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Starting school is an exciting and important time, but the transition to school begins long before your child steps into the classroom.
As your child’s first teacher, you are in the best position to support their transition to school through establishing routines and providing positive experiences. A positive start to school can lead to a lifelong love of learning, and your help is important for your child to navigate this part of their lives.
Talking with your child encourages them to communicate their ideas and feelings and better understand what other people may be feeling too. By discussing what your child sees and understands about everyday family events, you are helping them manage their own feelings and develop empathy.
Reading together will develop your child’s language, thinking and literacy skills. Books and stories can also help children understand what to expect in new situations. Reading can happen anywhere that there are words; you can encourage your child to read packages at the supermarket, street signs or children’s books around the home.
Establishing routines at an early age is important for your child to feel safe, take responsibility and learn independence. As they come closer to starting school, setting up a morning and evening routine in advance can reduce the number of changes they will experience at once. This might involve packing and unpacking lunchboxes, dressing themselves or practising the trip to school.
Discussing ideas to help your child manage new experiences can support the development of coping strategies, boost independence and nurture self-confidence. Encourage your child to talk, if they are concerned about anything. Let them know it is okay to ask for help and talk about how and who to ask for help if they need it. They can also talk to their new Prep teacher, another staff member or an older ‘school buddy’ about any concerns they might have.
Enrolling your child in a Queensland Government approved kindy program provides a safe and fun atmosphere for them to learn, make friends and grow accustomed to a more structured routine.
You can talk to your child’s kindy teacher about supporting a successful transition to school, and how the transition statement can support their new school teacher to prepare to welcome your child.
Positive early childhood experiences and learning support your child to feel safe, secure and build a sense of belonging.
Participating with your child in a school transition program will support their transition to Prep. Meeting new friends, learning about new routines, people and places, and taking the time to celebrate this important milestone, will support your child to enjoy a positive start to school.