How to Prepare Your Child for Primary School

A student with her hand up to the teacher in a primary school classroom

How to Prepare Your Child for Primary School

There is no one size fits all approach to preparing your child for Primary school.

Many families have concerns about beginning their child in a formal education setting, and these are all perfectly natural. Each child reaches stages of emotional and physical development in their own time. Prep is the first school year for children at the age of 5, designed to prepare them for Year 1. Starting to prepare for this important year, can help to ease anxieties.

Attending Kindergarten

Enrolling in Kindergarten is a step that parents often take to help children prepare for Prep. Ally’s Kindergarten program in Ipswich understands that a child’s learning process is fluid.  Our experienced educators offer individual learning programs. You can talk to us about your child’s progress, and view transitional statements as you go. These steps will help you to understand your child’s strengths and areas of improvement. With this knowledge, you may feel better equipped to support your child through Primary School.

Getting to know your School, Educators and Community

You can prepare as a family, by getting to know a little bit about your school. Walk or drive by the grounds. Discuss the school’s positive features, find out about school uniforms, and meet the teachers.

Seeing a parent in conversation with teachers will instil confidence and trust in children. Once your child connects with the environment and a few friendly faces, you will be able to introduce these things into conversations at home.

Preparing for Longer Days

Your child may be spending more hours away from home than they have been used to. The following practices can help children cope:

  • Regular bedtimes
  • A healthy breakfast
  • Some physical activity during the day
  • Greater independence with toileting
  • Planning healthy lunches, that are easy for children to access
  • Regular use of water bottles

Supporting Emotional Independence

Children often have signals for communicating with a parent, which may not be clear to a new teacher. Supporting your child to clearly ask for what they need, and practicing this at home, will help them to become more independent.

Giving your child small roles of responsibility throughout the day builds confidence. Discussing them assists language development. Some tasks you could give them include:

  • Carrying a shopping bag
  • Helping to select fruit and vegetables
  • Preparing lunch
  • Assisting in the garden

These things can all help children feel more involved, and self-responsible.

My child seems reluctant.  Does this mean they are not ready? What can I do to help?

A reluctant, shy or reserved child may just be a discerning one. This is often a particular stage of development, integral to your child’s maturation process. Working with these emotions, not against them, will benefit your child enormously. Not all children are outgoing or comfortable with large groups. Try not to compare your child to others in a way which cause worry or concern. Remaining open, informed and relaxed is the best thing you can do to support your child. If you are at ease, they are much more likely to be so too.