Back to school tips

'Back to school' written on blackboard
When those blissful weeks of the summer holidays are drawing to a close, here’s what you can do to help your child get back in gear for school.
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Going back to school brings on a mix of emotions. While children may feel excited about seeing their friends again, they may also be worried about what’s in store, especially if they are making the transition to “big school”, or facing important exams. These tips will help your child (and you!) to prepare for the start of the new school year.

Re-establish routine

Try to get back into a routine. Late nights and lazy days are what holidays are all about, but try to ease them back into the old routine as the holiday draws to a close. Otherwise, bedtimes and early mornings will become a source of battles when term starts again.

Get their uniform sorted

Make sure they have the right uniform, PE kit, and any other extras such as book bags they need, especially if they’re starting a new school. Schools usually send out lists of the things that your child will need. Make it into a shopping trip and go together with your child to choose the items. Alternatively, most schools have their own uniform shops where you can order the new school uniform or buy good quality second-hand clothing and kit.

Encourage independence

If your child is starting primary school, help them to develop their independence by encouraging them to dress themselves and to take care of their belongings.

Practise the route

If you’re doing it for the first time, plan your route to school.

If your local authority provides bus passes, make sure that your child gets theirs in plenty of time and emphasise that they need to keep it in a safe place. Make sure your child always has ‘emergency money' (separate from any other money) or a phone card in case they forget their pass, need alternative transport or have to phone for help.

If the route to school will be done by car, bike or on foot practise it with your child a few times beforehand to avoid any last minute panics.

Get worries out into the open

If your child is starting school for the first time, or is moving up to secondary school, encourage them to talk to you about any nerves or worries they may have. Listen, acknowledge their fears, and talk positively to them. Let them know that all children feel nervous when starting somewhere new.