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’
- 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.