Starting school - tips for parents on preparing!

Is your child starting primary school? We have tips for parents..
It won't be long until the next group of Junior Infants are heading to school in September, Marie Dowdall our Information and Training Officer has some tips to help both parents and children prepare over the summer:

  1. Make sure your child can do tasks by themselves, like unbutton and button/zip up their coat, use the bathroom independently and open their bag and lunchbox. Practice this as much as possible as some zips can be tricky! 
  2. If possible, casually go and visit or pass the school over the summer and sell it like an exciting and cool place to go. Maybe make links to children/siblings already attending. 
  3. Have a fun day out buying their school items, like school bag, pencil case, new coat and shoes. Ensure that they are all labelled and your child can easily identify them. 
  4. Let them have fun trying on their uniform, if they have one, or let your child plan what clothes they will wear if they don't have a uniform.
  5. Plan the school morning routine together and maybe practice the school drop. Don’t forget to add time for traffic if it will be a car drop off. 
  6. Play “school” with you child. It will be fun time together and may encourage your child to talk about any anxieties or worries they have. 
  7. Be available to talk about the start of school if your child wants to discuss it. Acknowledge their worries but reassure them that they will be ok. 
  8. Help your child to recognise their own name written down. Often their names will be on desks or on coat hooks and so being able to spot it will make their first day easier. 
  9. Recognise any anxieties you may have as a parent, talk about it with someone, if needed, and try not to project these onto your child. 
  10. Wear in their new school shoes, you don’t want your child hobbling around with cut heels because they have only worn trainers up to this point. Start them wearing the shoes a few weeks before school starts.


The National Parent's Council have a useful guide to the transition from early years to primary school, available at: 
http://www.npc.ie/images/uploads/downloads/HINTS__TIPS_8PP-am.pdf