Preparing your child for primary school
Going to primary school is an important transition for both children and their families. It is important to ensure that your child has adequate school readiness skills as they enter Primary One. When supporting your child, there are several areas of school readiness which are essential for a smooth transition into primary school. These are:
Good work habits: These are classroom skills such as the ability to listen, attend, and participate in classroom activities. It also includes the ability to follow class rules, seek help when needed, and pass messages from school to home.
Friendship skills: This is the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with their new friends and teachers. It also includes knowing how to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, and negotiate conflict successfully.
Emotional skills: This consists of self-awareness and self-regulation skills, such as learning how to identify one’s feelings and regulate them. It also includes recognizing one’s strengths and weakness, and having the resiliency and confidence to manage challenging situations.
Independence skills: This is the ability to be independent when completing everyday tasks such as toileting, dressing, recess time, and transitions. This includes the ability to buy food and clean up after eating, manage changes in routines, and recognizing and taking care of one’s own belongings.
Academic skills: This consists of basic literacy and numeracy skills required for success in the classroom. By primary one, your child should be able to read and write simple words, copy sentences from the board, complete simple addition and subtraction problems.
PRACTICAL STRATEGIES FOR A SUCCESSFUL START AT SCHOOL
As your child transitions into primary school, there are many ways to support your child. It is important to find strategies which suit your family best. Below are some helpful ideas which you can consider:
- Involve your child in the school selection process by bringing them to the school, or going online to show them how the school facilities and teachers look like on the school website.
- Involve your child in the school orientation process by bringing them around the school and show them the layout of the school (e.g. canteen, toilets, playground)
- Travel to and from the school as a practice run, and explain to your child about the school drop off or pick up times, to allow your child to know what to expect
- Prepare your child for the new school day routine by using a visual checklist or write a story with your child regarding what happens during the school day.
- Arrange for opportunities for your child to play with other children who will be starting at the same school. Seeing familiar faces will help your child be more relaxed and confident on their first day of school
- Celebrate the first day of school as it is a milestone achievement! You may want to discuss with your child about possible special activities to do as celebration on the weekend (e.g. go to a park, special dinner)
Ms Eliza Leong
Educational and Developmental Psychologist
MPsych (Ed & Dev), B.Soc.Sc. (Hons)
Registered, Australia and Singapore
10 Sinaran Drive
(Reception is located at #09-04)
Novena Medical Centre
Tel: 63976627 (General Enquiries – Mon to Sat) / 63977073 (Early Intervention Programme – Mon to Fri)