Starting School? First day nerves? Prepare your child for the big day.

Primary school teacher Jenny Guest has written this week's post on Starting School. Who better to give tips and insight into this landmark moment in a child's life than a teacher. Thank you Jenny!

School image smalll

Can you remember your first day at school?  I am sure we all felt a bit scared and lost when we were left at school for the first time – and to a child it is a big deal.  As a teacher, I know that the first day in a new class can be quite intimidating and we want to do everything to make the day as happy as possible.

Before school starts, share “happy” stories about starting school with your child, This will reassure them and give them some idea about what they can expect from the school day and help alleviate their anxieties e.g. the importance of school rules, making friends and finding their way around. 

We always get asked about phonics and about how parents and carers can prepare their child for learning phonics before they start school.  Indeed, phonics is a really important part of the early reading process but first and foremost it is vital to instil a love of books and words.  Sharing books and reading aloud will help to foster a love of reading.  It is important to read as much as possible with your child; read books from school, borrow library books, buy books as well as newspapers and magazines.  Create a list of favourite authors so you can search for similar authors or new books with a similar theme.  Decodable (or levelled) books are great for developing early phonic skills, your child’s teacher will be able to explain their levelling system with you, but it is important to read these alongside good quality “real” books; this will enable children to experience a wealth of language.

School is a new beginning for children, but it is also a new start for each teacher who, if they are anything like me, is a little nervous too!  I for one cannot wait to meet the children who will be joining my class in September and I am sure it will be a great year of learning.

Best wishes


See Ladybird's recommended books to help prepare your child for the first few years at primary school.  Available as 3 for 2 if you order by 30th September 2012.

 If you'd like to read more about the Reception year, you might like A Day in the Life of a Reception Class, an earlier post on The Ladybird Blog


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