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Starting primary school

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Play & Learn Going to school

Starting primary school is a big event in every child’s life, and in every parent’s life, too. It’s a big change that’s exciting and a bit scary. Even if your child went to the school nursery or has other friends starting they might still be nervous. 
This is a big day for everyone, but don’t worry, their new teacher will be focussed on helping your child settle in. And there are things you can do to get them ready so they have a happy first day.

Starting school is really exciting, but it can also be a bit scary! In this short film, head teacher Kevin Brack has practical tips and advice on what you can do to make going into P1 a really special, positive experience.

What is my child’s nursery doing to help prepare them?

All  nurseries and ELC settings will have plans in place to help your wee one make the transition to primary school. These will differ depending on your setting, so talk to your child’s nursery to see what they are doing or have planned.

What is my child’s new school doing to help them prepare them?

All schools will have plans in place to help new children settle into P1, but these will differ from school to school. Some schools may be inviting children to come in for a visit before they start, while others may be using videos and online chats. Get in touch with your child’s new school to find out what the options are.

Should my child know their ABCs and 123s before school?

Image of a child spelling words on a white board using colourful letter magnets.

Image of a child spelling words on a white board using colourful letter magnets.

While it’s natural to worry about things like reading and number skills when your child is starting school, there’s no reason to stress about these right now. No one expects you to be a teacher to prepare them for their first day – you’re already doing the most amazing job in the world. And all the little things you do, like playing, enjoying books, pictures and stories together, are great for getting them ready for school. It might help to think about all the other great skills your little one is getting to grips with, like having independence, taking turns and sharing. These will all help your child settle in and they will learn lots of other new skills once they step into the classroom.

Remember that all children learn in their own time, at their own pace, and their teacher will support your little one to do just that. 

Tips for helping your child prepare for primary school

Last updated: 26 Oct, 2023