Managing the transition from nursery to school

At this time of year, as a Prep School Head, I cannot help but start to feel a sense of excited anticipation as plans are made to welcome our new girls into Reception in September. As the eager-faced pre-schoolers and their (often nervous) parents visit us for settling-in days and discover-your-school sessions, I am reminded about how exciting and important a milestone it is to start school. No matter what nursery experiences may have gone before, starting school represents the biggest educational and social step your child will make; it is an important event for the whole family.

Starting school opens up a new frontier of opportunities and a wealth of new experiences for your child. The summer is a golden time for parents to lay the positive foundations for this exciting new chapter. Over the weeks and months leading up the start of the school year there are lots of things you can do to promote a smooth transition into school life.

Establish Routines: Help your child adjust to the wake up and bedtime routines they will experience when they start school. Phase out nap times and make sure they are ready for early starts. This will help make sure they have adjusted to the sleep patterns for September.

Key Skills: Parents often worry about making sure their children can recite the alphabet and colours of the rainbow, but the most valuable skills with which you can equip your child is to be able to go to the toilet, feed, dress and undress themselves independently.

Build Familiarity: If possible, make the journey to and from your child’s new school a few times before they start. By building up this sense of familiarity you will reduce any first-day nerves.

Get Connected: Find out if any other new school starters live locally to you and set up a summer holiday meet. You can help your child forge new friendships that will carry them into the new term and give them that extra confidence for September.

At Sydenham High School GDST we have a long history of providing a first-class education to girls aged 4 to 18, and we consider ourselves to be experts in girls.

To find out what makes us special, come along to one of our open events or weekly tours and find out more about what we could offer your four year old this September.