Friday, 10 August 2012

Starting School: Everything you need to know

So your little bundle of joy is starting school in September.

"I'm not ready!" I hear you all cry.  He/she is only a BABY!  He/she can't possibly be old enough for school, surely!

But the time travels so fast and they are, indeed, growing up.  So to ease the transition I've pulled together some of the best blog posts and articles on the web at the moment on 'starting school'.  What skills they need to practise in advance, what you can do to ease your own pain as a parent, help for parents with children with allergies, what extra things expats may need to consider and a whole lot of resources to help you out.  I hope it's useful!



What preparation can I do with my child before starting school?


Five Key Skills: Over at Mindful Mum, Lorna Clark, parenting consultant and maternity nurse, explains five important skills that will help make your child's transition to school that little bit easier.

Putting on coats and shoes:  It's really helpful for a child to learn this skill before school.  With one teacher to up to  thirty children, it's difficult for the teacher to help everyone get coats and shoes on.  Check out these top tips for helping your child learn this important skill at The Nurture Store

Photo by Flickr djwudi

Potty Training?  Karen is flabbergasted that potty training before school seems to be so difficult for some parents.  Or does it become an issue when they are engrossed in the new tasks at school and forget to ask to go?

What do you think?

Have you toilet trained your little one in preparation for their new school life? 

K is for Kit: Over at PinkOddy's Blog, preparation for school includes talking about the different letters of the alphabet.  In this post; K is for Kit.

It's a great idea to incorporate some activities like this through the summer period.

Reading Tips: Over at Life, Ninja Killer Cat and everything else, Claire provides some great tips for starting to read with your pre-schooler.  It's good to get them familiar with books and reading as early as possible.  After all, to learn about other things you first need to be able to read!

Get Crafty: Maggie, at Red Ted Art, has pulled together a collection of the best back to school crafts to get you in the mood for the start of school.

If the idea of a yummy Schultuete doesn't get them running through the front gates, maybe the gorgeous notebooks and decorated pencils will?  At the very least, the last week of the summer holidays are sorted!

 What about me? 


 How will I cope? What are other mums feeling?


Sentimental? Wondering what she'll fill her time with, and whether Little Miss will settle in OK, Mum on the Brink is a mum feeling sentimental about the next stage in her young girls life.

This post is sure to strike a chord with mums everywhere.

Struggling with logistics? Lady Briggs ponders how her daily schedule will change when K starts school in a few weeks.  Nursery's often cater very well for working parents, but with the move to school, and a 3.30pm finish she's got some logistics to work out.  Find out how the preparation is going with this follow-up post too.

Proud? Kel, at Writing, Rambling and Reviews, is really proud of her growing boy.  Legs is really looking forward to attending his new school in September. 


Making the most of time at home: Pippa, over at A Mother's Ramblings, has collated a list of the things she wants to do with her Big Boy before he starts school in a year.  It's a long list!  Are there things you want to do before the new term comes around?   





What if my child has allergies?


Over at Allergy UK this comprehensive post provides information on how to establish a management plan, what questions to ask and how to prepare for school when your child suffers from allergies. 

For those with food allergies I particularly like the idea of sending a 'special treat' tin to school so that your child doesn't miss out on a treat when other children bring in birthday buns or treats to hand out.  This is just one of many useful tips on this site.

What about schools outside the UK?


In the Netherlands they hang up their school bags with their national flags in June, have a unique way of keeping the school clean and accept new intakes every week!

Find out more about Funky Monkey's start at her new Dutch school in this vibrant and enlightening post over at Tales from Windmill Fields.   

In Australia it's different again, with the school year starting in January (I suppose it is their summer!).  Trevor Cairney, leader of the New College at the University of New South Wales (Sydney) talks us through the varied starting age across Australia in his Literacy blog and how this compares to other countries.  This post is an insightful and comprehensive discussion as to the best starting school age for children, including what to consider if thinking about holding your child back for a year.


Reading, phonics and books!



Welcome packs: If you want to get a head start, you might want to invest in some resources to help support your child's learning.  Twinkl Resources provide educational materials for schools, but there's nothing to stop you being 'teacher'!

Their Key Stage 1 Welcome Pack is a great place to start.

Phonics Tests: If you've heard rumours about a worrying new test that your child will have to take in Year 1, don't fret.  My post, here, outlines my views on the new Phonics Screening Tests, and rest assured, my summary is that you shouldn't be at all concerned with this test.  It's a test of the teacher's method, not the child's ability.





Books: Starting School

For books that serve a double purpose; firstly getting the process of reading underway and secondly, reading about starting school!  This is my special collection of books to get you and your child, in the mood!

Next steps

If you found this post useful, please help share it with other mums just like you, who may also find this guidance useful as their child takes a first step into the education system.

I'd appreciate it if you'd share this post with your friends, using the sharing buttons below.

If you notice any glaring omissions in this post, then please contact me!  I want to ensure this is a useful and accurate article.  Or feel free to add any of your own tips in the 'comments' box below.  Commenting is welcome.

Good luck to all those children starting school in 4 short weeks.  Have fun!

Unless otherwise stated, all the pictures used in this post are from the contributing articles and are used with the permission of the websites referred to.


  1. Fabulous fabulous round up!! What great hints and tips! And THANK You for including the crafty round up!!


  2. Nice will u help me to buy school shoes as well from where I can get have you here about unze they have good school shoes and girls school boats in black colors. Can you help me what about unze. You can check unze collection there For girls school shoes:-
    School shoes for girls
    For Boys school shoes:-
    Children School Shoes

  3. I can remember how nervous I was when our first was headed to school. We were so lost! I wish I had had your list. It would have made the transition so much easier. Thanks for sharing this at NOBH!

  4. Thank you for sharing these great tips! I like the puppy on the potty:) We need to start potty training soon! Yikes! Thanks for hopping with Curious Wisdom!

    1. Potty training is so much fun!

      Check out my guide to travelling when you have recently potty trained!

      It includes a checklist of what to take out with you that will be useful! :-)

  5. Great round up of posts.

    I would love for you to link up at the Empty Your Archive party which has starting school as one of it's themes this week - Alice @ Mums Make Lists x


Hi there! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Share with StumbleUpon


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...