Helping Your Child Transition from Nursery to Big School
26th September 2021
Big school – it’s such an alarming phrase isn’t it? Conjuring up images of lessons and bustling playgrounds. When your child is barely out of toddlerhood, it can be overwhelming to think about them transitioning to a new, bigger environment.
But the fact is that a child’s move to big school, whilst challenging in some ways, is also a wonderful time. It’s a time when children can begin to feel more independent and to grow their social skills as they make new friends.
Preparing your child to transition can be a useful thing – it helps for small children to understand more about the new environment before they get there. Knowing something about the changes they’ll be facing can empower children, so they view the transition as an exciting rite of passage. Your child’s nursery or childcare provider should also prepare them for the big shift. This childcare provider in Richmond helps children prepare for their move up to school by offering consistent support and advice to both child and parent.
There are many books about moving up to big school so it’s a good idea to invest in some or borrow them from the library. Read the stories with your child and discuss the issues which arise. Reading books can be a great way to open up discussions as many children are reluctant to talk about their own fears but will enjoy talking about those of a fictional character.
Visit the school in advance
Make sure your child gets to attend an open day and a taster session. These are important when it comes to helping your child feel less overwhelmed. You can also do practice commutes – where you pretend it’s a school day so your child can become more familiar with a new routine.
Once they begin
Stay positive and ask open-ended questions such as “What did you like best about today?” and “What happened today that surprised you?” Many younger children like to talk about their day on the journey home so be prepared to listen as you travel!
It won’t all be plain sailing
Don’t be surprised if your usually calm and balanced child experiences a few minor upsets at the start of their school experience. Longer days, a new environment and a lot of new information can conspire to create a child with a shorter temper than usual. Emotional outbursts during transition are quite common as your child will be more tired than usual.
If you have any concerns, do let your child’s teacher know so that you can work together to come to a happy solution to any teething problems.