As the end of the academic year approaches, our nursery managers and early years professionals working with full moon children turn their thoughts towards helping children through their forthcoming transition to school.
It is critical that a child is prepared for the changes taking place and there are many things’ nurseries and parents can do to help make the transition smoother.
First, open communication between home and nursery is essential. If your child’s behaviour changes this may be a sign that they are concerned about the upcoming changes. By sharing this information with the key person, you can work together to help to ease the worries your child has.
- finding it hard to concentrate
- not sleeping, or waking in the night with bad dreams
- not eating properly
- quickly getting angry or irritable, and being out of control during outbursts
- constantly worrying or having negative thoughts
- feeling tense and fidgety, or using the toilet often
- always crying
- being clingy
- complaining of tummy aches and feeling unwell
Popular strategies used in nurseries are to tell the children who their class teacher will be before the end of the school year, they may share photographs as this helps your child to break down any preconceived ideas they may have about their “new teacher.” If the nursery is aware of the school your child is attending, they may have some examples of the school uniform for the children to play dress up in. Another strategy is to take your child to their new classroom, this was not possible during COVID however schools may reintroduce this and if they do it is recommended that you attend.
As parents, you can talk about the new teacher. You can discuss the positive attributes of the teacher with your child and allay any fears they have. Take your child for a visit or show them pictures on the internet are other ways of helping them to feel more confident. During the school holidays you could make a scrapbook which your child could take into school on their first day. Often having a physical item to show helps the child to feel more confident about sharing news of the holidays with a new class. Share your child’s likes and dislikes with the class teacher and if your child does not communicate in English let the teacher know the key words your child uses for the bathroom and for letting you know if they are hungry or thirsty.
Saying goodbye is important for children. You can help them to say goodbye in many ways. Make a thank you card for their current nursery or key person, write or draw pictures about the fun things they did at nursery and think about what they are excited about for their new school. Take photographs of their key person, nursery manger and friends (with permission) so that you can talk about them during the holiday, reminding your child that they will have a new teacher when school returns but that their friends may still be in the same class.
By preparing your child and by approaching the changes in a positive manner you will help to ease many of their concerns. You are a role-model for your child and if they see that you are happy about the changes, they will feel more confident and will in turn be happy.
@BananaMoon - 3 weeks ago