Preparing For ‘The Big Day’

A child’s first day at school is a day to remember for the rest of his/her life. These are some tips so you can help to make it a really happy one.

  • Tell your child about school beforehand, casually, and talk about it as a happy place where there will be a big welcome and where they will meet new friends.
  • Please do not use the school or the teacher as a threat – it can make some children very apprehensive.
  • Your child will like to have the new uniform or tracksuit and a new bag when school begins. These help him/her identify more readily with the school and other children.
  • Your child’s books will be taken up on the first day of school and the teacher will hold on to them until such time as they are needed – this minimises books getting lost. Please have your child warned of this fact, in case they think they will never see the books again!
  • All books/copies must be marked with your child’s name and readers must be covered.
  • Your child will feel important if he/she has something in their school bag, so perhaps you could buy an extra copy or colouring book which could be used at home.

The Big Day

COMING IN …

  • When you arrive in the classroom, please be as casual as you can
  • You and your child will meet the class teacher and the other children
  • Hopefully, your child will be absorbed in the new surroundings, so having given assurance that you will be back to collect him/her, wave goodbye and make your getaway without dely to the school hall for a ‘cuppa’

GOING HOME

  • Junior Infants will be released from the door beside the sports hall – please wait outside
  • Be sure to collect your child on time. Children can become very upset if they feel they are forgotten
  • If at any time the collecting routine has to be changed please ensure you tell your child and the class teacher in writing. We understand that emergencies can also arise so a phone call to the school office will ease anxiety

HANDLING THE UPSET CHILD

  • In spite of the best effort of both teacher and parents a small number of children will still become upset. If your child happens to be one of them don’t panic. Patience and perseverance can work wonders.

A Word of Advice …

  • Trust the teacher. He/She is experienced and resourceful and is used to coping with all kinds of starting-off problems.
  • Try not to show any outward signs of your own distress. Sometimes the parents are more upset than the child and are the main cause of his/her anxiety.
  • When you have reassured your child, leave as fast as possible. The teacher can distract and humour him/her more easily when you are not around.
  • Check back discreetly in a short while with the office. You will invariably find that calm has been restored.
  • You must be firm from the start. Even if a child is upset you must insist that they stay. He/she must never feel that he/she is winning the psychological battle of wills.
  • On day one take as many photos and videos as you like. It is a great day for children, parents and the school.