How to help and support your child in their transition to Big School? by Harriet

The thought of our children going to school is an exciting yet daunting one.

we ask ourselves questions like …. are they ready? Will they be ok? And we worry about things like their ability to manage their own self-care such as toileting, eating their lunch or their abilities to read and write.


All of these are normal worries and concerns for parents in the run up to school starts as we as parents undergo this transition process just as much as our children. I am a mum of 3 and have had similar worries with each of my children when they started school.

There are many things you can do to prepare and support your child before they start and when the big day finally arrives for them to start at BIG SCHOOL.

Firstly, try not to overload them with information, as the prospect of change can be a scary one, so gently, gently, begin by supporting them in gaining independence in the skills they will need to manage a day at school such as:

⭐️Self care⭐️

▪️I can use the toilet independently 🚽

▪️I can wash and dry my own hands 🖐🏻

▪️I can blow my own nose 👃🏻

▪️I can ask for help if I feel unwell 🤒


⭐️Independence⭐️

▪️I can put my own coat on and off 🧥

▪️I can put my own shoes on and off 👟

▪️I can get change out of my clothes and put different ones on 👚

▪️I can pour my own drinks 🥛

▪️I can open my packed lunch box and eat independently 🥒

▪️I can use a knife and fork 🍴

▪️I can sit at a table when I eat 🪑


⭐️Social and Emotional⭐️

▪️I am confident being away from my mummy, daddy or main carer 👨‍👩‍👦

▪️I am able to express my emotions, thoughts and needs to be met 💬

▪️I am willing to try 👍

▪️I am able to turn take and share 🤝

▪️I can interact and play games with others 🎲

▪️I try to be a good friend

▪️I have persistence 💪🏻

▪️I can problem solve 💡


⭐️Gross and fine motor skills⭐️

▪️I have gained good muscle control in my hands ✋🏾

▪️I can hold a pen comfortably ✏️

▪️ I have good balance 🤸🏼‍♀️

▪️I am confident within climbing, jumping, and running 🏃‍♂️

▪️I am learning to manage my own risks ⛔️


⭐️Listening and understanding⭐️

▪️I can follow boundaries and routines 📋

▪️ I am able to sit still for a short while and listen👂

▪️I can follow instructions 💭


⭐️Literacy and Speaking⭐️

▪️I am understood when I talk 💬

▪️I am able talk about myself, my thoughts and feelings

▪️ I am exploring and interested in books, pictures stories, and music 🎶

▪️I am practicing to recognise my own name when it’s written down


⭐️Maths Skills⭐️

▪️I am aware of numbers and counting 🧮

▪️I join in with number words, songs and play 🎱

▪️I experiment with emptying and filling sand/water containers ⌛️

▪️I can recognise some written numbers 🅾️

▪️I look at numbers in my community 🏪


⭐️Routines⭐️

▪️I have practiced getting my uniform on and being ready to leave on time ⏰

▪️I have a good bedtime routine so I am not tired for school 😴

▪️I am learning to eat at the same time as I would at school 🍏

▪️I am making sure I have breakfast before I leave for school 🥞

As the day draws near talk about uniforms and school routines, I know it may be a challenging time for you too as a parent, sometimes we struggle to acknowledge or accept that our children are growing however it is really important that we talk about all of these things with excitement and not sadness or apprehension.


You can practice the school run, and schools will organise trial mornings/afternoons where your child can go and meet their peers and Teachers, make sure you do attend these sessions, these are really important in helping your child in the process of transitioning to school. During these sessions, your child will often have the opportunity to visit their classroom, meet the teacher, and meet some of their peers, this is usually done in a very informal way.


The teachers often do home visits to meet yourself and your child, they do this for various reasons, to meet your child on their own territory, to introduce themselves and talk confidentially about your child’s development and needs, be as open and as honest as you can as this will allow the teachers to give the right support when your child does start.

Reassure your little one, have lots of conversations about their expectations and prepare for the start of a new exciting adventure!

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