Starting school post-pandemic

Starting school is an important and exciting milestone in the lives of young children.  Since March 2020, life has changed considerably, and as three and four year olds look ahead to starting Reception in September, their schools will be fully aware that their new joiners will undoubtedly have had varying Early Years experiences over this past year as a result of the current pandemic.

At Sydenham High Prep School, we are very much looking forward to welcoming our new Reception pupils and we will support every child to settle quickly and to thrive within their new school setting.  Although this is an unusual time for us all, the summer is a great time for parents to start building the positive foundations for this exciting new chapter and there are several things that parents can do to support a smooth transition when their child starts school in September.

Develop Confidence: Many schools will hold orientation sessions for their new pupils ahead of the start of term.  Whilst these sessions may be virtual, they will still provide children with increased familiarity with the school setting and can inspire greater confidence when these children start school.

Develop Friendships: Building friendships provides an extra layer of confidence as your child starts school.  Whilst it may not be possible to meet up in person ahead of the start of term, parents could ask their child’s new school whether any other new pupils live near them and if possible, make contact for a virtual meet up.

Develop Social and Communication Skills: For many children, opportunities for developing social and communication skills will have been more limited over this past year with less time spent with children outside of their families or ‘bubbles’.  Regularly reading to your child will help them to develop their listening skills and to build vocabulary. Also, providing your child with opportunities to share and take turns at home will undoubtedly help your child when starting school.

Develop Skills: Valuable skills include being able to go to the bathroom, feeding, dressing and undressing independently and knowing how to ask for help when needed.

Develop Routines: Schools are exciting places with a wealth of new activities and experiences on offer.  Starting school can be tiring for young children so ensuring that your child is in a good bedtime routine before starting school is important.  In the weeks leading up to the start of school, encourage your child to go to bed at the time he or she will be going to bed during term time.

Sydenham High School GDST is a school where girls learn without limits. As specialists in girls’ education, we ensure our teaching is tailored to the way girls learn best. We encourage and support girls to be confident, happy and fearless learners with the belief there is no limit to what they can achieve.

To find out what makes us special, take a look at our website and contact us by emailing to find out more about what we could offer your four year old this September.