Tip Sheet

School Readiness Tips

School can be a scary place for our little gems as it involves coping with unfamiliar teachers and older, bigger kids. There are also different rules, larger buildings, and foreign noises, to name just a few challenges.

Your youngster may need lots of support from you before starting school – especially in the first few weeks while they’re getting used to this new environment.

Below are some tips on how to help little miss or mister get ready for what they can expect from school and what will be expected of them.

Preparing your child for starting school

Here are some simple strategies that you can use to help prepare junior for the school experience:

  • Read books together every day
  • Encourage curiosity by allowing your child to ask questions, listen to answers, be observant and try new experiences
  • Get them drawing by popping a few pencils or crayons and sheets of paper on a table or the floor in the main living area
  • Promote interactive play with other kids, including learning to take turns and sharing their toys and books
  • Foster independence by getting them to dress and undress themselves and use the toilet with minimal help
  • Use visuals such as picture schedules to help your youngster understand routine
  • Go on outings/excursions to the library, shops, zoo or anywhere interesting and engaging

And most importantly remember to always praise little miss or mister for their efforts. Positive reinforcement is good reinforcement!

Getting your child ready for their first day of school

The following tips will encourage your child’s independence and make sure they’re prepared to go out on their own for their first day of school.

It’s all about building their confidence so they know what to expect and can be as independent as possible.

Here goes:

  • Familiarise them with the school by visiting and driving past the grounds, and talking about junior's school in positive ways
  • Show them where the important areas are such as the toilets, your regular pick-up spot and your little one's classroom before the big day
  • Explain the different school routines like what happens when the school bell rings
  • Give them independence in eating and drinking by ensuring they can open their own lunch box and water bottle, and showing them how to drink from the water fountain
  • Wrap their lunch in baking paper or plastic bags if your youngster has difficulty opening cling wrap
  • Buy shoes with velcro or buckles instead of laces so they can take their shoes on and off themselves
  • Choose pants with an elastic waistband instead of fiddly zips
  • Label all of their clothes and belongings so they know what’s theirs
  • Pack spare undies in case they have an accident
  • Keep to routines that allow rest and free play after school so they get a chance to unwind and be a kid
  • Be excited and positive about little miss or mister's day as you leave and don't linger
  • Offer lots of praise and encouragement, no matter how small the accomplishments may seem