The first day at school

The first day at school


A child’s first day at primary school is a big step - but parents can take practical steps to prepare them.




Practical steps that parents can take to prepare children for school include talking about school and helping children to develop their practical skills.


Cranbourne Park Primary School holds orientation days for children who will be starting school the next year. These sessions help make school a familiar and comfortable place for budding students (and their parents). If your child will be starting school next year, contact us about orientation.


Talking to your child


Your child may be anxious about what to expect on the first day at school.


If so, one way of helping them is to talk through their fears:


  • Explain where they’ll be going, what they'll be doing, and for how long.
  • Answer questions, and iron out any fears by asking what they think the school might be like.
  • Emphasise the things they may enjoy doing.

Don’t dismiss your child’s fears: things that seem obvious or silly to an adult can seem like terrible obstacles to a five year old.


Building on practical skills


If children have a good idea of what school is going to be like and have already experienced learning activities at home and in other settings, they’re less likely to find the experience stressful.


Games, role-plays and reading at home can help your child get into the right frame of mind and boost their confidence.


Activities for your child could include:


  • Playing games that involve taking turns or speaking in front of a group.
  • Playing with children of a similar age to develop social skills.
  • Reading books about starting school.
  • Using your child’s favourite toys to role-play going to school
  • Painting and drawing, which involve sitting down for short periods of time.

In the weeks before school starts


In the run-up to the first day of term you could:


  • Involve your child in choosing things they need for school such as school bags or uniforms.
  • Visit the school grounds again with your child so they become familiar with the buildings and the local area.
  • Establish a routine and discuss what might be happening at school at different times of the day.

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