Top tips for when your kids start school

All set to start school.
All set to start school.

As thousands of youngsters in South Tyneside get ready to start a new school in September, the council has issued some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

For youngsters starting primary school, the move can represent a big change to family routines.

Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for families, children and young people, said: “Many parents feel more nervous and anxious than their child about them starting school. This is perfectly normal.

“However, there are some practical, simple steps you can take to prepare your child for school.”

Useful tips include:

• Help your child develop the skills they need to be independent such as dressing themselves, playing and sharing with other children and looking after their possessions.

• Get books from the library and read them with your child.

• Listen to any worries they may express and try to address them by highlighting the fun they will have and new friends they will make

• Establish routines in the week before they start school to get your child used to getting up and going to bed at the right times.

• Share your happy memories of your time at school so that they know what to expect

• Plan a treat for the end of the school day.

• Make sure your child goes to school and arrives on time. Try to start off well with your child’s school. Be open and friendly in any dealings you have with them

For young people moving on to secondary education Coun Atkinson said: “While young people moving on to secondary school are older and better equipped to cope with change, it is normal that many will feel nervous about making the transition to secondary school.

• Make sure your child goes to school and gets there on time. Young people who attend school achieve better qualifications.

• Encourage your child to practise getting ready for school. Ask them to make a list of everything they need and get it ready.

• If your child feels nervous, listen to their concerns and reassure them everyone feels the same way

• Plan the journey to school if they have to travel on a bus. Check the timetable in advance and do a trial run with your child.

• Encourage your child to join a new club or activity at school. This will build their confidence and skills and help them to make friends.

• Make sure your child has “emergency money”, separate from lunch money, that they can use to get home or phone

Visit South Tyneside’s website HERE for information on free school transport and free school meal.

Use every opportunity to keep in contact with the school. Check for information on the school’s website for updates and news.