The time is here…after a summer of all-out fun, you are finally getting out those shiny new school shoes ready for your first (or only) fledgling to head off to ‘big-school’. It’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for everyone, so we have put together our 8 top-tips to help you navigate the playground (and all that comes with it)!
8 Top-Tips to Help Navigate a Playground
1. Everyone’s a winner
A healthy interest in how your child is getting on in class is great – but remember, there is no life-long prize for who could spell the longest word by the time they reached year 1!
2. Ignore playground behaviour coming from parents
Unfortunately, it would seem that every playground has an uber competitive parent (or 3) …we advise you keep clear for the sake of your own sanity! It’s a lose-lose situation to get wrapped up in this child-vs-child competitiveness. If you're losing, you have to endure her smugness and if your child is ahead then you WILL feel her death-stare!
3. The make-ups and the break-ups
It’s completely normal for Reception class children to have ‘fallouts’…in fact they tend to swap their friends quicker than you can ask ‘who’s your best buddy?’ Don’t worry about it – any bust-ups are quickly forgotten!
4. To confront, or not to confront…that is the question
This can be one of the hardest things to get a handle on when your little one starts big school. You know the scenario; some little terror has been mean to your child and upset them. We advise that you don’t head straight over to their parent, despite the protective instincts that may be kicking in though! She is likely to have a different version of events and it is unlikely that you will change her mind about what went on between your little monkeys. This one can be extra tough as it can lead to parental fall-out…cue school gate awkwardness (and no one likes that!).
5. From the small pond, to the big sea
At ‘big school’, you won’t be able to have the daily chats with staff that you may have been used to at Nursery or the Childminder. With the classes having up to 30 children in them…those 5 minutes per parent would add up to a whole lot of over-time for ‘Miss’ each day!
6. Don’t expect them to be chatty at home-time!
Big-school is no small feat for our new starters…even those who have been used to full-time nursery before are often exhausted when they come home from a full school day. They have so many new things to learn; it’s only natural that their little bodies are tired by home-time.
7. Teach them to dress themselves…not write their name
If you were to ask a reception teacher what they would like their new pupils to be able to do when they start, it probably wouldn’t be knowing their numbers or alphabet. To give your child (and the teachers) the biggest helping hand – make sure that your little one can dress and undress themselves independently (or with little assistance) and use the toilet by themselves too. Teachers can be there to assist but it will make everyone’s life easier if your child is well on their way to doing these things unaided.
8. You can never have enough name tags!
Lost property at Primary school is pretty much a black-hole – to avoid losing your child’s things into the abyss make sure you name EVERYTHING!