Top tips for children starting school in August

Linda Candlish, Deputy Head Teacher of Colgrain Primary School, gives some tips for parents whose children are either starting primary school or transitioning to secondary.

As a parent myself, I know that when your child starts primary or secondary school, it’s a huge change for everyone. It’s a mix of nervous butterflies and excitement for both parents and children.

It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous and a bit scared. Don’t worry though, teachers are there to help children settle in.

My own child is joining S1 this year so I understand all the feelings you and your child may have. We found reassurance by taking advantage of all the transition opportunities provided by the secondary school.  You can also find lots of helpful tips on ParentClub and I’ve shared some of my own advice below to help parents and your children.

Starting primary school top tips -

Starting Secondary School –

Good luck to everyone starting their new school.

Starting primary school

  • Self-help skills (practise fastening buttons, zipping up jackets and changing shoes
  • Make sure your child has a water bottle each day
  • Go to school prepared for the weather – outdoor learning happens all year round.
  • If you know children that will be in your child’s class, make connections with the parents and arrange get-togethers over the summer holidays. Parents will become your friends too.
  • It’s an emotional time, sending your child to school for the first time, however children are very observant and feed off their parents’ emotions. Be positive, encouraging and excited for the opportunities they are going to have. Save the tissues for the car if you can!


Starting secondary school

  • Read the school handbook, get to know expectations and key contacts. You’ll find the handbook on the school’s website.
  • Prepare a quiet space in the house for your young person to complete homework, build this into their daily routine
  • Help your young person to take responsibility for their own belongings, encouraging them to pack their bag the night before school. You might consider a locker.
  • Don’t feel you can’t speak to the school. Working together leads to more positive outcomes for your young person.
  • Joining clubs is a good way to make friends across year groups and classes.
  • Be patient – your young person is about to experience a lot of change. There will be new friendships to navigate, new learning, new teachers and a slightly longer day!
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