It is important that you establish a good school routine early. Check that all items of uniform and your child’s lunch and school bag – are ready for the morning. Do this in a calm fashion – don’t have your child over-excited or anxious going to bed. Give plenty of time in the morning for dressing, washing and eating a good breakfast. It is important that your child arrives at school on time as children can find it very intimidating to walk into a class already in progress.
On the big day, if you are feeling upset, do not show it. Leave your child with the teacher, and tell him/her you will be back at the appropriate time to collect him/her. If your child is upset, trust the teacher. The teacher is very experienced and knows how to comfort an anxious child.
When the child arrives in school he/she will meet many children. There will be familiar faces of friends from their neighbourhood as well as former classmates from their pre-school. There will also be new faces.
Due to the increased integration of children with special needs into mainstream schools, there may be children in the class with special needs. Likewise, Ireland is becoming increasingly multi-cultural and your child is likely to meet children from other cultures during his/her primary school life. Your child will take some time to familiarise him or herself with all these new faces but you will find that your child will soon make new friends.
It is important that you arrive on time to collect your child from school. Children will become upset if they see other children being collected and feel they are being left behind.
It takes time for children to adapt to school life and routine. Don’t expect too much too soon. Talk to them about what happened and allow them to respond in their own way. If you ask “what did you learn today?” you will most likely be told “nothing”.
Most of the work at infant level is activity based and children are not conscious of “learning” as adults understand it. If, however, you ask questions such as “what happened?”, “what did you do?”, “did you sing?”, “did you draw?” you will have more success.
Your child will be tired coming home from school and may occasionally sleep for an
hour or so when they come home. It is important to set a routine of a quiet time
together and early to bed.
If you feel your child is worried about something school-related, talk to the teacher.