Head of Pre-prep at Vinehall School, Nicky Whittaker, explains how to help children begin their school life

Starting school can be an emotional time for both parents and children, but with the right preparation it can be a time of excitement and the beginning of a positive educational journey which will last a lifetime.  

How can you prepare? Start by talking to your child about what is going to happen. Prepare your child by reading a book together about starting school. Teach children to be independent. Can they take off their coat and hang it up on a peg? Can they use a knife and fork to cut up and eat their lunch? Teach your child to tell a grown up if they are worried about something. Teachers will always try to resolve problems if children let them know how they are feeling.  

Transition is a vital part of helping a child to start school and at Vinehall we invite new children to ‘stay and play’ sessions, gradually increasing the amount of time they spend with us. We send out a personalised transition book with a story and photos which the children can read over the summer to help them to feel familiar and confident with the new routines and surroundings. Communication is the key, and our outstanding Early Years Team strive to provide a seamless transition. 

Children thrive in a routine, and quickly enjoy the familiar rhythms of the day and it is usually not long before parents tell us that their children are asking to come to school at the weekend. Then we really know that they have settled!  

vinehallschool.com

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