Preparation for School

Preparation for School

Starting school is a milestone in the life of a child and is often a time of stress and anxiety for parents. Parents, however, can do much to reduce such anxiety – both for themselves and for the child. The preparation should begin some months before the child starts school and be carries out gradually.

It is an enormous change for a child to have to share a room with other children and one adult. There is much that parents can do, however, to prepare the child to cope with separation and socialisation and to build a sense of control in the child.


Talk to your child about your own school days. Emphasise the opportunities for making friends and for getting involved in new activities. Approach this talk with a calm attitude – treat it as normal development in the child’s life.

Introduce your child to another Junior Infant. If possible have them round to play during the summer holidays. It is important that your child see some familiar face on the first day.

Children should be able to put on and take off coats and hang them up, to use the toilet and flush it properly, to tidy up their colouring books and crayons. Help them to practise putting things in and out of the school bag. Teach them to use a handkerchief or tissue, share toys, to take turns in the playground.

Label all of your child’s clothes and belongings clearly – help them to identify their own belongings.

Your child should know his/her home address. You should also provide the school with the name of a person to be contacted if you are not at home. Explain this arrangement to your child.
Always inform the class teacher if someone other than a parent will collect your child at home time.

Allow your children to do things independently.

Praise their efforts at every opportunity.

Encourage confidence by having them dress themselves. Allow time for this in the morning.

Do not criticise if things are not exactly to your liking i.e. buttons are not perfect or their tie slightly crooked.