How To Prepare Your Child For The Transition To Big School

Are you one of the parents who simply cannot believe that their baby is starting primary school in September?

Are you one of the parents who simply cannot believe that their baby is starting primary school in September? Well, really it’s August which means that it’s even more imminent. I hear you. It is one of the most surreal moments of my parenting journey thus far.
It feels like just yesterday that we were folding down those tiny newborn nappies because they were still too big for our little bundle.
Now we are talking about school. Actual real-life school that you get in trouble for if you miss too many days. I cannot believe it.

It’s a total roller-coaster of emotions this school stuff. You might be feeling relieved if you’ve just gotten word about your child’s place being confirmed at the school and at the very same time absolutely petrified for the massive milestone that is looming.
A lot of children take their time getting settled into their pre-school environment. It seems surreal that just as they’ve really started to enjoy it the talk of big school has begun. It’s such a huge milestone in the life of the parent and the child.

Most children thrive on knowing what is about to happen in their lives. It is the very reason why routines come so recommended. It offers our children security in that certain signals tell them that the next part of the day is about to begin.
The familiar is a very comfortable place. For this reason, it is a good idea to try to prepare your child for the prospect of going to big school. Rather than making a huge deal of it months in advance you might consider gently preparing your child by mentioning it and exploring it in the following ways.
1. While driving around you might notice children in school uniforms. This could be something to point out to your child. You could calmly approach the topic of what they will be wearing to big school when they begin there.

2. As the time gets closer designate a special day where you go out and let them choose their new school bag, lunch box and beaker. This is a really positive experience and it is important that your child associates going to the new school as a positive thing.

3. If the school offer any open days or play-dates, try to participate if you can. It is a really valuable opportunity to get to know their future classmates and teachers. It is also nice to meet the other parents who will be feeling just as anxious as you. Physically stepping foot in the school is a powerful way of beginning that introduction as it will seem very real and tangible to your child when you reference it from that point onwards.

4. Try not to trivialise their fears and concerns. It is completely normal for them to have several. Listen with a sympathetic ear and try to offer a positive explanation or solution. It is important that your children’s feelings feel validated as this is a big change for them.

5. Regularly mention some of the things that happen at school. For example, you might mention new friends, learning about numbers and what happens at lunch break. The more familiar your child becomes with these things the less of a surprise they will be.

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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