St John Rigby Catholic Primary School

St John Rigby Catholic Primary School

The big day is finally here!

It can sometimes be very exciting for your child to visit a new place and see new friends, wear brand new clothes and carry a brand new bag; but when they are then asked to repeat this the next day, and the one after that, it can become a challenge for them to understand why, particularly after having six weeks of summer holidays and the freedom this brings!

Let us share more about what to expect in the first days and weeks of your child's Reception year, and how to support them as they find their feet in a new environment.

The first few days

Many children settle into school life easily, while others take longer. Don’t worry if your child is tearful and clingy for the first few days – it’s quite normal. Although you might feel terrible leaving them, they will most likely be playing quite happily within a few minutes.

If your child seems exhausted at the end of the day, let them have some quiet time or even a nap when they get home. If they’re starving hungry, a healthy snack and drink can help restore energy levels.

The first few weeks

Make mornings easier by gathering book bags and any other vital items by the front door the evening before. Involving children in the process will help them as they start taking more responsibility for their own belongings.

Let your child get used to school life before introducing afterschool activities. It’s a good idea to keep the first few weekends quiet, too, as they will likely need time to recharge.

Once your child starts bringing home reading books, make sure you have a regular quiet time set aside to listen to them read. If you find they are too tired in the evenings, try taking five minutes in the morning instead.

Many children, even those who have been accustomed to long days at a nursery or pre-school, find school very tiring. Making sure they have sufficient down time in the evenings and at weekends is important.

Keep talking to your child about their feelings about school, and put aside some special time to chat about their day. Some children are enthusiastic at first, but once the reality of going to school day after day sets in, they can become reluctant. If this happens with your child, use a calendar to help them understand when weekends and holidays are coming up. 

Establish a friendly relationship with your child’s class teacher, including finding out their preferred times and means of communication. They’re experts at helping young children to settle in and thrive at school, and will be able to reassure you about most issues that come up. If you do have any concerns, raise them early to prevent them from developing into bigger problems.

Familiarise yourself with the school's guidelines on illness. Stomach bugs and other illnesses can easily spread among young children, and exclusion periods should be carefully followed.

A family calendar or pin board in a prominent place is useful for displaying important dates and reminders. Check bags regularly for letters!

Getting involved in school life yourself is a great way to meet other parents and become part of a supportive community, as well as contributing to your child's learning environment. Helping with fundraising events, volunteering in the classroom or on class trips, or even taking on the responsibility of being a parent governor can all be valuable and rewarding experiences.