The First Few Weeks of School – Tips for Parents/Carers

A huge welcome to you and your child from everyone here at Brayton C of E Primary. The children are doing really well settling into their new adventure, however it is not uncommon for many children to have some issues for a little while as they learn to cope with the new demands and expectations of ‘big school’. Here are a few ideas for supporting your child during the first weeks of their school life. As always, any questions please do come and ask.

  • There may be tears at drop off time, but maybe not straight away. For some children it takes a while for them to realise that they have to come to school every day.
  • If your child becomes upset, try not to let them see your own feelings. Gently but firmly hand them over to a member of staff who will calm them quickly – usually before you have left the school site!
  • We are very happy for you to bring your child into the classroom in the morning to help settle them, and will always work with you to find the best way for you and your child to separate. We would encourage you to let them sort out their own things in the morning to help foster that independence. In the last half term before the summer we will ask you to leave your child at the door so they can get used to coming in by themselves ready for transition to year one. 
  • Your child may be very tired during the first few weeks as they begin to process the new experiences they are having. Ensuring you stick to a bedtime routine will help.
  • Children starting school have to get used to having less time for themselves. There may be some resistance to bedtime if it means stopping a game or activity. Giving plenty of warning helps, for example, ‘When you have finished that jigsaw it will be time to get ready for bed.’ Make bedtime a pleasant experience, such as a bath, milk, cuddles, a favourite story – whatever your child enjoys.
  • Once we start sending home reading material – to begin with phonemes (sounds) and/or tricky words – it really does make a huge difference to your child’s development if they do it every day. It starts with 2 minutes and builds over the year to 5 -10 minutes a day – that’s all.
  • Try not to plan too much in the first few weeks – either after school or at weekends. Go with the flow and let your child dictate the pace of what you do. Every child is different – some run on batteries and never tire! Others need that down time.
  • You may feel overwhelmed keeping track of things your child needs each day – water bottle, book bag, waterproof coat and wellies (whatever the weather) and possibly a small snack. 
  • Try not to worry about what your child is eating at lunchtime – we will keep you informed if we have any concerns. Your child will never go hungry. If they don’t like the lunch we always have a never-ending supply of toast, fruit and milk. 
  • Talk to your child about their day, but don’t expect too much response. Some children will tell you everything, others nothing. Many children need some ‘down time’ from school where they are not expected to think or talk about it. 
  • Expect moodiness and sudden mood changes. Don’t discuss trivialities or get worked up over what your child tells you about their day at school. Young children live very much ‘in the now’, and upsets and fallouts are usually quickly forgotten. We will be observing how your children are coping socially and emotionally and will help them deal with issues that arise. 
  • Accept that friendships will come and go, especially during their time in EYFS, we do not encourage ‘best friends’ rather that everyone is friends with everyone. Distinct friendship groups usually come later in school life.
  • Don’t worry if your child tells you that they had no one to play with that day, they may just be referring to one small part of the day. We observe that children playing on their own are usually choosing to do so and will gently encourage children who seem shy or lonely to integrate with a group. 
  • Keep a good line of communication with us – we are here to work with you. Please do feel able to come and talk to us about anything.
  • Above all, be reassured that any issues from the first few weeks of school will pass. By half term your child will be settled and enjoying the new routines of school life.