Starting a new term at school can be a daunting task for some children. This applies to all stages of schooling, whether they are starting with us at nursery, transferring from another school, or just heading back to St Peter’s in a brand-new year group with a fresh start in mind. However, there are certain steps that you, as the parent, can take to make this transition as smooth as possible. We have put together just some of the things you can do at home to help your children adjust to the first few weeks of a new school term.
Make sure your child is fully aware of what time school starts, finishes and how he or she will be getting there. Setting a daily time for waking up, for eating breakfast and a time they need to be out the door will also make mornings run smoothly. Letting them know their schedule in advance will give them time to accept the routine, and will stop them starting the term on the wrong foot. Be sure that all the required uniforms are purchased well in advance, as well as anything else such as PE kits, stationery, bags, water bottles etc.
The idea of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ comes to mind here, as ensuring that your child feels ready to start the new school term is of utmost importance. We recommend spending a couple of nights before the start of term getting used to earlier bedtimes and wakeup calls if this is not part of their school holiday routine. You may even want to practise the travel to and from school, so you know an approximate journey time door to door, and there is no uncertainty over where you will be dropping them off. Children who are about to start primary school for the first time may benefit from reading story books that teach them all about the process of going to school and what to expect from their first day.
On Friday afternoons, we offer an array of activities, from basketball club to school’s quiz challenge, indoor athletics to pom-pom making and futsal to mindfulness and yoga. There is something that will appeal to all pupils, and they are a great way to make new friends at the start of the new school term. St Peter’s is based amidst a 28-acre site which boasts a heated outdoor swimming pool, a sports hall, squash court, tennis courts, an AstroTurf pitch and numerous football, rugby and cricket pitches. Encourage your children to make the most of these excellent facilities and embrace competitive sports and extracurricular activities throughout their time at St Peter’s. This is great for building character, and the bonds formed between teammates will stay with them forever.
One of the best ways you can ensure a smooth transition for your child in the October half-term is by being involved whenever appropriate. Help your child with their homework when they need that extra piece of assurance and build their confidence by listening to them read aloud at home. Make yourself available for any meetings that we call, whether they are about the curriculum, school trips or any other aspect of school life. Not only should you respond to any messages from the school, but you should also communicate with us over any questions, comments or concerns you may have. We pride ourselves in offering extensive support to all pupils, but if there is anything you think we might be missing, please do let us know!
Finally, try not to panic and worry about how your child is getting on. This is understandably a natural response to such an integral part of their lives, but children of school age are receptive and, if they sense that there is something to worry about, the chances are that they will reflect your reactions. The first few weeks can be particularly tough, but keep the routine consistent, and they will adapt to their new environment quicker than you think! Set aside some time to ask your child how they are feeling about school, identify any issues or problems and whether they are things you can fix at home or if the school need to be involved.
With term well and truly underway, we hope that all our pupils are settling in and enjoying everything St Peter’s can offer. We pride ourselves on being an independent primary school and offer only the best experience for both parents and pupils alike. If you would like to discuss anything surrounding your child’s first few weeks into a new school term, or if you wish to inquire about enrolling your child, please do not hesitate to contact us today.