The NSPCC’s helpline is there to give advice to any parent or answer any concerns you may have about a child. The helpline has provided the following advice in relation to concerns many parents have about their child starting or going back to school.
Advice for parents whose children are moving from nursery to primary school and experiencing a lot of change.
As parents ensure you have key information regarding school policies, staff members, telephone numbers and school times of the day so you are also prepared and feel more secure about who is caring for your children.
Establish a routine in going to bed and waking up at the same time the week before your child starts nursery or primary school.
Practice the walk/journey to school so it does not seem as scary on the first day.
Talk through the school day including playtimes and what happens at lunch.
Make sure the children are aware of who is collecting them. Give positive praise in relation to how they have got dressed and gone to school.
Practice recognising their name and the name of their teacher/teaching assistant in their new class.
Make it a daily routine to talk about what they have done. Try to engage with school activities so parents can also make new friends, relationships and be a part of the school life.
Since the kids will have been out of the classroom for longer than usual, it’s important to help them get ready for a whole new school chapter.
Slowly reduce the time they go to bed over the last few weeks of the holidays so they are used to getting up for school on time. If the child is not an early riser, start getting them up earlier so it is not a shock to the system.
Ensure children are not taking electronic devices (e.g. tablet/mobile phone) to bed. It is essential that they are getting a good night’s sleep without distractions.
Remind them that things may be a little bit different when they go back to school, due to social distancing measures carrying on into the first term. Put them at ease and communicate with them about who will be taking them to school and collecting so they won’t have any worries about what will be happening.
Keep a log of all incidents and share these with the teacher or deputy/head/head of year. It’s also useful to keep a log of all their home schooling work that they’ve completed over the lockdown.
Make time for your child to see a friend in the park after school, so they can have positive and happy experiences with their peers.
Parents who think their child may be being bullied and are worrying about their child facing the bullies at school again.
1. Parents know their children best. If behaviour deteriorates or there are concerns for their well-being seek advice from school or their GP. The NSPCC helpline can also offer guidance on parents’ options
Ensure you keep a line of communication with the new teacher. Explain your previous worries so the teacher is aware at the start of term.
Keep a log of all incidents and share these with the teacher or deputy/head/head of year.
Explain to your child that the new school year is a fresh start and that you will support them with any worries this year.
Make time to have one to one time to talk through any worries and any positive events within the school day.
Make sure your child is aware of Childline as somewhere they can speak to someone about any worries.
Make time for your child to have their friends over at the house/park/after school so they can have positive experiences with their peers.
You can contact the helpline on: 0808 800 5000
Photography by Tom Hull. Children pictured are models.
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