Helping your little ones prepare for the big leap from home to school can be a stressful time for many families. Especially considering our littlies are barely out of nappies before they’re bounding off into the classroom! We stopped by for a chat with Avondale Grammar School’s Assistant Principal and Head of Preschool and Junior School, Maria Lindblom, to get her best tips for helping parents prepare their kids for formal schooling.
How does Avondale work with parents to make the transition to “big” school a successful one?
Parents play a vital role in their child’s education and we work in partnership with parents to ensure our new students and their families have a smooth, secure and happy start to their learning journey. After all, starting school is exciting and we want our kids’ time at the school to be enjoyable as well as memorable!
To make the transition easier, we meet all our new families prior to their start, so we can share information, ask and answer questions and discuss the transition to school. We also hold “Parent Information Sessions” where we share information about our curriculum, our daily routines, as well as expectations – it’s a great way for parents, teachers and school staff to get to know each other before their kids actually start school.
How can I help my child at home in the lead up to starting school?
You can help your child prepare for formal schooling in a few simple ways. Firstly developing daily routines really helps, as does encouraging independent behaviour in your kids. We also find that visiting the school beforehand and talking positively about going to school (and all the fun things that will happen!) helps to alleviate a child’s anxiety.
Some simple daily actions that you can take to help prepare your child for school include:
- Getting your child to bed early
- Having them wake up at a certain time, while still leaving plenty of time for them to get ready in the morning
- Having them eat a healthy breakfast to ensure they have the energy they need to learn and concentrate
Are there any skills that my child should master before they start school?
Before your child starts you should encourage their independence by helping them master the following skills:
- Managing the toilet on their own, as well as their personal hygiene
- Learning to dress themselves and put on their own shoes
- Carrying their own school bag (simple but necessary!)
- Learning how to recognise and take care of their personal belongings
- Learning how to use a knife and fork and pour their own drink
We also find that making sure all of your child’s things are clearly labelled, helps children keep track of their own belongings when at school!
What’s the best way for parents to stay involved in their child’s school life?
The best thing parents can do for their children is simply taking an interest in their school day, talking positively about their efforts and looking at their schoolwork. We’ve found that when parents are involved in their child’s education, it gives kids the best start in their learning journey. Regularly meeting the teachers and keeping the school informed of any changes that may be affecting their child helps tremendously as well!
Why does Avondale place such a special emphasis on the first year of a child’s schooling?
Foundation is the first year of formal schooling and children join our Foundation classes with a variety of different preschool experiences. It’s important that their first experiences of Avondale Grammar School are happy, fun and that they feel safe, secure and welcome. Our teaching and learning programs are developed to ensure a balanced, active and exciting curriculum, in which all children’s learning is supported and extended. We also place a special emphasis on developing early literacy and numeracy skills, so that children have the best kick-start to their school careers!
Thanks Maria for sharing your invaluable advice!
To learn more about this lovely school, sign up for a tour by calling (+65) 6258 8544 or sending an email to [email protected] so you can discover the Avondale spirit for yourself, mama!
Avondale Grammar School
318 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park, Singapore 247979
Tel: (+65) 6258 8544