Starting school is an exciting time for both children and their families. It’s a time of change as they rise to new challenges using the skills they’ve learnt during their formative years. With new responsibilities on their plate, school-goers are also adjusting to their fresh new context. There’s a lot to be curious about; they’re in a larger building, there’s more structure and more children in their classroom.
Wrapping their heads around the new rules and routines, and adjusting to the shift in social dynamics is exhilarating, but can also be a little overwhelming at times. Every child responds differently to starting school. Some seem to sail through the transition, while others find it harder and need more support. Tending to your child’s mental health in all aspects of life will help them make a successful jump to ‘big school.’
The role of your early learning centre
In becoming ‘big school’ ready, your early learning centre is invaluable. It’s a supportive educational environment where children can strengthen a range of skills including social, emotional, critical thinking and problem solving skills, and helps them start school with a strong foundation.
Good mental health is essential for good learning, and it’s a fact that happy children learn better. It also puts them in good stead to make meaningful contributions and ride life’s ups and downs. They’ll also be better equipped to cope with subsequent transitions throughout their teen years and into adulthood.
Adjusting to school is a process. At Guardian, we understand formal education brings a new level of structure. That’s why we focus on preparing children for these exciting changes by:
- Developing language, literacy and communication skills from day one (not just in the year before school) so they are confident to ask questions, have an opinion and can share their thoughts
- Physical skills that include dressing, managing mealtimes, using pencils and scissors and joining in games
- Socialising and making friends to aid in confidence, teamwork and collaboration
- Concentrating on what they’re doing, managing change and understanding rules
- Acting autonomously, going to the toilet alone and knowing if they’re hot or cold
Remember, the transition to school should be an exciting and positive one. Make sure you prepare your child for this change, understand the school context, encourage involvement and take into account your child’s individual needs. Fostering a sense of belonging in their new school community is invaluable in ensuring your child is healthy and happy.