How can I help my child get ready for school?
There are lots of things you can do.
Get your child used to Reporoa school
Here are some ideas to help your child become familiar with us:
- visit the Reporoa school with your child
- meet with the principal, Mrs McDonald, and their teacher with your child
- attend visits with their class and teacher before their first day
- have a play at the school in the weekend – run around, climb on the playground equipment, kick a ball on the field
Talk to the teacher about your child
When teachers know children well they are better able to support their learning. Talk to the teacher and let them know things like:
- if your child has any special health needs, and what to do
- what your child likes to do, what they are good at and what makes them happy
- after-school plans and who picks up your child when you can’t
- anything that might affect how your child is feeling.
The teacher might also appreciate you sharing your child’s portfolio or profile book from their ECE service or Kōhanga Reo. This will give the teacher valuable information about your child’s learning, and can also link up your child’s early childhood, home and school or kura experiences.
Teach your child the practical skills they’ll need
Before your child starts school, it’s helpful if they can:
- do up their shoes
- put on and take off their coats
- go to the toilet and wash their hands
- blow their nose
- unpack and hang up their bags where they are told
- recognise when they are thirsty and get a drink of water
- ask for things they need.
Help them get ready to learn
They may find it easier to participate in the class if they:
- can sit on a chair at a table for a short time to complete an activity
- are comfortable being away from you
- know how to take turns, and wait for things
- know the names of colours
- know the letters of the alphabet
- know the numbers 1 to 9
- can hold a pencil correctly and use scissors
- can write their name
- are able to hold a picture book and turn the pages carefully.
Checklists for starting school and getting settled
Starting school or kura for the first time or beginning a new school is a new and exciting stage for all the family. These checklists cover some of the important things to help the first days run smoothly. They are also useful for settling your child in at the start of each new school year.
In your child’s school bag
- morning tea and a water bottle. Get your child to help you pack their lunchbox. Talk about what is for morning tea. Lunch is provided everyday for free.
- pencils, exercise books, and other supplies the school has asked your child to bring. We provide a list before school starts.
- in the spring and summer terms a sunhat and sunblock (it’s a good idea to apply sunblock at home before they leave as well)
- in the autumn and winter terms a warm hat and some extra layers in case it gets really cold
- their name on everything particularly hats, shoes and sweatshirts. Show your child where to look for their name on their clothes.
- a change of clothes. This can be reassuring for a child starting school or kura for the first time, especially if they prone to toileting accidents.
- a book bag for daily readers. These are for you to read at home with your child. Please return them in the book bag every day.
In the morning before you leave
- get up early so that you have plenty of time to get ready and your child doesn’t feel rushed and stressed
- have a nutritious breakfast
- choose clothes and shoes that are easy for your child to manage by themselves
- allow plenty of time for getting to school. On the way chat about what they think their day will be like and what they want to do when they get home.
When you get to school
- go into the classroom and say hello or kia ora to the teacher with your child
- tell the teacher about after school arrangements if you won’t be the person picking your child up – although it can help them settle in quicker if you can pick them up for the first few times
- show or remind your child where the toilets are and any other place it is important to know about, such as where they will be collected at the end of the day
- it helps children to feel they belong if they know other children. Make a point of stopping to chat with children and parents you know as you arrive
- make goodbyes short. Teachers have a lot of experience helping children to settle in and managing an upset child.
- if you pick up your child ask the teacher how their day went
- expect your child to be very tired in the first few weeks. Make time when you get home to just hang out. They might need to run around outside, chill out on a bean bag with some picture books, or just collapse in front of the TV
- Don’t schedule in lots of afternoon activities to begin with – let them just get used to their new routines first
- offer them a nutritious afternoon tea. They will probably be very hungry!
- let them adjust to being at home before asking too much about their day. It’s a lot easier to get children of any age to talk about their day when they are doing something else with you – helping to make dinner, tidying up, or drying the dishes
- have a space where school papers goes – this is the beginning of you being inundated with newsletters, permission slips, parent help requests etc. It’s useful to make the space close to a calendar so you can write in important dates
- make a time to read together. We send home a reading book to share. Get in the habit of having some shared reading every day, right from the start.