies, as well as student outcomes. You can see what is expected at the end of Foundation year here. Don’t be dismayed by the exhaustive list as most children are developmentally ready to learn these skills in their first year of schooling.
2. Should I be worried about my child being shy?
Speak to your child’s kindergarten teacher about their transition. If you and your child’s teacher think they are socially and emotionally ready for school then having a shy personality is absolutely OK. Teachers are equipped to deal with students who are feeling anxious about starting school. Don’t despair if your child isn’t the one running off without a goodbye to happily play with their new friends. Most children will get there in time.
3. I’m not as organised as I would have hoped. What do teachers expect on the first day?
It depends on the school as to what you need to bring on the first day. Some schools ask for books to be covered and pencils labelled, others don’t! Try not to pack any ‘extras’ for your child on the first day such as a bulky pencil case filled with stationery. Going above and beyond what the school has asked isn’t necessary and your child might end up wasting time digging around in their bag or pencil case to find things they need.
4. How healthy do lunchboxes need to be?
The summer holidays prior to school starting are a good time to take a look at your child’s daily routine and food consumption. Gradually get them used to eating at times during the day that are similar to when they would eat at school.
If you love creating lunches that are works of art then that’s great! However, don’t feel pressured for your child to have the ‘perfect lunchbox’ or you might find it comes home still full.
Ensure you pack a range of healthy and filling foods for your child that will sustain them through a busy day. Don’t forget to account for any allergy policies that may be present in the school.
5. How important is reading the set reader?
Your child will be proud as punch to bring home their first school reader. Not only will reading the reader each night reinforce the skills being learnt at school, it will also start a habit that will continue on throughout schooling and maybe into adulthood.
Reading with children helps them learn to enjoy the process of letter recognition and storytelling. Confident reading is an important life skill, so take the time to read the set text and set the habit early!
Most importantly, keep up great communication with your child’s daycare or early learning centre. Your educators will help you know exactly where your child is at academically, socially and emotionally before heading off to big school.