7 Tips to help children transition to school in 2022
It is that time of year when our teachers at Sydney Early Education Centres begin to focus more on school transitions and the processes involved for our preschool children. Starting school is a significant event in the life of children and their families. Strong relationships and information sharing help to promote a positive start to school and the transition relies on everyone working together to make it happen – family, community, early childhood education service and the school team.
Due to our current lockdowns, preparing children for the transition to school in 2022 will be a little different. SEEC hopes the following Q&A’s will help families with the transition to school process in the current situation.
When should my child start school?
Children can start Kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn five years, on or before 31 July that year (for public schools). By law, all children must be in compulsory schooling by their sixth birthday. When your child starts school is an individual decision as children develop at different rates and learn skills in different ways. You may wish to discuss this with your child’s preschool teacher, carer, doctor or your local primary school.
How can I prepare my child for school?
Starting school is a big step for children and assisting them to transition to school successfully is important for their journey in continuing to be successful learners. Families play an important role in supporting their children to manage this transition, and together with their early childhood teachers can help them develop their emotional, social and learning skills needed to take on the new challenges school life will bring.
7 top tips for 2021 preschool families
Read to your child every day
Your child will learn the literacy foundational skills of vocabulary, comprehension and awareness of letters and sounds, in a fun and enjoyable way. It is also a good idea to read books about starting school and talking about school in a positive way. “Daisy’s First Day” picture book has some great activities to help prepare your child.
Play games together
Children will develop their listening skills and their ability to follow rules and instructions. Games can also develop other important social and emotional skills needed for school, such as: resolving problems/conflicts, and learning it’s okay to make a mistake and to keep persisting and ‘have a go’.
Teach your child independence skills
This helps to give them confidence in their transition to school, for example: dressing themselves, tying shoelaces, practising packing their school bag, doing simple household chores, and opening their lunch box and eating lunch from it. For more healthy lunchbox suggestions visit here.
Maintain your child’s social connections
During a lockdown, this can be done in such ways as through zoom, telephone, or writing cards to each other. Your SEEC director may be able to connect you with other children going to the same school in 2022.
Set a routine for your child
Routine gives children structure and helps them prepare for a school day. During lockdown periods routines can sometimes be flexible and varied. Establish a regular bedtime routine and time, encouraging 10-11 hours of sleep recommended for this age group. Also, try to have regular mealtimes and activity times that will be similar to your child’s school day.
Encourage children to recognise and practice writing their name
Try to regularly do this in a fun and natural way, such as writing cards, on their drawings, or when helping to write shopping lists. Make sure they use the NSW Foundation Style writing font in lower case (the first letter of their name being a capital) found here.
Visit your child’s school
For example, if possible: drive or walk to the school from home discussing the route along the way; or take a virtual school tour (ask your SEEC director or school about the availability of this option). This will help them begin to develop a sense of belonging to their new school.
Some other posts that might interest you:
- What’s in a poem?Learn how poetry can help your child to interpret the world around them understand the playfulness of language.
- Is your child really misbehaving?Let’s explore stress behaviour with Sarah Conway from Mindful Little Minds.
- Reconciliation Week 2022 – Be Brave, Make ChangeFind out more about how SEEC encourages families to ‘Be Brave, Make Change’ for Reconciliation Week 2022 and how you can support your family.