Ten tips for making sure your child is ready for school in September

Is your child ready for school?

Is your child ready for school? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Around 16,500 children will be starting school in September across Essex, and the county council has issued these handy hints to make the transition from nursery to reception class as smooth as possible.

Ray Gooding, Essex county councillor for education, said: “We know the start of your child’s first term can sometimes seem a little daunting and so we have compiled ten top tips to help make the move to ‘big school’ a happy one and to ensure your child is school ready.”

The tips are:

1 – Enjoying books is the first step to learning to read so join the Summer Reading Challenge.

2 – Borrow a Starting School Bag from your library. Each contains stories and information books exploring what it’s like to go to ‘big’ school.


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3– Encourage independence over the holidays with skills such as going to the toilet and blowing their nose. Let your child practice dressing in their uniform and PE kit.

4 – Make independent dressing easier by choosing uniform with elastic waistbands and shoes with velcro fastenings. Help put shoes on the right feet by marking the bottom with a smiley face. Draw half on each shoe so they need to be matched correctly.

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5 – Help your child to make friends before the big day by meeting up with other families who have children starting school.

6 – Encourage your child to recognise their name. Make sure you know what they need to take each day.

7 – Get into a bedtime routine before starting school by having some early nights. Practise getting ready and out of the door in the morning and the journey to school to keep mornings manageable.

8 – Spend time talking about what school will be like and reassuring them if they have any worries.

9 – Plan what will happen on the first week. It is likely they will be tired so prepare an early teatime and bedtime. Plan a treat to look forward to at the end of the week.

10 – Your child will take their lead from you so embrace this next step and help them enjoy a positive start to their school days.

If you have any concerns speak to your health visitor or local children’s centre. Find your nearest centre here.

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