children starting school

It’s that time of year where parents of preschoolers have been visiting primary schools, and deciding which of these schools would be the right fit for their child.

I was a nervous wreck as I walked through the school halls, imagining my little man sitting at one of the desks learning.

I felt a excited, nervous and proud. Soon the schools will be allocated, and it will be time to prepare him for the transition from preschool to primary school.


A transition is a challenging experience of change that affects a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

The main areas of transition are:

  • Socio-cultural

  • Institutional stages

  • Change in daily context

  • Choices made for children

  • Global changes

Child transitioning to school

For children the most common transitions include, but are not limited to:

  • Starting, or changing schools

  • Key stages and developmental milestones

  • An adaptation within the home (for example, a new member joining the family)

The transition from nursery to primary school can affect children’s behaviour, learning and wellbeing.

Therefore it’s crucial to make sure transitions are positive.

Preparing children in advance will enable them to internalise and look forward to the future transition positively.

Children reading to get ready for school

Here are some strategies which can help prepare your child:

  • Story books

  • Pictures of the classroom

  • Map of the school

  • School timetable

  • Visiting the school

  • Role-play

  • Teacher home visit

  • Lunches at the school prior to starting

  • Talk to the teacher about the child’s individual needs

  • Discussing school with friends who already attend the school

  • Allowing them to select a comfort item to take with them

These positive approaches can help your child develop a deeper understanding of what is to come, allowing them to internalise it, and help them feel as though they retain some control.

Child painting a picture of themselves. About Me


If the child entered the setting in a positive frame of mind, feeling welcomed, comfortable and at ease, it will relieve stress for the parent and the child.

The sense of belonging will allow your child to feel secure, successful and happy with future changes.

This will enable them to further develop their identity, resilience, and improve

their emotional wellbeing.

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