Helping your Child Settle into a New School

Starting a new school can be a scary prospect for a child, no matter how old they are. Whether they're starting school for the first time, moving from primary to secondary school or starting a school in a new area, it can all be a little bit confusing at first. You can make a big difference to how your child feels about this prospect however by helping them to plan for this change in their lives.

It's amazing how little things like teaching your infant school aged child to dress and undress themselves for P.E and encouraging them to use the toilet when they need to rather than trying to hold it, will have on their confidence. And teaching older kids the importance of putting their school clothes either in the dirty laundry bin or in a designated place ready for school the next day will help too, not to mention those elusive P.E kits and pieces of homework 'the dog ate'. A little bit of organisation and confidence in their own abilities goes a long way to help them feel settled at school.

Make sure you purchase any school uniform they will need well in advance. You'll no doubt be given a list of school uniform and other items required for school before they start and buying them before the start of term will not only help your child to feel ready to start school but confident too. The list is almost always the same - skirts and blouses or polo tops for girls, school trousers (you can get some great value George at ASDA's school trousers) and shirts or polo tops for boys, plus jumpers or sweatshirts. In secondary school they're more likely to need blazers and ties, but make sure you check your list as even some primary schools list these as part of their school uniform.

The same goes for school bags, lunch boxes, pencil cases, pens and pencils, calculators, P.E kit and anything else that makes the list. Being organised is key to starting school. You'll also need lots of labels for their clothes. The school's lost property area is bound to be heaving with unnamed school uniform waiting for its owner to collect it. Don't let your child's belongings go the same way. Whether you choose to iron on or sew in your child's name labels, set aside an evening before school 
starts to tackle the job in one go. If you have two or more children maybe do it over more than one 
evening, but try not to leave it to the last minute or it'll be a mad rush the night before the first day of school, when you should all be relaxing and preparing for school together.

Starting school can be scary for children of any age, regardless of whether they've been to school or nursery before. Talking about their feelings, making sure they're organised for the following day and giving them a little leeway in the first few weeks as they establish themselves in their new routine, 
can help them find their feet.


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