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Helping your child when they start or change primary school

- Understand what’s going on when your child is facing change so you can help them to adjust.

Things you can try

  1. Talk to your child about the change

    Reassure them that having a mix of emotions is normal. Remind them of how well they coped with change, like when they first started nursery. Say ‘‘Remember when you started nursery. You felt anxious and had to be very brave when you went for the first time. But then you had a great time and made lots of friends’

  2. Help your child find out about their new school

    Look at the school website together. Find pictures of teachers and other information about clubs and groups. Visit the new school, shop for uniform and other equipment and plan the journey to school.

    Helping my child find out about their new school reassured me too. I didn't have a great experience at school myself but I wanted to be calm and confident for my child.

  3. Explain that starting a new school isn’t about the first day

    You could say ‘it’s very normal for it to take a while to settle-in and to feel confident’.

  4. Look after yourself too, starting school can take an emotional toll on parents

  5. Your child is unique and we hope there are some takeaways here that work for you. If you’re looking for help parenting children with additional needs, you can get specific advice from specialist organisations. Check out our list of support that we can recommend.

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