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Smooth transition for children going to school

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Ensuring children are ready to start school feeling confident and independent is the aim of early childhood teacher Kerry Nebauer from Goodstart Early Learning Brinsmead.

As well as learning to hold a pencil and know their ABCs, Ms Nebauer is has set up a getting ready for school display which features plenty of photos, information and tips for parents.

She said ensuring children were ready for school physically and emotionally was essential for a smooth transition.

“The move from childcare to school can be a daunting experience and it’s important that every child has the best possible chance of adjusting successfully,” Ms Nebauer said.

“Because of that, I’ve been visiting the schools in the area, taking photos of the bubblers, the buildings and the teachers, so that the children know what to expect when they start their first day.”

An anti-bullying strategy, which outlines how to handle bullying, is key to Ms Nebauer display, as are examples of school rules, and information on how the school will feel and sound.

“We’re also working with the children to teach them how to put their bags away, where to put their hats and how to get a drink of water,” she said.

“It’s all about encouraging the parents to let the children take control and show they have the skills to help them be more independent.”

Ms Nebauer said the information helped her children be more successful at school because they had overcome any physical or emotional issues and knew what to expect.

The 30 kindergarten children have set up a school complete with a blackboard and spend time working and writing their letters in the area.

“I think the biggest adjustment that the children will experience is the move away from play-based learning at childcare to a school system which is regimented and structured. Teaching the children how to listen, how to sit still and what rules they will have to follow are all important skills.

“I don’t want them to get to school and not how to get a drink of water or ask a questions,” Ms Nebauer said. “Building links with all the schools in the area, and preparing the children, means there will be less anxiety and concern.”
If you are parent with a child starting school next year, there is help at hand. Check out our top tips for starting school:
  • Help improve your child’s independence by encouraging them to carry their own bags and put them away.
  • Get them in to a daily routine so they have a bit of glimpse into how their day may look.
  • Encourage them to go to the toilet on their own, recognise their own belongings and eat and drink without help.
  • Ensure they are eating a healthy breakfast each day.
  • Drive past the school and have a walk through, especially during school hours so they know what to expect. (Check with the school’s administration first).
  • Ensure you have everything you need for their first day – uniforms, hats, school bags – and make sure they are labelled with your child’s name.
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