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How to prepare your child for their first day of school

6th July 2017

Nursery is the ideal place to prepare your children for school because it allows them to interact with other children and gives them the opportunity to explore what’s beyond their home. However, there’s still a lot of preparation for us parents to do before their very first day at school.

A child’s first day of school can influence their outlook on education for life, which is why it’s important to face the lead up and the day itself, with preparation and confidence to ensure everything runs smoothly. It’s also hard for us parents too, which is why it’s important to remember that a school is there for them to grow, learn and make good friends.

Before starting school:


  • Have everything ready and prepared for the morning, so your son/daughter has a calm introduction to the day. Allow them to help you make decisions so they’re with you every step of the way. You could let them help you make their lunch or give them the choice of what they would like to eat during the day, for example.
  • Label their jumpers and show them where it has been placed so they know where to look if they take it off at school.
  • Walk by the school’s grounds so they can see for themselves that it’s not a scary place. Point to where the entrance is and give them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the building.

Lunch time

  • Get your child used to their new lunch box and make it fun! Go out to the park and have a picnic with your lunch boxes. If there’s a yogurt in their packed lunch, teach them that the spoon is to come back home and that the pot is to go into the bin – this way they will know what to do and you won’t end up losing any spoons!
  • Let them put the straw into a drinks carton themselves and avoid any hard twist top bottles.


  • It’s important to have your child toilet trained before going to school to keep them clean and dry and also to avoid any embarrassment. At this age it’s common for teachers to take the class to the toilet at the same time, so it’s important that they try to go even if they don’t think that they need to. Children often wet themselves, so advise them on trying to go to keep them dry. Should they be prone to occasional wetting, you should provide them with a second set of clothes to ensure they have a backup in case this happens.

Talk to them about school

  • We’ve all been to school and for most of us it was daunting prospect awaiting the unknown of a place called “school”. This is why you should talk to your son or daughter about your experiences in order to help them understand that you’ve been through it too.
  • Ask them what school means to them and help to paint the bigger picture by expanding on it. Explain to them that there will be a routine between 8am and 3pm, with a break and lunch in between.
  • Touch lightly on the subject of rules, so they know how they should behave and help them to understand that rules are there to ensure the wellbeing of every student, including them.
  • Tell them that they will have a teacher there too and that this adult is there to help them learn and to answer their questions if they don’t understand.

Their first day:

Talk to their teacher

  • Give the teacher two contact numbers to ensure that if they need to get hold of you they can. This is just a general procedure, nothing to worry about.
  • If your child carries an inhaler label it and let the teacher know. Provide them the instructions should your child need assistance.
  • Let them know if your child is allergic to anything, have it printed out so that this can be passed on to whoever is teaching that day.

Leaving your child

  • It’s hard to, but vital that you leave them to socialise with the other children before school starts.
  • If they do cry, it’s OK. You’re not a bad parent for walking away, explain to them that you will be there to pick them back up later.
  • Try hard not to cry in front of them as this can make them upset. If you’re confident, it’s likely that this positive attitude will be mirrored back.

Empty their bag

  • It’s easy for children to get carried away with their exciting first day at school, so it’s important to check their bag for important letters and homework.


Tiny World Day Nursery can be found around Nottingham and Mansfield on Stockhill Lane, Arnold Road and Layton Avenue, providing children with a stimulating, interactive environment to help them learn and grow. If you would like to take a tour around our nurseries or wish for advice, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.