Preparing your child
Initially some children may find the experience of school quite daunting. To ensure that your child makes a smooth transition into school, it is important that he/she is as independent as possible – physically, emotionally and socially. If he/she can look after him/herself in these areas, he/she will feel secure and confident and settle in readily.
It would help us greatly if your child is able to:
- Button and unbutton his/her coat and hang it up.
- Open easily and without assistance his/her school bag, lunch box and drink container.
- Use the toilet without help and manage his/her own pants and buttons. You should encourage personal hygiene and cleanliness so that your child knows to flush the toilet and wash his/her hands after use without having to be told.
- Share toys and play things with others and take turns during activities.
- Tidy up and put away his/her playthings.
- If your child has had the experience of remaining contentedly in the home of a relative, friend or neighbour for a few hours, then separation from his/her parents/guardians when he/she starts school will not cause him/her any great anxiety.
The Big Day!
Your child’s first day at school is one that you will have prepared for, looked forward to (or indeed perhaps dreaded!) for some time. It is the day when your baby takes his/her first steps into the school system and we hope that your child’s first day at St. Brigid’s will be a day to remember.
The date we return changes each year but you will be informed at the pre enrolment meeting what the date is for the coming September. When you arrive at the classroom, we would ask you to wait for the teacher to greet your child individually so that he/she receives the individual greeting and introduction to the classroom that each child deserves. Hopefully he/she will be absorbed in his/her new surroundings, so having assured him/her that you will be back to collect him/her, wish him/her goodbye and make your getaway without delay.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that different children react to their first experience of school in different ways. In spite of the best efforts of both teacher and parents/guardians, a small number of children will still become upset. It is important to trust the junior infant teacher as he/she is experienced and resourceful and is used to coping with all kinds of initial problems. So if your child happens to be one of those to get upset, don’t panic as patience, perseverance and very often distraction can work wonders!
Dealing with an upset child
If your child happens to be overwhelmed by his/her new surroundings, try not to show any outward signs of your own distress. Sometimes parents/guardians are more upset than the child and this can be the main cause of his/her anxiety. Try to be firm with your child from the start. Even if your child is upset, you must insist that he/she stay for a short time. When you have reassured him/her, leave as soon as possible. The teacher can distract and humour him/her more easily when you are not around.