First day at school By JenkoAtaman AdobeStock_213718302

Is your child worried about starting school?

Moving into a new classroom can be scary and take a bit of getting used to for even the most confident child. For lots of children, moving into Reception will be their first time in a school environment

But whether they are moving from a private nursery, from being at home full-time or being in a nursery class attached to a school, they will have to get used to new adults, peers, routines, expectations and the large school setting. And that’s a big ask for a little one.

Hopefully, the school you’ve chosen for your child will have carried out a home visit. These are a great opportunity for the adults working with the Reception children, the children themselves and their parents to get to know one another in an environment where the child is more likely to feel confident.

A transition visit may also have taken place. First, the Reception teacher visits the child in their current nursery setting and meets their current keyworker.

Then the new Reception children visit their new classroom for a few hours. Both occasions give the children and staff the opportunity to learn about each other.

The visit to the Reception class lets the children learn where their coat peg is, where the toilets are, what toys there are and who is in their class.

Transition tips from former primary school teacher

If your child isn’t starting in Reception until September 2020, you will have plenty of time to liaise with the school to set up either a home or transition visit.

What can you do to help your child copy positively with this educational rite of passage? Here are some tips from PlanBee‘s Catherine Lynch, a former primary teacher.

  • Be positive about this transition; your child will pick up on your worries, so adopting an upbeat attitude to this exciting stage in their life is key
  • Listen to your child, reassure them and try to understand what lies at the heart of their worry. Reassure them that you will support them, and don’t try to dismiss their concerns as unimportant or unfounded
  • Arrange playdates with other children that will be in their class; lots of parents use social media to create these connections

Cllr James Valentine, portfolio holder for Education at Bedford Borough Council, said:

“We all remember our first days at school. This is an exciting, and possibly a little scary, time for children and their parents.

“Remember to keep calm and positive in these early days, and I wish everyone embarking on these first steps on their education journey the very best.”


Cllr Sue Clark, executive member for Families, Education and Children at Central Bedfordshire Council, was also approached for advice on a child’s first day at school.